Fiverr is McDonald's - Paper Lime Creative
Fiverr is McDonald’s
Write By: Katie Dooley

Delicious, but Maybe Not the Healthiest

A lot of people assume I hate Fiverr. It definitely doesn’t have a great reputation in the design world as it undercuts professional designers, boutique studios and larger agencies.
It’s like the Kijiji carpenter that’ll do a cheap cash job on a weekend that both makes it harder for Journeyman Carpenters to find work, and undermines the industry because of lack of professionalism.
That said, I always give my “Fiverr is McDonald’s” analogy. Sometimes Fiverr is a necessary avenue for a business. 
The A&R Athletic Therapy logo created by Paper Lime Creative
On those busy weeknights when you’re too tired to cook and you want to be a little bit naughty for not a lot of money… McDonald’s. $1 ice cream cones in the summer, their mini donuts are great and can anyone actually resist their fries? But if Super Size Me taught us anything it’s that you don’t want to eat McDonald’s every single day.
Fiverr is the same. You should not consume Fiverr for every piece of design, marketing or branding that you need. If you want to get in shape and level up your business, Fiverr is not the diet for you! But, sometimes, you need something done so that you can start making money.
When you have more cash flow, you can hire the pros that will back their designs with the strategy that Fiverr doesn’t concern itself with. It’s important to know when to transition away from Fiverr and get a professional to help you audit or refresh your brand so that it is more in line with your values, characteristics and dream customer.


Picking a Fiverr Designer

When it comes to your brand identity, Fiverr designers don’t have the same opportunity to go through a thorough process or do the proper research to get the logo you need, especially at lower price points
Taking a quick browse through the website, the designers describe what type of logo they will give you: minimalist, feminine, bold, etc. How do you know what type you need? Have you spent the time figuring out what your ideal customer needs?
There’s no great way to pick your designer besides reading their advertisement and seeing the work they post. I can’t imagine anyone buying a logo for $10 or someone developing a logo for $10 wanting to sit down and have a meet and greet call or learn about your business

The Fiverr Process

To get a better understanding of the Fiverr process and how it compares to a design agency, with the permission of my client A&R Athletic Therapy, I purchased a logo using her business name on Fiverr after developing her full brand package.
The designer I chose asked me 6 simple questions:

1) Logo Text and Tagline

This means you have to come up with your own business name and tagline, both services we provide. If you are coming up with your own tagline make sure you keep your target audience in mind. I gave this designer the tagline we developed for A&R Athletic Therapy
The tagline listed is something PLC developed for A&R. We weren’t familiar with what the “mill model’ is in Athletic Therapy, so that’s something we researched after our discovery session to fully understand what makes A&R different.

2) Brief description of your business

You’re only allowed 2500 words. I kept it quite brief, trying to keep in mind what a client would give me before I start digging deeper. I gave a very brief overview of who A&R Athletic Therapy works with and the services they offer. In contrast, we spend almost 2 hours in our discovery session. We run through dozens of questions and several activities to get a feel for your dream customer, what makes you different, and the deeper motivation for your business.

3) Colour & Font Type

I answered that I wasn’t sure but wanted something sports related. I left this blank — If I’m paying a designer it’s their job to figure that out.
We take the information from the discovery session and make strategic font and colour choices that will attract your dream customer and represent your business well. We also think about legibility, accessibility and how easy it is to reproduce.

4) Reference Images (optional)

• I chose not to add any for this one either. Part of me wanted to see how much information the designer needed to develop a logo. Would they come back and ask for more?
If my clients have some design pieces they like, I always encourage them to bring them to our discovery session, but it’s definitely not required!

5) What do you need to represent in the design?

• I answered this with A&R Athletic Therapy’s unique selling proposition and some of their values as well. 
This isn’t a terrible question but it’s a BIG question. A logo is a small piece of a brand and there is no way it can represent everything a business does. Take a look at some of the most famous logos — McDonald’s, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola — does their logo tell you their USP? Or their values? Maybe parts of them, but definitely not all of them. That’s why ad campaigns and collateral branding are so important. We learn more about Nike from the Just Do It campaign than we do from their logo.


If You’re Ordering from Fiverr…

After finishing these questions I was surprised by the next selections I was asked to make. They were add-ons to the logo. While you may feel you are saving money, Fiverr will nickel and dime you on everything. Want a vector file? (You want your vector file), there’s an extra charge. Want your brand guidelines? There’s an extra charge. Do you want to know the fonts and Pantones for your brand? Again, an extra charge. 
This is where I have a real problem with Fiverr, granted, even if you added on all these extras it would still be a cheap logo. The problem is that most people don’t know that they need these items. They come to me to get something created and I have to charge them extra time to rebuild their logo as a vector, or reverse engineer their fonts and colours. If the client never knew what their colours were there could be vast inconsistencies in printing


The Results from Fiverr

As far as the outcome goes, I don’t see anything of what I sent in the logo I received.
A day later I got the final file… and surprise I got the infamous BANANA MAN! Pay attention the next time you’re out. The Banana Man is everywhere. Another problem with Fiverr is that this could very well be outright plagiarized, or at least, it’s similar to other logos in similar industries, you no longer stand out. Seriously, Google “Physiotherapist logos” and Banana Men are rampant.
Banana Man!
A one-day process does not lend itself to market research. This particular Fiverr designer didn’t even know where in the world the business operates. When we do research we make recommendations on how to reach your ideal customers, in the case of this athletic therapist, where to set up a clinic and how to advertise.
While you may leave Fiverr with a logo, you won’t have a brand or strategy to back it up. It’s much harder to make a brand fit a logo than to create a logo that fits a brand. 
There’s always a technical side to graphic design — not the pretty and creative graphics. This is something that Fiverr charges for. There were a plethora of file types (ie. jpeg, png, pdf, etc) which was nice to receive, but there were colour spaces missing. The logo only came in a colour format appropriate for the screen, but not for print. While it’s not impossible to figure it out, it’s not guaranteed to match, and if you’re DIYing your design you might not realize that this is even an issue.
They also didn’t include any options for an all-black or a reverse (white) logo. Again, on the surface, this might not seem like an issue but if you aren’t sure how to switch over your colours to all black or all white, then you will be paying a designer to fix it


Ready for a Gourmet Meal?

While I won’t tell you to not use Fiverr, it has a place like a McDonald’s burger, be sure of your needs and future goals. I am always happy to have a chat if you’re considering going to Fiverr to make sure you get what you need in the budget you require. If you want to lower the cost of acquisition of your clients, consider a bigger strategy-based brand