I’m going to be blunt: there are a lot of bad logo designs out there.
Even if they have no previous experience and know nothing about the principles of good design, again and again there are people who have decided that they are the best person to create the logo for their business. Maybe everyone secretly wants to be a designer. I’m a little flattered by that idea, I’ll be honest. I do think I have one of the coolest jobs in the world and I’m lucky to do work that allows me to be creative every single day. And if you want to share in some of that, hey, I’m happy to share. Go stretch your creativity! Do new things!
Just… have a good think before you treat your business like a guinea-pig.
Here are some things to think about before you DIY your logo and brand identity.
How much is your time worth?
The number 1 reason why someone would DIY their logo is to save money. To them I would want to say, “Never forget to value your own time. It’s so precious and limited.”
In business when I say your time is valuable, I mean it has a monetary value. There’s a price attached to it and even if you don’t actually pay yourself a salary or hourly rate or anything like that, you should have some idea of what your time is worth.
Pretend like there’s two “you’s”. Employer you and employee you. Would you (the employer) pay for you (the employee) for the time it takes to design a logo? Or would that time be better spent on other things.
If I wanted to do my own business taxes this year, I probably would have spent hours over it being confused and stressed out. That time is time away from my clients and other tasks that I can actually do with confidence. Things that help to bring in more value to my business.
And that’s why I hire an accountant to do my taxes, and spend my time focuses on other things instead.
Will your work add value to your business?
By choosing to design your own logo, and avoiding the need to pay someone else to do it, you may think you’re increasing your bottom line. But there’s a difference between saving money and making money.
As I said: your time is precious. Every second you have should be spent on tasks that help your business grow and make more money. This is relevant for any task you take on! So before the next task you take on, ask yourself: Is this going to help my business bring in more clients/get me closer to my business goals/increase my profitability/whatever else leads to a more successful business?
If you can pretty confidently say “yes”, then awesome! Be on your way!
But if you don’t think it will then either:
a) the task is not worth doing, or
b) you’re not the one who should be doing the task.
I don’t just design logos. I help business get clarity on their brand. By working with me, they’re able to define what they do, why they do it and who they do it for. By the time we get to the logo design, I can create a mark that truly represents who they are. A mark they can be proud of. I work hard to make sure I add value to their business.
If you want to design your own logo, I think that’s fine. Just take a moment to evaluate how much value you’re adding to your business, and see if it’s worth it.
Do you have a business or a hobby?
We all need hobbies! Hobbies help us relax and build confidence. They can improve our creativity, challenge us, and strengthen our mental fitness. Sometimes hobbies can even earn us money.
But there’s a difference between a hobby and a business.
While a hobby can be something you’re passionate about and spend a lot of time on, it could also go away without impacting your life in any major way. Your lifestyle doesn’t depend on it. With a business, however, you have a vested interested in making sure it works.
With a business, you need to think long-term and have plans and goals. Treating your business like a hobby and not taking it seriously enough will likely decrease the chance of success. So, you have to be willing to invest in it. After all, if you aren’t willing to invest in your business, why would anyone else?
What are the goals of your brand?
Visuals are powerful. We assume a lot based on what we see. If you want to make a six-figure business, then when your clients look at your business they need to see a six-figure business.
Your logo, website, packaging… every touchpoint in your business should be designed with your goals in mind. Instead of creating a brand identity that suits the level your business is at today, make sure it’s designed to suit the level you want to reach.
If you’ve got to DIY your logo…
Having said everything so far, I would never want to push someone into hiring a professional and spending hard-earned money on a logo that they didn’t need. Sometimes it makes sense to wait. If your business is super new, chances are things will change, and it won’t make sense to get an expensive logo for a business that might go in a completely different direction six months from now.
In the meantime, if you want a mark that represents your business there are certainly options to DIY your logo without making a mess of it.
For instance, don’t underestimate how clean and strong a simple wordmark can look. Choose a clean font that has stood the test of time and simply type out your name. Use colours and styling options like tracking to make it distinct. Click here to learn about the 7 different types of logos.
There are also logo creator kits or downloads that allow you to insert your own business name into ready-made designs. Although I don’t recommend logo templates as a long-term solution (you can see why in this post), they can certainly be useful if you’re looking for a low-cost option while you sort out what you plan to do with your business and how serious you are about it.
There’s a lot more to logo design than just making a pretty mark. And although I don’t think the design of your logo will be the difference between your business making it or not, I do think it’s worth putting serious thought into. It’s the face of your business and helps to build awareness, trust and recognisability of your brand. Your logo should be unique, timeless and be a mark you love the look of.
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