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Affordable Logo Design: Why Agencies Do It Best

Are you ready for a new logo? In today’s digital world, locating affordable logo design is fairly simple. Just type it into Google or ask Alexa, and you’ll come up with a variety of options.

These results, which promise outstanding work – fast and for cheap – work well for entrepreneurs and small businesses that are just starting out. They provide a cheap platform from which to launch a brand.

When you’re ready to take that next big step in your growth, though, you’ll need to look the part. A rebranding project allows you to position and scale your business/organization for continued development. At this stage, you’ll want to hire a professional design team.

But before we get into that, let’s go over a few design basics.

Types of Logos: Which is Right for You?

Different brands require different types of logos. Why? Because your brand has its own story and unique set of goals. The world’s most notable brands use this knowledge to leverage their own logos and provide value to their audiences.

1) Wordmark Logos

Mark my words (got that joke out of the way) – this type of logo is one of the oldest and most obvious. The reason being is that the logo is simply the name of your business, designed in a way that stylistically communicates your brand story.

For historic businesses with names that are synonymous with quality, wordmarks are often the way to go. And font choice is key!

For example, we work with a financial institution called the National Bank of Waupun (NBW Bank). The bank, itself, is over 100 years old but decided to modernize their brand to target a younger demographic and incorporate their new mobile banking platform.

NBW Bank Logo Design

Signalfire’s design team presented NBW Bank with a trustworthy wordmark logo. We purposefully chose crisp, modern colors and fonts to freshen up their identity.

As a result, the rejuvenated brand was met with high praise from their community, and NBW Bank was able to seamlessly transition to their next era of banking solutions.

“A great logo is simple, memorable, versatile, and communicates the essence of the company.” – Jodi Heisz, Signalfire Associate Creative Director

2) Pictorial or Brandmark Logos

You’ve seen these before – think Apple or Target. These logo types are visual representations of their brand names. That’s why the Target logo is…well…a target.

This forms a psychological bond between your brand and your customers, and it’s very effective. It’s most utilized by global brands because there’s no translation necessary. Regardless of language, their logos communicate their brand message.

It can also be great for quickly identifying local businesses. For example, in 2012, we put together a brandmark logo for Lakeland Animal Shelter that included three animal icons and (you guessed it) a shelter.

Affordable Logo Design for Lakeland Animal Shelter

Anyone coming across this logo can quickly and easily interpret its meaning. Pairing the pictorial design with the Lakeland name seals the deal in the minds of their audience members.

Years later, the brandmark logo is more iconic than ever throughout Walworth County, Wisconsin and continues to gain traction into the state’s larger markets.

“Great logos are great communicators. Every detail is designed to communicate what the company is about. This is why simplicity is key. Logos don’t have to communicate everything about a company. They just need to communicate enough so that the viewer has a general understanding/feeling about that company at a glance. A great logo is only the face of the brand, it isn’t the whole thing.” – Heather Harris, Signalfire Graphic Designer

3) Abstract Iconography

Today, these are the most popular types of logos. Brands want something creative and unique, and that’s abstract iconography.

This entails designing an eye-catching symbol and building the meaning of it for your target audience over time. The main advantage of these logos is that they provide designers with much more freedom to create something fun and meaningful.

They are also great for new businesses and brands looking to reinvent themselves. To provide a real-world example, we were approached by a carbon chemical research and development company in 2017 called CryoCarb. They were a new business and looking for a dazzling logo to break through the clutter of their industry.

CryoCarb Logo Design

Our professional designers came up with a variety of abstract logo ideas for CryoCarb’s executive team to widdle down. We, then, refined those options and presented them again for the company to select their favorite.

The finalized logo and supporting font choice illustrates a cutting-edge business that’s clean, precise, and poised to provide the perfect solution. All of that is communicated through the details of the logo design.

Managing Expectations: Fast vs. High-Quality vs. Cheap Logo Design

Something else to keep in mind is the delicate balance between cheap, fast, and high-quality design. Typically, if you want an amazing and affordable logo design, it’s going to take a bit longer to produce.

As a practical rule of thumb, you should only anticipate two of these three aspects from your logo design project. The third facet is inevitably sacrificed because…

  • Fast Timeline + High-Quality Design = More Expensive (often due to rush rates)
  • Fast Timeline + Cheap Quote = Low-Quality Logo (you’ll blend right into the crowd)
  • High-Quality Design + Cheap Quote = Slower Production (due to being thoughtful & getting things right)

This may seem like common knowledge, but many marketers struggle with this concept. It’s best to take a practical approach to redesigning your logo. This keeps your internal staff and the designers you’re working with on the same page.

Logo Design: Agency vs. Freelance

Affordable Logo Design: The Agency vs. Freelance Debate

The philosophy of agency vs. freelance has long been debated, and there are good arguments for each. At Signalfire, however, we believe it simply comes down to thinking short-term vs. long-term.

Further Reading: Agency vs. Freelance: Which is right for your business?

An affordable logo design in a short-term sense probably means going the freelance route. Freelance designers are cheaper than agencies and can often produce good work. The downside is that they’re often difficult to work with.

Common complaints we’ve heard from clients who’ve used freelancers in the past are a general disregard for deadlines, inconsistent responsiveness, and miscommunications about billing.

Unlike full-time agency designers, freelancers aren’t held accountable by a professional work environment. There is, typically, only one person working on your logo design, rather than the collective resources of an entire team.

“Creative agencies often have the advantage of a team of people from different disciplines and backgrounds collaborating to deliver the best solution possible. Many freelance designers might only have one or two different areas of expertise but they don’t necessarily have the ability to collaborate with other team members to better refine their designs and ideas.” – Heather Harris

In short, we don’t recommend freelance designers for the same reason that we don’t recommend buying a house on Craigslist – it’s too important!

It may seem unwise to make a significant investment in your logo, however, it is the face of your business/organization. Your logo may be the first thing a customer notices about your brand, and it’s important to make a great impression.

If it’s truly affordable logo design you’re after, it makes much more sense to hire a professional firm. Agency designers operate as part of an experienced team, which provides more creative firepower to work with.

“Agencies have more resources available and the ability to collaborate creatively to design the best solution possible. With a team of creative professionals, it’s easier and more efficient to deliver a high quality and well-designed project.” – Jodi Heisz

Plus, they’re held accountable to deadlines and work quality by the agency’s reputation. If they do bad work, it reflects poorly on their employer.

In summary, you’ll receive a better, more potent logo and can be confident it will stand the test of time. The cost of a great logo design – long-term – is considerably less than having to live with one you’re not happy with or pay for another one in a year or two.

Remember - You're Logo Design Isn't for You

Save Time & Hassle. Hire a Creative Agency.

All that to be said, the choice is yours! Are you looking for an awesome long-term solution to your logo woes, or a quick fix?

If it’s the first one, Signalfire can collaborate with you on an affordable logo design that ignites your future growth.

You can expect a professionally designed logo built on solid strategy and creative concepts. Not only will you receive a logo that communicates who you are, but you’ll also receive a business partner who’s invested in helping your company succeed. Signal for help today!