Please don't buy a pre-made logo
I know what it's like. You're starting a new business or are in the early stages. There are so many things you know you need to and should be doing to get it off the ground: business planning, marketing, PR, setting up your premises, hiring staff, hosting events, get your accounts in order etc. You barely have any time or budget for anything, let alone hiring a designer for a new logo and branding.
You know you could probably do with a logo, something you could chuck on a business card, website and some flyers. But you just need something done quickly.
READY MADE LOGOS
There are plenty of ready made logos online, where someone has created a logo without any specific purpose or business in mind and are selling it on a marketplace or it could be one that is accessible within a free design software programme or it could even be a rejected logo, where a designer has decided to sell a logo that a client didn't want. Sounds like a good option, right? Maybe you just need to change the name and tweak a couple of colours and you're sorted?
Well, clearly, I'm not going to be an advocate of ready made logos but I can totally understand why it would 'look’ like a good option. But here are some problems that might arise and questions you should consider:
How many other businesses are using the same logo?
Are you choosing the logo just because you like it and it seems like a quick and easy solution?
Does it really resonate with your target audience?
Does it communicate your brand values and personality?
Will it stand the test of time and be relevant in another 1, 2 or 5 years time?
Will it work across all your communication channels, at a large and small size, as well as online and in print?
Does it stand out and look distinctive enough when compared with your competition?
LONG TERM STRATEGY
Are you in your business for 5 mins or 5 years? I know the amount of work that goes into setting up a new business. It's hard work and takes up a lot of your time. So I imagine you'll unlikely to be thinking “I'll just do this for a year and then do something else." Most businesses start with a long term plan and vision and a plan of where they'd like to be in 5-10 years time. So why would you skip on your logo or branding and buy a ready made logo that will only last you 5 seconds?
Yes, having a logo and branding designed for you is an investment but it is a strategic decision for your business and should be seen as a long term investment. Whatever your outlay in cost for it, it should last you 5-10 years. So, looking at it this way, the cost for a new logo and branding spread out over 5 years isn't actually that much per year.
HOW SERIOUS ARE YOU ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
Do you want to be taken seriously in your business? Do you want to come across visually as professional and one of authority? Do you want to make it clear to your target audience exactly what you're about and why they should be choosing you over others? Then investment in having a unique and distinctive logo and branding designed just for you is a must.
I can use my own business as an example here. Now, I have been a Graphic Designer for nearly 18 years and have undertaken many logo and branding jobs in that time. But it took until 2018 (including taking time out to have my kids) to realise that logo design and branding was the route I wanted to focus on. So, I decided to brand myself by going through the same process I use for my clients and launched The Branding Fox. Once I'd launched, many people were congratulating me on my new business and were asking me to design a logo for them. Suddenly, even though it was what I'd always done, people were reacting positively to my new logo and were remembering me and what I do.
If you really haven’t got the time or budget to invest in having a new logo and branding designed for you, then the best option is to choose a nice looking font to write out your business name in. One that fits the personality and style that you want to go for, along with a colour that also fits.
The key thing is to speak to a professional designer before you go ahead and spend money on getting a logo. They will help to guide you down the path that is right for you, hopefully saving you any more pain and expense in the startup process.
Do you need help with your logo or branding? I’ve helped many businesses over the last 18 years and can offer a package to suit your needs. Please contact me at email@example.com