Get a New Logo for $30

by Brian Blum on March 31, 2010

NameProsI want to let you in on one of my biggest – and most cost-saving – secrets. Did you notice the new logo I posted awhile back on this site – the colorful “Blum Interactive Media” with the interacting squares? Now take a look at the new logo I have on my personal blog – “This Normal Life.”

How much do you think I paid to have each of these logos designed? A reasonably priced graphic designer here in the Jerusalem area told me that to create a logo, I needed to conduct a full branding endeavor that would run a minimum of $700. From what I’ve seen, that’s actually pretty cheap in the world of corporate creative.

But I didn’t pay $700. Not even half of that. I paid only $30. How did I do it? I went to a website called NamePros. The site is mainly about buying and selling domain names, but there is a section in the bottom of third of the page called “Design Contests.”

Visually, the site is nothing to write home about – it’s essentially just a big bulletin board where you start a new topic and then people post their responses. But don’t let the simplicity fool you – this is a powerful tool.

Here’s how it works: you start a new “contest” by writing a description of what you’re looking for, including any specifics, such as dimensions, colors or concept. You indicate a price and a time frame – contests can run no longer than 10 days. Most are priced between $25-$50.

Designers then starting posting their ideas to the board. Now this is what’s key about NamePros: the logos are displayed for everyone to see – you and all future and current design competitors. The artists expect your feedback and then come back and post revised versions.

At the end of ten days, you could have dozens of different designs and their iterations. Some are amateurish, to be sure, but many are truly top quality. Posting on NamePros represents a radically different experience from other freelance design sites such as eLance where you have to pick a designer first before you see what they’ll come up with.

The one rule you have to follow: at the end of the contest, you must pick a winner and pay them, even if you haven’t received a design you really love. If you don’t ante up, you get banned from the site. But at $30, think of it as a couple of falafel rather than a major investment.

Where are the designers from? All around the world. I’ve had submissions from Malaysia to Maryland. My latest winner lives in Greece; before that, Pakistan.

Tip of the hat: I would never have known about NamePros if it were not for my friend and social media colleague Akiva Fuld. Thanks Akiva for saving me hundreds of dollars!

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