[As some of you know, I am working on a tech related startup. These “Launching a startup” posts will be my experiences as I go through the process of learning, using tools and trying out services. I always found such posts from other authors very helpful, so maybe these can be of some use to you. These might not be in sequence, but I will try to maintain completeness of individual posts. ]
First a rant, people need to respect designers more! Seriously, designing is not the just the ability to use Adobe Illustrator tools. It is an art; and good artists will not work for cheap. As an entrepreneur, you do need to balance the costs – but please maintain your perspective while interacting with people.
That said, the options in front of me were as below:
- Drum up a quick text-only logo in Illustrator myself: While the obvious benefits are speed & cost, I think you fill find out that unless you have at least basic Illustrator skills, the logo will feel amateurish at first sight itself. Still, if you want to try this out, there are plenty of Illustrator tutorials on YouTube and Adobe provides a free trial of its Creative Cloud; give it a shot.
- Use an online logo generator: There are websites that give you a fixed set of options for images & fonts. You can mix and match to come out with a ‘workable’ logo. I had used logomaker.com for a project a while back. As I remember, it charged something like USD 25 to download the design (I could be wrong though, been some time). Since the logos are already generated, the end product will look polished but don’t expect originality.
- Hire a local designer: Definitely an option you should explore. The costs & skills will vary hugely obviously. The added benefit is that such a person might continue working with you for your other design needs further down the road. The only designers I knew were far beyond my budget, so didn’t explore this much.
- Freelancers: Sites like Elance.com and oDesk.com would have a number of designers. Someone had also recommended Fiverr.com for a quick/cheap logo, I tried and the answer is NO! Don’t even waste your time there. I am sure Elance & oDesk would have some good designers, but I was wary of hiring someone and then not liking their work. I will detail my oDesk experience in another post, but I would not recommend these freelancing sites for design needs.
- 99Designs.com: For those not familiar, 99designs.com is a popular crowdsourcing design site where designers compete for a prize. There are other such sites (like crowdspring.com) but 99designs is perhaps the most popular, which to me meant that it would have better designers (could be wrong). Also, I thought the site was easier to navigate. As I said above, I was wary of choosing a designer, not liking his work but getting stuck with him/her. 99designs has a full refund policy (with some limitations) so it looked pretty painless to try and I went forward with it.
[The article was originally blogged at https://medium.com/what-i-learned-building/9c20f6ca45ae]