We Got Our Start-Up Branding For 50$. Here’s How We Did It.

As an early-stage start-up, lean is a recurring word in meetings. Are we going for the free version, or are we going to pay for it? Do we really need the premium features? Can’t we create a hack around it? It’s a consideration many start-ups are making every day. Ours as well.

“There’s a huge difference between being cheap and being lean.”

Most of the time, a few bucks will make a huge difference. Not only will the result be a lot better, you won’t waste any time on finding everything for free. It’s the classic story of 10$, 100$ and 1000$ jobs. Is your two hours of time worth saving 50$? It probably isn’t, so just spend it focusing on what you do best. We would waste too much time trying to design our own logo, so we didn’t. Here’s what we did.

We ordered three logos on Fiverr (yes, this is a referral link #lean). Two costing us 10$, one worth 30$. After 48 hours, all three logos were in. We only spent a few minutes creating the orders, so we already felt it was worth the 50$. First of all, we had to choose a winner. Pretty easy for us, we were lucky. If you’re not, spend an extra 10$. (Disclaimer: it will be a 60$ branding instead of a 50$ one) You now know what you don’t want. Include those results in your new request. Chances are, the new result will be a lot better.

Product Hunt collections, Start-up Stash and stashes per sector you’re in. A lot of sites collect the best tools for start-ups. Use them.

Secondly: your color palette. There’s this tool coolors.co that automatically creates a palette of five colors, based on a color of your choice. (The main color of your logo in this case). There are probably alternatives, maybe even better ones, but I find this one to be working really smoothly. You can change the colors you don’t like and export the palette once finished, so you can share and save it to your start-ups Slack, Drive or Dropbox.

Same story to get your fonts straight. I like using Type Genius to get matching fonts. It gives you context by providing examples and several options to choose from. You can always try several websites. Font Pair is also pretty neat. How did we get our first font? We just asked for a logo with our company name next to it. Pretty straightforward. If you don’t have one (or don’t like it) just have a look at other logos and check WhatTheFont to see which one they used. It’s not stealing, it’s making use of.

“It doesn’t help spending thousands of dollars on an agency, if you’re not going to be consistent.”

Neither will spending 50$ (or 60$) help. Consistency in your branding is key. You can have the most awesome font set ever with a beautiful color palette, if you’re not going to be consistent, it’s as shit as using Comic Sans MS with pink and yellow. No offense.

Finally, define what your look and feel will be. I like creating an A4 document to style Lorum Ipsum content. Use the right colors and fonts for titles, body text, links and buttons. Define what you’re going to justify, center or align left. What will your padding be around titles and body text? You can experiment with this. Jasmine Fried, Product Designer at Facebook, published an awesome post that tells you more about this stuff, it really helps getting your branding right.

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We also have a website and are offering you a dream lifestyle to join our dream team.

Once you’ve defined these things, you’re ready to go. You’ve got yourself a new branding for 50$ and a few hours of fun work. Don’t forget to be consistent and tell your co-workers to follow the same rules. You just have to provide them with the right information — and they will love you for it.