Case Studies, Tips, & Information

The Expense of Cheap Design- Logos

Information for Non-Designers

These days we are all trying to find ways to save money.  There are many websites hoping to take advantage of this when it comes to design.  But these cheap logos come at a much higher price.

You have spent a lot of time developing your ideas and building your company.  You want a designer that is going to spend the time researching and developing your image.  A logo can be a first impression and make or break a company. 

Looking professional is not the only important part of a good logo.  Working in a print house I have seen many kinds of logos from businesses to entertainers to sports teams.  I have also had to spend time recreating these logos so that they could be used for creating signs, banners, and other branding materials.  

Here is a list of important things to look for when hiring someone to design your logo:

  1. Conversation- Your logo shouldn't be generic.  It should truly represent your company.  A good designer will ask you questions about your company and what you are trying to achieve.  If you have a website they may also use this to get an idea of your company but there should still be questions that they need to ask. 
  2. Vector Image- This is a type of file that can easily be enlarged to any size you need. You may just be starting out maybe you are thinking you just need something for your website and social media for now.  You have to think to the future.  Will you logo be printed on tshirts, signs, banners, or maybe a exhibit booth?  You want start with a logo that can do all of these things.  Consistency in branding is very important.
  3. Pantone Colors- These are an industry standard.  They will ensure that your colors are consistent no matter who is printing it or what material it is printed on.  A color can be as recognizable as the logo itself.  UPS has actually trademarked their brown color. Again consistency is important. 
  4. Flat Design- This is a more debatable suggestion.  Printers today are more capable of handling a gradient in your design.  I say flat color because it is easier to work with and there is less margin for inconsistency in your final prints. 

A good designer may tell you no.  If you have ideas for your logo and your designer thinks it is too much they will not be afraid to tell you.  A good designer will also provide alternatives to achieve your desired image.  

A good logo will cost you easily $200 or more.  Remember this is an investment into your company.  And a good designer will be investing hours into creating a logo that will best illustrate your brand.  You are paying for experience and skills as well as the hours spent researching your company and competitors, sketching and designing options, and perfecting the final product so that you can use it with ease.

BRM- Eddie Murray Contract Display

Case Study

The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum came to me when they needed a display designed to hang at the Orioles Pub at the Center Club in Downtown Baltimore.  They new they wanted to display a couple of contracts they had for Eddie Murray.  They also offered up a couple of Eddie Murray's baseball cards.  I am not an avid baseball fan so initially I was confused as to why someone would find interest in looking at an old contract. 

As I stared at these black and white pieces of paper full of text I started to pick out interesting bits of information.  The first contract was from 1973 listing Eddie Murray's place in the draft as well as his monthly salary.  I was also supplied with his Topps All-Star Rookie card that was dated 1977.  The second contract was from 14 years later where he signed for another 5 years and the second baseball card was from 1984.  It was time to do a little more research on the significance of these years and why there was so much time between him being drafted and being a Topps All-Star Rookie.

With this new information these contracts and cards now had some interest.  The next problem was sorting out how to display them in a way that enticed the curious.  I knew one of the best ways to draw attention to these monotone type filled contract pages would be to do callouts of the interesting pieces hidden within them.  In producing the layout I decided to also callout interesting pieces of the two cards as well.  Once this was put together the design still felt a bit incomplete.  I had notice when first inspecting the contracts that I had Eddie Murray's signature.  This was this missing element.   


I always aim to draw attention to the displays I design while keeping them clean and easy to understand.  Knowing the materials you have access to as well as how you can manipulate them can remove standard limitations in design.  This design could have just been printed and mounted to a board but I wanted to provide more depth to the viewer.  

The background print includes the scans of the original contracts and the baseball cards as well as the text.  The next layer is the callout circles and lines printed on a clear film.  Printing these on a separate layer created a natural drop shadow but the lines were lost in the black background.  To correct this the part of the lines hidden by the background were cut out of orange vinyl and placed over the printed film.  The display was finished with a piece of acrylic with Eddie Murray's signature applied to the top in cut vinyl.