No matter how a potential client or customer has heard of you, they will see your logo. It may happen by word of mouth, successful and consistent marketing, or simply experiencing your work. While your quality of work must match a visual brand (branding is not just a logo), the visual identity should compliment your brand.
Quality and Purpose
Not only must your logo quality and purpose make you stand out among competitors, it may be the first thing one sees related to the message you’re been putting out into the world. Consistency of values, quality and culture are your brand. The one thing that will tie your story together in the mind of a customer may be the recognition of your logo.
For these reasons, it's important to consider the value of your logo when embarking on a design project. Do you want to find someone who “knows Photoshop” and can pull a few shapes together to show that you “do a little of everything”? Will that really be taken seriously or stand out?
Think about it
It could be the one thing that is still around as your business grows and develops. People will already know it and attribute you to it. Rebranding is a tricky and sometimes very risky endeavor. Try hard to get it right the first time.
We all know the story of the $35 Nike logo. I’m not going to say that it’s impossible to get something that luckily sticks from a concept that you didn’t pay a lot for, but it’s a huge risk to hang your hat on.
I have seen clip art logos (sometimes illegal), arbitrary shapes that mean nothing to a customer, and plain old sloppy execution. Professionals know better. I judge brands based on this, especially if it’s not a word of mouth referral. You could argue it’s because I’m a designer, but don’t underestimate the untrained eye either. Just because a potential client isn’t a design professional and can’t explain why something looks sketchy doesn’t mean they feel great about your look. It can literally mean an immediate dismissal, or a feeling that you’re just a copycat. Nobody wants to risk doing business with anything less than confidence.
Your Business Deserves Better
Your business is your baby. You work hard every single day to get your message out there and build your future. What you want for your blood, sweat and tears is quality that may never have to be revisited or thought about again. Something custom that will provide innumerable value to your business for years to come. Think about all of the results you will obtain from this investment.
Funds are tight when starting out. You definitely do not have to invest a ton to get a great logo. But if you are overly concerned with what a logo costs to develop, you’re approaching it wrong. Considering other instances of marketing down the road as more carefully spent expenses will get you further than looking at your logo this way.
Approach the project with value (investment) on the mind instead of pricing (expense), and do your research on a valued partner. Your efforts will be amplified.