Google Doesn’t Understand Professional Logo Design

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Google

Trying to find a professional logo designer via Google search is an absolute mine field. Why? Because, these days everybody SAYS they are a professional logo designer. However, often nothing could be further from the truth.

The Google algorithm doesn’t understand professional logo design.

Many of the self-proclaimed “professional logo design” firms that you find at the top of the Google search results may design logos, but how professional are they really?

Do they understand professional logo design or are they just logo design farms who have become experts in search engine manipulation?

So What is a Professional Logo Designer Anyway?

Someone who claims to do professional logo design should have a well thought out logo design process. Through this process, they will take the time to understand the requirements of a business and design a logo that effectively communicates the desired message to the target market. They should also understand the principles of good logo design.

However, that is not what Google thinks…

What is Google’s Opinion?

If you type into Google search “Logo Design” or “Professional Logo Design”, what do you see?

The results display hundreds of logo design companies, all claiming to be professional logo designers. The problem is that many most of them, for the lack of a better term, are full of shit.

They suck clients in with spin like “unlimited concepts”, “unlimited revisions”, and “money back guarantee”. They then present clients with a range of fancy sounding package options with names like “Gold”, “Elite”, and “Ultra”. The deals always seem too good to be true.

We all know what they say about deals that seem too good to be true…

While the deals may sound appealing to some, the likely-hood of these companies pulling off a professional logo design is very slim. Why? Well, it is all in their process, or lack thereof to be exact.

Now I am sure that some of these companies do acceptable work, especially if they have their own in-house design team or a close-nit team of freelancers. However, it is a growing trend for many to outsource their work to developing countries, and that is when quality usually goes out the door.

Here is how they work.

They take the client’s money and have them complete a logo design brief that would be near impossible to extract any useful information from. I refer to these as token-briefs. The brief is then forwarded to one of their “design partners” in India or the Philippines – whichever is cheaper at the time. The design work is then slapped together by some guy who is likely to be getting paid $3 an hour, if they are lucky. He/she will have little experience, no formal training, and no understanding of the business and target market that the logo is being designed for.

That is NOT professional logo design.

How Can Clients Find Good Logo Designers?

With Google being unable to determine what a professional logo designer is, many clients are being steered down the wrong path when choosing a logo designer.

Considering that fact, what should clients do? What is the most effective way for a clients to find a professional logo designer today?

Update: Davd Airey has chimed in with his viewpoint on the topic with a brilliantly written post titled The folly of logo design SEO.

Photo by Aray Chen

  • http://www.processedidentity.com/ Steve Zelle

    Posts like yours help to raise awareness about what clients can expect from these logo farms. As with most things, education is key to our potential clients understanding what we bring to the table. The biggest issue I encounter is the misunderstanding that the logo is what clients are paying for. It is not. The logo is a result, the tip of the iceberg. They are paying for appropriateness, longevity, usability, consistency and the building of a visual brand. They are paying for knowledge and experience and that never comes in the same package as ‘unlimited’ or ‘ultra’.

    (I have to plug Processed Identity :-) , a site dedicated to the creative process of logo design — another great way for designers to share and promote the value of what we do. http://www.processedidentity.com/)
    .-= Steve Zelle´s last blog ..Using Mind Maps to Provide Creative Direction =-.

  • http://www.processedidentity.com/ Steve Zelle

    Posts like yours help to raise awareness about what clients can expect from these logo farms. As with most things, education is key to our potential clients understanding what we bring to the table. The biggest issue I encounter is the misunderstanding that the logo is what clients are paying for. It is not. The logo is a result, the tip of the iceberg. They are paying for appropriateness, longevity, usability, consistency and the building of a visual brand. They are paying for knowledge and experience and that never comes in the same package as ‘unlimited’ or ‘ultra’.

    (I have to plug Processed Identity :-) , a site dedicated to the creative process of logo design — another great way for designers to share and promote the value of what we do. http://www.processedidentity.com/)
    .-= Steve Zelle´s last blog ..Using Mind Maps to Provide Creative Direction =-.

  • http://leightonhubbell.com Leighton Hubbell

    I agree with Steve.

    Posts like these need to be out there for the many hard-working folks innocently looking for a good, qualified logo designer. Hopefully, this will help provide a bit more awareness about the ‘underbelly’ of some of these packaged logo mills. Thanks.
    .-= Leighton Hubbell´s last blog ..My t-shirt gallery on Zazzle.com =-.

  • http://leightonhubbell.com Leighton Hubbell

    I agree with Steve.

    Posts like these need to be out there for the many hard-working folks innocently looking for a good, qualified logo designer. Hopefully, this will help provide a bit more awareness about the ‘underbelly’ of some of these packaged logo mills. Thanks.
    .-= Leighton Hubbell´s last blog ..My t-shirt gallery on Zazzle.com =-.

  • http://www.gmsuchy.com gerry suchy

    Duane,

    As always your observations are spot on regarding the bottom feeders. As I’m sure you know they don’t just confine their sweat shop outsourcing to logo design. T I don’t think these sweatshops are going away and will most likely proliferate. I think that the best and most efficient way to combat this is by educating the client base through whatever means we have available. This is not to say that for some potential clients the bottom line will always be the lowest price, quality be damned but do you really want these people as clients anyway. On the upside, I’ve worked with clients who have been disappointed by the sweatshop boutiques and are then willing to be educated and pay for what they need. I’d be interested in knowing if and how your readers go about educating the client base.

    Take Care
    Gerry

  • http://www.gmsuchy.com gerry suchy

    Duane,

    As always your observations are spot on regarding the bottom feeders. As I’m sure you know they don’t just confine their sweat shop outsourcing to logo design. T I don’t think these sweatshops are going away and will most likely proliferate. I think that the best and most efficient way to combat this is by educating the client base through whatever means we have available. This is not to say that for some potential clients the bottom line will always be the lowest price, quality be damned but do you really want these people as clients anyway. On the upside, I’ve worked with clients who have been disappointed by the sweatshop boutiques and are then willing to be educated and pay for what they need. I’d be interested in knowing if and how your readers go about educating the client base.

    Take Care
    Gerry

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  • http://imjustcreative.com Graham Smith

    Just this last few days I have felt despair at the lengths these so called Professional Logo Designers suck up ALL the slots in Google, leaving designers like you and me,struggling not to become totally invisible to potential new clients.

    It is certainly a bad situation for experienced and genuine logo designers. I have read a few articles on how they achieve such prominent positioning for these search terms and it’s a seemingly impossible fight to win. Unless you yourself go down the route of these less than honorable methods.

    Not sure what the answer is frankly, paid Google add words are just way to expensive, at least for me to keep up on a regular basis. Even though I consider my site to be Google friendly and I blog frequently, finding me on Google is a depressing affair. The only search time I come up trumps for is ‘freelance logo designer’, actually come usually in top 3 places. But who searches typically for ‘freelance logo designer’, not that many I am sure.

    Good post in any case, and I will be linking back to it from my website if this is OK with you, maybe if other ‘logo designers’ such as you and me can spread these ‘word’, we can create a cataclysmic shift in balance. OK, I am dreaming, but maybe some good could come out of it.

    Graham
    .-= Graham Smith´s last blog ..Identity Guidelines for Wavepulse Acoustics Logo =-.

  • http://imjustcreative.com Graham Smith

    Just this last few days I have felt despair at the lengths these so called Professional Logo Designers suck up ALL the slots in Google, leaving designers like you and me,struggling not to become totally invisible to potential new clients.

    It is certainly a bad situation for experienced and genuine logo designers. I have read a few articles on how they achieve such prominent positioning for these search terms and it’s a seemingly impossible fight to win. Unless you yourself go down the route of these less than honorable methods.

    Not sure what the answer is frankly, paid Google add words are just way to expensive, at least for me to keep up on a regular basis. Even though I consider my site to be Google friendly and I blog frequently, finding me on Google is a depressing affair. The only search time I come up trumps for is ‘freelance logo designer’, actually come usually in top 3 places. But who searches typically for ‘freelance logo designer’, not that many I am sure.

    Good post in any case, and I will be linking back to it from my website if this is OK with you, maybe if other ‘logo designers’ such as you and me can spread these ‘word’, we can create a cataclysmic shift in balance. OK, I am dreaming, but maybe some good could come out of it.

    Graham
    .-= Graham Smith´s last blog ..Identity Guidelines for Wavepulse Acoustics Logo =-.

  • http://roksbe.com/?p=63 Roksan

    I wouldn’t really blame Google in this, whenever you have a system in place, there will always be the people jumping at the chance to abuse it, or manipulate it to their benefit – This is as true for real life situations as it is for virtual reality.

    But I am always baffled by people who call themselves designers, and particularly logo designers, who have no concept of design and are just trying to make a quick buck. It’s the same as hack tattoo artists, who would rather take everyone and anyone’s money rather than produce quality work. In both fields, what you produce, THAT’S your advert.

    The design is like a permanent billboard of your work; wherever that logo and tattoo may be, if someone asks who made it, and they will, whether it be very good or very bad, that’s the reputation that you will develop.

    Yes, with the internet, it’s easy to churn out a 100 shitty logos for a 100 small companies and the overall ramifications to your business stay small, but if those 100 businesses have shown it to at least 100 people who where also considering getting a logo, but have a better concept of what they want/need and who their target audience is, then they’ve just lost a shitload of potential customers.

    Without the designer knowing exactly what the client wants and who he is targeting, the logo can never come out good. Most of the time it just looks like someone chucked clip art together (which sometimes they do).

    I understand the benefit of it to people in developing countries, since they get work out of it, and good for them, but for the actual companies… why would you set out to do business in a way that will get you a daily trashing on the internet by other designers, which means when people google your company name, they’ll see all the negatives, as well as seeing what’s wrong with your work.

  • http://roksbe.com/?p=63 Roksan

    I wouldn’t really blame Google in this, whenever you have a system in place, there will always be the people jumping at the chance to abuse it, or manipulate it to their benefit – This is as true for real life situations as it is for virtual reality.

    But I am always baffled by people who call themselves designers, and particularly logo designers, who have no concept of design and are just trying to make a quick buck. It’s the same as hack tattoo artists, who would rather take everyone and anyone’s money rather than produce quality work. In both fields, what you produce, THAT’S your advert.

    The design is like a permanent billboard of your work; wherever that logo and tattoo may be, if someone asks who made it, and they will, whether it be very good or very bad, that’s the reputation that you will develop.

    Yes, with the internet, it’s easy to churn out a 100 shitty logos for a 100 small companies and the overall ramifications to your business stay small, but if those 100 businesses have shown it to at least 100 people who where also considering getting a logo, but have a better concept of what they want/need and who their target audience is, then they’ve just lost a shitload of potential customers.

    Without the designer knowing exactly what the client wants and who he is targeting, the logo can never come out good. Most of the time it just looks like someone chucked clip art together (which sometimes they do).

    I understand the benefit of it to people in developing countries, since they get work out of it, and good for them, but for the actual companies… why would you set out to do business in a way that will get you a daily trashing on the internet by other designers, which means when people google your company name, they’ll see all the negatives, as well as seeing what’s wrong with your work.

  • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

    @Steve Zelle No problem with you plugging Processed Identity Steve. Terrific site. I always recommend people read your article “My Clients are Paying for the Process First and the Logo Second”.

    @Leighton Hubbell More awareness definitely is what we need.

    @Gerry Suchy Education can go a very long way. I agree that I think the trend in outsourcing design to India is likely to continue to grow and proliferate. I think this will create a distinct advantage for clients whom have had their logo designed by a reputable professional.

    @Graham Smith Trying to increase viability in Goggle is a frustrating experience, especially when some of the sites up the top of the rankings are engaging in what I would deem unethical practices.
    The number one ranking site in Australia for the search term “logo design” openly advertises that they pay freelancers 20% of the project cost to the client to design a logo. That is deplorable – and is reflected in the quality of their work. It does not stop them from getting a steady stream of clients however.
    I really don’t have a problem with outsourcing some design work with freelancers. But, you really must know who is doing the work and pay them properly. You also must keep tight reigns on your process and quality control.

  • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

    @Steve Zelle No problem with you plugging Processed Identity Steve. Terrific site. I always recommend people read your article “My Clients are Paying for the Process First and the Logo Second”.

    @Leighton Hubbell More awareness definitely is what we need.

    @Gerry Suchy Education can go a very long way. I agree that I think the trend in outsourcing design to India is likely to continue to grow and proliferate. I think this will create a distinct advantage for clients whom have had their logo designed by a reputable professional.

    @Graham Smith Trying to increase viability in Goggle is a frustrating experience, especially when some of the sites up the top of the rankings are engaging in what I would deem unethical practices.
    The number one ranking site in Australia for the search term “logo design” openly advertises that they pay freelancers 20% of the project cost to the client to design a logo. That is deplorable – and is reflected in the quality of their work. It does not stop them from getting a steady stream of clients however.
    I really don’t have a problem with outsourcing some design work with freelancers. But, you really must know who is doing the work and pay them properly. You also must keep tight reigns on your process and quality control.

  • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

    @Graham Smith Of course I don’t mind a link back to this article. Thank you :)

  • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

    @Graham Smith Of course I don’t mind a link back to this article. Thank you :)

  • http://www.visionvirtuelle.ca Adam Sofineti

    I think that Google is easy to be fooled, that’s why in many domains, not just for logo design, there are really crappy websites and even crappier companies that are ranking high.

    The sad part is, the fact to be on page 1 of Google, gives a lot of unfounded credibility.

    I see the same happening with social media too; these are all tools that can be and are used and abused.

    @Steve Zelle @gerry suchy
    I don’t believe in educating a potential client. Do you think a guy that starts a business and needs a logo will start educating himself about proper logo design? He has biggest worries, or at least he thinks the logo is a less important part of his start-up.

    You can only educate someone who got to your website or your blog, or even better actually met you. Happy customers can bring you more quality business than Google or your blog.

    @Graham Smith
    I don’t know if this will reconcile you, but I’m a regular reader of your blog, I found it trough Twitter and not Google.

    Maybe if you slash the “freelance” from your targeted keywords and rather replace it with the geographic area you are targeting, you might have more success to rank higher for people that would like to meet you in flash.
    .-= Adam Sofineti´s last blog ..Windows Mobile Development =-.

  • http://www.visionvirtuelle.ca Adam Sofineti

    I think that Google is easy to be fooled, that’s why in many domains, not just for logo design, there are really crappy websites and even crappier companies that are ranking high.

    The sad part is, the fact to be on page 1 of Google, gives a lot of unfounded credibility.

    I see the same happening with social media too; these are all tools that can be and are used and abused.

    @Steve Zelle @gerry suchy
    I don’t believe in educating a potential client. Do you think a guy that starts a business and needs a logo will start educating himself about proper logo design? He has biggest worries, or at least he thinks the logo is a less important part of his start-up.

    You can only educate someone who got to your website or your blog, or even better actually met you. Happy customers can bring you more quality business than Google or your blog.

    @Graham Smith
    I don’t know if this will reconcile you, but I’m a regular reader of your blog, I found it trough Twitter and not Google.

    Maybe if you slash the “freelance” from your targeted keywords and rather replace it with the geographic area you are targeting, you might have more success to rank higher for people that would like to meet you in flash.
    .-= Adam Sofineti´s last blog ..Windows Mobile Development =-.

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  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    You know what, I love the design of this site. :) Totally off topic but whatever.
    .-= Douglas Bonneville´s last blog ..Tear down: How to create a pulsing button using Fireworks and Flash =-.

  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    You know what, I love the design of this site. :) Totally off topic but whatever.
    .-= Douglas Bonneville´s last blog ..Tear down: How to create a pulsing button using Fireworks and Flash =-.

  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    I love David’s acerbic, dry manner in which he trashes his “logo design” victims. Hey, they had it coming. When will these guys give it a rest?
    .-= Douglas Bonneville´s last blog ..Tear down: How to create a pulsing button using Fireworks and Flash =-.

  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    I love David’s acerbic, dry manner in which he trashes his “logo design” victims. Hey, they had it coming. When will these guys give it a rest?
    .-= Douglas Bonneville´s last blog ..Tear down: How to create a pulsing button using Fireworks and Flash =-.

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  • http://enterprise.bluefrontier.co.uk Rob

    Yes, this is true but could this not be the same with any business activity searched for in Google?

  • http://enterprise.bluefrontier.co.uk Rob

    Yes, this is true but could this not be the same with any business activity searched for in Google?

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  • robert neisworth

    Great site. I like the conversational tone, and the layout. Good posts also.

  • robert neisworth

    Great site. I like the conversational tone, and the layout. Good posts also.

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  • http://twitter.com/salvatier Dennis Salvatier

    Great post, man. Unfortunately for me, I was working on a post almost exactly like this, so now I gotta find a new spin on it. Thanks! 😉

  • James Gurera

    This is really fantastic blog as google does’nt understands the professional logo design. But logo makes the brand value. I likes the layout for this post.

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