(Note: This post originally appeared on the Jack’s Garage blog)
You have a great idea for a business and everything in you just wants to get started NOW! So what do most people do when they decide to go for it? They figure out a name and make up a logo. Simple. Right? Sure it’s simple—if you don’t care that much about understanding the marketplace, competition, trends, the psychology of commerce, understanding customers and how designs affects the value of your company. Other than that, it’s simple. But I don’t want to seem at all biased, so here are some pros and cons to using an instant logo maker or buying one cheap off of a Facebook ad.
PROS OF USING AN ONLINE LOGO MAKER OR WIZARD
- They are super cheap. If you’re on a budget of, say, $100 or less for all of your design and marketing needs, then logo makers are awesome. Except if you only have a hundred bucks to spend on one of the most important and far-reaching investments of your start up, you have bigger challenges than figuring out your logo.
- They have lots of suggestions. Which is great, only they are suggestions from a platform and not a real, live breathing human. People understand things like what’s happening in marketplace, emerging design trends and (to be honest) what is lame and not lame.
- They are easy to use. Only, you’re the one actually using it. You could be using valuable start up time doing things like perfecting your offerings, researching the marketplace, lining up investors and creating content.
CONS OF USING AN ONLINE LOGO MAKER OR WIZARD
- It may not capture your brand. Logos are more than just cool images, fonts and colors. Your logo is a reflection of your values, aspirations and the audiences you want to attract. Sure, you may LOVE gnomes and you’ve dreamed your whole life of using a gnome in your logo. But not so fast. Working with branding experts can open up a whole new world of design possibilities that can not only spark your imagination but even help define your business itself.
- It can be overwhelming. Designing something yourself can be fun at first. “Look! Purple triangles and a spooky font! I love it!” Hold on there. Not to be overly blunt, but you’re not a designer… and that’s OK. It’s fun to look at the options and you may even get some great ideas from exploring prefab logos. But you’re an expert in your own industry with unique offerings. Focus on that.
- They are not designers or brand experts. I think we’ve covered that.
Basically, there are no real pros here. See how I did that?
But to be fair, I actually do think logo makers are great for some projects like:
- School or community clubs
- Helping your child start her own business with a smart looking, simple logo
- Pop-up networking opportunities when you’ve run out of personal business cards
- Freelance work that does not support a comprehensive branding strategy
- Small non-profit organizations
- Becoming familiar with basic design principles
Do you agree? Tell us whether or not you have used an online logo tool vs. a creative group. What did you think? What were the results?