Setting up a new venture? You’ll need to get a logo for your project. Even trial businesses need a visual identity, and a logo also benefits the most basic of blogs. Some of the biggest companies in the world are known for their iconic logos.
If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer for a full branding strategy, there are other ways of getting a logo on the cheap, providing you don’t mind making a few sacrifices. Here are 7 sites to try.
Fiverr is a freelancing site where any advertised task is completed for just $5. The low-cost nature of the site means it’s worth giving it a go for a logo, particularly if the final version will appear on a throwaway site or test blog. If the results aren’t great, all is not lost.
Bear in mind that established designers charge much more than beginners, so sites like Fiverr will rarely throw up the most experienced designers in the world. In some cases, you may be really unlucky and get a ‘designer’ who has never worked a day in a design job. But sometimes you’ll stumble across a designer who comes up with the goods for a remarkable price.
Looking for a logo design that’s ready to use? BrandCrowd is a website selling logos and brand names as a package. If your project isn’t yet titled, BrandCrowd could present the ideal package.
Note that some BrandCrowd logo designs aren’t just design jobs; they’re complete marketing packages, since you also get a domain name. From basic to complete solutions, the sky’s the limit.
LogoMaker’s no substitute for a professional designer, but if you need a basic logo fast, it’s unbeatable because it’s free. Simply browse through the LogoMaker vaults, choose your logo and customise it to fit.
LogoMaker’s logos aren’t the most versatile in the world; the free version restricts the size and format. For the JPG, EPS or GIF at full resolution, you’ll have to pay.
Elance is a freelance marketplace where professionals gather to bid on jobs. Many professional designers use Elance to kick off their freelancing career, or to top up work from bigger designers.
When looking for help on Elance, choose professional designers that have a reasonable portfolio and good testimonials. The cheapest bids may not always be the best. In addition, check that your logo’s not ripped off: feedback is always helpful.
Designing a logo with DesignMantic couldn’t be easier: just type in your business name and submit. The site automatically generates a page of logos. You can then choose your industry to narrow down the results, and add a slogan, if you use one.
Customisation options are plentiful, and the site is really easy to use, making logo design accessible to all. You can download the logo for free in PDF format, or optionally pay for a larger version.
Need to gather feedback on your new business logo? LogoYes allows you to gather feedback on your design once it’s finished. It’s not the most modern website in the world, though, but it’s OK for basic tasks.
While its features are nothing to write home about, the collaborative aspect of LogoYes is quite useful when you need to share your ideas.
LogoMoose is a design community where professionals showcase their design work. Designers can create a portfolio of their logo designs, and interested businesses can get in touch and request their own logos.
There’s no established bidding or purchasing platform on LogoMoose – it’s simply a showcase website. However, designers are encouraged to add their contact details so businesses can contact them directly.
Getting a Business Logo
Affordable business logos are easy to come by, particularly now that freelance websites are so popular. If you can’t afford to hire a professional designer, you can always create your own logo in the cloud. The results may not compare to a full branding campaign, but it’s a good way to kick off a new venture with a brand new image.
I was approached by a health business expert who is in the process of starting up a business in association with Forever Living Aloe Vera Products to design a logo and business card. In this post I show how the logo developed and evolved over the two week process.
To start I needed a basic understanding of the company’s service and products. I was informed that Diamond Lifestyles will be promoting a lifestyle selling Forever Living products and building a team of other sales members to keep the sales flowing, increasing your turn over and reaching the “Diamond Lifestyle”.
My first idea was to combine the Aloe Vera plant with a diamond as can be seen in this picture below. This was a very basic idea and only a very quick mock up to see what it may look like combining the two elements but I beleived it to be “too literal” and no at all professional or communicating the right message so… I went back to the drawing board!
Classical and elegant typography
My first thought was to be very visual but then I considered how other health companies represent themselves to the market and after studying some of the more successful brands a classic and elegant style is used by most brands. I decided that I would try combing the D and L to create an abstract use of the two letters and ensuring the typography was communicating the right message.
I decided this was the right way to approach the logo but decided it needed some graphic within the lettering. As the company was branded Dimaond Lifestyles I wanted to include the diamond somewhere on the logo. Above you can see the first logo is inside the lettering on the tip of the L but something just wasn’t right so I got a pen and paper out and did a few sketches.
Realising that the key aspect of the company is to help people reach the pinicle point of a “Diamond Lifestyle” I took the back of the D & turned it into a pedestal ( as can be seen above ). This felt right and communicated the message in a more subtle way than the first idea.
Developing the logo idea further
The logo was starting to get somewhere! The pedestal idea was really liked by the business owner and thus some more development ensued. I realised that the new logo had no relevance or indication that Aloe Vera was involved in the company which I considered to be a slight problem.
Considering the plant itself, an aloe vera leaf has what look like spikes ever so often down the edges. Taking this element of Aloe Vera I added it to the D but after self analysis I concluded it was starting to look less clinical and elegant and starting to look a bit more cartoon like which I definitely didn’t want. The message I was sending out to anyone viewing the logo was going in the wrong direction so I took a step back and added The name of the company below the DL positioned like a set of stairs.
Big is best?
After showing the logo to my client we discussed how we both felt the diamond was being lost a little so I made the diamond a lot bigger and more prominent in the logo design than it used to be. Below are a few different variations of the logo with a large diamond.
Add some colour to your life
Now we had enlarged the diamond colour was the next thing to be considered. My client said “I don’t think black is the right colour for an Aloe Vera company” and maybe she was right.
The black is the colour I usually create any logo in so that colour doesn’t influence design but black can also be used in logo design to represent a clinical and crisp feeling which is a characteristic that I felt was important in designing for a health company.
Listening to my clients wishes I took the favoured logo design and then tried varying colours to see what it may look like.
Realising that flat design is in vogue at the moment I tried to steer clear of gradients…now that the logo had colour I didn’t feel it was adding anything of particular value and I still felt as though the black was best closely followed by the white, my client agreeing but also showed interest in the green ( for the literal sense of aloe vera).
Too cartoon like again
Again I felt adding colour to the logo in this flat fashion gave the impression of a cartoon like and even worse, cheap impression to the company which I wanted to avoid thus I spoke to my client and suggested we strip back the colour again and consider “the colour of a diamond”.
A diamond doesn’t have any colour, it can trap light and thus become iridescent of every colour of the rainbow but it is in my opinion a diamond shares similar qualities to that of ice…all these thoughts of multiple colours led me naturally onto considering a 3d gradient approach.
Diamonds are forever
As can be seen in this logo the diamond has been reduced right down but an edgey diamond like gradient has been applied to the logo. Showing this to the client she was extremely happy with how it looked, she preferred a 3d look rather than the flat logo, it was really starting to go in the right direction.
The final logo was slightly metallic/silver. It kept the initial idea of a clinical and sleek look to represent the health industry whilst keeping colour to a minimal to avoid any message linking to colour. Although there is no representation of Aloe Vera my client and I concluded that the key aspect of the company is the “Diamond” status for new members of the sales team.
We discussed that the Aloe Vera could be on the business card thus communicating the link to Forever Living. To learn more about Diamond Lifestyles please click here.
In my next post I will show and discuss the business card I developed in combination with the logo.
Your business isn’t just a grey box, paperwork and turnover, your business is a piece of art and a brand. The brand is the personality that identifies your product, service or company against your market rivals. Get it right and it will attract the consumers you are seeking, get it wrong and it could detract your potential customers away from doing business.
2012 Olympics Brand Identity
If your brand is designed in such a way that provokes human emotion it can even get excellent media attention
Remember the 2012 Olympics Logo and games mascots? They were controversial and many people verbally communicated just how much they didn’t like it. By being controversial and so different to previous Olympics logos it was give huge media coverage which made the brand awareness and attention to the games itself very high on an unprecedented level.
Ugly is pretty
In my opinion it was an excellent brand design because it got people talking regardless of whether it was liked or disliked by the majority of people. What people experienced was something that was different, unexpected, pushing boundaries and futuristic.
It even grabbed the attention of conceptual extremists with suggestions of aliens making an appearance or there being a major terrorist attack. Bizarrely, this increased the success of the brand design by spreading the word of the 2012 Olympics in all communities interested in these things and further put the Olympics into people’s minds.
Choosing a colour
The importance of choosing the right colour cannot be undermined. Colour have so many meanings to us on a subconscious and cultural level that different combinations can convey and symbolize a different emotion and concept.
Once you identify the colour combination that you like best and convey the message you need your designer MUST adhere to the EXACT colours so your brand is easily recognisable.
Next to consider is the most familiar object of branding – the logo.
I believe that a good logo design must be able to communicate the product or service being sold in a conceptual but not literal way. Another words if you sell ice creams don’t simply use a clipart of an icecream and forget to edit it, instead consider your target market and what may attract someone to do business with you rather than go to one of your competition. What makes your ice cream business different from the rest? Can it be inco-operated into part of the logo design?
Style your advertising
After the design of the colour combination & logo a good brand designer will know the importance of creating a style guide so it easy to follow for future designs. The style guide is created so that any future branding works (such as advertising) relates and is identifiable as your company.
When designing a new advert this style guide should be consulted; it doesn’t mean it should restrict your creativity but instead keep your company looking professional and re-enforce the brand in peoples minds consistently wherever they see something to do with your business whether it is a compliment slip to a large billboard advertising it should speak you.
The importance of a well designed business identity
A well designed business identity isn’t just important, it is crucial to your business! When you start your company hire a designer you must make sure they are professional and understand how delicate an operation a well designed brand is and takes time to perfect.
The branding designer should be able to design everything that your business identity will appear on from letterheads to websites it should all have a consistent feel but also convey a message, even have a life of its own it has that much personality!! Don’t take your business identity lightly consult a branding designer today, you will find it is one of the best investments you make in the early stages of your business.
You may have noticed a gold symbol on my website and social media accounts, this is my logo and the start of my own brand. Designing a brand for yourself as a designer can be more difficult than designing a brand for somebody else as you have to be more self-critical and more analytical without the feedback of anyone but me, myself and I. In this post I discuss my brand name reason and the conceptual theory behind my logo design.
Choosing the name
When I first considered what to identify myself as I remember reading Duncan Bannatynes autobiography and why he decided to brand his businesses with his own name. He decided to brand his gyms with his name because if anything went wrong it would be on his names reputation, it shows confidence in what he is able to provide and should criticism arise to correct the problem that caused the negative feeling. I was inspired, I considered it to be a noble and great idea so borrowed the idea.
Considering the concept by Mr Bannatyne , my initials JAW and my profession as a specialist in communication design, I took them both and used my initials in a literal sense of “jaws” that we use to speak and communicate. This was the basis of my idea, to inco-operate a mouth into the design of the logo. My name would be “Jawz of design”…
I decided to begin playing with shapes, shapes that could convey a simple modern idea but with traditional influence. I worked with several shapes but decided upon a square, a shape that is very symbolic in many countries with similar symbology of perfection.
A square can also represent accuracy, integrity and righteousness. After I delved deeper into symbolic meanings it believed that the four sides of the square represents aspects of human inspiration. Angelic, diabolic, human & divine. It has been believed these four elements underscore the potential duality in everything and encourages balance.
All of these elements combined invite us to do precisely what the square implies :
Implement a plan
Build on that plan
Manifest ideas into our reality
The square is a balanced plan that allows creativity to flow without risk or error thus the square was chosen
Drawing on the concept
Having established I wanted a mouth and to use the square I came up with some very basic sketches ( see below ).
I then chose my favourite few and developed them further. No 14, 15 & 16 where my favourites as they were less literal and quite tribal looking. I also liked the idea of the long hair/antenna like line, representing the flow of creativity coming from the square.
Considering whether the logo should be flat or a cube and whether to include teeth or not was also something I considered. After careful consideration I decided to leave the teeth out as it would have looked less professional.
Colours have psychological meaning and depending on the part of the world you are from can have greatly different values so I did some research. I wanted my logo colour to appeal to the vast majority of the world not just my country and I discovered that the colour gold had the most positive impression with the most of the world.
The colour gold is the colour of success, achievement and triumph no matter where in the world you come from. It can be associated with abundance and prosperity, luxury and quality, prestige and sophistication, value and elegance. It is also said to inspires knowledge, spirituality and a deep understanding of the self and the soul which I like to sometimes write about in my blog. To read more about the colour gold please click here.
A year later I altered my name
I felt using a z instead of an s in the JAWZ section of my brand was what creative people do who are trying too hard to be different and I didn’t want to be Jaws otherwise I would make people think of a deadly killer shark! I decided to make it simple and called it JAWilson Design instead, my name so it still kept the idea that I borrowed from Mr Bannatyne for his brand and ending it with the word design to easily identify what the website was about ( which also works well for seo ).
It took quite some time to develop my own identity, although a logo is small and “only” one image a client must remember that it needs to be adjusted and developed and given some time to reach its perfected state.
A good branding identity will look so effortless that those who are not from creative backgrounds will look at it, recognise it and even be influenced by it ( apple ) and believe it is “easy and simple” but the truth is the best logos MUST be developed and at least a few iterations of the original design produced before reaching its final destination.
If you require a conceptual identity please get in touch and we can discuss your requirements further.
As designers of identity and graphics we must train ourselves to think critically about what works well in creating a logo that is timeless whilst maintaining the corporate message about the company. The way a logo is designed can say a lot about the company you are designing for so it is not as easy a task as one may seem it to be. With many years experience in varying fields of creativity I have been trained to be pretty critical of what works and what doesn’t in many design fields thus in this blog post I will share with you what I believe really helps in making a killer logo that will remain highly identifiable throughout the decades.
First step to creating any magnificent logo design is to spend a little time researching what your industry competition is doing to represent its image & corporate identity. Study what colours are commonly being used, what shapes, symbols & typography.
This is a great starting point but you don’t want to be the same as every other brand, that would just be booooooring! This is just to allow you to gain an insight of what is working ( or not).
I believe it can be important to consider how you can in-cooperate some principles of accepted industry standards whilst adding something alternative that will make you look different from the competition and a forward thinking company not scared to stand out from the crowd.
Look at corporate logos of companies that have succeeded in world recognition. What do you notice about most logos from successfully branded companies below?
Of course, they are all simple, easily recognizable minimalist symbols. Some corporations use typography but the main and most important rule of all successful branding is to keep it SIMPLE.
Foresee the four C’s
Keep it minimal. The most memorable logos are all minimal. Don’t try to be a leonardo here, try and refine your design and reduce it to its basic form and I am sure you will reach at an impressive design.
The psychology of colour has more power than you think. For instance, everyone knows that red can mean danger but it also can mean passion. McDonalds use it because psychologists believe that red makes you do things on impulse where as yellow can make you fellow hungry thus their colour choice is down to trying to sell as much fast food as possible by making people hungry and act on their impulse to eat a bigmac. There are plenty of books out there that discuss this in further detail ( although I plan to blog about this in the near future ) so if you are a graphic designer make sure you understand the principles of good colour selection & the psychology behind things.
What seperates a good logo from a great logo? In my opinion, probably a good artistic concept. I argue this case with all art forms, whether architecture, painting, graphics or fashion, without a great concept or theory behind the work it is nothing more than a pretty item. This frustrates me because pretty pictures are not art or at all creative, they are simply technical ability expressed. Concept puts meaning to inanimate objects & things which is all important as we humans try to make sense of the world and surroundings we live in. Designers shouldn’t just be creators of identity they should be thoughtful, society transforming knights to help businesses grow and enhance the lives of others through creative developments.
As previously mentioned, creating a logo that is “timeless” must consider what is expected in the industry but also what is currently in vogue. Logo Design is fashion driven, all creative industries are, from architecture to cars to simple graphic design, there is a set fashion to what is popular and what is currently believed about certain symbols, shapes and styles. These things must be considered in unison with keeping the design simple enough in order for instant recognition from anybody who sees it.
A great logo takes time to develop and it usually isn’t the first thing you produce that is the logo that will be the final product. The best logos are developed and refined many many times. I am a designer of identity and i can help you with your corporate branding if you wish, just ask any questions and I will gladly help you out. Best of luck in your logo design .
Sometimes, just like writers, we visual designers get creative blocks and we need a wee bit of inspiration to get our sparks flying. No matter how much you try it just doesn’t come to you. In this blog I plan to give you three locations to get logo design inspiration from.
The first website I have stumbled across is : –
Logopond is a place for designers of logos to show a little bit of what they can do and their particular style amongst others. I am not on this yet but you bet, I’ll be on here shortly!
Salford Challenge is a website where two designers go head to head design a new brand then other designers vote for the one they think has the x factor. These guys have some really great design skills that are worth a viewing every now and then.
Sometimes we are over thinking things and a simple break and stroll in a park will put the sparks back in your mind. Relaxing and having fun is all a part of being creative. Don’t stress man! Reeeelaaaax.
As i find more locations to find inspiration for logos I will add more posts regarding this. Best of luck in finding that genuis idea.