We’ve all done it; bought the cheapest item because we were confident that we’d found a great bargain. But the happy dance ends abruptly when we have to return five seconds later, disgruntled, to purchase said item again, only this time, the higher quality version that will endure.
Being thrifty is an exceptional quality. But there is a time and a place to score a deal, and then there is a time and place to invest in something of quality that lasts.
The same can be said for crowdsourcing creative work. There are moments in life when it makes sense to be frugal, but the design of your logo isn’t one of them. Crowdsourcing logo design is like buying budget-rate prophylactics. You can give them a try, and hope for the best, but if the product fails there is no going back, without costly consequences. In the words of Rollo from the film “Juno,” “That ain’t no Etch-a-Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be undid, Homeskillet.” Your logo is a visual representation of your brand and the genesis for all your business’s visual communication, it isn’t something you want to dig out of the bargain bin. Making (or trying NOT to) make a baby is a big deal. Creating a logo isn’t any different.
Why? Let’s examine the process.
One day, you wake up with a burning itch to get a logo designed. Either you have a new business idea, you have a logo that has grown tired and needs a refresh, or you bought a business, but for whatever reason, you have decided it’s time. You’re in it for the long haul, and you know you want to see your baby grow.
Now you have to choose who you are going to trust to create your baby/logo with you. You can seek a long term partner, one who has the same goals and interests as you do, or you can pick willy nilly from thousands of short term candidates who don’t really know you or have a vested interest in the long-term success of your business. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am.
Serious business means looking for that long-term relationship, as opposed to a quick fix or casual fling. Working alongside someone you trust, who will “ oooh and ahhhhh” as your baby grows, share your same values, and understand the kind of environment (brand experience) you are bringing to this world. Someone that is fully vested in the interest of your business and ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment.)
But not everyone understands or appreciates the value that comes with that kind of commitment. Why commit, when our “throw-away society” lets you engage momentarily with many anonymous vendors who can give you loads of options, but little value? We all know how this story ends. When you’re looking for the support you’ll inevitably need, they won’t be there, and there you are holding your ugly baby/logo, alone.
A partner who is not vested in your long term interest and is engaging with you solely for a cash exchange, leaves the recipient feeling dissatisfied, empty, and longing for something more. This feeling seeps into your business and becomes part of your brand identity. If your logo looks cheap, your brand will appear cheap, and no one will know what amazing services or products you offer because they couldn’t get past your ugly baby.
There’s a lot of ways to do something wrong if your goals and values aren’t in alignment with how you’re getting things done. If a cheap, easy logo is your goal, then the world will offer you a dating app full of quick and easy options that just won’t work out in the long term (sound familiar?). Some examples are stock photography vendors, stock design vendors, and off-shore or very cheap logo mills that leave you with all the peace and satisfaction of a bad blind date.
You will get exactly what you pay for; a cheap, copy-paste, cookie-cutter logo that may not be even legal to use, that won’t reflect you or your company, and NO support at the end of the day. Be frugal with paper towels; not toilet paper. Be frugal with children’s clothes, not with prophylactics. Be frugal with acquaintances, not with partners. Be frugal with copy paper, not your logo. Some things are worth investing in, committing to, and the agency responsible for creating your logo is no different.