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How to Choose a Logo Design that is Perfect for You
Your logo is the signature of your brand and the most valuable asset of your company. It is the only item that will represent your brand more than anything else. A well-designed logo is a symbol that reflects your business and your message. It must be simple, unforgettable, diverse and able to work without color.
To choose a logo, there are important steps to go through, both by yourself and with the graphic designer. In this post, I describe the logo design process and some important guidelines to keep in mind when choosing the perfect logo for you.
For creating your logo, you are free to choose an independent designer, design company or perhaps an advertising agency. Throughout this post, for the sake of convenience and ease of reading, I will use the term “designer” to include any type of business or individual that applies to your case.
Choose a budget
You should first decide on your budget for your new logo. They can cost from $ 300-1500 (USD) and sometimes more. Just remember that you get what you pay for, and the cost to the designer will reflect your experience, customer and professional background. Investing in a brand (and the corporate identity that goes with it) is one of the most important first steps you can take when creating a brand. A symbol is worth more than the hours it takes to create it.
You can find bank logos and competing websites online and get one for about $ 150. There are even various independent websites where people bid as low as $ 50. Just know that choosing a logo for cheap online can be catastrophic. Inexperienced designers can spend eternity not being able to communicate well, use clip art images (indefinitely) and may not provide you with the proper documentation you need for both printing and website use.
Find a designer
There are many places where you can find a graphic designer. Choosing the right designer for you is definitely harder (and we’ll get to it in a minute). You can locate multiple candidates using different methods.
- Ask around. If you know someone who has a great logo, just ask them who made it. Most of my freelance design work comes from referrals.
- Find a graphic design company directory, such as on GraphicDesign.com.
- Browse design galleries and portfolio communities like The Behance Network.
- Search for “logo design” and “logo development” on social networks like Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook.
Choose the right designer
After contacting several designers and requesting a quote, make sure you look beyond the price when deciding who gets the job. Consider the designers’ previous logos and the corporate identity they created around them. Look for good design presentations as it shows how much they care about their own professional appearance. Read the descriptions associated with each of their logo projects, because logos can look great and all, but they must meet certain design requirements to be effective.
More importantly, choose a logo designer whose style of design matches your preferred style. By doing this, you will be happy with the logo you finish and the designers will be happy because that style is what they like the most.
You can judge the profession of a graphic designer by the following points. All this does not need to be done, but look at at least some of them.
- They are polite, direct, knowledgeable and effective communicators.
- They explain their design process for you and tell you what will be offered at the end.
- They will ask you relevant questions to understand your business.
- They have a number of contracts or service agreements that need to be signed before starting.
- They require a specified advance payment prior to the start.
- Their grammar, spelling, and punctuation are at least satisfactory. (As with any industry, bad writing speaks volumes about one person).
An important note here: If the designer presents you with a contract or agreement, make sure the ownership of the token is transferred to you at the time of the final payment. If there is nothing in writing about ownership, ask your designer to give you this written agreement. It is imperative that you own your logo design so that you can use it legally as you wish in the future.
Detailed Designer Summary
Whether you summarize your designers face-to-face or send a short email form, it is important to explain what you want in detail. Answer these questions first:
- If you have a current logo, why don’t you like it?
- What does your business do?
- Who is your target market?
- Who are your main competitors?
- How are you different from your competitors?
- What qualities do you want your company to have?
- How do you want your new logo to evoke emotions?
- Do you have a tag line that needs to be included in the design?
- Will your logo appear in the video? If so, will it need an animated version?
- Which specific logo is your favorite and why?
- Are you part of a typography (FedEx or ESPN), a token (Nike or Apple) or a combination of the two (Pepsi or Adidas)?
Let the designer know exactly where you plan to use the logo. Sure you will have a business card and a website, but is it visible on your billboards and social media profiles?
Ask if the designer will provide instructions on how to use the logo, suggesting how the logo may or may not work. For example, which logo variation can be used on which color background? Finally ask for a favicon. This is a thumbnail that appears in the Internet Explorer tab in your Bookmark Manager and on your computer when you save a website. They are usually available in one of three sizes: 16 × 16, 32 × 32, or 64 × 64 pixels. Ask for a 64 × 64 pixel favicon so it looks clear wherever it appears.
Equipped with all this knowledge, your designer should be able to provide a clear picture of your business. Strengthening your vision before a brief design will save you time, money and headaches in the end.
When I entered the logo design industry, I met some clients who expected me to know all these things and provide the perfect solution to the problem that is not clearly stated. It inevitably leads to the modification of their logos and their constantly tired faces. That’s why I decided to start sending out a question list of basic logo design before considering the job. If you do not know what you want at the beginning, you can continue to change your mind as the project progresses. It’s okay to change your mind, but be aware that designers may ask for extra money before proceeding.
Choose a symbolic idea
The designer will then do the necessary research and experimentation, then come back to you with some design ideas. It will take about two to four days depending on the specific job. Ideally, they will show you 3 to 6 hand-drawn sketches. When you first think of an idea, choose a symbol that catches your eye immediately. This is usually where your gut tells you to choose. Continue the decision-making process by asking yourself some important questions:
- Does it represent my product or business?
- Does it send my message?
- Is the design simple enough?
- Is the design contrasting enough to stand out?
- Will it work without color?
- Will it work when it is small?
- Does it look like any other logo?
- Does it involve another five years or ten years?
After that, sleep on it. Do the same thing over and over and ask yourself the same question a second time. Has your answer changed? It is also a good idea to ask friends and family what they think.
Provide helpful feedback
After the initial draft, your designer can actually display the symbol next to what you are looking for, but it is not often that they will touch the nail on the head immediately. So it is up to you to communicate your needs as much as you can. Give your designers useful feedback. Simply saying “I do not like any of them” does not really help the process. Indicate why you do not like something or something you want to see differently, such as “I do not like solidity and symmetry. Can you make it more animated or make it more vibrant?”
Providing clear direction is necessary, but try not to become a designer yourself. You hired a designer for a reason, so let them do what they do best. If you have chosen a good designer who communicates well and matches your favorite style, then you can be confident that they will present you with quality work.
When issuing the final payment to the designer, you should receive the goods promised to you at the beginning of the business relationship. It should include a vector file that can be resized, as opposed to a raster image that cannot be resized without becoming pixels (blurred).
You need a file that you can get started with online immediately (usually PNG, JPG, or GIF). Request a PNG of the GIF if you want the background to be transparent (there are no white boxes around your logo). You also need to get the source file (usually AI or EPS). You definitely want the source file in case someone needs to modify or expand your logo one day. For example, if one day you hire someone to make a video for you, then the source file requires your logo – JPG will not cut it.
When it comes time to choose the perfect symbol for you, know that it is not a simple process. It takes a lot of thinking about your business type, your target audience, the message you want to send, the emotions you want to provoke, as well as the open communication with your designer.
However, it is definitely worth the effort for a solid logo design as it is the first thing your audience sees and it will stay with you for a long time.
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