Should financial advisers ever design their own logos? It’s a valid question, especially for startups and small IFA business who are perhaps on tight budgets. Attempting a logo design yourself, in-house, can therefore seem like an attractive option.
In our experience, this is almost always a bad idea. Unless you have considerable experience in graphic design prior to your days as a financial adviser, the end result is simply not going to be good enough to inspire potential clients to trust you with their financial needs.
If you have only £100 to spend on a logo design, then most creative agencies will unfortunately be unable to help you. If you really are strapped for cash, then one option might be to approach a graphic design student. They might be interested in designing a logo for your business, provided they can feature it on their portfolio.
Bear in mind, however, that rarely do you get something spectacular for free in this world. So if you are hoping to get something high quality for free, you are likely going to be disappointed.
The other option you might consider is to outsource the work to a designer overseas. This can sometimes work, but there are some significant risks to consider. Most overseas freelance designers are found through work-board websites, where you tender a design brief to a large set of potential designers. From there, several designers will submit designs in the hope that you will accept the design, and pay them.
Unfortunately, this model encourages designers to “scatter gun” with their design work. Think about it. How much effort would you put into a project if you thought there was only a 5-10% chance you might get paid for it? It’s no surprise, therefore, that lots of financial advisers who go down this design route end up with the same logo. The designers either copy the logo design from somewhere else, or submitted the same design to multiple advisers who accepted it!
Really, your best option is to go with a professional, financial logo designer. You commit more resources, time and care to your logo design, which means you are more likely to be happy with it, for longer.
Here are some of the main benefits of working with a specialist creative agency for your logo design:
#1 They can see things you miss
If you know anyone who has ever got a tattoo, you might have heard how their original idea actually ended up looking different when it was committed to their body. This is because this person would have likely approached the tattooist with a concept for their arm, leg or back. They would have described the design they wanted to the tattooist, who then would have replied with some feedback.
They might point out, for instance, how certain colours would look better with their skin tone, compared to what the person asked for. Or, perhaps a certain shape would not fit very well on the surface area of the skin in question. The tattooist can then make some recommendations, based on their years of experience in the industry, to create something which broadly fits what their client originally wanted, but which actually works.
A similar dynamic occurs when you work with a professional logo designer. Perhaps you have a clear idea of the kind of logo you want, but with all due respect – what do you know about logo design? You will get far better results (and be much happier with the logo design process) if you suggest some ideas to the logo designer, who can then outline what is realistic and what is not.
Try not to be protective of your ideas which you bring to the table. Ultimately, a professional logo designer wants to provide you with a design which meets your needs and expectations, and which will connect with your target audience.
#2 A unique result
What you pay a professional designer for their time, then you can be far more confident that they will not simply steal a logo from somewhere else and pass it off as something they made, especially for you. A creative agency in financial services will make the effort to produce an original, unique logo design which actually fits your brand message, values and personality.
Strong logo designs need to be highly adaptive to different platforms, backgrounds and communication materials. For instance, your logo needs to look good not only on a financial adviser’s letterhead, but also on their social media profiles and thumbnails.
Not only that, your logo should be able to adapt to different colours and contexts surrounding it, and even look good when printing in black and white. Moreover, it should work effectively when shown very small, or when blown up onto a large surface (e.g. a billboard).
Creating a logo by yourself often misses this vital aspect of modern financial logo design. However, partnering with a professional designer will ensure that your logo design will be robust an versatile enough to be used in a wide range of current and future contexts.
#4 It’s a one-time expense
When you design a logo yourself or do it on the cheap, you more often than not end up paying more money to redesign it later. It becomes apparent over time that it does not reflect the quality, look or feel you want to project. In worst-case scenarios, you eventually see your logo used elsewhere by another company who had it first (because your designer copied it)!
Bear in mind that working with a professional logo designer is a one-off expense (it is at CreativeAdviser at least). It is a cost you will likely not have to repeat for many, many years, because enough work and expertise will have done into the design to ensure it stands the test of time.