An organization's logo is one of the most ubiquitous representations of its brand. The good news is that in today's digital marketplace partnering with a design agency to create a new logo has become as easy as the click of a button. The bad news is that there are a lot of online design agencies to choose from. Selecting a firm that's right for your organization, and your budget, is a matter of knowing what to look for, and what to avoid. With that in mind, we've provided an essential breakdown - including pros and cons - of some of the most reputable logo design agencies on the internet.
Crowdsource Your Way To An Original Design
99designs is an online logo marketplace, where anywhere from 30 to 100 graphic designers will compete to provide a sparkling logo based upon the ideas that any client provides. Each campaign offers four basic packages (i.e., Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum). The more valuable the package, the higher the quality of the resources. Once a campaign begins, each client engages in a collaborative process, narrowing down logos from several designers, while also offering pointed feedback so that a logo can be tweaked along the way. After seeing a variety of styles, the client ultimately settles on whatever logo best captures the specific essence of what he or she is looking for. 99designs' pricing options are affordable, but there is one caveat: the Gold and Platinum packages, which offer access to "premium designers," cost more than double the Bronze and Silver packages, respectively.
Handpick Your Designer & Get Results Within Days
Deluxe bases its approach on collaboration and expertise. Clients begin the logo process by scrolling through each in-house designer's online portfolios. Deluxe is a boutique agency, where the average designer has more than a decade of experience. Once the client has settled on a designer that matches his or her sensibility, the two work hand-in-hand over a five-day period. At the end of that period the client is presented with a finished logo, which he or she now owns the rights to. Deluxe backs up its service with a full satisfaction guarantee. That said, the guarantee usually means that in-house designers will continue working on different logos until a customer signs off on something. Deluxe rarely offers to refund any money.
A Service That Offers More Options, More Control
LogoGarden differentiates its service from competitors' in two ways. The first is that LogoGarden offers a low-ball "DIY" option, via which any client can use the company's resources to create a logo for himself. The second is that LogoGarden's premium package actually selects a designer for each client (usually, it's the client who chooses a designer who he or she thinks will be a decent match). All of LogoGarden's packages offer superior customer service, with assistance available via phone, email, or live chat. LogoGarden also allows customers to make unlimited revisions (or edits), which is important given this provider's logos have been criticized for appearing derivative, one-dimensional, or drab. Regardless, every LogoGarden client exercises a high level of control. Clients can either manage their designer, or assume the reins and create a logo on their own.
A Provider That Delivers High-Quality Work For Less
Why is The Logo Company (TLC) considered the platinum standard of online logo providers? There are a plethora of reasons, the most important being that TLC offers a wider range of options than most of its competitors, and it does so at a more affordable cost. TLC turns around the average campaign in less than three days' time, which is faster than any parallel provider. Furthermore, the company is known for the quality of its work, with both Wired Magazine and the Wall Street Journal ranking TLC number one in terms of industry standards, process, and design. Whereas the majority of providers offer each client the option to work with one designer, TLC partners each client with a team of five. TLC's clients are given several logo options to choose from, and those clients own the copyright to any accepted logo design.
Brand Logo Makers: In-Depth
From the Statue of Liberty to the stop signs on any corner, we are a nation of symbols. The older and more ingrained each symbol is within our culture, the more we come to associate that symbol with a specific meaning. This is where the concept of a logo, whether referring to a non-profit organization or a Fortune 500 company, has evolved into a powerful form of advertising. Certain logos, like the Nike Swoosh or the Apple Icon, have become so universally recognized that they are almost interchangeable with the names and values of the corporations they promote.
Each logo hints at a unifying theme, which is why it is important for any small business to create one. So long as a business owner can communicate what his organization is about, he can also convey to a designer what an innovative logo for that organization should project. Over time, any successful logo should take on a life of its own, prompting people to immediately associate it with whatever tradition and core values it was originally meant to represent.
Some Early History
The word logo is an abbreviated form of "logotype," a term which is derived from the Greek roots "logos" (meaning words), and "typos" (meaning imprint). The earliest logos were ornate, constructed in the ritual fashion of a coat of arms, a watermark, or a wax seal. Ambitious proprietors came to recognize these emblems as identifying trademarks. Logos were cheap and effective, and over time they had the power to elevate any organization's prestige.
Logos were initially spurred into being during the 1800s. The idea was to combine advanced typography and lithography to create a dynamic image on the page. The invention of commercial photography during the 1830s created a new world of possibilities in terms of what a logo could include. By the end of the 19th Century, a lot of companies began adding relatable icons to their logos. The Michelin Man, for example, first appeared as part of a Michelin logo way back in 1889. A winged shoe was initially placed in the center of the Goodyear logo during 1901.
Connecting The Image To A Brand
By the early 1900s, there were nearly 700 lithographic printing firms throughout the United States. By mid-century, mainstream advertising had taken hold. Logos became an indispensable part of any well-known company's marketing. McDonald's became known as "The Golden Arches;" NBC became known as the station with the peacock (and the xylophone). Great logos began to take on added meaning, very often based on the long-term reputations of the companies they promoted.
Take BMW's logo, for example, which was originally meant to represent a merger between two aviation companies and a car company (thus, the propeller, which is surrounded by a steering wheel). Most of today's consumers have little idea of BMW's 100-year history. What they know is that BMW's logo is indicative of a certain level of excellence when it comes to luxury automotives. The point being that if a company ages well, so, too, will its emblem. Each logo is a reminder of the image any organization has cultivated, along with the standard of quality that organization has made an effort to uphold.