How to Create a Kickass Logo on a Shoestring Budget

by Tanya December 20, 2021

Logos are what represent your brand in a literal way. They are the small face of the company, and they make the first impression with your customers, partners, stakeholders, and leads. A logo helps attract potential customers and convey instant information about your brand.

If you don’t have the budget for a professional logo designer, you need to find a way to make one yourself. With the right approach, you can create a kickass logo without breaking your bank account.

A budget logo is really any budget under $500. Most experienced logo designers will charge you thousands of dollars for a design. Graphic design agencies charge even more. For a high-end logo design experience, you could be looking at $50k-$100k+ for your design!

After all, a logo IS a key element in your product marketing, and something you will use for years to come as a staple in your packaging, advertising, and marketing.

The logo represents your brand and helps people think of your company whenever they see it. So, you don’t want an amateur-looking design that doesn’t represent your company at all. With the importance of an online presence, the need for an appealing logo has only increased.

5 budget-friendly ways to create your logo

If you’ve already ruled out the thousands of dollars a professional will charge, then you need to go with a backup method for creating your logo. Here are the pros and cons for each method, as well as the estimated cost to get your logo created.

It’s important to note that there is no free way to create a logo. Ultimately, you will either spend your time or money on the process, and the outcome will impact your revenue moving forward. So, you can find a budget-friendly logo design solution, but you can’t cut corners!

Learn pro software

If you have some previous experience using graphic design software, this can be a great solution and one that will promise a custom design. However, there is a huge learning curve here. If you haven’t already used the software, this will be difficult to do in a short amount of time. Not only will you need to know how to operate the software to get your desired action, but you will also need to have a strong understanding of design.

A subscription to these pro apps and software will cost you $30 and up on a monthly basis, but most offer a free trial, so you could try to get your logo done during the free trial period.

Make sure you take the time you will need to invest that into consideration. Don’t underestimate how long it will take to learn the program, research the market, ideate a solid design and turn it into a logo. Even professional designers spend hours and hours on this process—and they don’t have to learn the tools before starting. Even after all this time, you may end up with a sub-par logo that was obviously created by an amateur designer.

Explore user-friendly design software

A slightly more user-friendly option is to turn to logo design software that gives you the freedom to design without the open-ended approach professionals use. This kind of software has limits without being too restrictive. You will be able to see examples and select from a wide range of pre-chosen layouts, illustration elements, and text.

The downside to this approach is that you will be limited. For example, you typically can’t go buy a font and use it on the platform. Also, you will only have so many elements to choose from for borders or shapes since you can’t literally draw your own (like in the pro software).

The upside of this is that you don’t have to learn a complex program, and your decision-making process won’t be as taxing. However, you still have to spend your time dreaming up the design and putting it together. So this approach is more like a puzzle—which still takes time to piece together but isn’t as time-consuming as starting with a blank drawing board.

Some programs like this Adobe logo design maker is free to use forever. It builds AI-generated quality logos that can be shared across all your printed and digital platforms.

If you want the more impressive features or design elements, you will have to pay. Pricing in this category starts at $13 per month, depending on the tool of your choice.

Automate creative results

You can save time and money by using automated logo creators that suggest layouts and concepts. This platform will take in information about your company and then create several relevant logo design options. You can run with your favorites and tweak them to get the designs just right.

Some tools in this category offer pre-made templates that you can then customize, and some use AI to create custom logo designs. No matter which tool you choose, using an automated solution will save you hours of learning the program and a long process of trial and error. The downside here is that you will be somewhat limited to the design elements and fonts included within the tool.

The cost is much lower than hiring a designer or learning design programs yourself. Automated design platforms, often charge a monthly subscription price, starting from $5. Some of them allow you to go through the whole design process and only charge you if you find a logo you want to use.

Using logo design automation tools can be the most cost-effective method for creating your logo and maintaining control over the outcome.

Pitch a contest

You can suggest a contest with the selected winner getting paid for the logo design with your budgeted pot of money. The struggle here is that you won’t know who will sign up. This could be a good thing if a highly talented amateur decides to throw in their lot. However, if you end up with low-budget designers, you might end up with some very cheap-looking logos.

If you run a contest, you are locked in to choosing a winner at the end or having to start over. However, you will have the opportunity to set the terms and conditions before launching the contest. While this gives you more flexibility to set your standards and budget, you also have to make your contest appealing to the designers. If your prize money is too low or your design terms are too demanding, you may end up with very few (or no!) entries.

Most platforms will let you set your own price for something like this, though there is no guarantee that designers will apply. Some even consider design contests unethical since a number of designers will create work, and only one will get paid.

Find a budget freelancer

On freelancing platforms, you may be able to find a graphic designer who creates budget logos. You can pay a freelancer a one-time fee for a design. The struggle with this option is that you won’t have creative control over your logo. You will get a final version and be stuck with that version until you choose to redesign your logo down the road.

The price is varied with this method, since it will largely depend on what graphic designer or illustrator you want to work with. Most freelancers will set their own prices. For a great freelancer, you could end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. The budget freelancers will often provide more generic results and quicker designs. You may not have many options to request edits either.

Finding the perfect logo on a tight budget

When you work with a shoestring budget, money is very tight and there isn’t much room for the luxury design. However, you still need an effective logo design that fits your budget constraints. You can’t skip the logo creation, or your brand will look generic and unprofessional.

Explore these budget design options to find a kickass logo for your brand. Choose a design that will represent your brand for years to come and scale with you as you grow.

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