Should I Crowdsource My Logo Design?

Should I Crowdsource my logo design process


Dozens of designs from dozens of designers! Get a wide range of logos for only $99.99! Select your favorite!

This is the promise from crowdsource logo companies. On the surface, crowdsourcing seems like a no-brainer. Choose your logo from a visual smorgasbord at the cost of a family night out to the movies.  But, is it wise to source your logo design like choosing your favorite options at a buffet?  Crowdsourcing logos can look good on the surface, but is raw after you bite into it.

A good logo design process is one where a client informs the designer on the company’s objectives. An active dialogue continues throughout the process. How will the logo serve as a promise to others on service or products customers should come to expect? Does the logo need to be reproducible on a hat? Does it need to be legible at less than two inches wide?

“I’ll know the right design when I see it”. This adage that many logo seekers share, is likely how you arrived at a crowdsourcing notion. Having dozens of logos to choose from! Fast food offers a cheap and large menu of choices, it’s called the dollar menu. You may see more for your buck, but you don’t get more in substance.

Crowdsourced design lacks process and creative development. Logo design is a collaborative process between a client and designer.  The client discusses the problem, looking for a solution with a designer who listens, examines, learns your history, ponders on thought, marinates on some ideas and is able to assess the collected data and prescribe a solution.  Clients and designers discuss target audience, business plan, visual tone, brand promise, and more.  A healthy logo design process includes these milestones established between designer and client. The design brief is a collaboration, insuring both parties understand each others goals. No designer would want to craft a refined logo after initial input, toiling endlessly for hours massaging and reworking a logo design until it is just right, without input from a client along the way.

Originality.  In a logo process be aware of copyright, symbols from stock libraries, and outright plagiarism. Crowdsource designers are in the business of quick-turn around for hundreds of clients who seek logos to slap on their business card. How are they able to dedicate resources to you to get you a logo? Shortcuts. Stock logo libraries and vectors found on the web are often leveraged as a shortcut for crowdsource designers. Is the inspiration or contours of your logo “inspired” from a subscription site or free source online?  Stock illustration sites warn against the usage of downloaded imagery and symbols in the creation of logos.  iStock photo even lists it’s restricted uses,  “No Use in Trademark or Logo. You may not use content as part of a trademark, design mark, tradename, business name, service mark, or logo.”

Stand apart from your competition. Good corporations and organizations stand apart in practice. In turn their logo must stand apart against an array of competitors logos. Are crowdsourced designers running their custom designs against a set of competitors to create a vision for setting your company apart?

A logo is an investment in the business you represent. You are not only investing in a logo design, you are subscribing to a story, a vision, a process. In the process you are investing in how the design got there and how the final design represents the brand you represent. You’ll be able to answer to your stakeholders and customers, why your symbol represents your company or your promotion. Good designers will provide you with this rationale to sell-in the idea to you and insure that the basis for it is well founded.

The best logo design process starts with a conversation and a collaboratively created brief. Ideas are sketched out, presented, revised, tweaked and customized to suit the needs and application of businesses. A truly unique representation of a brand is the ultimate goal, instead of crowdsourced designs where a paper angel of hundreds of razor thin ideas are contrived from a few quick cuts.

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by Alexander Morse

Alexander Morse is a digital designer and brand consultant at Morse Communication Design. He helps businesses communicate with design. His creative techniques and communication design skills were fostered through his agency-side experience working with a variety of clients from entertainment to retail. He is now focused on end-user, persona-driven interactive and conceptual design for consumer brands, non-profits, and clients whose message needs to be driven through impactful design.

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  1. […] A good logo design process is one where a client informs the designer on the company's objectives. An active dialogue continues throughout the process.  […]

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