It’s been almost three weeks since I set out to get a high quality logo for less than a hundred dollars. I ended up with three variations of a logo which I absolutely love. I also stirred up a bit of controversy in the design world from vendors that hated the idea of $100 logo. More on that in a moment.
The final cost was $85. The designers, Alex & Rita endured a lot of torture from me as I’m very, very picky when it comes to logos. I think altogether they created over 50 different designs before we picked a winner. At times, I wasn’t sure if we were going to get there. Then, in the third batch, I spotted this logo.
One thing that resonated right away was that I’d been using a Powerpoint presentation for client proposals as well as speaking engagements that featured a red target with a dart in the bull’s eye. Although it appeared to be a cursor, for some reason there was no ‘tail’ so I asked Alex to add one. At the same time, I came up with the idea of replacing the arrow cursor with a hand pointer/cursor.
When I saw the revised arrow and the hand versions, I was confident that I had a winner but wanted to run it by you first. And you quickly confirmed my choice. Commenters preferred the version with the hand by a 3-to-1 margin.
Beth Bridges said, “Like I’m touching your brand instead of being shown it with an arrow.” Foxy Cole added, “I like how it feels like my finger is pressing the easy button of my target.” “More human” appeared in several people’s comments.
A Little Controversy From the Design Community
As I created this series of posts on outsourcing a logo design, I attracted a few graphic designers that weren’t real happy about my message. One was Lindsey who tried to politely tell me I was a little too focused on the cost and perhaps overconfident in my understanding of branding. She also posted a link to an article which had led her to my site.
It was obvious that a) I’d touched a hot button in the design community and b) that Lindsey was unfamiliar with my audience. We exchanged several comments and, I believe, each came to a better understanding of each other’s position.
Lindsay is afraid people will use articles like mine as an excuse to use ‘cheap design’ services. The article she referred me to makes a lot of great points about branding and logos but I think too many logo designers mistakenly think they’re branding experts. And they fail to realize that a logo isn’t your brand regardless of how much you pay for it. Steve Zelle, the author of the article gets that and he’s trying to educate his fellow designers on how to create more value so they can compete with what they call logo warehouses.
I don’t recommend logo warehouses. If you’ve been following this series, you’ll recall I suggested steering clear of the design groups on vWorker and looking for an individual. In my case, I found Alex and Rita. Alex is the strategy guy and Rita is the designer. Together they make a good team and probably would pass muster with Steve Zelle, except that he claims you can’t get that level of understanding and service for less than $99.
Truth is, I’ve seen logos that I think are fantastic for less than a hundred dollars and I’ve seen horrible logos that people have spend thousands of dollars for. Now if you’re Best Buy, Starbucks or if you’ve got a big marketing budget and want to spend $5,000 to $10,000 on a logo, knock yourself out. But if you’ve only got a few thousand (or less) to spend on marketing, then don’t spend it all on a logo. Use it to create a better product or service instead. Follow the steps here to get something that fits your budget and later, when the money comes from profits generated by your business, consider investing more in building a better brand.
By the way, I’ve also had similar experiences with web designers. I’ve seen a web designer charge $10,000 to do a fairly simple website for a small business owner who had no money left over to promote it, which the designer was well aware of. My doctor had a friend that convinced him he needed to spend $30,000 on his website. It’s a beautiful site and he ranks number one under Doctors in his local market. The only thing is his local market is Wimberley, TX which has a population of less than 5,000.
I was involved in a web design project for a TV network a couple of years ago. The designer was charging thousands and thousands of dollars to create the site. His design looked good but when initial sales were low, I requested he make the order button twice as large and solid red. He flipped and told me, “Red! That will stick out like a sore thumb!” I guess he didn’t realize that was the point. Like far too many designers I’ve run into over the years, this designer had lots of artistic talent and skills with design software but far too little experience in marketing.
I realize not all designers are like this but in times like these, we need to be get maximum value for our marketing dollars. There are designers out there that are talented and, because they’re new and seeking to build a portfolio and/or live in a place with a lower cost of living are willing to do quality work without the huge price tag.
Thanks to Alex and Rita for an excellent job and to you for participating in this series!