Logos by Bots

The do-it-yourself design trend seems to be moving towards online robo-design. Four easy steps to your business logo! Earlier we visited the lost opportunity of a brochure that required minutes rather than seconds to determine the business name and product. We’re moving on to plug-in algorithms that generate logos based on preferences such as font style, clip art graphics, color and industry.

Just for fun, but dreading the results, I recently Googled “I need a logo.” Search pages came up with sites such as fiverr.com, where one can buy any task for $5, designmantic.com and 99designs.com. The latter crowd-sources sample logos using “designers” who enter a “contest” from which the customer selects a winner out of 99 designs. One site also offers branding copy generated by a robo-writer.

I would offer that there is so much misguided branding going on here that I hardly know where to begin. Can I possibly have an objective response to robo sites and crowd sourcing as an identity designer? To find out, I chose one site, designmantic.com, where I answered four questions of preference. Processing wheel turning… then pages of iterations of clip art and free fonts randomly composed by bots populated the screen. Eastwood Design: flaming heads, a retro TV with rabbit ears, a dragon? Illegible fonts? I left it at that without pursuing how much a logo on that site would cost.

Let’s look at a few reasons why a live professional designer is a better choice for creating a business logo that will stand over time and convey the target message.

• A designer works with a client directly, in person or online, to interview and discern the core needs, culture and target customers of a business.

• A designer sets a specific strategy for achieving a look and mark that distinguishes a business from the competition.

• Original designs will not be replicated to serve the next customer. The same “flaming head” will not appear in the competition’s logo —and preferably nowhere!

• A designer will work with a client on revisions and adjustments to arrive at the best iteration, in a successful wrap-up.

There is no way I can be objective about bot designers and bot copywriters. I tried. Those who start or re-brand a business, those who sincerely want their business to succeed and those who wish to invest wisely will hire a design professional dedicated to excellence in communication.