Updated: Jan 19
Your brand and presence is really important, it will be seen everywhere, this is why you shouldn't cut corners.
Whether you are a business start-up looking for a corporate logo - or just looking for a logo refresh here is my tuppence worth!...
First things first... Make sure you have a positive business name, check for other companies that may have a similar name to avoid confusion or conflict. What would the initials be should you or others decide to shorten it? Check the website domain name you need is available for your organisation.
Be strong - but keep it simple
Have a look at the largest most successful companies - you will see how strong they look - but simple too. Why is this? Along with being instantly recognisable the logo will have been specifically designed to work in multiple formats; small, large, black, white and in reverse and over different media.
You should choose a designer that understands your business, so providing a full brief is essential
Have you seen something you like already? Who are your competitors? What theme or colours do you like? Don't be afraid to say what you really don't want too! Ask your designer to come up with two or three ideas with some variations of colour and typefaces. You should expect several days turnaround - creativity and the thought process shouldn't be rushed.
Choosing someone - amateur, large agency or small business?
If you were having a haircut for an important date - would you ask an amateur? Erm... We think not! Your logo represents how you appear in your industry - it has to be right! Obviously, you will get what you pay for, but you should find the right designer for your project rather than the cheapest.
For a basic startup, you can find some low-cost options if you look - especially online sellers. Do check they can support your needs - you may need additional amendments or files supplied in formats you didn't originally think of. Make sure they can communicate well, and respond in a timely and professional manner. Also check that they will not 'disappear' if anything needs fixing. Often the platform on which they work take up to 20% of their earnings - so keep your expectations reasonable.
There are expensive agencies that charge thousands for a new brand, this will suit large companies that are happy to pay a premium price for a whole team. They should provide an in depth 'Brand Guidelines' to how the new logo, theme and typeface will work together, from logo, to signage, website, stationery, brochures etc. They will have large overheads, extra staff and their dog to cover, hence the high price.
Freelancer or Small Business
The small business offers a great service at an affordable price as their overheads are generally smaller. You should bear in mind that up-to-date professional software and years of experience is required for this line of work. You won't be 'just paying for a logo' but the creative thought process before reaching the final.
This is where I'm positioned - I have 20 years experience and can provide a more tailored solution, which is affordable. With your new logo I can provide a 'mini guide' to along with the files, showing colours and typefaces. I can sort all your needs such as stationery, business templates, social media pages, brochures, emailers and website. I also arrange print if required.
Whoever you choose... Ask for the logo in VECTOR format
Make sure that your designer is proficient in Adobe Illustrator, and that the work is created in this program or similar vector software.
Many times we are given non industry standard artwork from another 'designer' to correct or redo. The VECTOR is REALLY IMPORTANT, it would be a shame (and waste of money) to have a great piece of artwork created, then find out by your printer or sign maker that you do indeed need the artwork redrawn to an acceptable format. The great thing about vector files is they can be scaled up to any size and imported into Adobe Creative Suite software easily.
That cheaper option may be appealing at first - but it could trip you up later (usually when you have a deadline to meet!) - you will end up paying again to fix it.