Pros and cons of services, like 99Designs, to develop one's logo for a start-up company? Fear of lawsuits vs. saving money.
I have a start-up company providing unique spice blends, primarily to personal chefs in the Boston area. I'm not in a position to sell in a retail chain store as yet. I may be able to get into small specialty shops. I'm putting pieces in place to actively work with my clients within the next two months. I need to get my blog going, and I need to have my logo done properly for business cards, web presence, and other materials to be added later..
Most of the designers on sites like 99Designs see your project as a means to pay their bill, they will not really place as much value in representing your company as well as you hope they will. This is a quick means to get cash for them, it is better to find a well recommended designer who will take on your project and design an amazing logo for your business.
Personally I am against it.
For a few reasons. When you buy at the dollar store do you expect it to last? Probably not. That is the basics of what you are getting at these cheap sites. Nothing can give you the quality or lasting that a "real" educated designer can. Look at their experience level. Do you want a high school student designing the look and feel of your business to everyone that sees it.
Secondly, You get what you pay for. Enough said there.
Finally, you never know where they got their design from… at least with a respected designer not someone hiding behind the net. You would have some recourse if they did copy it from any other branding exercise.
Your friends cousins brothers kid just graduated from high school here or there… Again… you get what you pay for.
Make a deal with a good designer, you'll find many independent good designers that would be happy to have an ongoing project. I would love to work your whole brand!
Your logo must be made by a experiented designer because: it's supposed to last many years; It should be done a research to find out if your logo is unique; Your logo must represent you, not what the designer thinks you are, not what you thing you are.
Those websites aren't good for your business, it may be a nice looking logo, but it won't last and you'll spend some more later.
My recommendation is that you work directly with a freelance designer or an agency as I lead kellenfol.com
A logo is time, modifications, brand study, brand activation, brand DNA and the brand attitude decline and then turn it into experiential marketing.
It is much more than a look and feel or a nice design, is the ambassador of your brand.
Jesus F. Gordillo
General Manager Kellenföl Advertising
There is a reason why they are cheap. I, personally, would hire a aspiring branding expert and you will end up with far better and thought out branding. As we all know branding is not just logo, it's the look and feel of your brand, color scheme, voice tone etc. and companies like 99designs don't provide any of that, they just give you a standalone logo. logo is not your brand :)
Punita, Logo's are more important than what some people think.
I's not only the design, It's the font, style, size (in comparison's) It's placement, color, borders around letters, words, design, shadow, meaning, feeling, tradition,
readability, projection, inference, Local meaning , International meaning, Recognition and recall. Every aspect of the logo must be considered,
Listed each color needs to be noted in terms of say color identification codes.
It needs to be designed and listed including dimensions in relation to each other. It should also be registered, and unique.
There is a lot more to it than just putting up some letters and shapes.
I have seen companies reject printing simply because the blue or red was the wrong shade. A bar was just a bit out of position, A letter was not positioned incorrectly (only slightly).
If you are serious about your logo, you have to be serious. Near enough is No were close to good enough.
Can you imagine your product on the shelf, and not one label looked the same, or each jar, had their label in a different position.
The same goes with logo's.
Price is a real consideration, but cheap can be nasty . Consider how long we intend to have the logo running, before you change it again.
Take the cost of the design and divide it by the number of years,
Now tell me if this is really that expensive.
Have you considered the brand names of each mix you make, so that the users can identify it as yours by company name and brand name.
Have you considered the family brand name for different mixes with the same core spice.
That way you can build a family brand tree. You may even want to have different brand labeling with your company logo, and a brand Id image.
Have a look at the different styles of coffee which are made by the same company.
I hope I have expanded this discussion
I trust this is helpful to you.
Do you go to walk-in clinics or to recommended physicians and hospitals?
Do you cut your own hair with a bowl and a mirror, or see a stylist or barber?
Do you trust your brand's integrity and equity to hundreds of strangers or to one person or agency with whom you build a relationship?
I'm a designer with a stake in this argument. If a logo is a logo is a logo to you, then your business is a business is a business to you, too.
99Design (and all this new "branding-shop"), has only one pro: cost. They are cheap. But for what? 300 logos. 289 obscene, 10 well-done, and maybe 1 with a concept, an idea. MAYBE.
Logo and brand image are too important to delegate to 99Design service. They must be STUDIED, with a professional designer. You must talk with this designer. With 99Design you deny your resonsability in "building" logo (or brand image). You have only to choose, at the end. It's a passive approach. Your business starts with a passive approach. Too easy and too wrong. Your money have VALUE, try to make a profit with QUALITY.
When designing logos you should think long term. A logo displayed on the web or printed on a label in multiple colors can be accomplished with extreme ease. If you decide to move forward with Promotional items or Logo Apparel your designer has to understand the limits of the technology used for decoration. The best advise is to work with a company that allows you to speak with a live person and provides the ability to brainstorm without the clock always ticking in the background.
First off, Christopher nailed it! But your question in itself leads me to feel that you already understand one of the chief risk of using these sites… lawsuits.
These sites are rife with "designers" outside of the U.S., who have no problem with stealing a design from a legitimate designer. Nothing against foreign designers, but many of them are in it purely for the money. After all, $200 U.S. is quite a lot of money in some of these remote places.
These thieves simply Google "spice blend logos" and voilá they have half a dozen designs to send to you. Since these logos have already proven successful and because you're none the wiser, you inadvertently chose one of those designs. Problems arise after you have printed stationery, labels, packaging and a shiny new website… you get a Cease and Desist letter from someone's attorney. Who do you think the attorney's are going to pursue for damages? Even worse, who are you going after to recoup your losses? If you read the fine print on most of these sites, they explicitly state that they are not responsible for anything you purchase. And good luck at finding the "designer" who created this mess.
Of course there are lots of other problems that have already been addressed, but do you really think saving a few hundred dollars is worth the risk? Go find a professional designer who will work with you to differentiate your brand from the competition, not rip them off.