Your $5 Logo Design Company

Now that we have taken a look at the damage of Spec Work, let us now take a look at what quality you can expect from a logo in between the $5 to $200 bracket. The particular case I am looking at today is from a $35 logo design contest that was held on Digital Point Forums.

The “brief” for the logo design project was

“Make a logo for the site ‘Spela Piano’. The meaning of that is Play Piano. This is a site where our members can learn to play piano online.”

Below you can see the responses from the contest, which one do you think won?

You will notice that nearly all of the logos above use free fonts and don’t assign to the rules of what makes a good logo. Ie. describable, memorable, effective without colour and scalable.

Ask yourself these questions in regards to the logos above:

* How many of the logos can you describe or remember?
* Are these logos effective without colour?
* Are they scalable?
* Do they gain immediate recognition?
* Convey the company’s personality, character or attitude?
* Relate to your clients by conveying a feeling of familiarity and credibility?
* Have association with quality and satisfaction?

I will leave these questions for you to decide.

Professional Logo Design

Why logo design does not cost $5.00

To understand what a logo is meant to do, we first must know what a logo is. A logo’s design is for immediate recognition, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic entity, and its shapes, colours, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organizations and other non-commercial entities.

The design process of a professional logo designer usually consists of:

1. The Design Brief: They conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.

2. Research: They conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.

3. Reference: They conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.

4. Sketching & Conceptualizing: They develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and research. They use creativity and know how to design a logo.

5. Reflection: They take breaks throughout their design process. This lets their ideas mature and lets them get renewed enthusiasm and receive feedback.

6. Presentation: They then choose whether to present only a select few logos to the client or a whole collection.

7. Celebration: They then eat chocolate or sleep or start on next logo design. Or a combination.

Do you believe doing all of that costs $5.00?

On that note, did you know that the software to make the logo is $700 in itself… Let alone the computer that it has to be installed onto or the costs associated with the essentials… paper, ink and an Internet connection.
More Reasons

Here are some more responses from other designers on reasons why logo design does not cost $5.00.

Tara from Graphic Design Blog outlines in her 6 reasons why a logo should cost more than your lunch that

1. A logo is the very first impression people get of your company.
2. A logo needs longevity.
3. A logo needs to be original.
4. A logo should look professional.
5. A logo should reflect the time and thought gone in to designing it.
6. A logo is the starting point of your whole corporate image.

Now look back at those $5.00 logo designs or your even own logo to see if adheres to the above points.

Isn’t it about time you invested in a professional logo design?

What is Spec Work?

This is a very important topic for me and I just thought I'd post something about it. I want to talk to you a bit about SPEC work. “Spec” has become the short form for any work done on a speculative basis.

ie. You design this for me, and I will pay you if I like it. - This is not right.

To clarify, let’s create a scenario in another industry where SPEC work does NOT exist.

“I went for a dental check-up yesterday. After the dentist inspected my teeth, she suggested some work to prevent further tooth decay. I told her to go ahead, and if the dental work was satisfactory, I’d be more than happy to pay. She responded that she wouldn’t be able to do that, because she normally provides a service when a fee is agreed upon up-front. I said I’d let her know after I checked in with other local dentists.”

This scenario happens in the design industry every day and is seen as very unethical as it is ruining the design industry. A designer should not have to invest time and resources with no guarantee of payment much alike a dentist or any other professional.

I do not want to go into this any further as much has been written about it but I would like to say please avoid design contests and spec work at all costs. Logo Design Contests are bad for your business. Period.

More about this can be found on the NO!SPEC website.

What is “spec?”

“Spec” has become the short form for any work done on a speculative basis. In other words, any requested work for which a fair and reasonable fee has not been agreed upon, preferably in writing.

What’s so wrong with that?

In a nutshell, spec requires the designer to invest time and resources with no guarantee of payment.

Isn’t it wise for a client to “try before they buy?”

On the surface it may seem so. But, digging a bit deeper, one realizes that professional graphic design is about creating custom solutions, not cookie-cutter concepts.

But, with today’s computers and software, how long could it take?

This is a common point-of-view for many who confuse the professional with his or her tools. The “process” is more than simply tapping at a keyboard or clicking a mouse. It’s about understanding the nature of a communication challenge and then using one’s brain to find the appropriate solution.

At the end of the day, there is a certain irony in spec work. A prospect requesting it is ultimately saying, “My project isn’t important enough to hire a professional who will take the time to understand my situation and goals and invest the time needed to create a suitable solution.”

Our Ears Are Burning!!!

Thanks Linnyette for your kind words on your blog. Linnyette Richardson-Hall is the Wedding Diva. Her "I Do" Brunch was a huge success among wedding planners a few weeks ago. You can see pictures from this event on her blog.
This is one of the menu cards we designed for her event.

The Knot 2009 Trends

What's hot now? Are trumpet skirts in? Will candy and dessert bars still be as popular in 2009? Forcast in-depth

Trend 1: Rustic homespun details
Trend 2: Jewel tones
Trend 3: Patterns that pop
Trend 4: Ball gowns are back
Trend 5: Two-tiered wedding cakes
Trend 6: New centerpiece vessels
Trend 7: Chandeliers and creative lighting
Trend 8: The updated photo booth
Trend 9: US honeymoons

Love Vera Wang's New Collection

Did you guys happen to catch Vera Wang on The Martha Show? Her Spring 2010 line is AMAZING! I love love all the dresses. So light and airy! Her idea behind the collection was to convey a looser, organic, washed feeling; she wanted it to look sort of undone. The delicate layers of raw-edged scalloped organza look messy and unplanned, but if fact, there's quite a bit of structure dictating that look.
Which one is your favorite?

Assembling your Invitaitons

I always get asked "In what order do assemble my invitation components?" Here's a great illustration. There may be some exceptions depending on the design of the invitations.

Inspiration: Pink

Spring fever is in the air. With the cherry trees blooming and almost past their peeks. I thought pink color would make for a great spring afternoon wedding. Enjoy!

" I Do " Brunch

Last weekend we sponsored papergoods for 4 tables at the " I Do " brunch for wedding planners. It was a great success. These are the menu cards and table numbers we designed.

Beach Vignette

This is the tablescape vignette from the Aisle Style Baltimore Bridal Show on March 22. We designed the menu cards and place cards for this tablescape. Love this dreamy beachy look.

photography: Pete Redel Photography
table designer: Bradshaw Interiors, Inc.

Happy Weekend

Sweet Paul posted these nice Easter craft ideas photographed by Frances Janisch for Country Living.

New Look

Do your business cards need a face lift?
We have a special going on for business card design and printing...Inquire today!

the art of paper

This is out of the new Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine...just simply elegant and nice.