On the surface, crowdsourcing seems like a very attractive option for getting a new logo for your company. You sign up for one of the dozens of crowdsourcing websites, submit your parameters and how much you’re willing to pay, and dozens, if not hundreds, of logos are dumped in your lap. Then you simply choose the one you want and you are on your way.
It’s fast and simple, right? There are no contracts, you quickly get a large variety of designs to choose from with very little comparative cost, and if you don’t like what you see, you can simply walk away and try again later.
It’s true that while there are some benefits to outsourcing a task to many individuals, the cons tend to outweigh the pros in the long term. Here’s why:
It doesn’t encourage good design
It encourages fast design. Crowdsourcing may be a good opportunity for new designers to get their feet wet, experiment with new things, and have the chance to run with the big kids, but overall, for designers, crowdsourcing means working for the possibility of no pay. They spend hours creating a product that will be in competition with many others and has the very real possibility of not being chosen at all. How much thought and effort would you put into it?
Good design can go a long, long way to help your bottom line. At its best, bad design won’t do any damage, but it won’t help you either. At its worst, bad design may confuse or drive away potential customers, meaning that $200 you spent on your logo is actually costing you thousands in the long run.
Wanting to quickly create a logo on the cheap also encourages less than stellar design work from a legal perspective. Since crowdsourcing doesn’t require a contract, you have no legal backup if a designer’s work turns out to be in trademark or copyright infringement. After all, it’s faster for a designer to reuse part or all of an old logo that wasn’t picked up by another company and just repurpose it for you. The problem with that is those old versions may be still floating around online, creating brand confusion and possibly legal troubles later on down the road.
It may not be versatile across mediums
Hiring a professional means you get professional work back, plain and simple. A professional designer will make sure your logo is scalable from on the technical end and effective from a marketing standpoint on everything from t-shirts to billboards. You may not get that level of know-how from a new designer or a designer who is just looking to win quickly.
A logo doesn’t a brand make
The best designs are not just designs - they’re stories. The logo works into a greater design strategy, which will only come about with some forethought and planning.
There is research into what kind of customers your company wants to target. You’re not going to get that from a graphic designer who just wants to make some quick cash.
Crowdsourcing is a very attractive option if you’re on a shoestring budget. However, digital marketing really does help to make or break a new company. It might be a better idea to save the money and wait until you can invest the time and resources into developing your unique brand. Granted, we’re biased about good design.