Sites Like Fiverr Are Great If...
I know both designers and design clients who are thrilled about the existence of uber-discounted design sites like Fiverr. Clients are excited because the implication is that they don't have to make a big investment in their logo or branding design. It's really a no-pressure situation. They can post their requirements and (fingers crossed) for a $5 fee, they get a "custom" logo. If they don't like the logo, they're only out $5. Or, in the case of one of my clients, $50 (when 10 different attempts at getting a custom logo failed). However, if you keep your expectations extremely low, then there's a chance you'll be happy with the outcome.
On the designer side, I know some graphic designers who love Fiverr, not because they sell their services through that marketplace, but because they get hired by frustrated clients to fix shoddy design work that was commissioned via sites like Fiverr. (Full disclosure: I don't know any designers who actually seek clients via Fiverr, primarily because they value their services and abilities too much to work for pennies.)
“When we looked at what was out there, we realized that there were options for people that were willing to work for as little as one cent...” —Micha Kaufman (co-founder of Fiverr)
Fiverr is probably a great fit for you if:
- You are absolutely and completely broke.
- You are not really invested in your business or brand.
- You feel you shouldn't have to invest extra money in creating a brand identity.
- You're absolutely content with stock logos "customized" with your name.
- You just don't know what you want.
What you're actually getting for the $5
When you pay Fiverr, or other discount design services, you're not really getting custom work. It’s only profitable for the designer if they spend as little time on your design as feasible. (If you're paying $5, that means they're probably spending no more than 5 minutes on your design). From a customer standpoint, that's probably not what you're hoping for.
In order to provide you with a logo design with as little time invested as possible, the graphic designer has to take advantage of pre-made logos. These usually come in design packs, and generally have 100s of already designed, generic logos at the ready. All the graphic designer then has to do is replace the generic text with your business, blog, or website name.
I will admit to having some of these design packs in my designer's toolbox, although I've never used them to create a logo. I usually incorporate them into larger one-off designs (like event posters or invitations) because sometimes they have nice little decorative elements that would take me far longer to create in my design software. It's the designer's version of clip-art.
These types of logos won't do much to boost your product recognition or help create your brand identity. In fact, the same template will probably be used to create numerous logos by a bevy of other designers (who also purchased that same logo pack).
In the end, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is a pretty good rule of thumb. Is it possible that you'll get a good discount logo design? Of course. It's just a question of whether you get that good design after you've paid $5, $50, or $150.
If your business is important to you, then don't skimp on the branding.
Design is an investment in innovative thinking, positioning, branding and communication that creates value for businesses in terms of competitive advantage, customer trust and loyalty, and market share. —the AIGA website