The Government, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, wants to bring down unemployment by encouraging people around the UK to start small businesses and offering resources in doing so. While we are not going to critique the politics behind this decision, there is one part of the plan that we wish to weigh in on: the choices of web and logo designers recommended.
The Government knows that even the smallest UK businesses need a website and a logo design, but they make a few questionable recommendations on where to get these. In fact, the original set of links was filled with US graphic design agencies, including a few questionable crowdsourcing websites. How is sending UK work offshore going to help the UK economy?
Even from our British viewpoint, it is easy to see why this mistake was made. There is a general conception—more appropriately, a misconception—that US designed logos are somehow better. The logos get a lot more exposure, no thanks to the UK Government in this case, and there is the perception that they are cheaper.
This completely ignores the contributions of many talented UK graphic designers and the general value of UK logo design. While there are significant logos from the US, the UK has a long and distinctive history of good design. The UK design community is not just worthy of inclusion on this list; it is worthy of top billing and even exclusive billing. If this website is trying to jumpstart the UK economy, it should include only UK businesses. Don’t get us wrong. We too have our sister company in the US and in fact was a forerunner of our UK studio. We are just saying that a local designer would be more beneficial to the cause.
One unsavoury reason that the UK Government might have chosen to give preference to US designers is that they are perceived as being cheaper. Indeed, if you are just starting a business, spending as little as possible on upfront costs can seem like a good idea. Nonetheless, good graphic design pays for itself—in higher profit and a greater chance at success. In our case, we have the same rates in both our UK and US companies to keep things consistent.
The question is not so much whether a UK designer can perform as well as a US designer, but rather whether a US designer can effectively create a logo and understand logo design basics and/or a website that appeals to the UK market. Who knows the UK market better than the people who are living in the midst of it? A UK logo design professional can create logos that are uniquely appropriate for the people who live and work on this side of the Atlantic.
The government has taken down most of the US graphic design companies from the website, but a crowdsourcing website from the US remains one of very few design recommendations. There are probably hundreds of fledgling UK companies being referred to this website every month—UK companies that will be basically swindled. Once again, the Government has given small business owners an additional burden in the guise of help.
If you want to help your business and our nation make it through the current economic crisis, the answer is clear: hire a UK logo designer to create a logo design that is perfect for a UK market.