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What does $5 really get you on Fiverr?

If you’re versed in the design world, or if you’ve been looking into branding a business, you’ve likely come across Fiverr. Similar to many other services (but centred around the single, rock-bottom price), Fiverr promises to connect people with freelancers, who in turn offer a countless number of services for less than the price of a venti Pumpkin Spice Latte. According to the site, you can even get an entire logo design for $5. But what are you really getting? Can branding really be so simple?

Let’s get this out of the way — the name is misleading. When it comes to a logo or many other design services, the first one exported out of a designer’s creative suite is never the one you go with. You can expect to contract out many, many designers before getting a logo you find visually appealing. The seller can also add a premium charge for source files, or even vector files — and without these, your logo can only be used in a very limited context. Still, even a dozen logo designs can be had at a fraction of what others charge right? Yes, but there’s more to that still.

What to expect from Fiverr

We recently followed this post  from Sasha Grief (a designer living in Paris), which outlined his experience testing the service. He contracted out a logo design and after spending a bit of money in five dollar increments, received what at first appeared to be a decent logo (below):

Screen capture courtesy of Sacha Greif
(Screen capture courtesy of Sacha Greif)

A quick reverse-image search revealed however, that this was much too good to be true. The logo wasn’t much more than a clean font under a very commonly used royalty-free stock image, that was already being used by countless other companies around the world.

Screen capture courtesy of Sacha Greif
(Screen capture courtesy of Sacha Greif)

You can start to see why the service is priced as it is. Does this logo speak to his business? How could it if it’s being used all around the world in a variety of industies? And this was already the best work from the service — many sellers are even deceptive in their portfolios, choosing to include design work that isn’t their own to make their work look much better than it is. (Unfortunately, this is all too easy behind a computer, without ever needing to face your clients.)

With that, it’s clear that you can indeed expect a logo for a low price, however it won’t be an original logo, and that wouldn’t sit well with our clients at all.

So, who is Fiverr for?

It’s not all bad though, and (with the exception of freelancers that reuse others’ work) we don’t mean to shame the service — it should just be treated as a different type of service. There are a few instances we can identify where a Fiverr logo may work just fine:

  • For testing a business model, where the branding is to be developed at a later stage
  • For a short-term business, that only has plans to operate for a short time frame
  • For a business that doesn’t need print collateral, or consistency across channels

The truth is that adapting stock icons to text (as shown above) is easy — actual branding is not. To give you a better idea of why, we can look at our process as an agency. Our creative work is centred around our client’s business as a whole. We take the time to understand what each client’s unique goals are and what they are looking for out of their branding right now, and years into the future. We go through a discovery process to find out what colours and creative elements will speak to a business’s logo the best, and offer several versions of each design (and several rounds of revisions) until the client is absolutely confident in their branding. This is really where the difference lies.

Put it this way, we could all design for Fiverr too, but we don’t.

If you’re serious about your branding, or if you have any questions at all about growing your business through branding, get in touch — we love to talk design.