How to Choose a Logo Design that is Perfect for You
logo is the signature of your brand, and one of your company’s most
valuable assets. It is the single element that will symbolize your brand
more than anything else. A well-designed logo is one that reflects your
business and communicates your message. It needs to be simple, unique,
memorable, versatile, and able to work without colour.
In order to
choose a logo, there are important steps to go through, both by
yourself and with a graphic designer. In this post, I outline the logo
design process and some important guidelines to keep in mind when
choosing a logo that is perfect for you.
For the creation of
your logo, you are free to choose either a freelance designer, a design
firm, or perhaps an advertising agency. Throughout this post, for the
purpose of convenience and readability, I will use the term “designer”
to include whichever type of business or individual is applicable to
Choose a budget
you should decide on your budget for your new logo. They can cost
anywhere from $300-1500 (USD), and sometimes more. Just remember that
you get what you pay for, and a designer’s fees will reflect experience,
client history, and professionalism. Investing in a logo (and a
corporate identity to go with it) is one of the most important first
steps you can take when building a brand. A logo is worth much more than
the hours it takes to create it.
You can find logo banks and
contest sites online and get one for around $150. There are even
different freelancer sites where people bid insanely low prices-like
$50. Just be aware that choosing a logo for a cheap price online can be
disastrous. Inexperienced designers may take forever, not communicate
well, use clip art images (a definite no-no), and may not provide you
with the correct files you need for both print and web use.
are so many places you can find graphic designers. Choosing the right
designer for you is definitely a lot harder (and we’ll get to that in a
minute). You can locate lots of candidates by using different methods.
- Ask around. If you know someone with a great logo, simply ask them
who did it. Most of my freelance design work comes from referrals.
- Search graphic design firm directories such as the one 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 a suitable designer
contacting a number of designers and requesting quotes, make sure you
look at more than just the price when deciding who gets the job.
Consider the designer’s previous logos and the corporate identities they
have created around those logos. Look for good design presentations
because it shows how much they care about their own professional
appearance. Read the descriptions that go with each of their logo
projects because a logo may look great and all, but it has to meet the
specific design requirements to be effective.
choose a logo designer whose style of design fits your own preferred
style. By doing this, you’ll be happy with the logo you end up with, and
the designer will be happy because that style is what they’re most
You can judge the professionalism of a graphic
designer by the following points. These don’t all have to apply, but be
on the lookout for at least a few of them.
- They are polite, direct, knowledgeable, and efficient communicators.
- They explain their design process for you and tell you what will be delivered upon completion.
- They will ask you relevant questions to understand your business.
- They have some sort of contract or service agreement to sign before starting.
- They require a specified up-front payment before starting.
- Their grammar, spelling, and punctuation are at least satisfactory.
(As with any industry, bad writing says a lot about a person).
One crucial note here: if the designer presents you with a
contract or agreement, make sure that the ownership of the logo is
transferred to you upon final payment. If there is nothing in writing
that mentions ownership, then ask your designer to give you this
agreement in writing. It is imperative that you own your logo design so
that you can legally use it however you like in the future.
Brief the designer in detail
you brief your designer face-to-face or send over a brief in email
form, it is essential to explain what you want in detail. Answer these
- If you currently have a 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 project?
- What feelings do you want your new logo to incite?
- Do you have a tag line that needs to be included in the design?
- Will your logo show up in videos? If so, will it eventually need an animated version?
- Which specific logos are your favourites, and why?
- Are you partial to typographic logos (FedEx or ESPN), symbolic logos
(Nike or Apple), or a combination of both (Pepsi or Adidas)?
Let the designer know exactly where you plan on using the
logo. Sure, you’ll have business cards and a website, but will it also
be seen on billboards and your social media profiles?
Ask if the
designer will provide a logo usage guidelines document, which advises
how the logo can and cannot be used. For example, which logo variation
can be used on which colour background? Finally, ask for a favicon. This
is the little image that appears in browser tabs, in your bookmarks
manager, and on your computer when you save a webpage. They usually come
in one of three sizes: 16×16, 32×32, or 64×64 pixels. Ask for a 64×64
pixel favicon, so that is looks crisp everywhere it appears.
with all this knowledge, your designer should be able to deliver an
accurate visual representation of your business. Solidifying your vision
before briefing a designer will definitely save you time, money, and
headaches in the end.
When I entered into the logo design
industry, I encountered a few clients who expected me to know all of
these things and deliver a perfect solution to a problem that was not
expressed clearly. It inevitably led to non-stop revisions of their logo
and tired faces all around. That’s why I decided to start sending out a
list of preliminary logo design questions before even considering a
job. If you don’t know what you want in the beginning, then you may keep
changing your mind as the project moves forward. It’s definitely okay
to change your mind, but be aware that the designer will probably ask
you for more money before continuing.
Choose a logo concept
designer will then do the necessary research and experiments, then come
back to you with some concept designs. This will take around two to
four days, depending on the specific job. Ideally, they will present you
with three to six hand-drawn sketches. When you first view the
concepts, choose a logo that immediately catches your eye. This is
usually the one that your gut is telling you to choose. Continue the
decision process by asking yourself some essential questions:
- Does it represent my product or business?
- Does it convey my message?
- Is the design simple enough?
- Does the design have sufficient contrast to stand out?
- Will it work without colour?
- Will it work when it’s super small?
- Does it look too much like any other logos?
- Will it be relevant five years or ten years down the road?
After that, sleep on it. Do the exact same thing and ask
yourself the same questions for a second time. Do your answers change?
It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family what they think.
Give useful feedback
the first draft, your designer may actually present a logo that is
close to what you’re looking for, but it’s not often they’ll hit the
nail on the head right away. Therefore, it’s up to you to communicate
your needs as best you can. Provide your designer with feedback that is
useful. Simply saying, “I don’t like any of them” doesn’t really help
the process. Express why you don’t like something, or what you would
like to see differently, such as, “I don’t like how rigid and
symmetrical this one is. Can you give it more movement or make it more
Giving clear direction is necessary, but try not to
become the designer yourself. You have hired a designer for a reason, so
let them do what they do best. If you have chosen a good designer that
communicates well and matches your preferred style, then you can be
confident they will present you with quality work.
release of final payment to the designer, you should receive the
deliverables promised to you in the beginning of the business
relationship. This should include vector files that are resizaeble, as
opposed to raster images that cannot be increased in size without
becoming pixelated (blurry).
You need files that you can start
using on the web right away (usually PNG, JPG, or GIF). Ask for a PNG of
GIF if you want the background to be transparent (no white box around
your logo). You also need to get the original source files (usually AI
or EPS). You definitely want to have the source files in case someone
else needs to modify or expand on your logo someday. For example, if one
day you hire someone to create a video for you, then a source file is
required to incorporate your logo-a JPG simply won’t cut it.
it’s time to choose a logo that is perfect for you, realize that it’s
not a simple process. It takes a lot of thought about your type of
business, your target audience, the message you want to send, the
feelings you want to incite, as well as open communication with your
However, it’s definitely worth the effort to strive for a
strong logo design, as it is the first thing your audience sees, and it
will be with you for a long time to come.