Sure you can get a logo for $99, but is it really YOUR logo?

I hear these stories regularly. Small businesses that don’t have the budget for a real graphic designer to come up with logo concepts for them so they turn to the fivrr and 99designs types of solutions for inexpensive logos. They think they are saving money because they are not hiring a professional designer (myself included) and then they are sent notes like this:

Hello (Sad client)!
Our community team has uncovered an issue with your winning design in your contest (link to the post they used to solicit designs)

It appears that the cat silhouette may have some similarities to (some stock graphic that was barely altered to create your “unique logo).

It is possible the designer copied this concept, which is against the Designer Code of Conduct they agreed to for this logo contest. All designs must be 100% original in logo contests.

We have a few options for you:

1. If you’re interested in continuing with the designer, we can facilitate that – the designer would need to modify the design so that is a more original take on that concept – so while it could be in a similar style, they could generate an original version of this design.

2. If you’d like to award a different winner from your finalists, we can set that up – and you can proceed with that design through the handover phase.

3. If you’d prefer a relaunch of your contest to work directly with a fresh batch of designers, we’d be happy to assist.

This is definitely frustrating to have come up after the end of your contest, but we do want to ensure you’re comfortable with your final design, and in the rare cases designers do violate our clear onsite rules, we want to ensure you have a chance to look over options. Please let us know how you’d like to proceed with this design and designer, and we’ll assist however we can.


There is a trite saying that is trite for a reason, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. This is your BRAND, your SIGN, your LOGO that will appear EVERYWHERE. This is NOT the time to cut corners. This is the time to align yourself with a marketing professional first to talk about your company mission, goals – short and long term, your personality and deep passion for what you do and then talk about the budget. Spend the time with a marketing professional to drill this down. They may also be your logo designer/graphic designer or they may have one they can communicate clearly with on your behalf to create your MESSAGE in the form of a graphic mark to convey your passion, skills and knowledge.

Should they give this group another chance? I am advising not, but I don’t know what they will do yet. The logo was sent to me to incorporate into their existing site header. It didn’t look very unique to me, but they loved it and that was what they wanted to spend. Now they’ve paid me to update their site templates and graphics throughout. Looks like we’ll have to do that again. 

Let me ask you, would you sign up with the company that offered the lowest price for Lasix eye surgery? If so, you are not my client and these bargain companies are PERFECT for you.