In our post-recession economy it can be very tempting to cut corners in order to save money– especially when it comes to creative work like graphic design. When vetting agencies to handle your design work, cost can often be the determining factor. Many times you’ll discover that agencies charge the same ballpark amounts, but one or two of your candidates will undercut prices significantly. Have you ever wondered how this is possible?
Typically, graphic firms that offer bargain prices utilize templates. This practice allows them to keep costs low, and they pass that savings on to their clients. However, there are many pitfalls that come along with templates, and you should think twice before partnering with an agency that utilizes them as their primary method of design.
Why Do Agencies Use Templates?
Agencies use templates because they are profitable. They can simply pull a logo off the shelf, swap out some colors and fonts, and in no time flat, the client has a logo and the designer can begin the next project. Agencies that operate in this way typically hire untalented or burned-out designers who don’t do any actual design. They simply manipulate images one after the other. It’s the design equivalent of a factory assembly line.
Template-happy agencies are far more interested in profit than they are in customer service. They don’t care what your business does, what its goals are, or what your plans for the future are. They just want to crank out logos the way Hostess cranks out Twinkies.
Can a Truly Successful Logo Ever Be a Template?
Every business is unique, and every logo should reflect the uniqueness of the company or product it represents. Think for a moment about the top companies in your particular niche. Do you think they utilize templates for their designs? Without knowing the answer, you can safely assume that the correct response is “no.” Why? Because templates look like hundreds of other logos, and they do not reflect a company’s brand.
Original logo design, on the other hand, goes through a creative process where the artists learn about a business and the things that make that business unique. They incorporate key brand elements into the design to help make that logo as effective as possible.
Agencies that utilize templates can save you a lot of money, but it makes bad business sense to hang your corporate identity on a design that can be used by any Tom, Dick, or Harry in the marketplace.
Who Owns the Rights to Your Design?
When you accept template work, you are swimming in murky waters. Design copyrights for templates can be a very tricky thing. Even though the agency customizes a template “especially for you,” it is very likely you’ll be able to spot extremely similar logos throughout your online and in-person travels. With templates, you can never be sure who purchased the same design that you did.
Many agencies that use templates purchase those templates from a supplier. Some agencies may design the templates themselves, but most do not, for the sake of efficiency and profitability. Templates can be purchased in bulk for just a few dollars apiece. This means that the creators of the original design have no control over how and where their templates get used. They don’t actually own the rights to those templates, so ownership cannot technically transfer to you. This can land you in hot water if another company decides that your logo infringes on their intellectual property. Even if a judge can’t determine who actually owns the rights to a design, the attorney fees and court costs alone can be enough to bankrupt a business.
Say Yes to Original Design
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you go out in search of an agency that offers cheap template deigns you’ll end up with a cheap template design. If you’re truly interested in putting your best foot forward in all graphic representations of your company, choose instead to work with an agency that provides original design that will reflect the uniqueness of your business.
If you want to work with an experienced agency that provides you with truly effective design work, contact The NetMen Corp today. Our design teams are experienced professionals who have worked on innovative design projects for companies of all sizes – and they never rely on templates to get the job done. Most importantly, our designers don’t stop until you are 110% satisfied.
About The Author: Ignacio Galarraga is CEO of The Netmen Corp.