When I wrote about what you need to start a website, I only mentioned the basic technical things that make a site work: domain name and webhosting. However, in order for a website to become successful there are many other things needed. One of them is the branding. You want to build your site into a powerful brand, so people can relate with it. This is why you need a professional logo. Website logos are not so hard to make. I could teach you in less than 1000 words how to make one yourself using only free resources. However, it’s a long way from crafting a logo by yourself with your basic design skills (if any) to creating professional-looking, outstanding logos. If you are serious about your new website, I strongly suggest you invest in a good logo from the very beginning. You’ll need it for all promotional materials, for your Twitter account, for your Facebook page and so on.
You can find a designer to make you a logo for about $100. You give him a creative brief, then you get a few designs to choose from. However, for $100 you can’t expect to get more than 4-5 variants. This is why the idea I’m just about to give you is so much better: choose from thousands of pre-made logos at 99Designs.com, only $99! They’ll even add your business name free within 24 hours.
Using the logo store is easy. Designs are organized in categories such as Art & Design, Computer, Dating, Education, Fashion etc. There is also a search box which allows search across categories, so you can see, for instance, all logos that contain the color black or all logos that include a cat in the design. Each design has a star button below. You can click on the star in order to add logos you like on your shortlist. After you finish browsing, you can go through your list again and decide for the winner.
The 99Designs store contains more than 15,000 logos made by a team of designers. You choose the one you like, then you’ll have it customized for you within 24 hours. You can either accept it or request further changes if it’s not quite what you wanted. The service costs $99. If your chosen logo hasn’t been bought by someone else previously, you can buy it exclusively for an extra $199.
Pre-made logos are cool if you don’t care about them not being unique. If you do care, then it’s probably better to start a design contest at 99designs.com and get designers compete for the money you want to spend. It’s nice that you can choose your budget. The minimum amount you can offer is $295. The more you offer, the more designers will be attracted to enter your contest. I browsed a few contests and I liked the works submitted quite a lot.
Anyway, if you are just about to start a website and you don’t have too much money to invest, I believe the $99 pre-made logo is an awesome idea to give your online enterprise a professional and memorable look. It’s about the same price as if you hired a freelancer, but you get to choose from a wider variety of styles.