Want a logo that's cheaper than dirt? This is what you get.
They say you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince. With Fiverr, the adage is true.
I recently set out to get some graphic design work done on Fiverr—a platform where freelancers offer their creative services for as little as $5.
Yes, that's wayyy too little money to pay for good work.
Yes, my expectations were very low.
And yes, I planned to spend a lot more than $5.
At an SBA workshop I’d heard that I should expect to spend about $200, and at least a few hours time, before I found a good designer on the platform.
In full disclosure, I was also really curious what $5 could get me, and I thought a Fiverr review would be blog-worthy.
So I went to Fiverr. Here’s what happened...
My Gig Request
Note my baller budget.
I started by posting my very self-flattering “gig request” around midnight. By the next morning I had received about ten responses. Each of them offered:
A logo within 24 hours
Unlimited editing rounds
A fee of $5 - $15
Honestly, I was tempted to hire one of the two women who responded (because go women designers!) but instead I chose the person with the best sample work in their profile.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Total Cost: $17
Right off the bat, Guy#1 wanted me to answer A LOT of questions. Mostly he asked for info that was included in my gig request. Not a good start, Guy#1.
I told him I liked specific shades of green and grey, and reiterated my interest in images that played with the name of my blog: Moneybites. The next day he sent me this:
Introducing my new blog: Money$hotz
Immediately I regretted my decision to use Fiverr. How many editing rounds would it take to make this thing look professional? Was it even possible to end up with something decent?
I encouraged Guy#1 to make a few edits, but rounds two and three weren't any better. And then he started pressuring me to "Accept" the logo.
“If you are satisfied with my work then please mark this order as complete. Drop me 5 stars recommendation. Tip will be highly appreciated.” I received the message twice.
In a final, desperate attempt, I asked him to make the images look like the were created by one designer, and not photoshopped together. Sure it sounds rude, but a Google Image search confirmed they were indeed photoshopped together.
In the end, I paid $10 for the service, a $5 tip (what's the etiquette here?), a $2 processing fee to Fiverr, and I had no logo.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Total Cost: $17
Because I was in a rush, I hired Guy#2 while I was still working with Guy#1. This was a mistake. Here's what you can learn from my mistake:
One should not use Fiverr when one is in a hurry.
Working with more than one designer is likely to cause stress.
Lots of communication is required between editing rounds.
Some designers are very anxious about sticking to the promised timeframe
Some designers get upset if you don’t respond right away.
Guy #2 was so serious about the timeline that he sent me this little nightmare in 20 minutes:
Is that... melting flesh?
Fact: This designer either didn't read or didn't understand my instructions, and didn't know what a "logo" was.
Sure, a certain level of miscommunication was to be expected. I encountered language barriers with most of the designers, and Guy#2 was German, but Google Translate (and eye glasses?) could have prevented this.
Regrettably, I leaned into my editing rounds, and sent Guy#2 the following message:
Unfortunately this is not really what I am looking for. I would like a very simple logo using symbols related to what I suggested - a mouth and money. I would also like for you to use the color I mentioned - a saturated lime or bright green color. Thank you!
About 20 minutes later I got another sample. His speed was undoubtedly enhanced by the fact that, he too, used images easily found in a Google Image search.
After seven rounds with Guy#2, in which I repeatedly asked for something simpler, and provided him with 5 more sample images, I ended up with this:
Seriously, message me if you want to see the other images. They're WILD.
Zombie Bling was the end of the line. We both agreed that we weren't going to find common ground, and he informed me I was his only unhappy customer, ever.
Alltogether I paid $17: the $10 fee, a $5 tip and Fiverr's $2 fee. I was also left wondering if I was somehow the problem.
Rating: 5 Stars
Total Cost: $9
Guy #3’s main appeal was his promise of what I'd been seeking: “minimalist logo design.”
I had also realized that if I had a specific image in mind, I had to describe that image in detail, using visual examples if possible. So I sent some additional images, and this is what I got:
While it wasn’t what I was looking for, I felt hope creeping back in.
After three rounds, I still couldn’t see using his work on my website, but at least he was better than #2. Double entendre intended.
All together I spent $9.
Back to the Drawing Board
At this point I was ready to give up.
Communicating with designers had become a full time job and it wasn’t paying off. After three days and a negligible $43, I had nothing to show.
So I started asking friends for referrals. Which led me right back to Fiverr. Because I couldn't afford anyone they knew.
I was back at square one, and I decided it was time to honor my initial intuition...
My Beautiful Sample Images
Woman #1 (Round 1)
Rating: 5 Stars
Total Cost: $27
I was determined to make this fourth effort my last. Plus, I had a deadline rapidly approaching for one of my projects, and I really wanted to use my new logo on some Moneybites swag.
But Woman#1 and I got off to a rough start. She put me off for a day or so, and seemed defensive when I asked her about her timeline.
In the meantime I sent her a battery of sample images (see above), hoping she would have a really clear idea what I was looking for.
...And then God's light shone down upon me.
Woman#1 finally responded with a host of legitimately viable options. Then she listened to each one of my nit-picky suggestions, and over the course of 3 days she sent me over twenty different images.
When our time was up, I still didn't have a logo I loved, but there were a few I really liked. We agreed that I would "accept" her work and start a new "gig." I paid a total of $27 with tip and fee.
Woman #1 (Round 2)
Rating: 5 Stars
Total Cost: $32
My second gig with Woman #1, who shall henceforth be known by her Fiverr pseudonym mhhdesigns (go hire her!), was a lightning round.
Within a matter of hours she had turned a good design into something I loved, with different elements that I could use separately or together. Functionality + Beauty FTW.
Truthfully, I got a little verklempt when she sent me the final logo. And the second and final round was just $20, plus a $10 tip and a $2 fee.
Without further ado, the new Moneybites logo:
Check out the website next week to see my beloved new logo in action, without the Fiverr watermark of course.
Fiverr's Grade: B-
The full process took about 9 days from start to finish. It cost a total of $102, and a little bit of my sanity.
Pros: Affordable design
Cons: Major time commitment
Yes, Fiverr is inexpensive, but you basically have to be on call throughout the entire process, or you'll have some very angry freelancers on your hands. And of course, there's the bad design work.
Fortunately you have a great referral for a graphic designer, so you don't have to start from scratch!
Here she is again: mhhdesigns
Is there a freelancer on Fiverr who you love?
Share the knowledge, or just share your tips for using Fiverr in the comments below.
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