Need a basic logo design for under $10

Need a basic logo design for under $10

Need a basic logo design for under $10

Just as a quick experiment, we tweeted about the graphic above and documented the reactions. The tweet said “Is the graphic bad enough or can we make it worse?” And the reactions were mind-boggling.

For the purpose of simplicity, I will refer to design in general as logo design.

To everyone looking to get logo designs for under/around $10: Why do you value your requirement so low?

Of course, you can get a certain logo design for under/around $10, either by a design student, or by someone who thinks of himself as a designer, or someone who knows photoshop (cliche). Chances are that’s what you require too.

My question is… why would you waste those $10 as well? Get yourself a trial copy of photoshop and make the logo yourself.

Trust me, it’s going to be just as good and FREE!

Value the experience

I understand that as a startup, one will mostly be short of funds and that is fair, completely!

At the same time, you need to understand that one can’t bargain on intangible value additions such as experience.

Will you go to a jeweler and ask to buy a piece of gold jewelry for $10, whose real value is more than $10,000, just because you’re a startup? I doubt that!

Will you agree with me if I say experience is as good as gold?
It cannot be created overnight!
(When I say gold, I’m also counting other precious metals like silver, platinum etc.)

Design comes from knowledge, practice, experience and NOT just knowledge itself. 

A great designer might be able to give your company a new identity in the next 10 minutes. But he must have spent many years in the field, with countless number of practiced projects, sleepless nights and numerous cups of coffee. How would one value that?

When Picasso explained the value of experience

Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him. “It’s you — Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”

So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.

“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied. “B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”

To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”


I have two quick suggestions for startups:

  1. Either don’t bother about design at the very start. Focus on selling. (I’m saying that as a designer & entrepreneur)
  2. If you do bother about design, stop undervaluing your requirements and demeaning the value addition which design brings to the table.

Am I saying that startups that cannot afford an experienced designer should not bother about design?

Not at all! If I have it my way, I would want every individual (and startup) to notice and understand the value of Logo Design. My request is to stop undervaluing it!

Is there a solution?

Sure, there are many! And their application will differ in situation and requirement.

Taking the same gold example, I have known people who will not buy fake jewelry. Instead, they invest in savings, to be able to own a gold piece.

  1. So may be, you could initiate without design application and invest later in applying design, the right way.
  2. Alternatively, bring some value addition to the table, if not hard cash. The value additions could be equity options, barter of services and more.
  3. Pay in parts – where a part of the total sum is paid as advance and remaining sum in parts, divided over next few months.

We hope this is helpful to both designers and the startups/individuals requiring their services. We’re open to a discussion in the comments below. Awaiting to read your reactions, comments and suggestions.

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About the Author:

Himanshu Khanna is the founder of Pixelonomics and a senior designer at Sparklin. If you’d like to connect with him, follow him on Twitter: @SparklinGuy

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. We live in a world where we can measure only the tangible items not the intangibles. Even if you pay 400$ who can assertain the logo’s worth is 400$ and not say 250$? This thought process is the idea behind Picasso’s answer. 
    W.R.T the article you’ve hit the bulls-eye on start ups requiring their logo’s for so cheap. Better nothing than nonsense right?  

    • Anonymous

      IMHO some of the tangible items have no fixed value assigned to them For example, how much a certain apple product cost is not defined or fixed just because the item is intangible.

      For logo design (or any other design) the value has a certain bracket based on various other factors such as research costs etc. In both cases, apple and design, the pay is worth the price (mostly).

      Yes, I do believe in the idea of better nothing than nonsense!

  • pallavi malviya

    Very well articulated Himanshu! 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Pallavi!

  • alekhya rao

    Well Written article. Valuing requirement low is for sure not good but valuing your work is a bigger no no. If you are good at something, then doing something for less value and consequently doing a job below your talent level is like putting yourself and your worth down. I guess when designers get approached by such requests,they can themselves suggest something that can work out for everyone which isn’t valued less. I might be wrong in thinking this, but it’s just my opinion. 

    P.S : loved the Picasso story. Perfect example in this context :)

  • Amit Das

    I love the header graphic used for this post. Perfection!
    Anyway, nice article on how designers/ vendors are often approached by start-ups or even established clients to get them assets designed for 10 dollars. Most of the times, clients do think that logo design concept is over hyped – “Oh! come on! how can a simple logo be so expensive!!!” or just go by street bargaining “strategy”.
    They will always get what they pay for (well, mostly) and if they are paying 10 bucks for a logo, they should be prepared for a Papyrus for a Fashion magazine logo or Accidental Presidency for a Kindergarten book type, right?

    Solutions: Let’s be honest. If one really wants a good branding, and if that’s their priority as a start-up, they can ask friends or pay a bit more to their designer or, as Himanshu mentioned, should focus on selling. Alternatively, they can use royalty free vectors and really minimal graphic to represent their company at the initial stage so that it leaves room for improvement, later.

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