I seem to be meeting quite a few business owners who have self-made logos, created using Canva or similar platforms aimed at those with basic (zero) graphic design skills.
Or I hear ‘someone made it on Fiverr for £20’ or ‘there’s this fantastic free website that generates a business name and logo for you.’
Have you seen that scene in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ where the cute child says, ‘every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings’? Perhaps we could change this to, ‘every time a logo is generated on Canva, a graphic designer’s spirit quietly dies.’
I’m generalising here. Some self-made logos are quite impressive. However, for many of us, it is advisable to leave our brand’s design work to the experts.
The value of expert branding
Whenever I chat with entrepreneurs who are mindful of their marketing budgets, I always say the same thing. Investing in your brand is the most astute investment you can make.
My mate (!) Steve Forbes says the same, ‘your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.’
Imagine dedicating an entire year to a daily gym regime, sipping on dandelion coffee (inside information: it tastes like puke), and strictly sticking to a diet of pumpkin seeds and grilled chicken breast (which I assume are the choices of the health-conscious). It would be quite off brand to then make your grand entrance at a party dressed like a geography teacher from the 1975 era. Unless that’s your thing.
Just as your attire should reflect your personal vibe, your branding should mirror the essence of your brand.
Yet there is a bit of a trend of DIY logos amongst small businesses and solo-preneurs.
Use a ‘proper’ designer
‘Establishing a brand identity is important for any business, and a logo acts as its core symbol. The use of typeface, colour palette, and graphic elements support the logo and help create a cohesive visual narrative. The relationship between these elements is essential to build a strong brand identity.
Developing a unique brand identity that effectively communicates the right message to your target audience can help your business stand out from the competition and give your customers a taste of what to expect from your business.
A graphic designer’s contribution is key to this. It’s the culmination of years dedicated to training, followed by more years of translating that education into real-life branding projects. Us designers have earned our stripes! I invest considerable time working with clients on a creative brief, conducting research, and then developing a design language that not only resonates, but also contributes to a brand’s growth.’
Graphic designers like Ollie are trained professionals. Their work is more than just a subjective idea of ‘what looks nice’ – it’s underpinned by a blend of science, instinct, and talent.
The true cost of going cheap
By choosing the budget route, you’re doing your brand a disservice. You should not only love your logo but also be able to articulate the rationale behind it, ensuring it resonates with both you and your target audience.
Plus, using a designer ensures you receive your logo in every conceivable format required, from monochrome to EPS, JPEG, and even social media icons. They can also provide cover images for Facebook, LinkedIn, or your chosen social media platform.
Ask for a basic set of brand guidelines detailing your typeface, colours, and logo usage.
I also recommend adding a brand kit for Canva, along with a compatible typeface suggestion if your primary one isn’t available. There’s definitely a place for Canva (secret: I love it!) – however, consistency is key.
Avoid scattering different typefaces and colours over your creations.
Final word and an offer of coffee
Remember, using a designer needn’t be expensive. It’s true that the cost will exceed what you’d pay for a DIY Canva creation or a quick Fiverr gig, but the investment in professional design sets a strong visual foundation for all your marketing efforts. Plus you will know that your design is unique and, most importantly, you own it.
You deserve to feel proud of what you have achieved.
If you’re like to discuss your brand, branding, logo, or any aspect of marketing, send me a message.
There’s a coffee with your name on it waiting for you.
PS. Both the images in this blog post were created with Canva… I’m no hater.