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Summary:

I know how hard it can be to explain what you want in a logo. I always end up saying words to the effect of: “Something … writey… Like with letters and stuff… yeah.” Not very helpful.

de_sotoI’ve seen more than a few businesses struggle with visual identity, whether they’re working something up for a web site, business cards, or even client presentations.

Having been in this situation myself, I know how hard it can be to explain what you want in a logo. I always end up saying words to the effect of: “Something … writey… Like with letters and stuff… yeah.” Not very helpful.

For those of us with small or solo operations, the time we’re spending with the designer really is money, and the more we go on like this, the more costly that visual identity becomes. So those embarking on visual identity projects this year will be pleased to hear of a new service launched yesterday.

Ready-made Logos

The 99designs.com Ready-Made logo store contains hundreds of logo designs that are all set to go — but for your business name. The prices start at $99, and buyers can expect to have their personalized logo ready — in both JPEG and EPS formats — in just 24 hours. You get the full source files, too, so if you want to tweak the design in future, you can.

ready-made home

If you’re worried about having a me-too logo that someone else in your space may already be using, you may be able to pay an extra US$100 to own exclusive rights to the logo. Of course, the only condition on this option is that no one else has already purchased the logo. You’re easily able to see if exclusive rights are available when you click on a logo to see the full-size version.

The site’s accepting logo submissions from designers at the moment, but they won’t go on sale until March. Still, it seemed like now would be a good time to check out what’s on offer.

My Name Here?

When I’m not up all night writing for WWD (just kidding!) I often write for my own hobby blog, which provides tips and tricks to help ordinary people live more sustainable lives. This site is currently using a standard theme, and I’ve been thinking for a long time that a logo would be a good idea. Once I had the logo, I reasoned, I’d perhaps have the site reskinned.

Getting my head around this challenge was proving way too hard. Would I have to go through a freelance site to find a designer? Should I ask friends? How much was this going to cost me, anyway? It was all too hard.

Fortunately, the 99designs.com Ready-Made site lets you browse by category and, not surprisingly, there was an environmental/green category with 92 logos in it. Some have obvious applications — food products for example, or water or travel services. But some are more generic, and could be applicable to a range of operations.

I found the search facility was a bit hit-and-miss, and I have a feeling more general searches are the way to go. My initial, ideal-world search for “eco services” returned no results, and “eco” returned just 14. “Sustainable”? Three results. A search for “green” widened the original category result of 92 logos to 274 because, of course, the search included a whole lot of results for logos that used the color green.

At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to shortlist logos you like, which, given that I had 274 to choose from, was a bit of a pain. I’m hoping the 99designs.com team might be considering this functionality when they launch the actual sales service in March.

And as it turned out, some of these were more generic logos that could suit a wider range of uses — uses as obscure as a sustainable tips-and-advice web site. But all of them were professional and good looking, and many are shown in black-and-white and reversed formats so I could see how they’d perform in monochrome. As a person who had no idea what I wanted in a logo, and dreaded the task of having one created, it was actually exciting to find so many professional options so easily, and so affordably.

Have you eve had a visual identity created for your operation? How did you go about it?

Photo by stock.xchng user vertige.

By Georgina Laidlaw
  1. These ready made logos are very useful for the technology users and visual id lovers.What I like that there is no risk that it will be used by someone else.You may be able to pay an extra US$100 to own exclusive rights to the logo.

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