Creating a logo is an important part of starting a small business. It’s the calling card of your business name so it should be memorable and unique. It’s going to be displayed on your business cards, invoices, letter heads, website, and advertisements. Customers see a businesses logo as an extension of your business and from it they will judge your seriousness and professionalism.
For the computer repair business I’m starting, I decided to tackle the logo design process right after I registered my business name. This is partly because I’m a superficial graphic design geek and I love me some nice sleek logo goodness. Also, I thought it was important to have a good logo in order to present a professional look for my computer support business right from the start. I wanted to make sure people understood I’m not messing around with this.
There are a few different approaches you can take with logo design. I’ll outline a few for you here and let you know what route I finally decided to take based on my needs. Keep in mind, I had a very small amount of money saved up from a couple contract gigs that I did (remember I’m not spending a dime of my own money on my business), so I included the cost for each option. I also included the time and work spent on each option, because I have a day job and I cherish my free time.
Home-grown Logo Design
Work/Time spent: A lot
The most cost effective option is to design the logo yourself. There are plenty of free graphic design programs available like GIMP, which is an open source Photoshop competitor. Be careful, if you choose to do the designing yourself, because consumers can spot a home-grown logo a mile away. If you have no experience in graphic design, it will behoove you to get some pointers online. Some good resources to get you started:
This is the option I really wanted to take. I know I can do it, because I designed the Y.F.N.C.G. logo for this website. I still put myself in the amature/hobbiest category of graphic designers though, and I was a little hesitant to design something for my business without the proper tools or knowledge. There’s something special about having a professional’s touch, and in this case, I wanted that pro mojo.
Hire a Freelancer
Cost: Low to Pricey
Work/Time Spent: Some
Freelancers are great. They spend their days doing nothing but what they love to do. So this is your best bet if you want a highly customized, high quality graphic for your logo. It pays to do some shopping around, though. Quality and price vary widely. Make sure you check out a portfolio of previous designs. Also, make sure the person will be readily available via whatever medium you need, so you can easily communicate with them. Some of my favorite places to find freelancers:
I didn’t choose this option because most freelancers were charging too much. Also, the time it takes to communicate your ideas and request new drafts can add up. Plus, without an established firm or company to back them up, it’s a crap shoot as to the reliability of the freelancer. I’ve had wonderful experiences and not so wonderful experiences using freelancers in the past, so I thought I would avoid the potential headache this time around.
Use a Logo Design Company
Cost: Low to middle
Work/Time Spent: Very little
The great thing about companies that specialize in logo design is that they are experts in the field of logo design. They have the resources and the expertise to churn out great content. They can also keep costs low because they have a team of graphic designers pooling their resources to produce results quickly.
I finally decided to go with Logo Design Creation’s Starter Design Package. For $40 I received two initial logo concepts from which to choose from. After I chose my initial logo design, I could ask for unlimited tweaks (like color, size, style changes) until I was satisfied. Being a perfectionist hard headed, I asked for about 6 or 7 tweaks before I finally settled on the design I liked. And here is the logo I settled on:
I asked for something that conveyed fast, friendly, consumer and business computer service and I believe that’s what I received. I also asked them to include an iconic image that could stand on it’s own (the running man). The motto “Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy” can be removed if necessary, since it wont be visible if the logo is a smaller size (like on business cards and stationary). They also provided the logo in many shapes, file formats, and even included information on the fonts and colors they used.
I think the folks at Logo Design Creation did a great job with my logo. I would never have been able to create a sleek, adaptable, iconic logo like this on my own. It may look simple and unassuming, but I really think it’s a logo that can stick with my company for many years into the future.
The biggest value I gain from my logo is the feeling of ownership and pride I have when I see it displayed. It’s my mark, my badge of business ownership.
Now that I have the logo created, I can easily produce professional looking business cards with my business name. I can also begin building a website around the logo.
What do you think of the logo? For the business owners out there, what was your experience with logo design? Did you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional?
New Category added to Resources Page:
And for a laugh, try Make My Logo Bigger Cream!