The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed catching up on some really important things my friends had to say on that particular day [tongue in cheek – I really do love you guys!].
An old friend of mine mentioned he’s starting a business, has an idea and name, and needs to develop a logo. He’d already received a few recommendations from friends, by in large tagging other friends who were apparently graphic designers perfect for the job.
My reply went something like this – ‘Try 99designs or DesignCrowd, I’ve used both successfully in the past, and for about $99 you can’t really go wrong – just make sure your brief is really good – the better it is, the better result you’ll get’.
If you’re not familiar, both are platforms connecting business owners with graphic designers for all types of design jobs. I admit – there are pros and cons to acquire your designs through platforms like this, that I’m not going to sit here arguing for or against today. Needless to say, for around $100 you can get a whole bunch of ideas for your logo that – even if you don’t like – you’ll be much closer to your destination than where you started and you’ll also have more coin in your pocket than working with someone locally. It global economics, and a fact.
Back to the story… apparently this was shit advice.
I was proceeded by this piece of wisdom from another person connected to this Facebook friend (note: I may not have this word for word, but it’s close) – “Don’t outsource your design. You have to design your logo yourself, or it won’t be truly ‘yours‘.”
Oh My Fucking God, was my reaction.
I’ll admit I don’t know who the person was, and what their experience is, nor did I care to investigate. But that my friends is just plain shit advice.
That’s akin to saying to a start up small business owner;
- You have to build your own website, or it simply won’t be ‘yours’
- You have to do your own accounting, or it simply won’t be ‘yours’
- You have to write your own copy, or simply won’t be ‘your’ voice
- You have to sew your own uniform, or it won’t be yours
I could go on.
If you’re serious about your business you have to do two things. 1. Invest in it. 2. Know what you’re not good at, and get help to fill the hole. Its a waste of your time when you could be working on some other part of the business that you will deliver great value to, and you also won’t do a shit job.
The scary thing was, I don’t think the advice was coming from a place of ‘you can save money by doing it yourself’, which only makes it even more fucked up.
Here’s a rough checklist of the things you need to simply ‘create a logo for your new business’.
- You need a graphic design program capable of producing the various final file formats you’re going to need to use your logo in different places. This’ll probably cost ballpark $79 per month.
- You need to know how to use those said programs. I’ve been using them for 12 years or so, and would still only put myself at the bottom end of ‘intermediate’ on the experience scale. It’d be like dropping you in an F1 car and expecting it’s going to help you get around the track really fast. It won’t. Why? Because you probably won’t even get off the start line. You’ll be faced with so many buttons and options you won’t know what to press. Even if you are lucky enough to get the thing moving, you’re probably going to stall it and come to a grinding halt pretty quickly anyway.
- You need to know the difference between a pixel and a vector. Do you? If you don’t, forget about getting the aforementioned design program.
- You need some idea on design, color, weight & balance – or put simply, your brand will end up looking amateurish.
If you can’t personally tick all those boxes above, don’t waste time trying to do it yourself. You’ll end up with a sub par result that’s not half the brand you dreamed of creating.
I didn’t respond to the comment recommending my friend, ‘design it yourself, or it wouldn’t be yours’ and that’s because it takes far greater energy to refute bullshit, than create it.
It frustrate me though. Just because once upon a time you read an article that you want to regurgitate on social to appear like a business or brand guru, doesn’t mean you should. And if you actually gave a shit about your friend, you wouldn’t use their post to fuel your own bullshit ego with completely ignorant advice.
Here’s another reason I find that comment so naive – if your business is successful, the business should become so much more than ‘you’ anyway. That doesn’t mean you’re not remembered for it, or forever remembered a vital founder. A successful business will gather enough momentum that eventually ownership is divided among a much greater audience.