Your Nephew Should not Design Your Logo

Perhaps my title is presumptuous, and goodness knows–nobody reads articles that are presumptuous, (that’s sarcasm Sheldon). But really, I don’t know if your nephew may work for a firm in downtown Boston, or go to MassArt for digital and print design. If he does, please accept my humblest apology. However, you may still want to read on. After all, there are more qualifications than simply being a graphic designer. In the following few sections, I will try and spell out why you should pay for a logo. And not use someone who will do it for free pizza.

 

HE’S YOUR NEPHEW

This point is pretty simple. You know your nephew (or your son, or daughter, or cousin). They know you. Take any timeline and multiply it by three–at least. Then there’s the issue of revision and correction. It just doesn’t work. How many of you have enlisted family members to help you with that big refurbishing project at your house, and wake up six months later and half your house has no roof? Same idea. He’s your nephew.

 

GRAPHIC DESIGN IS A REAL TRADE

It’s the 21st century people. Working on computers today is as working on cars was fifty years ago–contrary to what some believe. If you told a contractor you were having your nephew add an extension to your house, he’d tell you you’re an idiot (or maybe select a different set of words, depending on which contractor you asked). There are permits to be requested, codes to be studied and followed, and the list goes on and on. The same may be said if you told a mechanic you were having your nephew give your car a full diagnostic and tune-up. The case would be made that you need someone simply more qualified. It’s the same with a logo. You need someone who understands the ins and outs of graphic design. Someone who can take your (generally bizarre) ideas and turn them into something memorable, functional, and beautiful.

 

YOUR LOGO IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK IT IS

I’ve found that logos are often the most overused, under-thought pieces of a business plan. A logo is on almost everything you do. It’s on your sign, it’s on your business cards, it’s on your letterhead, it’s on your website, it visits you in your dreams–it’s everywhere. So to spend $700 on your company sign, but to spend $120 on the logo makes no sense. This brings me to my last point:

 

YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO USE YOUR LOGO

If your nephew designs your logo, even if he uses a fancy pirated application like Photoshop, it will generally be severely limited in it’s functionality. You want a sign? I’m sorry, you don’t have a correctly formatted logo. You want a banner or poster made? I’m sorry, it’s–well you get the idea. Ask your nephew if he knows what vector means, or what color swatches are. If he has a blank stare on his face, hire someone.

 

Here’s the deal–a company’s logo is extremely important. There’s no point arguing this. It’s pretty obvious. We’ll talk more about the ins and outs of logos in the future–but this is to hopefully loosen you up a bit. It’s normal for companies to pay big bucks for logos. After all, it represents your brand for years and years to come. It’s ok to pinch pennies, but you should know where to do it. A logo is not the place. If you’re interested in getting a logo designed by us, just shoot us an email. We’d be happy to help.

Nate Smith

Lead Developer and CEO

I am a web developer and designer, as well as a husband and father. I grew up in the Boston, MA area and will forever be a Bostonian. I'm passionate about building sites that look great, are easy to navigate, and that work really well on all devices. The languages I work with most are PHP and MySQL, Javascript, HTML5, and CSS--but I also have experience with Ruby, Linux and ASP. The applications I use on a regular basis are Adobe CC, Sublime Text, and PHPStorm.

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