If there’s one thing I’ll say about logo design sites, it’s this: they definitely realize there’s more than one way to skin a cat. As I can count them, I’ve checked out logo design sites with the following strategies and approaches:
- General freelancing sites connecting freelance designers with people who need logos
- Logo design sites where they employ the designers and charge you a flat fee
- Graphic designers’ professional sites
- Crowd sourcing sites like Crowdspring
But LogoMaker takes the “none of the above” approach, instead putting the .PNG file in your own hands and advertising itself as a “free” logo maker where the deed is of your own doing. I’m always enticed by the promise of something free, so I have to give it to this little site: I’m intrigued. And if you’re reading this, there’s a chance you are, too.
So let’s dig into the inner workings of LogoMaker and see if the quality matches the promise. Because if it does, you can be on your way to creating quick logos for web sites without so much as a hint of hiring a professional designer on your own. I’m skeptical, you’re skeptical; let’s see if LogoMaker wins us over.
First Things First: How Are the Logos?
Before we get off the beaten path with questions about usability, interface, price, and a bucketload of other details and concerns, we have to ask the proper question first: just how good are the logos you can create?
Well, it took me about two seconds to get started with one for a company I dubbed “Clickfire Motors,” and you can see the results – along with the basic design interaction – below:
Not too shabby, huh? The fonts are clean and nice and the cookie-cutter templates are pretty attractive and really do look like professionals built them – probably because they did. Of course, this means that other people will be able to use the same essential logo designs as you are and if you’re going for a much more unique experience, LogoMaker is probably not going to be your logo maker of choice. What can I say? Standing out from the crowd comes at a price.
Building a Logo Yourself
You’re not coming to LogoMaker – or a LogoMaker review, for that matter – unless you’ve got logo needs in a hurry. You know, something cheap and quick you can build that will eventually be taken over by a much more professional, customized option. If LogoMaker excels at one thing, it’s building those “holding place” logos for your web site that look good enough for now but that you’ll eventually want to replace with something more representative of your true brand.
Is that surprising? It shouldn’t be; LogoMaker is free to try out, after all, and you’re not going to get the total top-notch goods in any field without paying something in exchange. And since the service is initially free, it definitely merits a quick once-over so you can be sure LogoMaker isn’t where you should start. Especially if you’re someone just starting out yourself, like a freelancer, budding entrepreneur, or someone setting up a business on the side.
And besides, LogoMaker is just fun to use because you get to play graphic designer for a little bit. Sure, it’s design-by-boilerplate, but hey, I get to pretend I’m an artist for a little while. That’s worth zero dollars, no?
Is It Really Free?
Speaking of the low price, there are a number of advantages LogoMaker holds over the other guys. I just mentioned that LogoMaker is best-suited for any freelancer or entrepreneur starting out. But it’s also a great way to accomplish a number of other things.
For example, let’s say you’re still proposing a business idea to a potential partner. And when you give him a formal business proposal, you attach your free LogoMaker logo on top of the letterhead. Ingenius move, right? Of course. And it’s something you just can’t get with the paid guys, unless you want to pay for that sort of thing.
But wait for it: I’ve got some bad news.
That whole “free” thing only lasts until you decide to actually use your logo. That’s right: you have to buy your own logo for $49 once you’re done designing it.
It’s weak sauce, I know. And nothing really turns me off of LogoMaker than that. Forget the “ingenius move” mentioned above. Forget all of the plans you had of creating easy, free logos for your business cards, scattering the cards around the room, and making a business card angel. The whole thing turns out to be a bit of an empty promise.
Is $49 cheap for a logo? Yes. But I’ve paid $50 for my own logo project and it was handled by a professional who custom-tailored it to me (my source: Elance.) The one extra dollar is worth it, and it blows LogoMaker’s cookie-cutter demands out of the water.
Throughout this review we’ve both gone on a journey; we were initially excited about the prospect of easy logos that abandoned the typical crowd sourcing method many others have employed.
We accepted LogoMaker’s faults and even made excuses for the boilerplates. But ultimately, it’s LogoMaker’s absurd demand of $49 for a logo you designed that makes us end this review on a sad note. Two out of five stars. How did it come to this?
Pretty simply, actually: price is one of the most important factors when considering where to go with your logo. And if you want cheap, it’s not hard to find both cheap and unique if you know how to look for it. Heck, you could spring for a $200 design at a site like 99 Designs and feel every penny over $49 was worth the extra options you had. LogoMaker, I’m disappointed in you.
Still, that shouldn’t prevent you from trying out their easy logo design interface and having a little fun. Downloading the logo will cost you, of course, but being able to create a custom logo that quickly does have its own appeal. It’s just not a professional appeal – it’s all about entertainment value.