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Crowdsourcing vs. Professional Logo Design

Posted by Zack Walker on 09/23/2019
Crowdsourcing vs. Professional Logo Design

Are you looking for an inexpensive way to establish a brand for your company? For a fraction of the cost of a professional designer, you’ll receive hundreds of logos that will be absolutely breath-taking and solve all your problems.

Yikes.

I’ve written this article before - from the perspective of why a designer should NOT do spec-work/crowdfunding design. Now I’m writing it to explain why it’s a terrible idea to use these websites, as a client, if you value your company’s future brand.

What you get from crowdsourcing

You get what you pay for, but what does that truly mean? Observe this scenario:

Let’s say that you go to one of those sites and establish a project where the winning design will get $100. You submit a short description of what the logo is for and then sit back, prop your feet up and wait to be amazed. You receive 50 logo submissions, choose a winner, and bask in the glory of your new logo.

What is actually happening:

Once you’ve submitted your payment, the website takes their cut (we’ll say 20%). Now the project gets listed internally for people to submit logos for a chance at receiving $80 in compensation. These people know the odds of them receiving anything for their efforts (their hypothetical projects’ odds are currently at 2% since we’d received 50 submissions). They also know the only way to maximize their odds is to create a massive quantity of logos and shotgun them to multiple projects at the same time. If we’re using the projects odds, that means that person would have to make 50 logos just to make $80. If they have to make 50 logos, they’re not spending nearly enough time on each concept to create anything of quality or substance but instead are looking for the easy route which consists of plagiarism and mediocrity. They also reuse generic designs to maximize their output. So your shiny new logo could be that person’s 10-time winning templated design.

In a system that rewards quantity over quality, your new logo is most likely painfully generic and probably plagiarized. You got what you paid for.

What you get from a professional designer

So what does the scenario look like if you would have gone with a professional designer instead?

The branding process starts with a conversation, which is the most critically important part of the entire process. As a designer, I use this conversation to truly understand your business, future goals and extract information that helps me start constructing a vision for your brand. I’m saying brand instead of logo because I’m not just thinking about a logo, I’m thinking of your entire brand. A logo is not a brand, but it is (an important) part of a brand identity – the public perception of your company.

The next phase consists of research where I start with examining similar companies and your competitors because I don’t want to do anything similar to what they have - your branding has to be unique and memorable. 

After research, I start production to create 2-3 options that will accurately represent your business and effectively resonate with your target audience. This is the most time-consuming phase because after I establish a concept and visual solution, I run color explorations, size and print tests, and make certain that the logo will create a sustainable brand direction for your business. This ensures that any future collateral will be consistent within your brand.

figure 1

After fine-tuning, I present the logo options to you (hopefully in person) to explain the concept behind each option and to gauge feedback. If adjustments are required, they will be made. Once you’ve selected a direction, the files (several variations that will work in different situations) are packaged up and delivered. The project will end but the life of the branding is just beginning. It will set the tone for all of your collateral to follow to create a very important brand consistency.

I thrive on seeing brands succeed, and sacrificing quality is not an option. If you liked the second scenario, getting started is just a click away. Contact us and let’s start the conversation.