Logo design contests are becoming an increasingly common way for start-up businesses and ecommerce websites to get their design work done for free – or for pretty close! For a $25 prize and the chance to be famous for designing a company’s new branding, businesses invite their friends, family, and fans to offer up a creative logo – with mixed results.
In theory, this kind of contest sounds like a great idea. You get design work done virtually for free, and customers become more engaged with your brand as they offer their suggestions and their artwork to your cause. What better way to use the Internet to engage potential customers and interactively build a brand?
Unfortunately, this is an instance of a good idea – online interaction and customer engagement – taken too far. While customer feedback and contributions are a great idea generally speaking, there are some things that are too important to turn over to crowdsourcing, and logo design is one of them.
What is a Logo?
Your logo is meant to represent your company, inspiring trust and a sense of your reliability, creativity, friendliness, high standards – whatever qualities define your brand. It takes skill and artistry to sum up your business in a single, recognizable image. Designers go to school for years to learn how shapes, colors, and contrasts affect a viewer’s perception and motivation.
Professional designers can tell you how consumers will react to a particular font or juxtaposition of two colors. Education and skill is what sets graphic designers apart from anyone on the street, making it worthwhile to hire an expert to design your website and your company’s logo.
The Downside of Logo Design Contests
No professional web or graphic designer is going to work for free. That means the submissions you get in a logo contest will all be designed by amateurs. Although there will always be the occasional gifted genius who has no interest in working as a designer, that person is the exception rather than the rule. Most of the submissions you’ll receive in a crowdsourced contest will be of a quality that’s far inferior to what the major brands are using.
A logo might not seem like a big deal to you, but what would McDonalds be without the golden arches, or Pepsi without the stylized red, blue, and white sphere? Depriving your company of an empowering logo means giving up the chance at a major marketing tool – the price for cheap logo design and crowdsourcing.