It's not even Internet pr0n...
There is, of late, a site called "Make My Own Logo". It is an automated logo creation engine.
I have here, before, commented on what I find a pernicious attitude that you can economize down the creative process and still get a solid logo. The online reaction to LogoWorks catalyzed my thinking in this regard. LogoWorks, it will be recalled, is a site that promises to get you your own customized logo for a fraction of what it would cost to obtain real design talent; the way this was done was by gathering designers desperate for work and throw them on projects in somewhat the same way gamecocks compete at a cockfight, paying them a pittance in return.
It generated bad will amongst designers who had, you know, actually bothered to go out and get trained or at least mentored, to become enlightened designers who'd actually striven to get smart at this. And then there was the plagiarism (including the simple cut-and-paste copying of the Xerox logo, so help me). But I, once again digress.
Alerted by my colleague Elisabetta Bruno at this posting on Designorati here, I looked at the site calling itself MakeMyOwnLogo.com. Here was a site that actually has lowered the bar even farther than LogoWorks did. I didn't think it possible, but it happened.
DIY Logo Development
The model is, to give credit, admirably simple. Surfing the home page you'll find some logo examples and a big yellow button that proclaims a free trial. Clicking that button will take you through a short process:
- Input your company name, tagline (if you want), and check the industry segment as appropriate (no Graphic Design there. Coincidence? I think..oh never mind).
- Choose a design that speaks to you out of the grab-bag of images they come up with.
- Customize the font and color (if appropriate).
- Pay $99.
- Job done! Your result arrives in email presently.
Yeah, those express my mission to a T. Ai yi yi.
But wait, there's less
Now, anyone can debate with me 'til the river rises about how much work ought to go into designing a logo and what a fair price for this service is. But regardless of what anyone thinks about the actual value of a desinger's services, let's instead look at it as a different equivalency: are you getting back value for the money?
Even on my C.A. dialup connection, the whole process of winnowing MMOL's rather (in my opinion) limited offerings to something only vaguely appropriate took less than 10 minutes.
10 minutes of your time to pay $99 for something that thousands of other people could get in a flash, pretty much probably at the same time you are? Doesn't seem an even trade to me.
And when I got to the finish line, where was the free trial? Or was the design process the free trial?
If LogoWorks is like going to the supermarket to get something mass produced but still somehow just for you, this outfit is like going to the convenience store: limited selection, high prices, low quality. There's a bunch of huffing and puffing about the product I could do, but to me it's enough to know that they are making you pay to do what you could do for free with a book of clipart and some low-cost graphics program.
It's bad...and not in the good way.
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