Your logo—arguably the single most important piece of marketing material your business will need. It’s the first impression you will give your potential customers and the foundation for all your future promotional work. As a graphic designer, building a new brand identity can be one of my biggest challenges. Where does one even begin to create this single image that will represent the companies my clients have poured their hearts and souls into?
The answer is surprisingly simple. I listen. The more I understand my clients, their businesses and their visions, the easier it is for me to zero in on a logo that’s perfect for them.
Being able to effectively communicate with your designer is the difference between being thrilled with the direction of your first set of concepts, and wanting to throw in the towel after twenty revisions. By following these 5 simple tips, you’ll be able to provide your designer with information that’s essential to creating a logo that you’ll love.
Define your business.
In order to create a symbol that identifies a business, it’s important to first understand that business. Let your designer know the services your business offers, as well as who your target market is (age, gender, professional or social backgrounds, etc). It’s helpful to share who your main competitors are, but be sure to explain what makes your business unique. If you don’t already have a mission statement for your company, now is a great time to write one!
Let your designer know if there are any tools of your trade or conceptual images that you’d like to see included in your logo. Likewise, if there are any visual elements you think might be overused in your field or a bit too cliché, let those be known.
The style of a well-thought logo should project some sort of feeling to those who view it. Brainstorm a list of adjectives for the feelings you’d like your logo to convey. Here are a few ideas that might get you started: modern, traditional, adventurous, elegant, witty, bold, relaxed, grungy, masculine, inspirational, retro, simple, welcoming, playful, energized, vibrant, youthful, mature, and so on.
Find examples of what you like.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so providing a few design samples will make it easier for your artist to know exactly what type of artwork you are drawn to. Inspiration is everywhere, so don’t limit yourself to online searches. You may want to snap photos of designs that catch your eye in the real world too.
Trust your designer.
There is a fine line between providing direction and being so specific with your instructions that that your artist feels more like they’re checking items off a list than creating something fresh and exciting. Whether you already know exactly what your logo should look like and just need help turning it into reality, or if you’re just enthusiastic about your project and want to be involved in every detail, it pays to be open to ideas and suggestions from your designer. A good graphic artist has spent years practicing their trade, and understands both the psychology behind a good logo as well as the technical aspects that make it applicable for all your needs. You’ve hired them for a reason, and by listening to your designer, you will get a better logo in the end.
Provide constructive feedback.
While it’s important to listen to your designer’s advice, it’s just as important that your designer hears from you. Once you receive your first round of concepts, be honest and specific about what you do and don’t like about the work. Your designer will use your input to move forward in the next round of proofs, so vague comments like “I don’t like the font” or “I want it to pop more” aren’t as helpful as explaining that you think the font is too narrow and you’d like the colors to have more contrast.
Be sure to take your time as you consider what you like and don’t like about the design concepts. It’s common to want to rush through the project because you’re eager to get to the end result. But providing thoughtful critiques early on will save you time in the end and minimize the possibility of regret once your logo has been finalized.
You may want to share the concepts with friends and family to get their advice too. While it can be very helpful to get input from a third party, I strongly suggest you only ask the advice of one or two trusted sources. Everyone has different opinions, and when you ask people to critique a design, they will most likely assume you want to know what they’d change about it. Asking for too many opinions could make you second guess what you love about your design. And if you make too many changes based on a lot of random ideas, your logo could end up looking more like Frankenstein’s Monster.
Communication is key to getting the design you’ve been dreaming of. If you need help with a new logo for your business or organization, contact me and we’ll create something beautiful together!