How to get the most out of your spend and the investment of your time, when it comes to creating a logo, a visual identity and building your brand.
Establish your vision, mission and values Ideally have this written down, and live and breathe it. At the very least be prepared to expain to your designer what you are about and believe in it.
Find a designer and talk to them This can be done over email or messenger but how best to tell your story than from the horses mouth - literally. Tell them your story. Make sure they are on the same page as you, if not, find another one.
Do not judge your designer purely based on their portfolio. At the end of the day, you want something unique. Therefore there is nothing they would have already created that should necessarily inspire you. It should merely demostrate a certain level of creativity, experience and quality. On that basis you do not necessarily need to see 20 different logos they have designed in order to see if they demonstrate their credentials. It is important to pick a designer who has time, energy and expertise to complete the task thoroughly and to listen to you and your brief. A good designer will add value by telling you want you need not necessarily what you think you want. Trust their knowledge and advice and if every answer they give is yes. Then that's a red flag right there. It should be a collaborate process, not a one way conversation.
Be wary of agencies or designers who want ‘portfolio pieces’. Sometimes a designer is more focused on producing something that they can use to sell themselves (to add to their portfolio), rather than focus on helping you sell! Be careful!
Know what you need – Technically speaking. Please do not accept a logo that is not provided in ai. (Adobe Illustrator or equivalent vector format), and .png. This is a bare minimum and even then for some digital applications you might require further formats. If this is something new to you, you’ll soon discover why. Make sure those jpegs and pngs are in high resolution and ideally already have some provided to you ready to go and sized up, to integrate into your social media channels. A quality designer should do this as a courtesy.
Prepare your list of deliverables Open up excel and start brainstorming. Create categories and list of every item you think your logo will need to be applied on. On your website, on social media, on your business card, on your label, on your envelope, on your invoice, on a roll-up banner for events (or to hide your laundry when you do zoom meetings), on merchandise labels, an event neckbands, video content (you may want an animated version), the list goes on and on. This step in invaluable at making your logo have longevity and deliver in every aspect of what you do. This should be part of your brief you give your designer.
Ask your designer to mock up some examples of those deliverables with their design You can’t always be confident a logo will work without seeing it on an application and that's ok. If in doubt ask your design to provide some mocks of your logo on some relevent applications. Make sure all your bases are covered and you are happy with how it might look. Too often than not I see businesses launch their websites and then you go to follow them on facebook and find their logo do not fit in their profile icon or is made so small it is ilegible or pixelated. This is my pet hate!
Quality not quantity One really good idea is enough. A designer that comes to you with more than two ideas didn't listen to you or understand the brief. Plus you only need one logo, so a designer who makes you a dozen is wasting their time and your money. Either that or they spent very little time on their ideas, so you are getting quantity rather than quality.
Do not get, just a logo When you ask a designer for a logo, that’s just the beginning. You will need various formats, fonts and a colour palettes. If budget allows, you should discuss having a visual identity and ask them to guide you through the process. Yet even with a small amout of money they should be able to offer some suggestions. It’s worth the discussion, even if it means something to revisit later once you have got a steady income and some budget. It is useful for the designer to be able to bear in mind how the logo might be used later. Even for a small businesses these things are essential. Check out my logo must-haves blog post, where I have provided some more details on what to expect - not what you should have to ask for.
Get some rules Even if you are not working with printers and production regularly, get some brand guidelines or an overview of your logo, fonts, colours etc.. to keep for reference. Then you can provide your vendors with this and save you a lot of time! If you are getting a web designer to create you a website, this will save them and you a lot of hassle. These are just my top tips on going about getting a logo made, but check out my other posts for more ideas and advice.
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