Why business owners shouldn’t design their own logo

Company logoIt’s tempting, isn’t it? You have just started out as a freelancer or set up a new company, and the last thing you want is to incur the costs of hiring a graphic designer to design your logo for you.

It’s not as if you don’t know what you want; you know exactly what you want as a logo, and maybe with some spare time over the weekend on an arts package such as Illustrator or Photoshop, you’ll be able to pull it all together for your business cards and your new website.

However, there are many reasons why you should get a professional graphic artist to design your logo for you. Here are just five of them.

1) You have better things to do for your business

If you are a start-up or just about to launch yourself as a sole trader, you will have many tasks and activities to undertake to get yourself up and running. Amongst all of this, is designing a logo the best use of your time and talents? Will it be to the detriment of other things that you are meant to be doing, whether that be approaching potential clients or sorting out urgent paperwork?

Even if you have an aptitude towards graphic design, you may benefit from the critical challenge of an outside perspective (see below) and you shouldn’t underestimate the time it takes to get a logo right for professional purposes.

Of course, the exception to this rule is if your business is concerned with graphic design. Your logo should then become a totem of your skills and sensibility; no-one is going to hire a graphic designer who isn’t confident enough to design their own logo.

2) You need an external opinion as to whether a logo will work or not

Setting up a business is both an exciting and busy time. New business owners tend to live through their work 24/7 in the initial phase of starting up, which is when a logo for the business is likely to be put in place.

So absorbed and excited are new business owners about the prospect of being their own boss, there is a danger that they may become too self-absorbed and self-reliant, which can be to the detriment of various areas of their work, the visual identity of their business being just one of them.

An emotionally detached perspective of potential logo designs will give you the better logo for your business. You may have come up with an over-elaborate design that includes little personal references to those who already know you, but a graphic designer will cut through all of that to come up with a design that will communicate commercial brand values to the customers and clients you want the business to sell to.

Ultimately, a small business owner or freelancer should focus on the needs of their customers, and this is what has to be reflected in the final design. Your business is not all about you.

3) Branding is not just about having a logo

As the Full Media Ltd blog has explored at length before, people often mistakenly think that branding is just about having a snazzy logo. It isn’t. A logo is just one component of a wider visual sensibility and presence that you will need to establish for your business.

To this end, unless you are very highly skilled in this area, designing your own logo could cause all kinds of issues if you intend to go to a graphic designer anyway for your other branding requirements.

When designing a logo, you need to think about the long-term consequences. How will your logo look when it appears on labelling?  In what colours can the logo be rendered? How will it look when it’s adapted to be an avatar on a social network? For a logo to work you will need to think through all of its possible applications and build up a style guide which you and external contractors can work from. Do you have the skill and the time to do this? 

4) You can hold an external contractor to account

If you design a bad logo and stick with it, you will only have yourself to blame, and your business could potentially suffer as a result.

A good designer, however, will give you multiple initial concepts which you can choose from, and you can hold them to timelines for delivery of the finished logo.

Again, if you decide to design your logo yourself and you do not get it done in time, who else is there to blame or hold accountable but yourself? 

5) A graphic designer will have the skills to keep your logo and brand alive and fresh

Graphic designers have the skills and the sensibility to come up with a design that is relevant to both your business and your customers, and good ones take pride in their work as well.

If you are happy with the agency you go with for your initial branding, chances are that you will maintain an ongoing professional relationship with them, and they can advise you on modifications to your existing branding as and when required.

New technology will always lead to new ways in which one can be visually represented, so why not choose a professional designer who can help evolve the logo they have designed for you as and when needed, rather than be lumbered with a concept that you have come up with at a specific moment in time?

Again, if you are a professional graphic designer and have the luxury of time on your side, you should probably discount all of the above. However, if you’re not and you don’t, please give some serious consideration to this advice if you want to save yourself time, money and stress.  And as a company logo is a long-term commitment, and rebranding is an expensive exercise, it makes sense to get it right it first time.

If you are setting a new business and would like a professional logo designed at a competitive rate, contact Nick at Full Media Ltd on 01260 279847 or email us today.

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About Nick Jones

Nick Jones is a proofreader, copywriter and videographer. After a varied career which saw him working in sales initially and then in more creative roles at Yell, he now runs Full Media Ltd, a specialist provider of online media solutions for small- and medium-sized UK businesses. He lives in Cheshire with his wife, son and three cats. Connect with Nick Jones on Google+ or select any of the other options below.

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