We have opinions on budget logo design which we’ve aired in the past. We’ve questioned the ‘pound shop’ mentality of flogging logo designs for as cheaply as possible and whilst we feel that there may be a place for such services, we’re yet to be convinced about the quality they’re able to offer. After plenty of thought and discussion the summary is basically; you get what you pay for. If you’re not bothered about the quality of your logo (which is a pretty subjective thing at the best of times) or the service you receive from the designer, you might as well try and pay as little as possible.
Then along comes Swiftly. The basic premise of which is slightly different from that of 99designs, the company that recently launched Swiftly to the world. Both companies are competing purely on price point and using their low costs as a selling point. But instead of knocking out logos for next to nothing, Swiftly is essentially an amends factory. Need to simply change the name on a business card? Or switch the colour of the font on your website? Change some copy in Powerpoint? Swiftly claim to be able to take care of these small tweaks and changes for as little as $15.
We’ve been fairly vocal about the potential pitfalls of services such as 99designs in the past, so were naturally interested to find out about their latest venture. And, we have to say that, from an initial look, it seems like a really good idea. The service Swiftly offers is essentially “artworking”: Making simple changes with little or no creative input. It’s early days yet and there are a number of practical implications they’ll have to tackle (file formats, fonts, the state of the supplied artwork etc.) but presuming they have these potential issues covered, the idea certainly has potential.
The issue we had originally with companies offering logos for-as-little-fee-as-possible was the way their approach de-valued a bespoke, considered and in-depth service. We feel that the creation of an identity takes a degree of research, deliberation and exploration that simply can’t be achieved for a cost as low as £25. Applying the same thinking to amends however, does seem to make a bit more sense. A company strictly geared towards churning out what they term ‘small design fixes’ sounds like it could fill a potential gap in the market. Whilst there are plenty of ways to cut corners in logo design, the same can’t necessarily be said for changing a word on a poster or simply cropping an image in Photoshop. Plenty of people without the skills, time or access to the necessary technology could definitely benefit from a pair of hands with the necessary know-how and kit, making small tweaks to existing designs at an affordable rate.
Being the type of designers who ponder the workings and ethics of our industry, there are still plenty of question marks: Does Swiftly’s proposal undercut the decent, honest design agencies out there? Will this be yet another case of ‘cheapest wins’? Does Swiftly de-value what designers do in the same way that 99designs arguably does? Is the idea even a viable business model? Time will tell.
In the mean time, we’ll be interested to see how swiftly Swiftly grows.
Thanks for reading and do let us know your thoughts, we’re always interested to hear what you’ve got to say.
Phil and Tom