Stop using logo templates: the reasons why they hurt your brand

Templates can seem like a great, cheap option for getting some visual branding for your business. But here's why that's a bad idea for your brand.If you’ve searched online for how to make a logo, or where to get one, then I’m sure you’ve seen them. Logo or brand templates that look like such an easy and affordable option. Download the files, stick in your name in place of the placeholder text and you’re done! Logo, business cards, letterheads… they’re all there, ready to go.

But please, please, please don’t do that.

A full visual brand identity might seem like a big cost, but it’s an important investment to make. Having a sub-par visual identity (or none at all) will hurt your business and limit its potential growth.

Strong, consistent visual branding that tells a story is an important way to be memorable, as well as one way in which customers judge a business’s trustworthiness. The look of your brand is definitely not a place to be cutting corners.

Related post: 5 essential elements your visual brand identity needs

If you need any more convincing, here are a few reasons why logo and brand templates are a bad idea.

There’s no real guarantee of quality

There’s a lot of thought behind designing a good logo. In order to work across the many mediums they’re used for, logos can’t be too detailed, they need to be readable when shrunk down to small sizes, work in single colours, black and white, they should be vectorised and scalable… there’s a lot that people out of the profession probably don’t realise. And that’s totally fine, of course.

But that’s why you hire a professional.

When you buy a $50 logo online, you’re likely getting exactly what you pay for, with no guarantees of quality. And if you do run into problems with say, having incorrect file formats that printers can’t accept, or a logo too detailed for you to have it embroidered onto shirt like you wanted, you either have to hire a designer to fix it for you anyway, or you’ll be stuck trying to figure out how to fix it yourself.

It can be a huge time-waster

Your time is valuable. You should spend it doing what you know and do best — your business will be all the better for it. Use your time focused on improving your product, or making important connections with people who will help your business grow.

Whatever your forte is, that’s where you should be spending your time. Don’t spend hours picking out a logo from dozens of templates, working out how to use the software to “customise” it with your name and stick it everywhere, only to find that it’s lacking… something.

Talk with a professional who can take your goals and vision and create something that will really take your business to the next level. Let them do the research, come up with concepts and show you how to roll out a visual brand that is tailor-made for YOUR business and no one else’s.

A template is not made with your business in mind

This one alone should be enough to convince anyone not to choose a template for a logo.

By definition, a template is not going to be unique. If you use one, who knows how many other businesses you might be sharing the exact look with? And at best, templates are going to be made up of very generic, impersonal ideas that can’t capture the things that make your brand special and different — important things, if you want your business to succeed.

You’ll certainly have to compromise right from the start when picking which template to use. Nothing is going to be the perfect fit because none of them were made with your exact business in mind. If you’re serious about getting your brand ahead, then “good enough” is not the way to go.

Logo templates lead to inauthentic, uninspired brand identities. Read this post to learn more about why it's a good idea to avoid going down this track!Last thoughts

Good graphic design is not decoration. There’s a lot of careful, well-considered intentions behind every decision made regarding the visual branding of a business.

Don’t settle for a generic look that won’t allow you to stand out. Do yourself a favour; stop using logo templates as soon as you can and hire a professional to create something designed especially for your business. It deserves it!

Have you had any experience with logo templates?

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