Why some professional logo designers hate Fiverr but I don’t

Why professional logo designers hate Fiverr

The answer to the title of this article can be very simple: I work on Fiverr, and haters gonna hate. But that doesn’t sound convincing, neither to you nor me. I’m going to air my views supporting Fiverr. Yes, I understand you’re probably a hard-working professional logo designer and won’t be convinced anyway. Yet, spending a little time listening to each other’s thoughts won’t hurt, right?

The mostly discussed issue is probably Folyo’s experiment on the $5 logo. It shows some examples of bad sellers, but it doesn’t actually show the full picture of Fiverr. It’s depicting Fiverr as a marketplace full of logo designers using stolen art. Not completely false, but that’s totally preventable by doing research beforehand and carefully selecting the logo designers. And that’s the fallacy of the particularly controversial experiment. Other reasons to discourage people to purchase logos on Fiverr can also be found in the popular blog posts in Jess Creatives and JUST™ Creative, as well as the forum discussion in Estetica Design Forum. It seems I couldn’t find anyone rebutting these professionals’ views, so I decided to write one myself.


As a logo designer on Fiverr, I’m used to facing my share of brickbats from other professional designers, who just hate whatever Fiverr stands for. For one, they are terribly scared of losing their monopoly and losing potential clients to logo designers on Fiverr. I’m sorry they feel so threatened, but that’s how the world, the market, and the businesses work. It’s a free market - you couldn't simply accuse logo designers on Fiverr just due to the "value of art". You can hate, swear, curse, but you need to accept the facts, the truths, and the trend. Not everyone can afford "Louis Vuitton", "Gucci" and "Chanel". But most people like to find decent stuff in “Walmart”, or even “Taobao” in China.

Competitions are everywhere, including Fiverr

That's exactly the status quo. SPEC work, gig economy, cut-throat competition from designers with much lower rates - you can't stop them, you can only hate them. Why are there online marketing, SEO, social marketing and advertising? For us to brand ourselves, and to stand out among the crowd. Otherwise, no matter how professional, proud, talented you are, your portfolio will be buried among other mediocre logo designers.

Increasingly, with the massive popularity of microsourcing in general and Fiverr in particular, it is clear that small businesses would rather take a chance and get a high quality logo design done by a logo designer on Fiverr for $5 or a little more, rather than pay top dollar to get it done by a professional who steers away from such gig economy marketplace, given that the difference in the quality of work is likely to be more or less non-existent with proper research and meticulous selection before placing an order.

Losing Clients?

And this is what really bugs designers in the so-called prestigious and professional design community. They are losing clients to Fiverr. A professional designer told her story: A client got a price quote of $1000 from her, and suddenly the client simply rejected the offer without any negotiation as he saw a Fiverr ad in his Facebook news feed saying why he needed to spend over $100 while he could get a logo starting from $5 instead (yeah, we should be wondered by the magic of targeted advertising). That’s the reason for all the hue and cry being raised by them – the price on Fiverr is so cheap that it seemingly devalues their years of training and expertise.

Professional designers insist that logo is a part of a company’s brand identity and hence logo design is too important to a trust a logo designer who can be hired for just $5 with. They insist that $5 is hardly enough to get you a quality logo design. And yeah, they are quite loud about declaring that the $5 for a logo design is simply a scam!


Careful selection is the ultimate key

This is so untrue, that I cannot begin where to tell. I must emphasize and emphasize again – all the buyer needs to do is “careful selection” before placing an order (For interested buyers, please visit my guide on finding decent logo designers on Fiverr). Professional designers outside Fiverr always make a point on the complete process of logo design – conceptualizing, drafting, editing, revising, and finalizing. They claim that no logo designer on Fiverr will follow this proper process. Are you the worms in their stomach? Are you the most powerful mind reader in the world? You can’t accuse anybody if you haven’t ever tried his service on Fiverr. Art is subjective. $5 or several tens of dollars a logo doesn’t necessarily imply low quality. Professional logo designers are pre-determining the quality of the logos based on their false first impression. Some logo designers on Fiverr are highly skilled at their chosen profession. They may not have all the qualifications you would expect a professional logo designer to have, but you can’t deny their talent and work quality. Many talents, like guitarists, motion graphics designers, logo designers and many more are self-taught. Self-taught doesn’t mean poor, right?

It is true, and I must admit that many services here on Fiverr are scams, especially social marketing and search engine optimization related services. Logo design is no exception. Many logo designers here use stolen art or logo templates. Once again, this is absolutely avoidable with careful selection of logo designers beforehand. There are many prerequisites before you choose a logo designer on Fiverr. 

Fiverr is based on a sophisticated system of user reviews, so any seller on Fiverr who isn’t good at what they are supposed to do or doesn’t deliver what is expected from them, is weeded out because of the poor reviews and rating given to them by their clients. Such sellers don’t last long, as just a couple of bad user reviews are usually enough to effectively shut them out. If you just casually pick one without second thought, and then cry and complain afterwards, I can do nothing but laugh at you. I’m sure such buyers will still get a poor logo even they spend over $500 on a professional designer outside Fiverr. Price doesn’t mean anything if money is spent carelessly and aimlessly.


Meaning of five dollars differs among people

The only thing that really marks the logo designers on Fiverr out from the professional designers outside Fiverr’s circle is that they work for a lot less. But hey, they are not complaining! Here’s what you should understand. The professionals working on Fiverr are from over 200 countries. There is a great price differential between where they live and what you get in, say, New York or Boston.

$5 may not be much, but it certainly means a lot more in some countries than it does in New York. And when logo designers do a certain number of $5 orders a day on Fiverr, it all adds up, and gives them a decent income. Sure, this is not a huge income, but a respectable one and more than enough to get by. And another reason is that not everyone here on Fiverr works full-time – some regard it as a source of extra income. If you really think $5 is too little, or too “ugly” in your “pride and dignity” of being a logo designer, you should also know that $5 is only a base price. They can scale up their price by offering extras in their own ways, like higher resolution images and source files. 


Diamond or Crystal?


When you’re criticizing the Fiverr marketplace, have you ever considered whether every single logo needs to cost that much? How about a non-commercial personal blog sharing a hobby of gardening? How about a small-scale YouTube channel that the owner doesn’t need it to be monetized? How about a small casual gaming clan who wants a decent logo to represent their team? How about a local teen soccer team that plays in the community, but not in professional leagues? How about a casual band with friends? How about a movie club in college with its logo changing every year? How about a family logo? How about a small online store on Shopify or Etsy? The list goes on and on and on.

What I really want to point out is that logo design is definitely a professional career, but can’t it be classified as low-end or high-end? Sometimes people just don’t want to purchase a diamond as they’re not buying gifts for their significant others. They may just want to have some man made crystals for themselves. Crystals are decent, decorative and can act as affordable replacements of diamonds. While the professional logo designers outside Fiverr have their own high-end price range, there must be a gap between the high-end price and the owners’ expectations. Fiverr, as a free market, acts as the bridge to the price gap. By selecting the logo designers on Fiverr carefully, they can get the logos they expect.


True, there may neither be a deep meaning behind the logos, nor use of professional techniques to emphasize the hidden meaning of the branding. But isn’t it good to see that the gardening blog owner gets a refreshing floral design, the YouTube channel owner obtains a generally abstract symbol, the gaming clan has a basic bullet logo, the teen soccer team gains a decent soccer badge, the casual band picks up a vintage music label, the movie club grabs a theatre logo, the family attains its own family crest, and the online store acquires a simple signature logo? Not everyone needs high-end branding or identity. They may just need an obvious, simple symbol to represent themselves. You won't buy a top class PC with the number one CPU and video card, just for word processing, will you? Fiverr might be an alternative place for lower-end but decent logos, while the generally much higher price range of top class professional logo designers outside Fiverr can’t extend to cover the needs of such clients.

Some sellers are passionate

The reason I’m writing this is because as a logo designer on Fiverr, I am perfectly satisfied with what I do, and I value all the work that I get. Fiverr has given many sellers an access to a global marketplace, where any small business owner in, say Milwaukee or Kansas City who wants to get his logo designed, can find them through Fiverr and get the work done by them. If not for Fiverr, there is absolutely no way the sellers could have got in touch with so many clients, who may be several thousand miles apart from where they are. Talents shall not only be accessed in terms of training, expertise or an art degree. Not everyone has the precious chance of getting into a university, or can afford to enroll in expensive logo design or brand identity courses.

So, logo designers on Fiverr aren’t some zombies working in a sweat labor camp for a pittance, as some professional logo designers would lead you to believe. Some of them are very proud of what they do as a professional logo designer, and they won’t let anyone take away the pride they feel in their job and the satisfaction they get out of a job well done, just because some professional designers say they work for too less.

Not everyone needs a Lamborghini or Ferrari to show off their branding. Not everyone needs some Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Chanel to boost their confidence. So do small business owners. Instead of hating, despising and looking down on logo designers on Fiverr, why not observe and adapt to the current trend, and put more efforts on personal branding and marketing? After all, time makes the man. Haters gonna hate.

Further reading:
"Who's afraid of cheap logos?" &
"Can designers beat low-price competitors?" from nuSchool


9 comments:

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  3. Hi Will (?),

    Great article on the subject! I admire your courage and thorough description of the evolution of the new "gig economy". I'm one of the "self-taught" you mentioned in your article. And it's true, although I don't have the degree (I studied Political Science), I'm filled with passion for design.

    I choose to educate myself EVERYDAY on the subject. And actually, I'm learning from some of the biggest names in design. (via Youtube, Blogs, eLearning courses)

    If you look at it that way, even education is less formal than before as we have access to a plethora of material. We can choose to learn via the mediums that suit us best, and at our own pace!

    I embrace change! I'm grateful I can practice the skills I enjoy and make a decent living while I'm at it!

    I was curious though, why do you think social media marketing is a scam? (It's one of my current gigs, eek!)

    Very best,
    Aireca

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