“Do It Yourself” Logos

The best way of “doing yourself” in

I was peacefully surfing the internet, in a moment of cyber relaxation. Suddenly I realize my Firefox has an open tab with some site waiting to be looked at and, wondering whether lack of coffee was getting to my head or my touchpad decided I clicked on some Google link, I clicked on the tab.

There it was—an automated logo creation site! It’s called “Make My Own Logo.”

The idea is that a client fills out a form with their company name and their industry and the logo is created. No creative mind behind it, just a bunch of automated logos, which look like the same logos someone else trying the same site will get. Several designers tried it out just for kicks and they were getting pretty much the same logos as everyone else.

It just doesn’t work that way.

Logos have to be unique and have to be based on marketing studies. They have to represent a company, they have to communicate instantly and have to be simple. They are not clipart. And what about the graphic format? MMOL (whose logo is ugly) says it will be instantly mailed. As a JPEG? As a TIF? What if the logo needs to be bigger? A raster format won’t work.

These are the sites that devalue the graphic design profession. Someone decides to make a few bucks by putting up a totally automated site, where the owner has to only make sure the money goes onto their bank account, and there you have it: a site that is damaging not only the graphic design profession but also the clients using it—they get a service that isn’t worth even the $99 advertised on MMOL. All they get is an amateurish logo, with detailed cliparts that don’t look good when the logos are small and don’t look good when they have to be made big, since the file format emailed will be raster.

It’s important that designers spot these things and make them know as examples of what SHOULD NOT be done. These sites say to clients that spec work is the way to go, that they can just get tons of drafts from designers and then go to their uncle who knows how to use Photoshop and will execute the idea for free, infringing the designer’s rights, as well as making sure they won’t get further help from professionals who could be very valuable to them, and who have the know-how to help them as they deserve.