I hate to admit this, but I was listening to The John Tesh Radio Show the other night when driving to the mall. (Don't judge. You know you've gotten sucked into watching something lame-o like QVC or the preview channel for hours on end just because there's nothing else on cable…)
Anyway, here's a rough transcript (from memory) of how one of his segments went:
John, reading email from listener: "Hi John. Can you repeat that info you said earlier about that website where people will do odd tasks for only $5? I need to hire a graphic designer to create a logo for my company and this sounds like an amazingly creative way to support the arts."
John, speaking as himself: "Why yes, [insert listener name here]. That website is called Fiverr, a marketplace for small services where people will post projects that they will do for only $5, including professional logo design."
As you probably guessed, I was all up in a tizzy by this point in time. Let me point out some of the terminology errors in the above dialogue:
- "amazingly creative way to support the arts": How is this an amazing way to support the arts? The term "starving artist" does not apply to graphic designers. We are professionals who deserve to be paid a professional rate. What this website is is an amazingly cheap way for you to get a half-ass logo design.
- "small services": Since when is a logo design a small service? It is the basis of your company's brand and should be a meaningful visual representation of your company that will last for years, if not decades, to come. That said, how long do you think a reputable designer will spend interviewing the client, creating a logo design and making revisions? Let's be completely unrealistic and say that takes only four hours. That designer is now working for $1/hour (they have to give $1 to Fiverr as a fee for posting the job).
- "professional": Again, see above point. Would a professional designer would for below minimum wage? Then you're probably not going to get professional results, eh?
As you may imagine, a handful of young and naïve designers will probably fall victim to this website and offer up logo designs for way under market value. But then they'll learn and move on. The "designers" who keep posting the majority of ads on sites like these over and over again? Really, they're more like professional scam artists. These individuals build up a stockpile of pre-made logo designs, probably ripped off from existing companies, and simply smack your name under the pretty icon. In this all-to-common scenario, the client loses out because of these reasons:
- the logo design is not well thought out and, at best, is glorified clip art that's a superficial representation of the company
- your logo design will probably be reused for dozens of other companies with just the name and colors changed
- if the logo has been copied, in part or in whole, from an existing logo, you open yourself up for litigation in the future
So the next time you find yourself thinking that something's too good to be true, it probably is. (And with the tagline of his radio show being "intelligence for your life," John Tesh should know better than to promote websites like this for professional services.) Moral of the story: if you want professional results, hire a professional graphic designer. And trust me, they don't hang out on websites like Fiverr.
P.S. Do I think Fiverr is an evil website? No, of course not. If you want to hire someone to sing your wife Happy Birthday in a British accent, it's a fabulously funny platform for quirky and random odd jobs. I just think it's a shame that every time one of these low cost sites sets up shop that so-called "designers" are one of the first professions to offer up their services for ridiculously low prices.