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Buy Cheap, Buy Twice? Let’s Talk about Cheap Design.

Why You Shouldn’t Choose the Cheapest Branding Option

In today’s economy, business owners are searching for any means to cut costs. You may find yourself wondering, ‘Should I really spend money on a high-end brand designer with all of the DIY branding resources out there?’ Or maybe you’re considering buying a logo through a platform like Fiverr or Upwork. 

Whether you are a brand-new entrepreneur or the owner of a growing business, let’s talk about the most popular alternatives to hiring a dedicated brand designer–and why we don’t recommend them.


Canva has become a popular tool for new businesses, and for good reason. The platform is intended to make simple, basic design tasks accessible to non-designers. If you are an entrepreneur with a small budget, you probably can’t afford to hire a designer to create social media graphics or the random posters you want to print for your office. Canva’s goal is to fill that gap.

While Canva is a fantastic tool for quick graphics–and can even create beautiful social media content if you have a good eye–it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Because it is designed to be used by non-designers, it has far more limitations than the tools used by trained designers. For instance, it doesn’t offer the same control over kerning, leading, and tracking–the spacing between letters, words, and lines. These are important design principles, and without full control over them, your finished design will look less polished. 

Additionally, Canva operates primarily through drag-and-drop elements. This means that you are taking premade elements owned by Canva and combining them to create a ‘semi-custom’ design. While this is great for small projects, it isn’t a good fit for your brand identity. Essentially, because Canva’s logo templates and elements are licensed under non-exclusive licensing, you cannot trademark your logo made in Canva–therefore, you do not own your logo.


Third-party marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork grow in notoriety by the day. You’ve probably heard that if you want a cheap logo, Fiverr is the place to go. In truth, purchasing design services through these platforms is not always a bad option. Many new designers use the popular marketplaces as a way to gain experience and find clients when first starting out. This means you could potentially find a designer who is extremely talented and receive a phenomenal logo at a great price. 

The downside to this option is that you are just as likely to purchase a logo from a designer who simply isn’t the right fit. There is a significant chance that the designer you hire will give you a quick turnaround with little thought put toward the design. Your target market, your overall brand identity, and other important factors may be completely skipped over for the sake of making a quick buck. Keep in mind that many of the designers using Fiverr, Upwork, and similar platforms are located outside of the US. This isn’t inherently a bad thing–country of origin certainly doesn’t dictate talent or skill–but design standards, best practices, and expectations vary in different parts of the world, so if your target demographic is in the US, your designer should be using relevant design practices. It can also be difficult to communicate your vision and needs through the platforms. 

AI Generators

AI generators are a point of contention amongst many creative fields. While non-creators see them as an easy way to save time and money, creators recognize the inherent shortcomings of these tools.

Ultimately, AI generators are algorithms–and algorithms need to be fed information and trained. To create an image of a lobster cowboy in the style of Van Gogh, a generator would need to be trained on many images of lobsters, cowboys, and Van Gogh’s body of work. A silly example, maybe, but this is the dilemma that artists and other creatives are facing. AI generation can’t function without human creation, and currently, there is little oversight to protect creators. 

So what does this have to do with AI logo creation? AI logo generators simply aren’t a copyright-proof solution. They utilize bots that crawl the internet taking in information, and generate a product based on a mish-mash of other brands’ copyrighted logos. An AI isn’t sentient–it can’t pull ideas out of thin air. The results of these generators are very often stolen ideas that don’t credit the original creators.

So why should you hire a dedicated brand designer?

Ultimately, seeking out an experienced, dedicated brand designer is the best way to ensure that you are receiving a product that is fully tailored to your business. When you work with a designer or design team like Mae Creative, you will get research-based design, attention to detail, and a finished design that you fully, unequivocally own.

Our Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, we know that you aim to do what’s best for your business. It’s a balance between quality and budget. Some of the options above may serve you well as a short-term solution, but you will, eventually, need to hire a brand designer to flesh out a quality visual identity for your brand. If you have questions about our process, pricing, or services, we encourage you to reach out to us!

Written by Rebekah McCubbins

Jun 27, 2023