1. Lack of a design process
When we take on a branding project, a lot of work is put in before we put pen to paper and begin ‘designing’ a logo. The process begins by spending time getting to know our clients’ business and what makes it different to any competitors. The more time spent at this ‘research’ stage, and the better we understand a business, the more likely it is that we are as designers to create a meaningful brand which is likely to resonate with that company’s message to their customers. Most online ‘gigs’ omit these important initial stages of the design process and jump straight in at the ideation phase. Quite often, you probably won’t ever even speak to your freelancer face-to-face. The result is often a hollow logo which is likely to be ineffective at communicating the key values of a business.
The creative industry is largely service-based and as a design agency, we rarely deal with transactions involving the sale of a tangible product. As a result, our main asset is usually our time and this is generally what quotes are based on in order to ensure a project is both profitable and a fair price to our customers. If a brand costs £5, or even £100, it is almost certain that automation is being heavily relied upon to make the job remotely profitable. This generally means that your brand is likely to consist of hastily selected generic stock imagery accompanied by your business name. We believe that your business is unique and your brand should be too, so our logos are always carefully crafted to suit the specific needs of the company it belongs to.
3. The price is misleading
Without naming any names – most online design marketplaces are in the habit of overselling and under-delivering. Having been hooked in by a juicy price tag of £5, you can quickly discover that this only applies to a very limited version of the service you require. This might only warrant a logo being created in a relatively unusable file type, or your current logo being redrawn. If you expected a more comprehensive range of logos in a variety of formats, you might expect to pay a considerable amount more than the initial price. We think it’s important to be as clear as possible to our clients when it comes to quoting for our services, and are always upfront regarding the breakdown of what we are delivering. Where possible we always aim to over-deliver (I do appreciate the irony of promising this…)
As part of an automated design process, most online ‘gigs’ tend to rely heavily upon the most recent industry trends, especially when stock images are involved. This means that it is very unlikely your brand is going to be relevant in a number of years’ time. The expression “buy cheap, buy twice” applies here, as you will most likely require a rebrand in order to ensure your branding is both visually appealing and still reflects your business. Good design transcends trends, and we always endeavour to produce a brand also which takes into consideration the long-term goals of a business. In fact, every single logo we have ever created is still being proudly used to this date!