The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Logo Software A logo software is not everyone's cup of tea. But for some, it's the next best thing. Here are the merits and demerits of using one.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When was the last time you judged a company solely by its logo? If you're like me, it was probably earlier today. First impressions are key in building a connection to the audience, and without a great logo, a company's shot at a good first impression is, well, shot.
That's a pretty standard piece of knowledge in the world of entrepreneurship, but the goal of a great logo design is increasingly complicated by a few factors. One of these factors is the development of new software initiatives, which can solve a plethora of problems for a startup owner.
Hold on a minute — I said great logo design is complicated by things like new software, which can also solve those same complications? That sounds like there's both benefits and drawbacks! You guessed it, it's time to discuss both the pros and the cons of using logo design software.
Identifying logo software
First of all, I think it's important to point to what, precisely, I mean when I say logo software. After all, graphic design programs have been around for a while — for example, one of the first image editing software programs was SuperPaint, released in 1973. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop continue to be stock tools of the trade for designers. But as a serial entrepreneur who is well aware of the impact a logo has on the successes of my startups, I'm more interested in discussing software that streamlines the development and availability of logos — specifically, well-designed logos.
So while build-from-the-ground-up software like Adobe Illustrator will never be out of favor in my book, I'm focusing more closely on specifically logo design softwares, and even more specifically on browser-run software. There are too many logo design software sites to enumerate, but most of them are designed to be beginner-friendly and easy to use - which is one of the first big pros.
Analyzing the pros of logo software
In looking at how I've been able to utilize logo software in my own startups, I've narrowed the pros down to a few key points.
- Easy to use. It takes time, experience and training to be a good graphic designer. Few, if any, entrepreneurs have those extra resources to devote to a new discipline that they're unlikely to use on a regular basis. So logo software, much of which is designed to be used by complete beginners, is a good alternative to learning the ins and outs of design yourself. On the other hand, if an entrepreneur has an idea for a perfect logo, the aid of step-by-step logo software can help turn a rough sketch into a reality.
- On-demand branding. This is especially the case with AI-driven sites, which are able to provide a host of logo designs at the drop of a hat, any time of day or night. As I know from personal experience, life as a serial entrepreneur often means working on projects in the middle of the night — or straight through until dawn. Logo software can also mean avoiding the time that comes with communication with your graphic designer — a boon if time constraints are a problem in your launch timeline.
- Budget-friendly. With so many freelancers out there, it seems like the average price for a logo design is dropping somewhat. Some estimate it to be about $250, though there's still the chance that an entrepreneur might spring for a higher-end design, which can run into the thousands. On the other hand, using logo software cuts that budget significantly; some logo design sites even offer free logo templates that can be edited and adapted.
- Simple iteration generation. Not only is this pro fun to say, it's also a vital point for helping to ensure that entrepreneurs pinpoint the right design for their logo. Iterations are important tools that allow the business owner to research and compare variations in a design, choosing the one that fits the best.
On the whole, I'd say that the biggest point in favor of logo software is that it can streamline the design process greatly. For entrepreneurs with a hundred demands on our time, logo software is definitely worth consideration. But that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and lollipops.
Investigating the cons of logo software
For every silver lining, there's a cloud. It's pretty obvious — I found more pros to using logo software than cons, and I'll admit that up front. However, that doesn't mean that I didn't locate any cons at all. Here are a few of them.
- Lack of the human touch. When talking specifically about AI-driven software, such as logo generators, this is a big issue that potentially could be a deal-breaker for an entrepreneur. We simply cannot ensure the same creative spark that comes from a human graphic designer. But AI design continues to advance, and my hope as an entrepreneur with eyes on the future of graphic design is that we will one day be able to accurately represent the full experience of working with a real designer.
- Potential for recycled elements. Many logo softwares come "pre-loaded," so to speak, with icons, graphics, shapes, colors and fonts that can be rearranged according to prompts or requests. Though the pool for these elements is large, it isn't endless, and using pre-loaded, AI-driven logo software runs a risk of ending up with a logo that looks like that of another company.
- Generic design. Following along with the previous two points, it's more possible to end up with a bland, non-specific logo that doesn't accurately reflect the company behind it.
- Effect on the graphic design industry. Just like other industries that have increasingly turned to automation to solve workflow or budget issues, the same software that can streamline a logo design project may also take away a potential client from a graphic designer — or discourage a designer to even get started on their business, if the numbers of clients vs. numbers of designers doesn't seem to be averaging out favorably.
The most comprehensive way to analyze the main issues with logo software is to focus on the limitations of AI-driven technology and pre-loaded design elements. It's tricky to navigate all the options and ensure that an entrepreneur comes away with a logo that is unique, memorable and accurate.
Solving the problem
Ultimately, whether an entrepreneur decides to use logo software such as I've discussed here or not is up to the individual. Factors like timeline, budget constraints and even the personality of the new company all play into the decision.
I'm a firm advocate for continuing to develop logo design software in a way that can streamline the process while providing the most accurate and worthwhile end-product possible. That said, the pros and cons deserve to be weighed in the balance. And they may even need to be adapted to your circumstances — much like a great logo.