What To Know Before Hiring a Logo Designer

A lot of the clients who come to me need a logo designed. They may have researched a little bit, put the word out on Twitter, or gotten a referral from a friend. Many times, they are confused at the wide range of pricing they’ve found, and have questions about what they need to look for or who to trust. The purpose of this post is to educate the person who is in the market for logo design. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

First, let’s start with what not to do:

  • Visit a logo making website and piece one together yourself, or believe that having Microsoft Publisher makes you a designer.
  • Get your neighbor, son, nephew, grandma, friend, or cousin to design it… unless he or she is a professional with a strong portfolio, of course.
  • Go with the lowest price just because it’s the lowest price.
  • Decide it’s not in your budget to get a logo done right now and just go with something “temporary” until you start making money.
  • Hold a contest where the “winning” designer gets a nominal amount of compensation, or worse yet: mad props, a link on your website, or a glowing review… sure to bring the winner more work, of course.

Why these things are a bad idea:

  • Do it yourself websites and programs will result in a homemade, unprofessional looking logo. Stick with what you do best, and leave designing to designers.
  • An amateur may use Photoshop instead of Illustrator to design your logo, which will be cause for major limitations for its use!
  • The lowest price (especially one $100 or less) might include a “recycled” logo, or one using clip art or stock imagery. Not only would your logo be unoriginal, but it could infringe upon copyright laws.
  • A logo is typically the first impression a customer or client will have about your business. It’s one of the best investments you can make to insure success, and a “temporary” one will send a message just as strongly as a permanent, professional one. It just won’t be the message you want it to send.
  • Contests (otherwise known as spec work) are based on the premise that designers submit logo concepts and a winner is chosen from them. The problems with this are several:
    • Designers with time on their hands to do work they may not get paid for are likely not seasoned in their field of work yet.
    • There is little to no interaction during the creation process between the client and the designer in these scenarios.
    • Many people who enter these contests are using logo templates or recycled logos from past clients. After all, they can’t put a lot of effort into it, because the chance of getting chosen is so slim.

You might end up with a logo like one of these:

A collection of ugly logos

Ugly logos courtesy of logodesignerblog.com

What high-quality designers will offer that most will not:

  • A project interview to get to know your needs before designing begins. All logos are not created equal, and your logo should reflect your target demographic, stand out among your competitors, and reflect your own personal style.
  • A final vector graphic (more on vector artwork below).
  • A commitment to excellence. This includes a guarantee on their work.  If they aren’t confident in their work, why should you be?
  • References. Do not do business with someone who cannot provide a long list of satisfied clients if you ask for it. A seasoned designer will have more than he or she can count!
  • Off-site archival of your final files in the event that you misplace them or need them updated in the future.
  • The ability to implement your new logo in business and branding materials such as business cards, brochures, letterheads, envelopes, or a website.

So what is this “vector” business, you might be asking?

Vector artwork is, in essence, scalable artwork. Which means that a one inch design can be submitted to a printing company to be put on a billboard. With vector artwork, there is never any pixelation or fuzziness, no matter the size. After you have your new logo, you’ll want to implement it on different design materials. Many of these will require a vector file from which to print.  If you don’t have it, it’s back to the drawing board, and all of the money you’ve spent on your logo will have been wasted.

This is great! What’s next?

You’re probably beginning to see that the logo design process isn’t as cut and dried as you originally thought.  You’re no longer thinking, “anyone can throw some text and a picture up on a screen and make it work,” right?  Good.

My desire is for you to get started on the best foot possible with a great designer. If you decide that you’d like to work with me, I would be honored.

You may check out some of my recent work and fill out my Project Interview to get started.

There is no pressure or commitment involved in this step. I’ll provide a custom quote within 48 hours based on your needs and budget and then you can decide if you’d like to work with me. If I’m not right for you, I’ll try to point you to someone who is.

Thank you, and may your business be as successful as you could ever imagine!

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