Here’s How Hiring Logo Design on Cost Alone Could Hurt Your Branding

Have you heard of sites like Odesk, Freelancer, 99designs, or Fivrr? Using these sites, you submit your project need (logo design is just one available service), and freelancers either bid on your project or submit designs for you to choose from.

There are two major drawbacks to hiring from these sites.

First, you will likely make your logo design decision based solely on price, and possibly on a portfolio you can’t verify is original work. Not everyone is dishonest, of course, and I’m sure there are talented designers bidding. But the relationship building, background research, and intrinsic value for your brand could be missing from the resulting logo design.

Could you possibly be confusing logo design cost with value?
Cost = the price paid in monetary terms
Value = the relative worth or importance

Second, sites like 99designs are based on spec work. Designers present logo design concepts in response to details you submit. You pick and choose, narrow down your choices, get your friends to vote, request revisions, and pay for the final design you select. All the other designers spent their time and talent for no compensation, in other words: spec work. You may get lots of logo design options; you may not choose one at all… without even realizing how much time the designers invested for no payment. Turn this thought around… would you expect multiple photographers to shoot your wedding for free, then you choose one? Why is it okay to expect this exchange from graphic designers?

Of course, designers don’t have to work with those sites, and the really good ones would never consider it. So you might ask: why are there so many designers involved, and what’s the quality of their work? Often the designers on these sites are new to the field, looking to build their portfolios, and willing to work with anyone, for any price. And there are many professional designers with years of experience, possibly looking for new clients, or trying new techniques and design styles. It’s up to you where to look for a designer, and decide who you want to work with.

Here are some statements to consider about the value of your custom logo design.

  1. A logo is your first impression
  2. A logo needs to last indefinitely
  3. A logo needs to be original
  4. A logo needs to make an impact
  5. A logo reflects research, time, and thought in the design
  6. A logo is the starting point for your entire corporate identity
  7. A logo is an investment in the future
  8. A logo designer invests much money and time in their education and experience

We all have our own criteria for making business decisions, and there’s no right answer that applies to everyone equally. I’m trying to increase your awareness of the value of time and talent when it comes to making decisions that involve your brand, its reputation, and recognition with your clients and customers. The value of your brand is far more important than the cost of a logo design.

Have you ever used one of the services mentioned? What was your experience like? Please share in the comments.

If you have an upcoming graphic design project or need a custom logo design, I’d love to talk to you about it. Get in touch and we can set up a time to discuss your project. Custom graphic design and logo design quotes are free of charge and include an initial consultation.

’till next time,


Kim Bush

Owner of Evergreene Graphics.
Kim strives to be a valuable marketing partner to her clients through design, sharing, mentoring, and connecting - knowing a foundation based on giving fosters growth for everyone involved.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. You are forgetting at least one thing, the value of brand and identity should have a determined value on your corporate books.

    1. Kim, very true! I have found, working most often with solopreneurs and small businesses, that there is no consideration for this in their big picture. It’s a great point, and one I will consider as a future topic. Thanks!

  2. Great article Kim! Your argument rings true for many types of freelance work. In my area of freelance copywriting, many of the same/similar sites (eLance, Odesk, WritersAccess) are promoting a culture that rewards the “race to the bottom”. Creative services are not a commodity, and you get what you pay for.

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