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How to Get a Logo for Less: Generators and Budget Designers
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Back in 2010, the clothing and accessories store GAP tried to change their logo. It didn’t go well.
While the original Gap logo showed the word ‘GAP’ in all caps inside a dark blue square, the new logo was meant to be a white square that encased a small blue square which in turn sat over the letter ‘p’ in Gap.
Loyal GAP shoppers were not having it. In fact, the logo change went over so poorly that the company had to revert to the old logo just days after launching the new (and very expensive) one.
A Facebook group with more than 2,000 comments was formed to protest this proposed change; a Twitter account was even set up with more than 5,000 followers, there was also a (now defunct) parody site called ‘Make your own Gap logo’ that had almost 14,000 parody versions of the new logo.
The Power of a Logo
The protests and eventual backtracking of the new logo launch by GAP illustrate the power of a logo.
There is more to a logo than just clever design — your company logo is a powerful identifier. It is the one thing that sticks in the minds of your loyal customers, and they quickly associate that logo with trust and reliability.
If you change it, you shake their trust, and they become unsettled. At least in the case of GAP.
Yahoo, on the other hand, actually had some success changing their logo.
Yahoo’s Logo Rebrand Success
While GAP tried and failed to change their logo back in 2010, Yahoo did almost the same thing in 2013, but with incredibly positive results.
Yahoo’s rebranding was so successful that it led to a month-long marketing campaign that rallied customers around the brand. This is what the C.E.O had to say about that logo rebranding campaign:
“We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.” – Yahoo C.E.O Marissa Mayer
These two examples show how powerful a company logo can be. A logo can make or break your marketing efforts.
Why You Need a Logo
You might be thinking, “If this logo issue is so volatile, should I really bother to get one for my company or blog?” The answer is a resounding YES! You should absolutely get a logo–and not just any logo, but the right logo.
An excellent logo helps people recognize and identify your brand. Consider the logos below. You likely recognize these brands based solely on a simple white version of their logo.
The main reasons why you need a strong brand logo are:
- Creates a strong first impression
- Serves as the cornerstone of your overall branding
- Instills a sense of trust in your brand
- Helps users identify you across touchpoints (website, print, email, etc.)
Still not convinced? Consider the following ways a logo can help your business succeed.
Make a Strong First Impression
How often do you do business with a company that has a shady looking website or even no website at all?
Chances are not very often, if at all.
You are not alone.
People tend to do business with brands they recognize, or at the very least, a business that looks professional. Without a well-designed and thought-out logo, the first impression people will make of your brand is ‘amateur,’ and therefore not very trustworthy.
A Logo is A Basis For a Strong Brand
While it might only be a small part of the overall branding campaign, a company’s logo can be used to determine the brand’s colors, fonts, tone and overall branding feeling like the C.E.O of Yahoo said.
That is why your logo needs to be designed with forward thinking and long-term branding in mind.
It goes something like this: a high-quality brand image plus a beautiful brand identity = a trustworthy business.
If any part of that equation is missing, then you will have a difficult time attracting and retaining customers.
Create Brand Consistency
While you will populate your website with different types of interesting content, as well as images, the one thing that will allow you to build brand consistency is your logo and brand colors.
No matter what you share online, be it images, videos or text, superimposing your logo will always tell people which brand that content represents.
Customers Expect Them
We live in a world where huge brand names can be identified simply by their logo. Think Apple, IBM, and Nike. This has become the standard by which customers judge big industry players.
If you want to be taken seriously, then you should strive to meet customer expectation. That typically starts with having a presentable and professional logo.
The fact that you need a good logo behind which to create a powerful brand is not in contention. Need proof? A study from MIT found that a great brand logo can actually have a positive effect on customer commitment, which in turn ensures loyalty and repeat business. For proof of that, all you would have to do is look at the GAP logo rebranding fiasco that we highlighted earlier.
Now you know that you need a logo, but what are your options? How much should you expect to pay? Can you get a logo for free?
Read on to learn more.
How to Get a Logo for Your Business or Blog
There are several ways to get a logo. The method you choose will depend on the level of professionalism you want, as well as the resources at your disposal.
You should, however, consider investing a good deal of time and resources into the logo making process because, as we mentioned above, it is a powerful branding tool for attracting prospective clients and customers.
Here are the most common ways to obtain a logo.
- DIY using a full-fledged graphic design tool like Adobe Illustrator
- Create your own logo with a simpler tool, such as Canvaa
- Hire an expensive professional designer
- Hire a more affordable designer through a marketplace
There are pros and cons to each option, which we’ve outlined in the table below.
|Cost?||Skill Level Required||Level of Control||Time Investment|
|Use a Simple Program (like Canvaa)||$||Medium||Medium||Medium|
|Hire a Professional Designer||$$$||Low||Medium||Low|
|Use a Design Marketplace||$$||Low||Low||Medium|
|Logo Generator Tool||$||Low||Medium||Medium|
Make sure you choose a method that makes sense for your brand, your skill set, and your desire to control the final product. And keep in mind, the pros and cons of each option are a generalization.
How to Create Your Own Logo
If you have a bit of design prowess, you can design your own professional logo. Here are some tips on how to get started creating your own logo.
- Look for inspiration from other brands in your industry (but don’t copy!)
- Consider using your business name as a backdrop
- Choose the type of logo: text only, text and symbol, or symbol only
- Think about how you could portray your core message visually
- Choose a tool or platform from the list below
- Start creating!
- Ask for feedback, and make adjustments
During the process, keep in mind that your logo should be used to illustrate the key benefits of your brand. The logo you create should immediately tell people the kind of professionalism they can expect when dealing with you.
How Much Does A Logo Cost?
While you should ideally strive to get a professional logo made for your business, the truth is that sometimes new companies can’t invest a ton of capital. Look at how much the Education Council of New Zealand could spend to change its name, URLs, and logo ($220,000!).
Granted, that involves a whole lot of overhauling, but it gives you a clear picture of the kind of resources creating a logo can require.
For a small business, professional logo designs tend to start around $200 and go up from there. However, if you are not willing to spend that much money nor take the time to find a professional designer, then you could easily get your own logo designed using online logo makers. And the best news is, some of them are even free!
The 8 Best Free and Affordable Logo Makers
There is a wide variety of logo generator tools online today. Some more efficient than other; others are free while others charge a small fee for downloads, edits and so on.
If you look at these options, you will see that it is much easier, more convenient and affordable to use a logo maker, which might very well give you the best kind of results as opposed to spending weeks back and forth with a professional designer.
This tool offers you more than 1,000 logo designs for free. You can customize the colors, fonts as well as texts. You do, however, have to purchase the free logo maker files if you are looking for unlimited access to their collection.
This is a tool that makes it seem like you are working with a real designer only without the back and forth. It has an intelligent learning AI that guides you through the process until you find the perfect design. It is free to use, but it will cost you about $20 to download a completed logo.
This tool allows you to design logos that can be downloaded in PNG, JPG, SVG, and PDF. A general logo costs about $20, while a professional logo will cost you about $150.
This tool will make you look like a professional designer even if you have no experience in the field. With more than 3,000 symbols from which to choose, you have a wide range of options with this tool.
Adobe’s suite of tools do require a paid account, but their logo maker is totally free. The tool includes an “inspiration gallery” of professionally designed logos you can use as a template to design your own logo.
This engine says that it has over 100,000 satisfied users and that it offers you over 1,000 graphics and types of logos. It has a free trial option that you can use to professionally design your business logo.
Tailor Brands offers a full package of branding and design files for a monthly subscription fee. For growing brands with a wide range of design needs, this is a great option.
Their cheaper package costs just $2.99 a month (when billed yearly) and includes a high-res logo, transparent PNG, as well as landing pages, brand analytics, seasonal logos, and brand development. The higher-end package offers the ability to edit and resize, create social cover photos, and tons more.
Hire a Designer Through a Marketplace
But what if designing your own option isn’t the right choice for you? Luckily, there are still a few affordable options available. The marketplaces listed below allow you to hire designers for much less. Keep in mind, this is usually because they offer template-based designs. Due to the price, you will likely have less say over the final product.
However, if you don’t want to create your own logo, the following options can be excellent choices!
This marketplace connects you with hundreds of freelancers that specialize in a variety of fields including graphic design and logo creation.
Costs will vary by designer, but prices start around $50 and go up from there. Many freelancers start with a low flat fee, and then you can pay additional fees for different file sizes, transparent background options, and so forth. This often works well for bootstrapping businesses as you only pay for what you need.
The best part about 99Designs is that it walks you through how to create a brief for your logo and lets you choose the types of designs you like so you get a logo that fits your brand. Then, you have the option to hire a designer directly or open up your brief to all designers and then select your favorite. Pricing starts at $299.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Logo for Your Brand
Of course, there are many other options on the market when it comes to logo makers. The thing to look out for is the kind of end result you get.
The best logo maker will give you a sharp, professionally done logo that you can instantly download, albeit for a fee. They are also very easy to use and give you a guided method through which you can come up with the best kind of logo.
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