Don’t spend another dollar on a new logo design until you read this
1. How to prepare yourself to get the logo that’s perfect for you.
I would ask myself these questions:
Who is my target market?
I know, it’s a cliche but that’s for a very good reason. It’s an essential question that doesn’t form the basis of my logo it’s more of a guideline for it. I need to know who I’m talking to. It’s not just about their gender, age, profession or pay scale. I like to know more about what makes them tick. Are they adventurous or safe, early adaptors or conservatives, wanting freedom or afraid of losing out? What are their motivators. What makes them tick … think about that now … how can you make them tick.
This drives the basic emotion your new logo should appeal to. It will enable the designer to research other logos in industries that really push those emotional buttons and bring it back to your business.
What am I selling?
It’s a simple question that has 2 parts. I think about how I can describe my product or service as simply as possible, my elevator pitch. Now lets go through the features. This can be performance: 0 to 60 in 1.9seconds or weighs only 2.3kg. Now I think about how that feature solves a problem for the target market. Lets see if you can push it out to 7 features with the associated benefits …
So what? Now that I’ve gone through the features and benefits I like to take it deeper. Each benefit needs to be asked – so what? Lets say it’s an IT product with fast performance. So what? No more waiting for data! So what? A greater user experience … happy clients.
This process will lead me to the base emotion. These answers refine the basic emotion. It will enable the designer to rcreate auniqueness thats linked to your key benefits.
Why should they buy from me?
How can they trust me? Is my business a good fit for their needs? Perhaps it’s my process, my people or my experience. Perhaps I’m the exclusive provider of the product or service. Everyone expects good customer service … can I show them I care? Did someone say testimonials?
This question is used to create your positioning statement. If your designer isn’t strong on positioning, walk away now. A logo is all about your market positioning!!
How does someone buy from me?
How would I prefer them to buy from me? Is it a phone call, a text, an email, is it a direct purchase from my website or do I want social media engagement?
This question will allow the designer to see how and where the logo will be used in future marketing material.
Use these questions for your next logo project. It works equally as well when preparing for a new website, a brochure, a pitch deck, advertising or social media … it’s universal.
2. What to look for when hiring a graphic designer.
Not all designers are created equal.
Do they have proof?
Every designer will say they can create logos. Every designer will have a portfolio. This is where you can differentiate the talkers from the doers, the low acheivers from the high acheivers and sift though the hype.
Go check out their website. If it’s not giving you the right answers or feel, walk away.
Do they have the skills for your level of business?
You will quickly discover who can cut the mustard. You have a certain expectation for the level of professionalism you wish to project from your company’s communications. By all means if you are a start up just wanting to sell to a few freinds with little ambition, just get a cheap service logo from a freelance website.
If you are wanting to communicate serious marketing material to established businesses and corporations, you’ll need a high level of skill and finish to get the perfect logo.
A designers quality should shine through everything they produce.
Do they have experience?
Have they seen trends come and go? Will they be able to look through what’s running hot right now and create a long term logo to travel with you as your enterprise rises through the ranks.
I wouldn’t hire a newly qualified designer. I know they have their place and I had to start somewhere. As a mature business I would’t hire a younger me. Raw talent needs time to find the finishing skills to deliver the perfect logo.
Will they work with you until you have got what you want?
You do not want to engage the services of someone who will not be able to complete the project and run away leaving you with half a logo and a hole in your wallet.
Quite a few designers will only allow a certain number of adjustments in their budget. This is where the price can run away from you. I prefer to use a fixed price business model. With my experience across many industries, I usually get the desired result quickly and if not, I’ll work with you until the desired result is completed.
3. What is a professional logo design process?
Step 01. The initial design meeting.
This is where the questions in section 01 of this document should be asked. The meeting could be via Skype, phone or in person.
You will get a good idea if you can work with the designer in this meeting. Their willingness to ask questions and listen intently instead of telling you what you need and how good they are from the outset will create a much better working relationship.
After all, it’s your logo, not theirs.
The questions are targeted more towards your business offering and industry and less towards what colour you like. Of course if you do have some colour and shape preferrences, by all means put them forward. Your logos positioning in the marketplace is really whats important.
Who is your target market?
What are you selling?
Why should I buy from you?
How do I buy from you?
Step 02. Initial presentation of logo concepts.
This can take 1 to 4 weeks depending on the creative flow and workload of the designer. It should involve many design options.
After consideration you will select the ones to refine. If none are selected, the designer should hit the drawing board again with a fresh perspective.
Some designers like to display the logos in black & white so you are not swayed by colour. I prefer to display colour options. After the initial industry research I tend to see the logo in my mind and how it would work in advertising, websites and brochures. The colour also comes to me at this stage.
A designer should always be open to client suggestions for a more personal service and end result.
These initial round logo concepts are not perfect. They are developed to be strong contenders but do require further refinement. Imagine putting your logo on a huge billboard only to see things that don’t line up perfectly – what a nightmare! As a designer I want to get the concepts down and play around with shapes, fonts and how they will interact in different situations.
Step 03. Concept Refinement.
The designer will refine the selected concepts for your review. This is where designing gets technical to deliver accuracy and perfect balance. You will at this stage select the final concept, colours and positioning statement.
Step 04. Logo Delivery!
Final refinement and delivery. Your new logo is ready to meet the world! Any file formats you require should be sent to you.
Vector logo file formats: .ai, .pdf
Bitmap logo file formats: .psd, .jpeg, .png
Any specific file type required should be included.
Printed material requires high resolution images. The vector formats are perfect for that. If is is a bitmap file format then a high resolution jpeg will work. A .psd file may allow you to use a transparent back ground so the logo could be placed on a background colour or picture.
Websites require a 72dpi .jpeg or .png. A .png file should have a transparent background and hold a sharper image which is preferable to be placed on a background colour or photo.
Next stop, business cards, stationery, websites and brochures!
4. How to know when you have the perfect logo.
You’ll just know.
When you hand over your business card and you’re proud of it. You do not want to be handing something over to a potential client for the first time kind of holding back because you know they are going to come across more professional than you.
Get the upper hand. Be the most professional and impressive you can be for your market. Be the stand out business.
Follow the steps in this document and you can’t go wrong!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
As an active professional logo designer, I would be thrilled to be considered for your new logo project.
Lets create something special.