Bring a logo to life in minutes but make sure you have a plan for long-term use.
During the day, I work at a nonprofit organization. I have worked in this sector for many years and know the value of efficiency. I am in marketing and am typically a one-person department. That means that I’m not only organizing projects, but also competing tasks for those projects. I’ve been asked to design marketing collateral and hired freelancers to create logos. Even though I am capable of creating custom graphics, I usually don’t have the time to do so. And being in the nonprofit world, I typically don’t have the funds to hire someone for every project. That’s where DesignEvo, an online logo maker website, comes in and saves the day.
DesignEvo came out of the success of FotoJet, a customer graphic design application from developer PearlMountain. It’s a custom online logo creator that doesn’t require any design skills from the user. There are more than 9000 templates available for customization and hundreds of more design elements are available so that you can make some thing unique for your organization or event.
I’ve actually had experience with PearlMountain’s FotoJet so I was definitely interested in seeing what DesignEvo had to offer. Getting started with the software is pretty easy. You can enter into the site and start a logo design from scratch or by using one of the DesignEvo templates. You don’t have to sign up for an account to get started, which is something I like. You actually have the opportunity to completely test out the options DesignEvo has to offer without completing an account for the website.
When I got started, I was working on trying to create a logo for a fundraising event that my organization plans. It’s a 5K race on Thanksgiving so I started with a turkey template and then tried to customize it from there. I found that while you have the option to add icons, text, shapes, and backgrounds, I found that my options were limited. I searched for running shoes to add to the original image in the template, but found that I couldn’t edit the turkey image at all from the template. So, I started looking at other templates to see if I could find something that might work better. Eventually, I saw another template for a ‘race’ and found a fun element that I wanted to use. Unfortunately, I discovered at this point that design elements that are embedded onto templates are not available to use except on the template they start on. For example, the turkey that was on the original template I started working with was not available in the icon set that is available on the website.
After a few hours of attempting to settle on a logo that I thought was effective, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get exactly what I wanted without being able to customize it using layers, which is not a service that DesignEvo offers.
After being a bit disheartened about my original mission, I decided to create another logo for a student project I’m developing with a team in a masters program. For this type of project, DesignEvo was ideal. I found a nice icon that will serve as a badge and I liked the text options that were available within the program.
Now, while the actual of creation of a logo is very simple to execute, and there are quite a few options for basic logo designs, there is something that needs to be stated. There are no options for copyrighting or trademarking the finished product through DesignEvo. There are three different package options when you design a logo through DesignEvo — Free, Basic, or Plus. With the Free package, you get a low resolution, 300 pixel file. There isn’t much you can do with that type of file. You can probably use it for some social media and/or website placements, but you certainly wouldn’t be able to use it for print. You also have to ‘give credit’ to DesignEvo as the designer.
The Basic package provides you the freedom to not have to credit DesignEvo and you get to download a transparent PNG up to 5000 pixels in size. They claim that it’s ‘print ready’ at this level, but you don’t get vector files or the ability to download font files. The Plus package gives you everything in the basic package, PLUS vector files (PDF, SVG), downloadable font files, and copyright ownership. Now, it’s important to note here that ‘copyright ownership’ refers to the ability to purchase a copyright. You don’t automatically get a copyright when you download the logo.
This part of the process was a little confusing so we reached out to PearlMountain and got the following explanation.
“All templates provided in DesignEvo can be always accessed by all users. In other words, the image you pick will not be removed from DesignEvo. To make your logo unique and distinct you can customize it by setting your favorite colors, adding your own company name and applying some other effects.
You own the copyright of any logos that you have customized and purchased on our platform. You can use your final logo for any commercial or non-commercial use without additional permission. However, you can’t copyright or trademark any unmodified templates, icons and other graphics that we have provided. And we don’t provide copyright and trademark services. If you want to place a trademark on your logo, you may need to consult your local copyright and trademark protection agencies.”
In other words, even if you trademark/copyright the logo you customize, someone else using DesignEvo still has access to the exact same elements you did when creating your logo. The problem with this, in my opinion, is that if you are creating a logo that’s supposed to identify your brand, what’s to stop someone else from creating the same type of logo to identify their brand. That could be confusing if you are trying to define any type of brand recognition. And, again in my opinion, that’s why copyrights and trademarks exist.
I believe that an easy solution to this would be if DesignEvo offers and additional purchase for copyrighting. When you complete your logo design and purchase it with a copyright option, then those logo elements — especially the icons — are no longer useable by others.
I think DesignEvo is a nice concept, but lacks some definition in execution. It’s one thing to have a graphics program (like FotoJet) that is open to all types of people, but a logo is supposed to be one-of-a-kind and brand defining. The quality of the graphics available through DesignEvo are superb and it’s a very easy process to walk through, but I think it would be best to create and easy way for users to have a 100% unique logo — without any concern that others might be able to create something just like it.