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Logo design for under $100

Four logo design options for entrepreneurs whose ambition is bigger than their budget.

Few of us have the luxury of starting a new business with a pile of cash behind us. In the early days, money needs to stretch as far as possible, and logo design isn't usually the most important thing in the budget. So here's the good news: logo design doesn't need to break the bank. We've got four great ideas on how you can get a starter logo for less than $100.

Option 1: The Do-It-Yourself Logo Design

Don't worry, I'm not suggesting you go out and buy yourself a copy of Adobe Photoshop and Logo Design For Dummies.

Instead, you might want to check out some software specifically designed to help small business people make their own logo.

There are some excellent logo design packages out there that combine ease-of-use with a large range of icons and powerful customization options.

To make your logo you typically add your text, choose a logo graphic or icon, and then play around with the font, layout, colors and effects until you are happy with your logo design.

These tools are typically software you can buy and download immediately (like The Logo Creator) or online tools you can use for free and then download the logo you designed (like LogoYes or LogoMaker).

The joy of these tools is that you can spend as much or as little time perfecting the logo to your taste. Where the tool is downloaded software (like The Logo Creator), you are also able to make as many logos as you like. The downside of these DIY logo design tools is that you will need to invest the creative juices yourself. There also aren't any designers (except you) involved, so you will need to rely on your own creative judgment.

Finally, you should also consider that you will be working from the same library of icons or graphics that anyone else can also access. This means that you may run into other businesses using the same icon or graphic as you. You can still trademark that logo design as a unique combination of text, font, graphics and colors - provided no-one else has beaten you to it in your industry.

Do-It-Yourself Logo Design in a nutshell:

Option 2: Buy a pre-designed logo

These services provide you with a large library of graphics or pre-designed logos to choose from. You select the image or logo you like and provide the designer with the company name you want on the logo. The designer adds your text in the style of the image or logo, and sends it back to you for your use.

The service is pretty straight-forward, and won't take you any longer than the time spent picking a design and then waiting for the final logo to come back from the designer.

Ready-made logos come in two flavors: exclusive and non-exclusive.

An exclusive logo will only be sold once, and then taken off the logo designer's shelf. This gives you a unique design that you can trademark with the expectation that no-one else is using that particular graphic.

A non-exclusive logo can be sold by the logo designer more than once. This means that the logo or graphic you choose could appear anywhere else in the world, outside your control. This makes a non-exclusive logo a poor candidate for trademark.

As you might imagine, an exclusive logo will cost you much more than a non-exclusive logo. It depends on the designer, but in some cases, exclusive logos will cost as much as (or even more than) some custom logo design.

Pre-designed Logos in a nutshell:

Option 3: Hire a cheap freelance logo designer

There are thousands of brilliant designers in the world, and most of them are not native English speakers.

Many logo design companies make use of talented designers living in countries with lower wages, and with the rise of global outsourcing marketplaces, now you can too.

Finding international designers through one of these online marketplaces is a piece of cake. You start by creating a free account with the marketplace and then posting your logo design project for designers to see. Designers interested in your project will then bid for the project, proposing a price and timeline, usually with samples or references to support their bid.

As you might imagine, if you open a project to the global workforce, within a day you will get a number of bids in all shapes and sizes. Assuming that you indicate a low budget for your logo design, you can expect to hear from designers that range from the mediocre to the absolutely appalling. You can certainly expect to hear from people who are new to the industry and are trying desperately to get someone (or anyone) onto their client list.

On the one hand, It gives you many options. But on the other hand, it gives you many options. Expect to spend a fair amount of time checking the references and samples that will come through.

Price-wise, you will hear from designers significantly above your specified budget all the way down to around $25.

$25? Are you kidding me?

No kidding. $25 for custom logo design. But beware: If you're in the market for cheap logo design, then anyone who knows what a filter in Photoshop is (or has stumbled upon Word Art in Microsoft Word) will consider you fair game.

On the positive side, marketplaces provide you with information about a designer's history and references. Ratings and comments from previous clients can help you assess the potential quality of a designer.

Once you've got a designer, you will also encounter both a range of communication skills and a range of processes. Buying from an established online designer essentially guarantees some semblance of a process for developing a company logo with you. Going directly to a freelancer carries more risk in that they have more independence or artistic license with regards to managing your order.

And here's some final advice for finding logo designers on an outsourcing marketplace: you very rarely get more than what you pay for. A designer will charge you just as much as their ability is worth, and buying online makes for an easy comparison.

Cheap freelance designers in a nutshell:

Option 4: Entry-level custom logo design

A few established logo designers offer sub-$100 packages. These are typically cut-down versions of their standard packages. For anything priced under $100 you might expect to get only one logo concept. Or be able to make only one logo revision. It's also common for guarantees to be restricted on these kinds of packages.

Conditions vary from designer to designer, so it pays to check the small print.

Entry-level custom logo design in a nutshell:

In conclusion

So there are four ways to get a logo for under $100. You can find the companies mentioned here in our Designers section, on the Logo Designers <$100 page.

Also don't forget that if you can stretch your budget up to the $150 mark, you'll find that several more custom logo design packages become available from some of the bigger design companies online. You can check those out on the Logo Designers $100-$500 page.

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