I have no money. Should I get a cheap logo?


Recently a friend was telling me about a new business venture she is about to embark on with her partner and indicated that eventually they would like this venture to be their sole avenue of income. What came next was a question I get asked all the time by start-up businesses:

“At this stage we don’t have lots of cash flow but we think it would be wise to get set up properly from the start. What would you recommend we do? And how much do you think is worth investing in getting together the logo, website etc.”

The silent part of this question is:

“We don’t really have any capital set aside for logo, website etc – is there a low cost way for us to get started?”

Now there is always a way to do something cheaply to start with but as a designer, I’ve seen the falseness of this economy play out time and again. Naturally if you’re embarking on a venture and you’re a little unsure if it is going to pan out, then sure, do it on the cheap to start with. In fact, my friend Dan suggests going with no logo – just use ‘text’. And I wholeheartedly agree with that. But if you are like my friend and you have already tested the waters and you KNOW this is an avenue that both feeds your passion AND can earn you an income, then it’s worth investing a bit of money to get everything spot-on from the very start. This will have two major benefits:

  1. All your branding will be synchronous and beautiful from the word go. It’s true when they say you only get one chance to make a first impression. Don’t waste that chance!
  2. You will always end up paying more than you intended on the ‘cheap’ option and what is worse, you will find yourself wanting to re-do everything a year down the track when you’re a bit more established and you realise your ‘on the cheap’ branding and website is not doing the job. So now you’ve paid twice for the same job.

There are of course many other benefits than these two but these are the uber-important ones. My main message here is that if you take a half-baked approach to starting up your business, this will reflect in everything you do. Paying a bit more up front not only means you are putting your best foot forward right from the start, but it also applies some subtle pressure. Pressure that ensures you give your new venture a red hot go! So now it’s time to let me know what you think.

Have you ever done a logo on the cheap and got a great result? Or has it generally led to frustration and sub-optimal results?

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