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The high price you're paying with a $5 logo

In my almost two decades as a Graphic Design professor, I always ask my students if they were to see an ad for a $5 facial plastic surgery, if they’d trust it. The answer is always unanimous: “No! I wouldn’t trust someone who charges $5 to give me a new face”, they say. So, why is it that some business owners trust services that charge $5 to create the face of their business, aka their logo?

Good logos are an integral part of a business. They help build a strong community of returning and loyal customers (evidently, your services and products must deliver what they promise too). Overtime, you will want to increase your brand awareness, and everything begins… well… with your logo.

Let’s take a couple of minutes to think about some of the most remarkable logos and symbols out there. Take Nike’s for example. The black swoosh symbolizes one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It is true that Nike only paid graphic designer Carolyn Davidson $35 to design it in 1971, but because it was meticulously designed, its relevance and brand message turned a $35 brand logo into a $26 billion dream. Nike’s swoosh is the most valuable brand in the world today. Another remarkable logo is IBM’s. It doesn’t matter if you’re 20 or 60 years old, at one point in your life you’ve seen it. This is because it is a great example of a timeless, good like crazy logo. The iconic eight-bar logo was created by American graphic designer Paul Rand in 1967! Although IBM has updated their logo over the years, its overall look remains the same.

First impressions are everything. That is why your logo must quickly translate the essence of your business. It must also communicate an assertive message, be memorable, as well as unique.

Research shows that a person is bombarded with an average of 5,000 brands every single day. If your brand happens to be one of them, what will make yours stand out? People should get the essence of your brand when they see your logo. Your logo needs to convey a message that is specific to your brand and is relevant to your customers. So, in order for your logo to be all of this, it must be crafted by the hands of a skilled professional, like a graphic designer. A designer will get acquainted with your business, ask you questions about it, research your competitors’ brand and will explore multiple visual solutions for you. This labor-intensive job requires expertise and can never be replaced by a $5-5-minute search on a random logo website. So next time you need a new one, ask yourself how much your business image is worth to you. Do you want it to look like a million bucks or five?

Clarissa Gainey started her teaching career as a TA and later served as a Visiting Lecturer at Georgia State University. She's served as an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Anderson University for six years and currently she's an Associate Adjunct Professor for UMGC. Clarissa is also the founder of Bright Graphic Design.


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