As a designer who sells readymade design templates, you’d think I’d be a fan of premade logos. As it happens, I’m really not – but don’t call me out as a hypocrite just yet… there are some pretty good reasons why. Read on to find out Why A Premade Logo Isn’t Good Enough For Your Business
You see, marketing materials like flyers and brochures – the likes of which I sell – have a limited lifespan. Once an ad campaign comes to an end, the content you’ve used is mostly gone forever.
On the other hand, a one-off flyer design is hardly the crux of your business’ image, and no matter how memorable the design may be, consumers will quickly forget.
So if another business in your local area happens to use the same design template (or, as is more likely, the same template-using designer) the chances of people noticing are slim to none. In fact, you’ll probably be the only person who does.
The same, however, cannot be said for off-the-shelf logos.
Logos are far more important. A good logo is the centerpiece of a business’ branding, and though periodically updated, their lifespan outweighs that of any other marketing asset.
Should you and another local business be caught using the same pre-made logo template, customers will surely notice. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In my opinion, there are far more fundamental issues with using logo templates, issues which extend far beyond a little red-faced embarrassment. Issues, even, that could impact the longevity of your business.
Shall we dig in? Here are 8 problems with using readymade logo templates:
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You Cannot Trademark a Logo Template
The trademark (™) and Registered ® symbols are used to signal that a word or graphic is being claimed by a specific company as trademarked.
Trademarking your business name and logo is key to protecting the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. Without a trademark, anyone can set up a similar business in your market and trade with the same name and branding assets.
This brings us to probably the biggest overall issue with premade logos: the fact that you cannot trademark them.
Whilst many premade logo templates will often meet visual requirements to be trademarked, you need to be the sole owner of the image to successfully apply.
When you ‘purchased’ the template from a design marketplace, you weren’t actually purchasing ownership of the graphic. You were simply purchasing a license to utilise it.
Shows a lack of investment in your brand
Purchasing a readymade logo template may seem like a cost-effective decision, especially in the early days of your business.
But over the long run, this lack of logo investment could cheapen your brand. If you are committed to your business, show it, and get behind your branding 100%.
Developing a custom logo may feel like a hefty expense right now, but it’ll pay dividends in years to come.
They’re just not as good!
As a professional designer myself, I can recognise off-the-shelf logos from a mile away.
They’re very generic (as they need to be applicable to as large an audience as possible), and they’re often churned out in the thousands by low-skilled designers.
If you really are scrimping and saving every penny, then so be it. But it’s important to understand your logo is not just there to identify your business. With just a glace in a crowded marketplace, your logo should tell a story to your customers, indicate your values and express the passion and energy you have for your products.
Unfortunately, a generic broadly-produced logo template will never be able to capture the highly subjective traits specific to your business, and it’ll show.
As we’ve said here before, a logo is a company’s unique visual identifier, it must be simple, memorable, versatile and timeless.
Unsavory businesses could sully your image
Any press is good press, right? Not so fast…
Imagine you flick on the 6 o’clock news to find your logo plastered all over the screen, only it’s not you being covered, it’s another company caught in some unscrupulous business.
This other company is receiving a huge amount of bad press for their criminal activities, but unfortunately, they share the same logo as you.
As far-fetched as this scenario may seem, it is a very real possibility for businesses that choose to use premade logo designs. There’s nothing to stop dodgy business people having the same logo and branding as you.
It’s never actually “yours”
One of the benefits of owning your own business versus working as an employee is the enormous satisfaction you get from being the owner.
Even through the hardest of times and frequent difficulties it takes to run a business, you can feel proud that you are the owner, and you make this business successful.
I would argue the same pride should be felt when you hand out your business card, but can you be proud of a brand that isn’t actually yours?
A brand you simply picked off the shelf, rather than delicately developed to be an exact representation of your values?
Logo templates are a temporary solution
As the age-old quote goes, “Buy Quality, Cry Once- Buy Cheap, Cry Forever”
As you’ll eventually need to invest in a unique logo, in my opinion, it’s better to get it done in the beginning. Logos can be forever, so even though the upfront cost may be more than a template, it won’t be wasted.
In fact, with a strong brand by your side from day one, you’ll likely increase customer recognition, credibility and potentially improve chances of success.
They’re often not designed by professional logo designers
A logo may seem like just a pretty graphic, but there’s actually quite a lot of planning goes into them. A logo should be responsive, scalable, suitable to be stitched, printed in black and white and used on packaging. It should be recognisable with just a glance, clean, simple and free of distraction.
Professional logo designers consider all these elements when creating a logo for a client. They research exactly how a logo will be used and ensure their work is a practical choice.
But when it comes to readymade templates, the logo’s designer has never met you, so the logo cannot possibly be tailored to your usage. Likewise, the designs are often quickly thrown together with little thought or care for how the logo will be used.
More often than not, off-the-shelf logo templates are just pretty graphics, and not actually a real logo.
From print to screen, big to small and in any colour imaginable. Professional logo designers work hard to ensure their designs can be used in a wide variety of situations.
The same can not often be said for templated logo designs. More often than not, a downloaded logo comes in one shape and size, with very little thought to how it’ll be used when extra small or extra large.
This is repeatedly problematic for business owners who need to place tiny logos at the bottom of products or marketing materials. With only one size and shape of your logo to work with, you’ll quickly run into problems.
Ready to invest in your logo?
After reading this post I’m sure you can see now why pre-made logos are bad for your business. Instead, choose a professional designer, like us here at The Logo Creative, and invest in a tailored-made solution for your brand.
But don’t just take our word for it, check out some of our testimonials and see for yourself!
Jen Smith is a Content Writer and Developer at Brandpacks. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.