Who needs a pro to design your new company logo? Hell, when it comes to designing logos for fame & fortune, anyone can do it..

Apparently designing logos is a quick and easy way to untold riches.

Advertisement seen on Craigslist:

“Let me first start out by saying that I am not a professional graphic artist, but I love doing it as a hobby. I have created logos for a few of my friends and for my own websites.

Because I only do this as a hobby and not for a living, I am willing to charge only a fraction of what others would charge.

that's-literally-not-how-it-worksHere’s how it works:

Contact me with your business name, slogan (if you have one), and what your business does. I will come up with whatever I can and email it to you with a watermark on it. If you like it, I will send it to you in JPEG or PDF format and you pay me $25 (possibly a bit more for difficult jobs or for flyers with excessive content). If you do not like it then…that’s it. No obligation.

Now keep in mind that these logos are simple and I do not do any illustrations. I may use tasteful clip art that relates to your business, but only if it adds to the logo. If I am unable to meet your needs or do a logo that is acceptable to myself, then I will let you know…and you will owe me nothing. You’ve nothing to lose.

P.S. I prefer to do logos and flyers for trades (electrician, handyman, mechanic, fitness instructor, etc). I will try anything though.”

I’ve removed all the names and links in this (the point of this exercise is not to hold this poor lad up to scorn) but this kind of post strikes me as particularly sad. I do many things as hobbies (RC helicopters, scuba, board sailing, gardening, etc) but would never offer any of those services ‘for pay’ for one reason, and one reason only.

I’m not good enough.

That’s it. If I wanted to offer those services as a ‘pay-for-play’ service’ I’d need to bring my amateur skills up to a professional level. You know, training, courses, experience, etc. Same goes for other ‘professional’ services.

In other professions?

Read the above again, but substitute any another profession – dentist, accountant, mechanic, engineer, architect what have you – where it refers to design. You’ll (hopefully) get the idea of how ludicrous these kind of offerings are. Even at $5, you’re better treating yourself to a good steak dinner and planning ways to market your company than risking your company’s visual identity using someone who’ll ‘try’ and develop a ‘hobby’ level logo. I’m not even going to nit-pick the post, but I will mention that anyone who suggests they’ll add clip art to a logo (tastefully of course) gives me night sweats.

Getting rich with logos.

anyone-can-get-rich-logosAnd lookee here. Logo design has now been elevated to a ‘get rich quick’ scheme on one of those spammer web sites that promise untold wealth, with a minimum of outlay and effort. According to you can now “Create Logos For Hungry Businesses And Reap The Money.” According to these ahm, experts, your road to logo fame and riches goes as follows –

“If you are handy with a graphic design package and have software to create fancy looking writing then you could make very good money creating logos for people. Offer your services on elance for dirt-cheap rates to get some feedback and a logo design portfolio, and then raise your fees. You should expect £75 ($150) per logo. Typically you create three different options based on their criteria, then they choose one and tweak it until them are happy, you then provide them with jpeg and bitmap files of various sizes for them to use.”

Okay, for the umpteenth time, design software is a tool that a skilled designer uses to work his/her craft. No different than pencil, pen and ink or a paint brush. Just because you have a hacked copy of Adobe Illustrator on your laptop does not make you a designer. No more than a copy of Excell makes you an accountant. Or a subscription to ‘Drills and Stuff’ makes you a dentist (okay, I made that last one up.)

Learning on other people’s dime.

I particularly like the idea of offering your services on Elance at ‘dirt-cheap’ rates to get a design portfolio (learning on someone else’s dime – nothing about developing great logos) and then jacking your rates once established (though it does help to illustrate why services like Elance are a cesspool for legit designers who are trying to eek out a living, and why decent designers are few and far between.) I’d mention that .jpegs and pixel based bitmaps are not the way to design and/or deliver any logo, but that’d be overkill.

Moving along…

“If you are not proficient with graphic design packages, or just want to brush up your skills, then there are a variety of classes both online and off that cater for all skill levels. In no time you will be able to create pictures you thought impossible just weeks before!”

So, if you can’t draw or design, simply take an online course and within a few weeks you’ll be happily designing like a pro. (That’s odd – there’s tens of thousands of kids who are spending years of their lives and a good chunk of their parent’s life savings in college and university learning how to ‘design like pros’. Who’d thunk it was only a matter of a few weeks of online education?)

“Creating logos is an artistic sort of thing to do. You can do this in your spare time while working out of the home, or work creating logos full time and create your own business with it. You will need various software packages, such as Adobe Photoshop and others like it. This will help you create the different types of logos people will be asking for.”

Uh-huh. If only I could have tapped into this knowledge before I started The Logo Factory. Would have made everything so much easier – could have bypassed that hiring qualified professionals bit. And imagine, for all these years the gang at the shop have been cranking out those useless vector-based logos, when all it ever took was throwing something together in Photoshop. Who knew. Of course, we’ll need to throw in the ‘unlimited revisions‘ deal, just to sweeten the pot –

“You will need to offer revisions until they are happy, some companies offer just one, but if you really want word of mouth to spread about how great your customer service is and how great your business is, then I would suggest giving unlimited revisions until they are happy.”

On one hand I guess this is just the digital-era version of ‘Can you draw the pirate?‘ matchbooks from years gone by. On the other, I’d argue that crap like this does a great disservice to small businesses trying to find a decent designer to work with. Especially, it seems, when it comes to developing a new logo.

Design is NOT a get anything quick scheme.

On a business level, this stuff makes my teeth hurt – I (and many other colleagues in the design industry) spend a great deal of time developing professional design services, keeping these services within a reasonable cost for the small business while still keeping up design staff skill levels and expertise. We do this, not because it’s some ‘get rich quick’ scheme cooked up by someone else to pimp a spammish web site, but because we love our work. It’s not a hobby – it’s what we’ve trained at, studied at, and are extremely good at. That’s the part that ensures clients get the best work we’re capable of. Bottom line – if you’re a small business owner looking for someone to design your logo, look past the price and concentrate on logo value vs. cost. As the two examples above illustrate, price is not the only factor in doling out your design work, and in fact, using pricing as the only barometer may well hinder the professionalism of your brand (or worse). If not, well there’s always ebay logo auctions, an even cheaper way.

In the meantime, if you want to hire me to upkeep your garden, I can do it cheaper than any stupid landscaping company