Logos are critical. Every business needs one. They are unique, differentiating you from competitors. They convey what industry you are in, the product or service you provide, your target demographic, and your brand values. Appearing as it does on all advertising material, stationery, vehicles and products, your logo is how customers will remember you. When somebody opens a website, they will form an opinion within three seconds, and the logo is the first thing they see; there's a reason for the adage “The first impression is the last impression.” Logos provoke an emotional response.
Running a logo contest is a popular and effective way to obtain a logo that grants you access to tens of thousands of logo designers worldwide. There have been criticisms by independent designers of the quality of work produced, but it's difficult to argue with the growing popularity of these contests and their success.
Using a specialist website will see you assigned a dedicated design specialist who can rapidly answer any questions you come up with, by phone, email, or live online chat. A Money Back Guarantee means that if your contest doesn't receive a minimum number of logo concepts, you will receive a refund of your payment, a service not every crowdsourcing website provides.
Why running a logo contest is better than the alternatives
Running a logo design contest is considerably cheaper than employing a designer full-time. It's also preferable to working with a freelancer because they generally work on a project basis and so will not always be available, and you might not like the designs they produce. By crowdsourcing, you will be able to make use of social networking and the free online market.
Reviewing past winning designs is the best way for you to gauge the talent of the available graphic designers. There can be more than 30 contests running at any one time. It's possible to view the profiles of designers.
It's wise to research what your competitors look like to see how you wish to position yourself. Then, you complete a brief detailing your business, who your target audience is, e.g., automotive or beauty, and where the logo will see service—online, in print, on signs, on television, or on mugs and T-shirts.
If a designer is to bring life to your idea, they will have to have a description that matches your vision as much as possible. You specify what logos you have liked in the past and supply any images that might help. It's best to specify the fonts, colors (although the logo will also have to work in black and white), size, and so forth that you desire. You don't want to be so unusual that potential customers fail to understand your brand. Logos can be minimal or complex, modern or classic, playful or serious, loud or subtle, and luxury or budget.
Beware of overused and stock logo designs. Overused designs will have less impact, while stock photos may cause legal problems due to copyright. You'll be hoping for something timeless because changes confuse people and reduce the face value of your brand. You certainly don't want to start off with a cheap logo and then change it time and again as your business expands.
Next, you set the length of the contest. The maximum is usually 10 days, although you may wish to exceed this, and a contest ends when you declare a winner. Shorter timeframes keep designers more involved. You also set the prize amount, with more designers being attracted by higher amounts. A prize of $200 is likely to attract at least 40 entrants while a prize of $1,000 will probably get more than 80. Some of the best designers will turn up their noses at lower award amounts. It's possible to find places that allow prizes of as little as $29, but this will entice few designers to enter and few will be of quality.
Traditional processes are slow. You'll tell a potential designer what you need, go to and fro a couple times to ensure that everybody is on the same page, and then wait patiently for some mockups. It can take from two to four weeks. With a logo contest, entries can come in within hours, and you rank the work and give more indepth feedback. Finally, you choose a logo design. This often constitutes the hardest stage of the process due to the number of great designs from which you make a selection.
Top 10 Best Logo Design Contest websites from around the world
60 Creative Logo Designs and Brilliant ideas for your inspiration
15 Best Custom Logo Design Services and Websites around the world