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So, as promised, today I am going to focus my blog on sharing my experiences of logo design with you all.  Given I still don’t actually have a logo this does feel a little premature but I’ve certainly learnt lots about getting one so here goes:

So I started off the journey (I thought rather cleverly) by going through lots of websites identifying logos that I like as a starting point to understanding what I want.  I came up with quite a few, though by far and away my favourite was on a kids clothing website called www.loveitloveitloveit.co.uk.  My first step was to contact the lady who’s logo it was to enquire about her designer.  Unfortunately I was told he has since left the logo design company and now designs phone aps. To be fair this is probably no bad thing as obviously I want my logo to be my own and not a rip off of something that has already been created.  This led me on to investigate the various routes to logo design and some of their pitfalls.  This list is by no means comprehensive but it should give you a flavour of some of you options if you are looking to do something similar

1)      Find a local logo designer and ask them to do the work.  I had some great feedback from a lady who did this and had a pretty miserable experience.  The cost is invariable anything from £100 to £300 and this ady agreed to pay £150 to a logo design company who promised endless revisions until she was happy with it or her money back.  After countless cycles where both parties completely failed to communicate / understand what was required a huge amount of time had been spent and there was still no logo.  The lady happened to be complaining about it to a friend who said ‘so you want this’ and drew exactly what she was after on the back of a napkin.  The lady was thrilled, the friend did it for free as a favour but the lady still ended up paying the original company as it turned out their ‘you get your money back if you don’t like it’ was only the case if ‘they hadn’t spent too much time’, and in this case they felt they had already invested more than enough.  This is obviously very tricky and I have sympathy with both sides but the fact remains it was pretty much a tale of woe.  The moral of the story in this case seems to be, paying one designer unless you are very sure their work is right for you can be risky

2)      Use crowd sourcing.  For those of you (like myself) who are new to this world of on-line opportunities, crowd sourcing sites (the top two I was recommended in this case were http://www.designcrowd.com/how-it-works and https://99designs.co.uk/ ) enable you to enter your design request online and then it gets published out to multiple designers from across the globe who will each create examples for you until you find the logo you want at which point you pay your money and purchase the rights and files.  Now this does seem a great route.  The challenge I have is that it isn’t cheap (circa £200 – £250) which as a very small start-up selling a product with pretty low margins (especially when you bear in mind all of the others costs such as a website, legal documents etc) suddenly means that it doesn’t look quite so attractive.  Based on this I have nominated this my last resort choice and will only go down it if all else fails

3)      Use http://fiverr.com.  This was an entirely new site to me, but I would encourage you to go on and have a look as it is pretty fascinating (I lost a whole hour just browsing it!).  Basically the premise is that people from around the globe offer their (in many case somewhat dubious!) services for $5!  On my little search I came across a cute Russian girl who will hold up your company sign for $5, a man who will write your Christmas message using golf balls (!?) a crazy irish man who will do you a voice over for $5 and the list just goes on.  I found this site through an article which said that for the price you would be crazy not to at least give it a go and I figured ‘hell why not’.  So I have employed ‘Shaggi1’ (I know I know!) who I communicate with virtually and who is working on my logo.  His English is pretty dodgy so goodness knows where he is working from but to be fair for $5 he has produced 2 logos.  Once again his service offers endless revisions until I am happy (God knows how he would make money if he actually did this).  The challenge is that whilst his logos are by no means awful (see pics) they are certainly not what I was after (I don’t mind the font but I’m not sure the bizarre looking elephants will help my high end toy brand!) and now I am asking for revisions he is rather absent from my virtual world.  Oh well, for the experience alone he has been worth $5 and I am also now very clear on what I don’t want which is in itself a bonus

4)      Finally you find a friend!  Here I am in luck as it just so happens that my lovely nephew is a budding entrepreneur himself and is doing a bit of logo work on the side of school.  He has offered his services for free and so he is currently having a go for me.  If it doesn’t work out then it will be back to crowd sourcing and I will have to swallow the fee but again its worth a go

I think that pretty much showcases the options (though if I have missed anything, please do shout).  As soon as I have something you will be the first to know lovely audience.

The only other thing to report is that my network is working fabulously.  Yesterday I had an hour with the guys who brought mini micro scooters to the UK (if you are a parent you know exactly who they are.  If not then they the reason that crazy children mow you down on the pavement the whole time!).  Their story was fascinating and they have shared lots of top tips for success and offered to be an ongoing source of mentoring so all in all a fantastic meeting and some very lovely people.  Off out again tonight to find out all about the world of ‘big name buyers’ from a friend of a friend.  Once again, I cannot recommend maximising your network enough!