Are free logo designs worth it?
Many business owners ask themselves if a free logo design is better than a paid one. This short article will provide you with some information to help you make a more educated decision.
The first thing you realize when you're starting a new business is that costs add up quickly. So, with a limited amount of money to invest into your business, the first instinct is to minimize costs in as many areas as possible until the business' cash flow increases. This is often where the concept of a free or cheap logo designs becomes very tempting. But, after reading this, you may find that spending money upfront is cheaper overall.
Here are a few ways people have their logo designed.
Online Logo Generator
An online logo generator's a simple mix-and-match tool that allows you to sort out a variety of clip art icons and font choices. While the overall effect may be pleasing aesthetically, you don't actually own your design due to copyright laws that favor the logo designer over the logo buyer.
The online logo generator is actually a sales tool designed to entice you to purchase business cards, stationery, etc. The business behind the generator benefits the person who owns the elements of the design. Part of that business involves creating so many options that the odds of someone choosing the same parts and ending up with a similar logo as someone else is considered a coincidence. Although your local competitor can legally select the specific options, you are the one who decided to run with that logo.
Now, while logo design contests aren't necessarily free, they are often low-cost. So, it's worth mentioning. These are plenty of websites that allow you to create a general outline of your business and design goal. Designers then get together and square off, competing with each other to create a logo based on the information you've provided. Only the selected logo designer gets paid at the end. You do get to choose through many designs and styles, and sometimes you can even make a request to alter the design to better suit you.
Almost sounds too good to be true, right?
That's because it is.
One problem is that contests hurt designers because only one person receives payment when the design is chosen. So, designers instead end up submitting as many logo variations as possible. In order to submit that many entries daily, designers don't have time to sit down and create a logo specifically for your business'. Instead, they use clip-art libraries to create that logo design. This is similar to how an online logo generator works, and the same problem arises with buying clip art: You don't actually get to own your logo or icon design, just the rights to use the clip art in a limited way. In fact, anyone who wants to purchase and use the same clip-art logo you selected legally can.
Using a Student
Every once in awhile someone mentions to me that they're looking to hire a student to create their logo because they're often cheaper or willing to work for free, and this is usually the rational to justify using the student in the first place. They do this by by citing part of the Nike Logo Swoosh story to me.
Here's how it goes: Nike hired a student to create their logo and paid them around $35 for it. Logically, Nike is MASSIVE, and they didn't need to spend a lot of money on their logo.
Well, let's take an closer look at this: Nike paid $35 in 1971. Which is roughly, $270ca today. They also provided the designer with 500 shares in the company, which has since split to 32000'ish+ shares.
That's definitely not cheap. And most business' aren't very interested in providing designers with shares in their company to offset costs on their logo design.
There are several ways to create a free to low-cost logo design, but the caveat is that you never really own the design -- it's just borrowed.
If you are interested in owning the intellectual property of the logo design, then its in your best interest to hire us because we provide you with intellectual property rights.
And if you're interested in hire another designer, make sure that they're not selling you clip-art that you'll never truly own.