Monday, February 3, 2014

DIY Web Logos, Design, and Artwork

Having someone design a great logo for your company or firm can be expensive and time-consuming, but looking professional is crucial for any business.

However, you may not need a huge budget to make your website look good and professional, just a few minutes... or hours, depending on how involved you want to get.

Online services can range from free to fee-based models, with prices ranging from the mid $20s to $100 based on many factors.

Since my blog is new, I felt I needed to get rid of the text banner and have a more artistic design created, so I posted my job requirements on elance.com and, in a matter of a few hours, I had about 15 proposals with quotes ranging from around $20 to $70, even though my job clearly stated that I was willing to accept bids in the $20 to $30 range.

The ones that exceeded my budget were easily eliminated, which left about a dozen or so designers willing to do the job for the allotted amount.

Since I had no clear idea of what I wanted, I asked for simple submissions of ideas so I could narrow down the field and get the job started. Well, out of the twelve designers only two responded stating that they would send me some ideas, while another replied that he had some amazing designs ready but I had to award the job to him. I promptly deleted that one since I did not want to play games.

The remaining two did not send me anything, even though they had a couple of days to submit their ideas, so I just cancelled the job and decided to look for an alternative.

Yes, the budget was pretty low for "serious" designers to participate, so I searched the web for other services and came across hundreds (maybe thousands) of services where I could do my own design using online tools.

First I played with CoolText which is very easy to use.


I then gave Flaming Text and LogotypeMaker a try.

 


Logotype Maker offers several free designs, but since I was willing to spend up to $30 for a blog header logo or banner, I decided to take advantage of some of the design elements they offer and settled for a nice-looking custom design I came up with which cost $25.

I paid via PayPal for the final design (which can be edited further after the fact, if so desired), and downloaded both PNG and JPG versions of the logo, which, as you can see, I am using for my blog.

Total time spent designing this very basic image was approximately 20 minutes, which is nothing if you need a cool-looking image and don't have the time to wait for someone to do the work for you.

Some of the free services are great for creating buttons or headlines for websites, and depending on how proficient you are with photo-editing programs such as Photoshop or PaintShop, you can also use for designing ads, banners, and more.

Anyway, hope this info can give you ideas as to what you can do yourself if you are on a tight budget or pressed for time.