Getting a Quality Logo for Cheap

Paula Mottshaw, a creative freelancer, offers tips to get a quality company logo without spending a lot of hard earned startup cash.

Every company needs a logo. That visual representation of your company will be on everything from pens to billboards. Just because you plan to get a lot of use out of a company logo, doesn’t mean you have to pay big bucks for it.

Logos can be expensive and not every company has the budget to bring in a graphic design agency, especially if you’re just starting out. Freelancer Paula Mottshaw, who specializes in graphic and web design, says there are creative ways to save money on a logo.

Before you start looking for a designer, Mottshaw says you’ll need to provide some direction about the kind of logo you’re looking for. Here are a few things to think about before hiring a graphic designer:

  • Think about what kind of logo you want to represent your business.
  • Consider color schemes. Pick one or two colors. Fewer colors means a more affordable logo. Plus, a colorful logo can look busy.
  • Make sure the designer plans to create the logo in a vector-based program so the image doesn’t get pixelated or blurry when the size is changed.
  • Ask for a gray scale version of the logo as well as color.
  • Don’t go for a trendy logo. Trends come and go and you want something that doesn’t need refreshing in a year.
  • The logo should be simple and easy to understand at a glance.

Once you’ve given your logo some thought, you should find someone with some graphic chops to help you out. Mottshaw offers these money-saving tips to get a creative logo on a budget:

Hire a freelancer

A freelance designer could save you some bucks, Mottshaw says.

“Working with freelancer tends to be less expensive than working with a full-service agency,” she says. “Look for someone who specializes in logo design.”

There are freelance sites that connect small businesses with designers. Sites like Elance allow you to request a logo. Freelancers bid on your project request and you select which freelancer you’d like to work with.

Consider a student

Every college student or recent grad is looking for experience, Mottshaw says.

Hiring a student to design a logo could be a win-win. You’ll get a creative logo designed on a budget and the student adds to his or her portfolio.

If you don’t know a student in the design field, reach out to a professor at your local university or community college. Some schools, like the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, allow businesses to post design jobs online.

Barter for a logo

Take a page from your ancestors’ playbook and try to barter for a logo rather than cut a check, Mottshaw suggests.

“Trade services with a logo designer,” she says. “For example, if a new accounting business needs a logo, they can trade tax preparation/accounting services for logo design.”

Whichever path you select, be sure to look at a designer’s previous work and ask for references to ensure a good working relationship. In the end, your designer should help you create a clean, classic image that represents your business.

AvatarLisa Furgison

Lisa Furgison is a journalist with a decade of experience in all facets of media.