Recently I came across an Irish website called tweak.com where customers can buy logos and brochure templates online. Quick and easy – you pick an image, insert your company name, pay and you can download your logo. Or you buy a PDF for a brochure or newsletter and just insert the text.
A lot has been written about crowdsourcing, templates and instant online logo creators. I have to admit - it looks tempting to someone who just started a business on a low budget. It might be the right thing for someone who doesn't care about longterm strategies and solid brand building. But using these services can have serious consequences.
Just a few thoughts:
How sure can you be that one of your competitors doesn't buy the same logo / brochure / newsletter?
Did you know that you can't trademark a logo that has been created through that website?
How sure can you be that the logo ideas, which are sold on this or other crowdsourcing websites are unique enough to prevent any legal trouble later down the track?
Are your copywriting skills so good that your brochure will stand out? That it can sit next to the same brochure (with all the same colours and the same images) at a business event? Only that the other brochure is for a completely different company? Or worse – your competitor?
How good are your marketing skills that you can change a generic brochure template into a personalised and effective marketing tool?
Can you afford to spend hours online to go through all templates, download the template, insert your copy which you've written earlier, find a printer and deal with the printer?
Or do you prefer to work on your business and leave the rest to specialists? And use your spare time on the weekend for nicer things?
I've used the word 'customer' in the first paragraph on purpose, because customers buy off the shelf or from a catalogue.
Clients get into a meaningful working relationship with their designers and marketing professionals. That relationship is not a one way street, but a dialogue and work in progress. Professional designers know their clients' businesses and their marketing and advertising needs. They know the market and last but not least they know how professional design can help their clients to grow their business.
It's not about costs, it's about investment.