Below is a quick guide to help you choose a designer.
Start with experience. Browsing through the designer’s previous work will give you an indication of the caliber of work your designer is capable of. As well as the style of that particular designer. Each person has a different sense of style – some more minimalist, others more ornate. Choose a designer who’s style matches yours. Quantity is never better than quality – 5 great logos is better than 100 mediocre logos. You want your designer to recognize the stronger concepts and present these in their portfolio. This selective thinking will serve you well as your designer will only present you with the strongest concepts for YOUR logo. You shouldn’t discount the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that a younger designer can offer. But more experienced designers are often more aware of the practical implications and longevity of your brand. One way to discern between fly by night designers and professional designers is to look at their training. With more experienced designers, you can almost skip this check as the years of experience they’ve gained count for more than formal training.
Once you’ve selected a few designers whose works speak to you and are in a similar style to what you have in mind, you’ll consider their pricing. Logos shouldn’t be cheap. It should be an investment in the image of your company – the start of your brand. When you consider the amount of training, investment in professional design software, expertise, research, brainstorming and execution involved in creating a logo – you’ll understand that a great logo can not be expected or R500. Think about your hourly rate or your monthly salary. You can expect a great logo designer to work on 1 – 4 logo’s per month. When you consider that this designer is focusing on and providing you with THE visual brand for your business’ vision, morals and culture…you can start to weed out the logo experts who invest a considerable amount of time into their logos, from the novices who are charging you for a couple of hours of work. Click here for an overview of my pricing.
In this day and age it’s become less common for clients to meet face to face with their designer. Confirm how you will be communicating with your designer to prevent any unrealistic expectations for face to face meetings. Meetings take time, and they often cover information that can as easily be relayed via email, skype or telephone.
A lot can be told through how someone expresses their thoughts. Designers are creatives, but grammar, spelling and punctuation can give you a snapshot of the professionalism you can come to expect.
Availability is also an important factor. Some designers are part time freelancers, others are available full time. Some have larger workloads where there may be a waiting period to work with them, others are available immediately. Your designer should give you a breakdown of their design process and delivery date/s. This will give you an idea of what to expect, and allow both parties to manage the delivery of the final logo.
So be sure that you are comfortable with your designer’s availability and whichever method of communication they propose.
It’s impossible to start designing a logo without asking questions. They should be asking you questions about your company history, your target market, what sets your business apart from your competitors, your company goals, as well as the service or product offered. I offer a logo questionnaire that prompts my clients for these answers. But briefs can also be supplied as free form writing. Click here to read more about how to supply a design brief.
Your designer should supply your with their design process. This could be explained at the very beginning of the meeting process, or just before the deposit is paid and the work commences. Will you receive both web and print files? What steps are taken before, during and after the logo design has been chosen. You’re paying for the logo, so you deserve to know what exactly you’re paying for.
A good logo takes time to develop. It’s not as simple as choosing a font, adding an icon and sending the file. Quality results take time (in my case, at least 5 working days for the initial first options) excluding the time required for revisions. Be wary of anyone who promises you a 24 hour turn around time. It’s indicative of very little time being spent on researching and brainstorming – the most important and time consuming part of the logo design process.
So next time you’re choosing a logo designer, consider the points above. The first Google listing is not always the best option.