Scott Stoll, Graphic Designer, Portfolio

Create your own logo for free!

A behind the scenes look at a graphic chop shop.

The short answer to the question of why are some graphic designers so cheap is that they are taking shortcuts in the creative process, not giving you the original files so that you have to keep going back, and/or they're using templates. Often, they aren't even doing the work, but outsourcing (subcontracting) the job to someone else, sometimes they don't even live in this country! It is becoming common for Chinese and Indian companies to pretend they are local to your area. And, websites like, that offer $5 logos, have biased reviews, becasue if the job is too difficult the artist will cancel, and you won't get a logo or a chance to review about your wasted time and effort.

How to create your own logo using a template.

Companies and individuals offering prices too good to be true, are using templates, like cookie cutters for logos, and clip art, and simply typing in the name of your company. And sometimes they are using computer programs that spit out a bunch of designs based on keywords. I am using a logo as an example, but this also applies to print and web. They sometimes offer unlimited designs and unlimited revisions for as little as $25 dollars. In my experience, and in the experiences of my professional peers, that is less than one hour of work. I usually spend about 1-3 hours consulting with my client and 1-4 hours of research, before I feel comfortable beginning a design. (For more information on how the creative process works, click here.)

An example of a logo template.

generic logo template example

An example of my logo using this template.
(The other templates weren't much different and not any better.)

logo template using real life example

Here's a step by step example of how to make a logo using another company's custom template.

Step I: Choose an icon.

Pick a stock image, meaning pick a generic graphic that has already been illustrated, which as you can see, has no stlye. They are the lowest common denominator of illustrations meant to please everyone and satisfy all needs. Below are the travel images, the closest match to either graphic design or bicycling.

generic icons

Step II: Choose a font.

I was given only 12 fonts to choose from, whereas I have over 10,000 fonts. As you can see I chose the globe icon.

generic fonts

Step III: Choose a color scheme.

In this case I was given another 12 options each using a couple colors out of the 256 "web safe" colors. In reality, there are millions of colors that can be used on the web.

generic colors

The end product: A cookie cutter logo

cookie cutter logo generic template

A 100% Customized logo.

Below is my custom designed logo with my vision fully realized. I think it is:

A cool idea — Why does it read as "bicycle" when half the letters are missing. In a more abstract manner, it conveys my passion for new creations, adventure and design. I hope it will invoke people to ask, "What is the connection between bicycling and graphic design?"

Eye catching — Simple circular shapes and roughly complimentary colors (cyan and gold) read quickly at a glance.

Attention keeping — It is an elegant design which pleases the eye, and it is a curious puzzle.

Conveys information — It reads as "Blue Bicycle". It gives the viewer the impression of adventure, design, elegance and simplicity. Also it combines two familiar elements into something new, interesting and mysterious. These ideas are how I like to view my business and design philosophy; and the type of people that resonate with these ideas are the type of customers I like to attract.

100% original custom bicycle logo


So, you can see why these companies offer unliminted designs and unlimited revisions, because it would take them unlimited revisions to get a logo anywhere close to unique. In other words, you get what you pay for.