3 Legit Reasons to NEVER Use an Online Competition Logo Design Site

Developing a high quality logo design for your Las Vegas retail business requires expert thought, planning, research and of course solid creative design skill. Notice I mention creative design skill last (more on that later) . A logo design is just one visual facet that contributes to your retail store’s complete branding effort. This small, but powerful component can set the entire tone and feel for an unlimited variety of brand related items that will follow.

Fashion and clothing retail businesses will showcase their logo design on a variety of marketing mediums; window signage, print ads, sales tags, point of sale signage, website design, e-blasts, the list can go on and on. Here are a few keys points to consider when you are ready to get your retail store logo design in the works.

1. A retail logo design is easier to achieve with face time

The most memorable logo designs you see are spawned from a combination of quality communication sessions spent between the client and the design team. Every business has a “story” or background to share. Building an emotional connection to your audience through a simple graphic or typographical visual (aka logo) will require the designer to have a deep understanding of your retail business’ vision, mission and purpose.

Do you have a vision on the type of logo design your retail store may need?

Sure, you may feel like you already know what you want in terms of a logo design. However, do you really know if this approach will be the best solution to help reach your business goals?

When working with a professional design agency, a significant portion of a logo design project is spent in the upfront discovery and learning process. It is the task of the design team to ask the right questions during a series of in-person meetings, Skype sessions and/or phone calls. The design team must work to get the answers they need by asking the right questions. Often times the questions can even be somewhat probing. Probing is good. Probing causes you, the owner to think outside of your box as well during the process of discovering your logo type.

Going through a comprehensive discovery practice will ensure that your retail logo design will not only perform great today, but will be well poised to deliver a timeless essence for years to follow.


Communication is a key component to getting an awesome logo design

When you use an online design service such as 99Designs, there is no physical communication or connection to the actual designers. Instead the logo design process starts with 99Designs sending out a mass logo design challenge to a huge pool of designers. Many designers are from other countries. Which also brings us to question the overall communication process once again. The logo project scope is emailed to the masses with the “willing to pay” budget you proposed.

As a result of this, the designers in the pool are willing to accept a significant below average payment structure to compete in a challenge without any real guarantee of payment. Just to be clear, the designers go into the challenge with hope to earn a paycheck – should one of their logo designs be selected for use in the end of it all. This means that each designer will have to approach the logo design process by making an educated interpretation of what you may need based on a few lines of copy you wrote when completing your logo design creative brief page.

Without fluent communication and professional consultation to guide you, you could end up making a poor logo choice that won’t work well to serve your business goals. Remember a big portion of a logo design process is spent in the initial discovery and consultative stages.

Spending face time together with your agency partner really enhances the discovery part of the logo design process. This is also why working with a professional agency will cost significantly more than hiring an online design competition site such as 99Designs.

bad logo communication


Why would an experienced, seasoned graphic design professional work for free?

I am always perplexed as to why any seasoned, experienced graphic design professional would participate in a “work for free” challenge like the ones you see online? I don’t know of any profession (no matter what level of training and education is required to hold a position in) where this purchase model for services would even be mildly acceptable. Would you ever ask an accountant, hair stylist or pest control professional to provide you services for free and then decide which one you liked best so you could pay them?

2. Recycled fabric, metals and woods are trending – recycled logo designs are not…

It can take years of experience for a graphic designer to acquire the skills needed to crank out timeless, proportionate iconic symbols, word marks, letter marks and emblems.

Logo design is one of the most challenging and sophisticated graphic design projects known to the advertising business. Awesome logo design skills derive from experiences that can involve many years of one producing “not so good” logo design efforts (shaking out the crap while earning their stripes – as I have been know to say) coupled with aesthetic sensibility and possessing a solid artistic eye.

Some Graphic Designers are exceptional at ad layout and word publishing design, but can still lack the specialized skill set necessary to churn out a killer logo design.

A creative design agency will always have a seasoned Creative Director or Design Director on staff to oversee and guide a logo design process. A Creative Director typically possesses multiple years if not decades of experience in all of the variety of graphic design disciplines. Even if a graphic designer is 90% of the contribution on your logo design, having the Creative Director oversight to direct them makes all the difference in the end result you are presented with.

When you use an online logo design competition site, you could stand a chance of getting a “recycled” logo idea. If a graphic designer can save time and effort by recycling previously used concepts that were never used before, he/she can make more money. To be frank, it would be unreasonable for someone to expect the highest quality logo design solution possible when using an online competition-based format that does not guarantee some form of compensation for time at minimum.

3. Your retail store logo design is just the beginning

Building your retail business brand will require ongoing support from a variety of professional graphic design professionals. As I mentioned earlier, a logo is just one of many visual assets required to build a comprehensive retail store brand. Having a creative design agency that is able to assist you with your retail store’s complete branding process will ensure that clarity, consistency and constancy are met across all marketing mediums.

By building a relationship with a creative branding agency in the beginning – you’ll maintain the ability to grow your retail business with better brand focus and efficient strategy.

Whether you are local to Las Vegas or in a neighboring state, the team at Trademark Creative Ltd. welcomes the opportunity to learn about your retail business.

TMC is a committed marketing partner who takes special care to invest in the time it takes to understand your retail business brand. We’ll help you to discover what makes you shine and design a marketing strategy to help you yell it to the world. Call us today at 702-341-0030 to schedule a complimentary creative needs assessment and get the party started.

Note about the author: As core founder and Creative Director at TMC, Jami Teer-Murphy leads all branding and marketing strategy efforts. She has a broad multidisciplinary background and over twenty years of advertising industry experience. Though beginning her ad biz journey designing in traditional mediums, Jami embraces all things digital and in a big way. When she’s not creating visual brand communication magic, Jami can be found reading, attending a seminar or blogging about it. She affectionately refers to this behavior as her own form of “OCD” (Obsessive Creative Disorder).