In this day and age of online shopping, freelance logo designers and instant gratification, business owners would be forgiven for thinking that they’re getting a sweet deal when they search for “cheap logo design” and up pops a wall of virtually limitless options, some starting from a mere £1, and all of them delivered almost instantly.
But, should you really trust your new business or existing brand’s identity and logo to something you paid peanuts for that’s delivered in a scant couple of hours or 48 hours?
We’re going to look at some of the reasons people are drawn to cheap logo design, some of the options you have for a low-cost logo design, their pros and cons and gotchas to watch out for.
The reason people look for cheap logo design
Starting a business costs money. If it’s a predominantly online venture then you may have a computer and website hosting to pay for, business cards and some other physical marketing material, perhaps you need to buy software and an office space to run things from. If you’re a shop then it’s even worse: rent and rates, the physical stock of products, staff wages, the list goes on.
And that’s not to mention all the other time-hogs that come with it: legal work, business plans, insurance documents, accountancy…
With all these mounting costs and resource-zappers, it’s easy to see why branding and logos get left until last or Google gets hammered for terms like ‘cheap logo design’ – people simply want something up there on their wall, their website and their business cards so they can save some money and get out there and start their business.
Plus, let’s not forget that not each and every business needs to spend £1000’s on a specialised logo designer, branding agency or premium logo. However, it’s worth being aware of why some logos are so cheap and how you may be paying the price in other ways!
The dark side of cheap logo design
Let’s take a look at some of the common options people choose for their business logo and their pros, cons and pitfalls.
Sites like Fiverr are one of the top performing websites in the age of the gig economy. Largely filled with marketing, graphic design and video production products, you can get just about anything you need for only £5.
But (and it’s a big BUT!), rarely does it cost just a fiver…
By the time you’ve bolted on a sellers’ add-ons and upsells, that tempting £5 price tag starts to climb and you’re too deep into the project to turn things down. Some of them are quite helpful additions, such as the original Photoshop files or designed business cards, but others can be a little iffy, such as charging extra for high-res versions of your logo!
Free logo builders
There are logo building software websites out there that allow you (or someone more graphically inclined) to build a logo for your business online. Some are easier to use than others, such as Canva, and others will charge you to use the software.
However, you’ll often find that the software is actually the cheap or free part, not the end logo that you design. But, you won’t know that until you’ve spent ages building your logo and you want to download it – then it can get expensive, really quickly.
Expense aside, the real issue here is that many online logo builders use a small collection of graphic elements and fonts so you could end up with a case of identical logos with another business.
The DIY option
Good design might seem expensive, but bad design will cost you more. It might seem easy to simply download Photoshop and knock up a quick logo yourself but this is one of the worst ways of saving a few quid because most people aren’t trained in design and there is world of difference between knowing what looks bad and understanding design principles, and actually being able to implement those principles yourself.
If your logo isn’t professionally designed in one way or another, at best you could have an OK-looking logo. At worst, however, it could make your company look unprofessional and off-putting to your customers. Even pound shops have professionally-designed logos!
Freelance graphic designers
Although a freelance graphic designer is more than likely going to be more expensive than the other options on this list, a good freelancer will take the time to understand your business needs, your industry and personality, weaving this all into the perfect logo for your business.
It doesn’t have to cost the earth though, and many designers will be open to some flexibility on their prices if you’re prepared to limit the number of revisions or changes you’d like, or if they can rework your finished logo for another client (whilst staying clear of any copyright infringement issues or duplicated logos like this case of two businesses having the same logo).
Limited Edition Logos
We’d be silly to talk about cheap logo design and not mention how affordable our beautiful logos are. By limiting the number of logo editions we produce, and showing you where they end up geographically, you’ll be certain that your logo is unique, not used by a local competitor, and that you’re free of worry around licencing and copyright issues.
You can see some of our logos here.
Logo designing gotchas
No matter what route you take, there are a few things to be aware of whilst navigating the complex world of logo design. Most of them are real legal problems if you get it wrong, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these handy things to look out for below.
Hmmm, I recognise that logo
A big problem with most online logo sites is the sheer volume of people sharing the same idea as you and buying a cheap logo from the same sellers. Cheap logo design sites like these, logo builders and even printers like Vistaprint, make loads of money re-selling their templates thousands of times.
So, you might find someone new on your patch has got exactly the same logo and business cards as you. And there’s often very little you can do about it.
Be really careful, using cheap ‘designers’ on sites such as Fiverr or People Per Hour as you could risk getting a demand on your doorstep for unlicensed usage. We’ve come across cases where business owners like you have been slapped with massive bills from stock libraries because their logo incorporated one of their graphics.
Most stock graphic sites state in their terms that you cannot use any of their stuff in a logo, but unscrupulous or unknowing designers didn’t realise this. The problem though is that it’s YOU that’s responsible for their dodgy dealings because it’s YOUR name on it. So if you do get a demand you have no choice but to pay it.
Not only will you have to pay the demand, but you’ll be told to cease using the logo immediately too. This means that all the money you’ve invested in getting your business cards, leaflets, banners, vehicles etc. printed, is wasted.
Imagine how much that could cost!
Just Google ‘Getty demand’, and you’ll see what we mean.
Even if you pay a designer to come up with a logo just for you, you might not realise it, but you don’t own the copyright by default – that remains with the designer.
This means you can’t make a profit from it – so you can’t use it on items for resale, such as branded sportswear. Nor can you sell it as an asset of your business. So if your plan is to make a mint and retire, and your brand is a valuable asset by then because everyone knows it, you’re stuffed!
You’ll have to go back to the original designer and ask to buy it, and they could charge you more then your company is worth.
Find your perfect logo right here