As a blogger, I firmly believe in the power of the written word, but at the same time, I understand how big of an influence visuals have on a person’s impression of a website, product, or company. As such, deciding on a good logo is absolutely paramount. The problem with this is that it can easily cost you upwards of $1,000 to get a professional graphic artist to create a unique logo for your company. That’s no small sum. What is a small upstart business owner to do?
More Than Just Clip Art
In a nutshell, instead of hiring a graphic artist to create a logo from scratch, LogoStick lets you create a logo on your own for $99. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why would I pay them to do something myself?”
Well, it’s not like they leave you completely helpless. Instead, LogoStick has a simple (Flash-based?) tool that walks you step-by-step through the creative process, helping you build that logo from the ground up. It is completely online, so there are no downloads.
The logo creation tool consists of four parts:
- Select your profession: They’ve got nearly 50 different industries listed, so there’s a good chance that no matter what kind of business you run, they’ve got a template for you. The choices range from accountants to funeral homes. If you don’t find your industry listed, there is also a keyword search.
- Select your style/symbol: LogoStick was very careful to refer to the clip art as a group of “symbols” rather than “logos.” If you want something completely and utterly unique, then LogoStick might not be for you, because everyone using the service has access to the same set of symbols: it is entirely possible that another company may end up using an identical piece of clip art for their logo.
- Customize your logo: This is the meat and potatoes of LogoStick. With what appears to be a rudimentary version of PhotoShop, you move the symbol around, rotate it, change its size, and select its color. You can put up to two lines of text and they provide you with about four “recommended” fonts that pair up well with your industry and selected style/symbol (you can also click on the tab that’ll supply you with every font they have). Nearly everything is click and drag. One limitation is that you cannot flip or rotate the text.
- Preview/Buy: In order to save your logo for later viewing (to be stored in the Logo Locker), you will be required to create a free account. If you’re ready to buy, you will also need to create an account and plop down the $99 asking price.
For a video demonstration of how to make your own logo, check out the How It Works section.
Strengths and Limitations
I think that it’s excellent that LogoStick provides the full functionality of the logo creation tool to everyone, letting you get a feel for the interface and what’s available well before you ever have to give them your credit card number.
The interface is very intuitive and while moving from one step to another sometimes takes a few seconds (the loading can be annoying) and there are occasions when certain elements don’t work perfectly — the first time I used it, my text didn’t show up at all — all in all, it’s a powerful tool that ridiculously easy to use.
The concern that kept popping up in my head, though, was that I could probably do nearly the same thing in PhotoShop by simply grabbing some clip art and fun fonts. In fact, there is very little to stop a person from using the free tool and then simply doing “Print Screen”. All they would have to do is chop out the gridlines and the logo would be good to go. In this way, the site’s greatest strength may also be its greatest weakness. The other key limitation is that a lot of us aren’t artistically inclined, so we don’t know if we’re picking the “right” symbol and matching it up with the best possible font (though the suggested ones work quite well).
One suggestion would be to have a limited version of the tool readily available and only after you’ve at least signed up for a free account do you gain access to all the different fonts and symbols.
So, what can this tool do? I used it to create a logo for my freelance writing business and this is what I came up with. Yes, I know it’s very similar to what I have already, but I love this font.