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Logo Design On a Budget

My friend Elena is starting a small consulting business based on her skills operating the spreadsheet program Excel.

Spice Up Your Brand with a Professional Logo for Only $5.00

Mike “Sparky” Detmer ([email protected]) is president of Niles Audio

My friend Elena is starting a small consulting business based on her skills operating the spreadsheet program Excel. And why not? She’s practically an Excel Queen who believes there are a lot of clients that would like to have their day-to-day data organized in ways that communicate effectively. But like many of you, as skilled as Elena is in her field, she’s just not the marketing type. So when it came time to create a logo that framed her brand, Elena came to me with the question, “How do I get a campaign logo on a beer budget?”

“Do you have five bucks,” I replied.

“Yes, but what kind of logo can I get for five bucks,” Elena asked. “Most graphic firms charge hundreds to create logos, and I don’t even know what I want.”

“Leave it to me,” I assured her. “I’ll have a great logo for you in a few days.”

A Company Logo Perfect for a Start Up
Next, I signed on to, a cool website where providers list “gigs” that they will do for $5.00. In this case I found a logo designer (who went by the name “sfmemphis”) and placed an order that read: “A friend of mine is starting a business that is based on providing outsourced solutions for business reporting through Excel (the Microsoft spreadsheet program). She wants the logo to look professional but personal, not like a big cold internet outsource firm. The company name is The Excel Solution. What do you suggest?”

The next day I heard back from the provider with a note that said, “Hi Mike. Here are two mock-ups I did for Elena’s logo. Let me know what you think. Of course, we can do something completely different if you/she would like or have a different idea. Thanks! Shannon.”

As an experiment, the author placed an order with an artist from to see what kind of logo I’d get for “Sparky’s Audio Video Installation,” for only five dollars. Here’s the result.

So for less than the cost of valet parking at most restaurants I was able to get a fresh-looking logo created for Elena. This made me think about the custom installation professionals that I serve every day. At CEDIA EXPO last month, I met several CI professionals that are just getting started in the business. If that’s you, definitely take a look at what you can get from As an experiment, I placed a second order with the same artist to see what kind of logo I’d get for “Sparky’s Audio Video Installation.” It came out pretty good, too. Plus, I made sure to get an e-mail from the artist stating that the work was for hire, and I had all rights to the image.

What If You’re a Veteran Company?
Many of you have established companies and logos, so what can an inexpensive logo do for you? Well, how about any special event that you conduct? I just spent three days at the HTSA (Home Technology Specialists of America) fall seminar and heard many of the dealers there talking about hosting customer events this fall. I’ll bet every one of them would pay $5.00 to have a special logo for these events. By the way, Richard Glikes, the HTSA executive director and event organizer, has had a special logo for each of his events and gives a premium to event attendees with the logo on it. I’ve got a dozen HTSA chachkies (Yiddish for collectables) and wore one this morning on my walk.

A wise man once told me that “Events are the catalyst of consciousness shift.” For only $5.00 and a little web time it’s easy to add impact to your next event with a dedicated logo. This logo can even incorporate your company’s logo as a key element. At Niles we do this all the time. Our company picnic, dealer councils, and rep and sales meetings all have special logos that set them apart. Give it a try, and you’ll be surprised at the response from your staff and your customers.