How do you find a logo creator, or create one of your own?
I have been a freelancer, but just turned that into my own consulting business. I am building my website and brand, but I would like a logo. What is the best approach for someone with no artistic ability, but willing to do it on their own (if possible)? Or, where should I go if I need help? What are some affordable options?
I guess reading some instructional books is a great start. I recommend the following books: "Logo Font & lettering Bible by Leslie Cabarga" and "Fonts & Logos by Doyald Young". Lynda.com has some really great courses on logo as well.
Once you read up on these books / videos then look at some samples of the award-winning works to get inspired.
Remember your logo is your company's identity. Be careful doing it yourself. Avoid clip art and Comic Sans! :)
It is worth seeking professional help I mean from a graphic designer not a shrink. As someone else said below-hire me. I do have a soft spot for startups. But here's another suggestion-try a local college that has either new graduates in graphic design wanting some experience or interns there who may be able to do the job for you.
I suggest looking on the internet for the styles of logos you like. Think about what your company does and let whoever does your logo know what your company is. The logo needs to reflect that. It needs to look good on everything it is put on from your website to a billboard or wherever it will take you. It should look good in one color or 12. Simple can be beautiful if it gets the point across.
The logo is only a small part of your branding. It is a critical component so you want to make sure you love it, and it represents your business the way you want it to. There are many places to get a logo done, but a good logo will be created by a graphic artist who takes into account more than your preference for colors, etc. Doing some upfront branding work can save you a lot of redesigns down the road, and help you design a graphic identity that not only reflects your business, but will be appealing to your target audience as well. You can hire a graphic artist to design a couple of treatments for you, or you can hire a branding consultant with access to artists. This way, you're getting someone who can help you with the entire process with an objective eye and a focus on creating something that will get your target audience engaged. Hope this helps!
You really shouldn't design your own logo. A logo is something that should be thought out. It is what people see first when they view any of your marketing materials. What you may thing is a great logo may not be what is best for your company. I would suggest seeking out a professional for this so two or three years down the line you are not having to redesign and reestablish an important part of your company brand.
You have many options. When going at it alone, make sure to research your ideas for your logo. Maybe only briefly as not to get ideas in your head similar to others, but to make sure you logo idea hasn't already been done. You could end up in a legal battle if it's too similar to someone else's.
When looking for an affordable way to get it done for you, there are a couple options. Ask around in your network for people who have the skills and software to do this, and make sure you establish what your cost expectations are. Usually, if you are looking for a freelance artist to do it, you may be able to find someone right out of college or just starting out who will do inexpensive work so that they can have a new portfolio piece.
If you would like, contact me, and I will gladly work with you in a very affordable sense to get a logo for your consulting services. I've been looking for opportunities just like this and I charge little compared to other seasoned designers.
Becky: AN IMPORTANT POINT OTHERS HAVE NOT MENTIONED! If you are looking for a logo at the early stage of your business its because you properly recognize the value of branding, and making it easy for people to remember you and your sevices. Regardless of how you ultimately create your logo, it is important to remember a logo is a trademark. If you only intend to operate locally, you do not necessarily need to register it, but if you intend to offer services in multiple states you should consider federally registering it. MORE IMPORTANT HOWEVER is to understand that your logo cannot look similar to the logo of someone in the same or similar field that is already registered. Before you spend a lot of time developing stationary, websites, etc, make sure that your logo is NOT similar to one already registered. If they find out, they will send you a cease and desist letter and you will have to stop using your logo and will have wasted all that investment!!!
This is a matter of opinion really, because the logo's effectiveness and your satisfaction with it are all that really matter at the end of the day. One of the main purposes of a logo, however, is to relay a specific message to your clients. The logo doesn't just work as a visual mark, but as a means of communicating one or two key elements of your business.
For example, FedEX's logo delivers a very direct message. Your delivery will be direct and expedient. The arrow hidden in the lettering is no happy accident. The arrow delights the eye when we see it pop out. Anything made out of negative or 'unused' space in an image is fun for the viewer to spot, even when it is more obvious. More importantly, the arrow communicates direct delivery without getting in the way of the company name. Fed Ex is up front. This is who they are, and the hidden arrow is what your mind is left with. Fed Ex, they deliver direct to me. They deliver fast.
This is a crude example, but hopefully the idea comes across. If you are going to make your own logo, start with a pen and paper. I don't believe in telling people not to try. No artistic talent needed up front, just basic shapes and letters put together. Brainstorm on a small, scribbly scale and see if you get any ideas. Give yourself a goal by assigning one essential question to your potential clients. Look at your company from their perspective and ask that essential question about your business. This could relate specifically to services and products you provide, the ease of working with your company, or even the persona you wish your company to embody. It isn't so much about art as it is about communication. Make your logo the equivalent of a firm handshake and a motto. Leave them with confidence in you and who you are.
Read about the design process. If in the end, you aren't coming up with anything, find a designer that listens and spend the money. It is worth the investment to buy a lasting visual message. If you just need a pretty park at the top of your stationary, then use an online logo service. Just be wary. Any service of that nature WILL reuse images, making your logo lack the uniqueness you may be looking for.
p.s. I am always available, affordable, and friendly. (0; Wink.
When looking for a logo design, website, promotional materials keep in mind that this is the face of your business. Think of the quote "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring amateurs." You mention that you have no artistic ability, your time is valuable and probably better spent in other area of business preparation. Also, a professional good quality logo will do a lot of work for you. It will help build trust in your business, and business recognition.
If you do work with a contractor or company to design your logo, be sure to ask who has the rights to the logo once it is complete. We are asked that question a lot by people who have been burned in the past by designers who retained the rights to the logos they designed, and even after payment was complete, the customer could not have the necessary files to utilize the logo.
With no artistic ability, my suggestion is to find a graphic designer or illustrator to help you. That said, be prepared by scribbling some thoughts on paper. A simple drawn image or even information about you and your business will help guide the artist to make an impactful logo for you. There are logo artists out there and it can cost a lot, but maybe you have a friend with artistic ability you can trade services to keep cost down.
I hope this provides some help.
All the Best,