Something memorable, timeless, appropriate, unique. We ask a lot from a logo, but it’s an important part of branding your business and making it stand out. You see a swoosh and you think Nike, not Saucony. But creating that memorable logo can be costly and time-consuming.
When Matt McGowan, owner of McGowan Building Company, in Germantown, Md., sought to brand his company, he went online and discovered LogoMyWay.com, a website where graphic designers compete to design your logo. (Similar sites include CrowdSpring, 48Hours Logo, and 99Designs.)
The process: fill out a contest brief describing what you’re looking for and put up a sum of money — McGowan posted $300. LogoMyWay then emails this to 16,000 designers around the world. “If they’re interested and it’s a good prize amount, they’ll submit ideas,” says LogoMyWay founder Joe Daley. You choose how long your contest lasts; it can be anywhere from three days to two weeks.
McGowan got 236 individual designs to rank and compare and was able to communicate with designers whose work he liked. He forwarded his top three choices to a dozen or so colleagues, friends, and family to weigh in.
The system is “public” in that the online design community can view your feedback “and the designs get better and better,” Daley says. You can also put up extra money for more publicity to highlight your contest. Once you select a winner, the files are uploaded for you and LogoMyWay releases payment to the designer.
The winning design, McGowan says, was actually one he liked right from the start. Though pleased with the outcome of the logo design process, McGowan says that if he did this again, he would put more money — maybe $500 to $1,000 — to attract more U.S. contestants. He saw a lot of designs from overseas entrants but felt that many of them didn’t understand the design/build concept.
McGowan has since developed a relationship with the winning designer who will likely do more graphic design work for him. As for authenticity, duplication, and using clip art, Daley says that the online design community polices itself and has no issues with disputing anything that seems questionable. If you don’t pick a design at all, the website sends out an email to all the designers who submitted entries and they get to vote on the logo they like best. That logo gets mailed to you and your payment goes to that designer.
—Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.
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