What's in a logo? (and how Fotostat's came to be)

Posted January 25, 2013 under minimalise, fotostat, design, logo

Let me start out by saying that I am not the most graphically talented guy you will ever meet.  That is actually quite an understatement.  I'm a colourblind, stick-figure drawing, artistically lacking individual.  If not for my photography I would dub myself creatively defunct.  But you know what?  I'm ok with that because it's simply not my calling in life.  It does become a problem however when one is trying to launch a startup that does not yet have a logo.

A logo is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to brand recognition, even moreso in the online world.  It is usually the first thing a potential customer will see from your business and is the primary identifier of who you are and what you do.  That's pretty important!  With that in mind I set out on creating a small brief for myself on what I want the logo to convey.  My key points looked something like this:

- Clean, simple and minimal
- Modern
- Easily recognisable
- Show a link to photography and statistics

For quite some time I had been wanting to try out +99designs, an established startup from Australia that created the largest marketplace for crowdsourced design.  I had heard of some great work coming out of there and after looking through the completed 'competitions' I was commited.  I say competitions because that is exactly what they are.  You create your 'competition' and specify the award amount that goes to the final winner.  

Getting started on 99designs was extremely easy.  You create a 7 day competition, specify the award amount, fill in a few details about your company/product and give some guidance on the kind of logo you would like by answering a few multiple choice questions.  After submitting your brief you are all ready to go.  99designs try to give an estimate of how many designs you can expect from your pricing package but I found it to be severely underestimated.  I chose the entry level bronze package for $299 and was told to expect around 30 designs in total but ended up with 234 designs from 57 designers.  Let me say that there was no problem with low quality designs (though there were some), the problem was choosing the right design from such a large selection.

As with any kind of design work you have to be ready and willing to give constructive feedback to help guide the direction of the work, something that 99designs really tried to highlight throughout their site.  By rating each design and giving detailed responses to the submissions most of the entrants took note and by the end of the contest I was seeing more and more of the exact kind of design that I was after.  The final winner was chosen with the help of friends and family as I was having a lot of trouble settling on one, and it is always good to get some outside feedback.  Over the next day or so the handover took place and I was all set to use the new logo across the website and in the product video.

If anyone is looking at getting a logo designed I wouldn't hesitate to recommend that you at least give 99designs [] a look before going anywhere else.

Head over to Fotostat [] to see our new logo in action (and see if you can spot it in the video too!).

Daniel Treadwell is a Developer, Amateur Photographer and Founder of Fotostat, a central hub where photographers can easily manage their online presence.