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Does a logo have value anymore?

Why do some people see value in the humble logo and some people see cost?

I think it fundamentally comes down to how much they value the design process within their own business.

Accessible software, crowd sourcing and computers make it easy for everyone to be a logo designer these days. But I think these systems have completely devalued the process that industry stalwarts like Saul Bass have built into the process of designing a logo.

Hell, even the client themselves sometimes will become the ‘logo designer’.

On most if not all occasions, your logo is the first time that a customer or client will see or engage with your company, so it is vitally important that it is done right – expertly and well thought out.

Some will question the ‘cost’ of a logo and forget about the ‘value’ it can give to their business.

“How much!”

I won’t quote Pablo Picasso and his years of experience etc etc. but in some respects this is true. But, clients don’t want to hear that. They need something more to convince them of the value and not the cost.

I have been lucky enough that all of my clients value the logo design and general process and the eventual outcome of that process. This is great. Sure cost is important, but value is more important, I would suggest.

Sometimes though, I come across the odd potential new client that just doesn’t get it. I then begin wonder whether it’s a waste of my time trying to explain to them of the value that a well thought out, well constructed and expertly crafted logo can give to their business. I always decide that it is worth the extra effort to guide and help clients to feel empowered by the process and the final outcome. Get them involved though as part of the process. Ideas can come from anywhere!

There are loads of things that give a logo ‘value’. Ubiquity and recognisability are ultimately the things that will give added value, but simplicity of execution and longevity of application also give it value.

These things will ultimately build equity in your brand. This value equals equity.

So what is the difference between cost and value of a logo? Cost is a short term outcome and value is the long term gain. Once a client and designer understands the difference, it will mean between getting them on board sooner to invest better in the process.

Long term gain by getting a logo produced properly with an effective brief and will mean that you as the client will get the both short gain long term value from the process. If done well, it will naturally have a ‘cost’ attached to it. But as the old saying goes if you think it is expensive hiring a professional, wait till you hire an amateur.

It is very tempting though to bootstrap and cut corners by just going online and getting a cheap ‘fiver’ logo, ‘people per hour’ or going to 99 designs. My thoughts are if you have to give a client loads of options, then it doesn’t really say much on how you value your own thought process to refine your ideas into a few well though out ones as opposed to loads of really poor ones.

So what is the most important little nugget I can say to you about the logo design process? A logo is subjective when there is a lack of any from of brief or outcomes. It becomes objective when outcomes and a brief is formulated. Something unique and recognisable is then produced from that brief.

What is the difference between a quick fix and a well thought out, well executed logo. Simply put, it’s the time invested by the designer and the client to craft something that fits their business and how their customers engage with it. Your logo should ultimately be as intelligent as the customers you are trying to attract to your brand.

As a graphic designer who understands the cost of the process and sees the value of the process, I wonder how long it will be before every new client sees that value not just the cost.

The fact of the matter is however, that some clients still won’t get it and will be happy going down a cost cutting route to get their logo designed. What they don’t realise however is how much damage that is potentially doing to their ‘brand’ in the short term and long term?

designing a logo

If I can give one bit of advice, it is hire wisely and get a brief together. If it is money that you are interested in saving, then this one bit of advice will save you more than just money in the short term. It will save you heartache in the long term when you can be confident that you have a well thought out, expertly crafted and well constructed logo.

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