Logo Creation: Should I Pay Someone?

[FONT=“Verdana”]I’m currently creating a web site so that I can advertise myself as a dog walker to my local area. I’m still learning CSS and furthering my XHTML knowledge to do so. I already have a lot I’m dealing with right now with just CSS.

I’m thinking it might be best to pay someone to create a logo for me. I’m terrible at drawing. I need a logo with my website name and a graphic of a man walking a dog with it. What would you do if you were me? Tough it out and learn how to do it myself? This going to take time, though. I can’t even sketch on paper.

I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate to do like finishing this website. And then I need to start advertising. Or do you think it’s possible with the right tutorials that I can do this? I decided to learn CSS just so I wouldn’t have to pay a designer to do it. I also thought it would be good to further my web skills, maybe even one day be a web designer myself. But getting my own dog walking business up and running is first priorty right now. I have Photoshop CS3, but I’m at Beginner Level with it. If someone could please put me in the right direction with this I’d appreciate it.[/FONT]

You’re going to have to if you’re not good at using Photoshop.

You can do a log contest on a few webmaster forums: Digital Point or Sitepoint. You’d be surprised how talented webmasters on here are.

Logos are, I think, one of the most critical components of a business and yet they are often one of the most overlooked and underestimated. The fact that you are giving your logo so much thought and consideration leads me to believe that you do have an understanding of the importance of a logo in your branding. The logo will be everywhere, on everything you distribute. Business cards, flyers, letters, invoices, not to mention the website.

Here’s what I would suggest: If you are really set on giving it a try yourself, keep these things in mind: Photoshop is not the right tool for the job. Illustrator (or some other vector application) is ideal and will output the type of file that will work best in print. If you have any intentions of getting biz cards, flyers, brochures, etc., made, it will be very helpful to have your logo in a vector file format. Most printers prefer the EPS file format with CMYK color palette.

If you think you’re getting in over your head, pay someone to do it. But seriously hire and pay someone, don’t go buy a logo at a stock logo shop or run a design contest. You seem to have a pretty good idea in mind of what you want your logo to look like, and it’s clearly important to you. Don’t settle for an off-the-shelf design. Hire an experienced designer (which in some cases can be done for just a few hundred dollars) and have it done right.

Good luck to you! :slight_smile:

Thanks, mate. That seems to be what others suggest in the “logo” threads I searched on here. Is helix below me correct in that these logos are often subpar? Also, what do these kind of “contest” logos cost?

Thanks for the helpful advice, helix. That puts things in perspective. The only problem is, helix, is that it’s not in my budget to pay $300 for a logo. Paying that much is definitely out of the question right now. This is a small dog walking business and I will be working completely for myself. I don’t even know how well it is going to perform yet. If I can find them, I’ll take a look at some of the results of the logo contest designs. Any tips on how best to approach the “contest route” would be appreciated.

Do you have a picture in mind about what sort of logo? I mean, would would be happy with a silhouette of a person walking a dog?

One thing that’s pretty easy is to search the web for an image of a “person walking dog” and when you find one or more good ones, you can easily trace around it in Illustrator (or use the Live Trace button) and make yourself a nice simple logo. I agree with helix7 that Illustrator is a better tool for this job.

Of course, you will always get a better result getting a specialist to do the work for you (who also understands branding) but for your purposes this would be a good option.

Thanks for the suggestion, ralph. I will see what I can do. It would also be important to get the title of the website in with the logo I think. Hopefully I can find a tutorial on YouTube. Know of anything in particular off memory? I guess I could have a picture taken of my dog and I. I did general search earlier but didn’t quite find what I was looking for. The picture would have to have the dog walking alongside the human. Too many pictures show the dog way out in front of the human which is not my philosophy of good dog walking etiquette!

If you are serious about your business, then by all means - pay someone to do it for you. I’m a 3d illustrator and web designer, but I have paid logo designers in the past to come up with logos for some of my projects. It’s a very focused art, and there are people who live and breath this stuff. Pay them to worry about it while you focus on developing your business.

Yes, obviously the ideal is to get a specialist in, but if your budget is low, you can go a long way with the tools you have.

Yes, I should have mentioned taking your own photo. I have done a lot of silhouette illustrations for children’s books, and I often take a photograph and use that as the basis of the image. That way, you don’t have to search around for a random image. Maybe get a family member to do a photo shoot of you walking the dog. That will make it very authentic, and you can hopefully get the look you want. (Bring plenty of biscuits :wink: )

EDIT: ah, I don’t know of good tutes on this, but I just taught myself how to do it quickly as it’s very easy with Illustrator. If you get a nice shot, you could PM me and I could trace it for you.

I appreciate your comment, Norebbo. You are right about letting someone else “worry” about it. There’s so much else I need to do in the mean time.

I’ll have to take you up on your offer, ralph! I’ll see if I can get some pictures taken hopefully this week. Our dog is a small bichon-frise. One thing I had been searching for was a man walking his labrador. The labrador is the #1 dog breed here in America. As much as I’d like my dog to be in the logo, he may not be the best dog to target a wide-ranging audience. I may be overthinking this a little, I dunno.

Remember that you don’t have to get everything in one shot. A nice picture of a man/woman walking, and a nice picture of a dog walking can easily be combined. I usaully use a few separate images to get the one shape I like.

The problem with silhouettes is that you need clear outlines and usually sid-on shots. With dog walking, ideally you’d have the dog out in front… yet this is not necessarily good training, so you don’t want it to look unprofessional either. A dog at the feet might be better from that point of view, and a silhouette could handle that. Of course, you want animation too. Looks kinda boring if the dog is just standing there. Tricky.

Here are some random Google pics:


The labrador is the #1 dog breed here in America.

Not just there, I expect. We love 'em down here in Australia too. The closest thing to perfection, I say… :slight_smile:

Tons of established websites have just text logo.

If you find a logo with a nice font that you like then you can use this site to find what font it is:

Some great tutorial websites:

True, that is a good short-term solution. But probably not the best thing to do if your business becomes large and successful - you could be facing serious copyright infractions depending on which font is used.

Many of those text-only logos are actually often more difficult and time-consuming to produce. You’d be surprised how heavily letter shapes are modified in seemingly simple logo designs. Especially in fashion, clothing, jewelery. Look at text logos like Polo, Prada, David Yurman, Armani, CK, Gucci, etc.

Straight type unaltered and un-kerned isn’t going to look very good, regardless of the font.

Honestly, there are a lot of options out there to create a logo for you at an affordable price. I have NO problem sub-contracting out a graphic designer to help with my projects. If I cannot do it well enough, then I don’t want to mess with it.

For you, there are TONS of tutorials online that can help you learn Photoshop, if paying someone isn’t in your budget. It may take more time, but you will learn an excellent skill.

I can also give you a few links of online entities that do logo and graphic design. Myself and a few other friends have used them before and they are quite inexpensive and have yielded excellent results.

I would say that you HAVE to be able to pay someone for a logo if you are not able to create a professional looking one yourself. First impressions are everything. If I go to a site with a piss poor logo it turns me off immediately and I will likely look elsewhere.

What you need is a struggling freelancer with a bit of extra time on his hands to take a project that is smaller than his norm (read me) and work something out with him on a cost.


logo is a prestige of a company and logos don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you have graphic design skills, even minor ones (like me!), you can make your own logo. If you have a friend who’s a graphic designer, you may be able to sweet-talk your way into a lovely logo (The amount of sweet-talk depends on the rate your friend will give you, of course. Don’t rip anyone off!). Of course, you could always approach a traditional graphic designer that isn’t a friend. Depending on the designer, prices range from very reasonable to fairly pricey. If you like a designer’s style and how well they understand you and your business, it’s worth it to spend money on a good logo. It’s an investment in something that will often be the very first representation of you as a freelancer.

Advising someone to use a random image off Google sounds like copyright infringement to me. I wouldn’t recommend using another person’s image, even as a basis for outlining.

A simple text logo is okay as long as the rest of the website is designed, written and edited well.

Many sites thrive without great logos – Yahoo, Craigslist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC and many others.

Ideally, you want a great logo on a great website. But if you have no budget and are not good at logo design, just go with simplicity and do an attractive text-based logo. Be very visual in your design – you know, cute photos of cute dogs. That will tug at people’s heart strings more than a nice logo. For your business, you want to connect with potential clients in an emotional way, not just a factual way.


It boils down to this.

How often are you going to use the skills you learn while creating your own logo ?
Will it be often enough to offset the cost of having a professional do it ?

Before you hire a designer, or start making something on your own, consider the various stock photography sites and stock logo sites around. For instance, it took me less time to find this piece at iStockphoto which could work than it took me to type out this entire reply to your thread.

I’m terrible at drawing too and what I came up with was a simple solution and everyone loves it. I found a really interesting font and combined 2 letters from my name and used that. I tried about 15 different styles before settling on a logo. I can’t post links otherwise I’d show you, but it’s something to consider

If you are serious about your business, then by all means - pay someone to do it for you. I’m a 3d illustrator and web designer, but I have paid logo designers in the past to come up with logos for some of my projects. It’s a very focused art, and there are people who live and breath this stuff. Pay them to worry about it while you focus on developing your business