Supporting new generations of designers and creating platforms for emerging talents to showcase their work is an important and integral part of the design community. Cheap and cheerful graphic design platforms like Fiverr are without a doubt interesting and viable solutions to graphic design dilemmas for those of us working on a tight budget – but how much faith should you put into these platforms?
In the eyes of the design community, “the idea of logos being punted out like Happy Meals” sits uncomfortably with – and not for the reason you might think. I love a bargain just as much as anyone else, but is it a bargain if it is poor quality and doesn’t the do the job it is meant to do? For simple graphic design projects such as flyers or business cards, you can hire somebody to create the graphics and send you the digital goods for less than a fiver. Or just about, once you add custom design, high-quality images, source files and other hidden charges to your order – suddenly your bargain begins to reveal itself as a headache of hidden charges before you’ve even hit send.
Should you commission a logo design for a Fiver? Here’s what I think…
Many of these websites are not regulated – anyone can sell anything. This might be true in the real world, but you can glean a lot about a person’s experience when you speak to them face to face. It also means your new custom logo is likely going to look extraordinarily similar to those of the florist, baker, plumber or window cleaner who got there before you. Samey and generic is hardly a promising unique selling point. You only have to browse through these websites to see that.
The key to a successful logo is in the research and planning process. This part of the logo design process is vital in order for the logo to meet one of the most important requirements – appeal and identify with a specific target audience. This research involves asking the client, their existing and potential customers lots of questions. Questions about expectations, perceptions and opinions. In my experience when you buy design off the shelf you get what you ask for not what is fit for purpose, has longevity and will serve your business well.
Copyright is a grey area at the best of times, but particularly so in these circumstances. For example, designers may use free fonts from sites such as Dafont and FontGeek. In many cases, these fonts are free for personal use only. Once money starts changing hands between you and the designer, this is classed as commercial use. It is also important to bear in mind that the designer owns the copyright of the design until they transfer the rights to you. If they don’t do this they can still sell the design to someone else. And why wouldn’t they, you only paid them a fiver? Some sites provide a contract which transfer ownership, but others don’t and you may find if you ask for it that this is when the price starts going up. Even then, all images, fonts and font licenses should be supplied in addition to the transfer of rights.
Self-employment is a long journey and we all need to cut costs where we can in order to survive the early days. Many of my clients who come to me with re-branding projects tell me that they used Fiverr in the beginning. They usually go on to tell me that they have worked hard, their businesses have started to grow and they are now in a position to commission the logo that they really want, not one that was cheap and would do for the time being. This tells me that there is a place for cheap, off the shelf design – but it also tells me that the people recognise this for what it is – a temporary solution to help them get by. When the time is right, they are prepared to pay for quality, not only that, they recognise the benefits and impact to their business that great design offers.
Should you buy a logo for a Fiver? You may need to but, be mindful of what you are getting and what you can do with it, is it as unique as you think?