Businesses are starting to jump on the latest trend in logo design: the Logo Design Contest. Hosted by a third party, these contests offer a cash prize for the best logo submission. Designers follow a set of guidelines laid out by the business, get as creative as they can and compete to have their logo chosen.
Financially, a logo design contest can appear as the best choice. Professional designers can charge upwards of $3,000 or more, while a design contest may cost less than $500. The allure of having multiple designers work towards your new logo also plays into the desire to host a contest. Why work with just one person, when you can have the creative talents of 100 or more designers?
On the surface, a logo design contest is appealing. However, the long term cost to your business can be crippling.
Here is why you should never use a contest for your logo design:
Design Contestants are inexperienced.
A quality designer with a proven record of successful logo campaigns rarely, if ever, participates in a logo design contest. Most contestants have little to no design experience or are still students. They see a design contest as a way to pad their portfolio, land a bigger client and get their name out as a designer. The quality of your logo will reflect the amount of your prize.
Design Contestants don’t know your business.
A good logo requires knowledge of your business in order correctly represent you. A professional designer requires clients to complete a comprehensive questionnaire covering everything from your business name, perception in the marketplace, core values, products or services provided, competitors and what sets you apart, mission, the perception you want clients to have after seeing your logo and more. This research helps your designer craft a logo that fits your business.
A design contest, however, does not accommodate that level of research. Instead, contestants go for the “wow” factor – designing something that might make you go “wow,” but more often than not, doesn’t fit your business.
Contest logos need work.
Due to the inexperience of design contestants, the winning logo usually requires some touch-up work. Just ask JC Penney. They hosted a design contest for their new logo. While the winning design gave the launching point for their new logo, the department store made some improvements to bring their new logo in compliance with their brand.
Contest logos don’t factor in usage.
How and where your logo will be used is a major factor in the design. Will your logo be placed over images? Used on the web or in social media? Will it be blown up to use on a poster or banner? These questions and more impact the design, something that contests don’t take into consideration. Contestants want to wow you, not explain how multiple gradients will muddy up your logo in various applications.
Contests might appear to be an intelligent choice when starting a logo design project; however, in the long run, they cost you time, money and may misrepresent your brand – the affects of which are immeasurable and can be devastating to your business.
You may pay more, but a professional graphic designer who researches your company, builds a relationship with you and your business and desires the success of your business more than a cash prize will provide benefits that highly outweigh the cost.