Logo Design Contests for your Business?
Why Logo Design Contests Suck and how they can HURT your business!
There is a really attractive way to get your logo designed. It’s called a logo design contest.
It’s a version of crowdsourcing: you post the contest, and then you offer the price you want to pay for your logo. Then, a whole bunch of designers give you logo designs. You pick which one you like best, and then you pay the winner.
Everyone’s happy, right? At least, everyone’s happy except the people who didn’t win?
Actually, no. Logo design contests sound really great, but they are only good for a specific kind of logo and a specific kind of business. Logo design contests are for companies that don’t really care about quality. There are many reasons why logo design contests are bad for your business; however, each person is entitled to their own opinion.
Reasons why you shouldn’t do a Logo Design Contest
This list could go on for miles; however, for the sake of not boring you, we will make it short.
- Possibility of Copyright Infringement: Many logo designers on logo design contests rip-off aspects of other graphic designers art. This is bad for your business as that company may come back and threaten to sue your company.
- Stock Designs you could have bought for $1: Contest designers also buy stock icons and stock logos from places like Dollar Photo Club (recently bought out by Abobe) for literally $1.
- Generic Look: Contest designers throw something together as fast as possible, what you end up with is garbage.
- Incorrect Files: Contest designers typically design a logo in Photoshop and not Adobe Illustrator. You will end up with files you can only use in certain places.
- No Brand Manual: With logo design contests, you will never get a logo design style guide.
- No Color Palette: Contest designers are not getting creative and providing you with a proper brand color palette.
- No Creative Process: There’s no input process. If you want things changed, tough luck.
- They are not your Partner: If you need a different file or version of your logo six months down the road, that designer is long gone.
- You can never call them: This has to be the single most irritating thing about a logo design contest. You can never call your designer and ask for an edit, change or updated file. That sucks!
Who submits to a design contest?
Let’s think through the concept of a logo design contest for a bit. You might be imagining that skilled, professional designers are just using a few minutes of their spare time to submit to contests in hopes that at some point they are going to make five hundred bucks. Nope.
Professional designers already have design jobs
They don’t need to work for free, because they know that they can get paid. Professional graphic designers and logo designers that work at a brand identity agency have no time for logo design contests. In their spare time, they’re not going to continue doing the work they usually get paid for, but for free. They’re going to spend time with their families, go snowboarding, build a wooden ship in their garage using only period appropriate hand tools, or whatever they love to do.
People who are good enough at design to get paid for their work are not contributing to design contests. No one is going to choose maybe-paid over definitely-paid.
So who is submitting to design contests?
Mostly beginners. People who are trying to build up a portfolio that they can show to a company and get a design job. People who are starting at the very bottom and working their way up. People who taught themselves design, since graduating from a graphic design program itself is frequently enough to get a regular job as a graphic designer, and therefore to not need to submit to design contests.
But I’ve seen people say they have gotten great designs from design contests.
Yeah, you can. There are some really talented autodidact or self-taught designers out there. They won’t be submitting to contests for long, because they’ll be picked up by an agency and soon producing Brand Identity Packages for real companies who can afford it. But it is possible to find a really good designer on a design contest. It’s also possible to come out of a contest with zero good designs that you can use, and a lot of wasted time.
You don’t work with your designer hand in hand.
When you get your logo designed by a professional, they will work with you every step of the way to create the exact logo you want. They will teach you important things about how to use your logo – like why you need to use the .AI file instead of the .JPG file.
Also, your designer can give you good advice when you send it to the print shop instead of sending in a tiny logo file. in fact, most logo designs that you hire on a local level will send it into the print shop for you. larger than a postage stamp. When you work with a professional designer, they will also talk with you to make sure that the logo reflects your brand and your company’s identity. A skilled designer can also educate you about things you need to know about logo design and use – for example, fonts and colors to use in your materials to make sure that your branding has a professional, unified appearance.
When you work with a professional designer, they will also talk with you to make sure that the logo reflects your brand and your company’s identity. A skilled designer can also educate you about things you need to know about logo design and use – for example, fonts and colors to use in your materials to make sure that your branding has a professional, unified appearance.
Logo Design Contest Takeaway
Logo design contests are a popular way for companies to save money on logo design. Unfortunately, you won’t get as professional a result, nor as good an experience.
If your business and brand is a startup and you just need a basic logo to show your first clients that you’re a real business, and you just don’t have the budget for a professional logo designer yet, go for it.
The pros probably outweigh the cons for you. But if you’re looking to give a really professional appearance to the world, skip the design contest and work with a professional.
Whether you work with a company like Front Street Media in El Dorado Hills serving the Sacramento area or you hire a freelance graphic designer, go with someone local. Local freelance logo designers will often charge a lower price; however, they lack certain skills like answering the phone when you call. They just might be out at a party with their friends instead of working on your project.
In any case, if you have any questions about logo design or brand identity development in Sacramento, Folsom or El Dorado Hills, give us a call. : )