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As a small business owner or start up, you might be wondering whether to design your own logo or pay someone else to do it? The answer to this may be simple for you. If you do not have the time, skills or tools to design your own logo, then working with a designer is a no brainer. But let’s have a look at the 3 most important factors when designing your own logo, to help you decide if it’s something you want to attempt.

If you are a creative then you may very well feel this is one of the things you could save money on by DIYing, especially if you already have quite a firm idea of what you want. Design services can be expensive (although there is of course a reason for that!) and there are now free programs to do this, so how hard can it be?…

Tools

When it comes to graphic design, most designers will agree that Adobe Creative Suite is the industry standard. It includes Photoshop and Illustrator and has been traditionally the most widely used design program (most design job specs list it as a required skill set). However it is pretty expensive, unless you are going to be using it day in day out it’s probably not going to be worth your investment.

Adobe is now cloud based and you can get a 7 day free trial so you could sign up and complete designing your own logo within this time frame (but what happens if you want to change it later on?!) There are also some great tutorials provided but again you have to consider whether you will be able to gain the skills quickly enough to achieve your goal, especially if all that learning will go to waste when your free trial ends.

You could sign up to Illustrator only (which would be the software I would recommend create a vector based logo), a license costs £19.97 per month for an annual plan or you can buy just a month for £30.34. So add this to the time you are going to spend learning the software and it starts to add up!

A recent newcomer has started to take some of Adobe’s market share… Affinity. Affinity works in very similar way to Adobe but is a fraction of the cost at just £49.99. This cost effective option has become increasingly popular with schools and colleges that can’t afford the Adobe licences (even at the discounted education rate). As a result I think we are going to see more and more companies embracing Affinity as young people with experience of it come into the employment sphere.

A 30 day free trial is available for Affinity so if you have the time and inclination to learn about Vector based design then this could be a really great route to go down. But as with above, you need to make sure this isn’t going to be a distraction from the rest of your business and will actually enhance your skill set.

Then there is Canva, the free* design tool that has taken the entrepreneurial world by storm, giving hundreds of thousands of small business owners the ability to control their own branding. (*Canva also has a paid version which gives many more options)

Canva’s undeniably a game changer for some (especially for VAs and social media managers who specialise in Canva and can then add branding to their services) It’s great if you want to create branded documents and social media tiles but it most definitely has it’s limitations for logo design.

You can’t draw any original images so you are limited to their icon library a lot of which you have to pay for. However, there are tonnes of text options so Canva could work for you if you just want a text based logo but whether you could use it to create a unique look is debatable.

Skills

Unless you are already trained on one of the above programs then you will have to add these to your skill set. All of the above programs will require you to learnt to use them effectively and this can take time and effort. On the other hand these might be skills you will use again and again so that is another thing to take into consideration.

There are also online drag and drop logo “builders” you can use and a quick google will bring up plenty of blogs comparing and recommending the best ones (I’ve linked a couple below to save you the effort but please do some research before choosing one… again this can be a massive time vampire!).

These take very little skill to use but again you are pretty limited to the imagery and fonts that are available. You run the risk of creating a rather generic logo. I think these can be useful for some small businesses but as a creative person you are unlikely to find these satisfying. You also might spend (waste?) A LOT of your precious time designing your own logo but never be able to achieve your vision.

Time

All of the above will take one of the most precious commodities a small business owner has, especially if you are a designer maker… time. And this is what it boils down to really. If your precious time could be spent working on a different aspect of your business or IN your business creating new products or full-filling orders then is this the best use of your time? Or would you be better briefing someone (like me… other designers are available 😉 ) to create it for you?

If you have a good idea of what you want then this is often the best way, because as a creative you will be able to communicate that vision quickly and effectively making the process for the designer equally quick and cost effective.

Conversely, if you are staring a completely blank page then it also makes sense to get someone with experience and resources at their finger tips involved to help with your direction.

All things considered…

So after considering all these things, do you have the tools, skills and time to spend designing your own logo? Or would you rather invest in a designer? It’s very much a personal choice and I’d love to hear your thoughts… how did you come up with your logo design if you have one already? Are you 100% happy? Or are you just starting out and having to consider all these things…

Let me know in the comments and if you think I can help you with that process then drop me a message.