You only have a few seconds to make an impression on a potential client and the quality of your logo and branding, in general, plays a huge role in making that impression. How well your identity is presented is an important deciding factor for most customers. This means you can lose potential customers (business opportunities) by not being represented properly.
If you remember these guides before engaging a designer or an agency for your identity design or re-design project, you’re well on your way to having a logo that is original, versatile, and timeless.
Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business through impressions you can and can’t control.
This simply means your logo is one of the elements that make your brand.
I’m guessing as a business owner, you had an idea for a product or service with unique features to set you apart from other businesses with similar services before you thought about designing a logo.
As such, it’s important to note that your logo is just a piece of the puzzle called your brand therefore, your logo should align with your brand values. You should have this mindset before you engage a designer as it helps create structure and clarity in approach to your project.
Designers are not psychics. The best thing a designer can do for you is to differentiate your logo from the competition. A brief gives meaning to the end result of your logo design process. If your logo was a lifeless body, your brief would be the soul. Your brief can come in different ways and isn’t as hard as most think. Your brief could come in form of verbal communication or written description stating your brand values. In simple terms, you could discuss your service offerings, what makes your business stand out, your target audience, your passion, and inspiration, your goals and objectives for the nearest future, and so on.
A brief with so much valuable information already gives you an edge as a client, if your designer had a plan of just looking for a template and changing colors then send back as your logo, he/she’ll have to think again. A detailed brief saves you from getting generic logo designs that someone else is probably already using. It pushes the designer to be more creative with their approach.
When you are designing a logo, you don’t need a quantity of options, you need quality of options. The more options you get, the more likely the designs are of less quality and disconnected from your brand values; which is where the power of a brief comes in as explained in the previous step.
Take an example of an agency versus an individual. Of course, you can get high creative individuals to design beautiful logos for you. However, an agency’s approach is often more strategic, and in-depth insight and analysis are involved. Asides from the expertise, you get the advantage of people from different backgrounds to review your logo as it relates to your brand from a consumer and expert point of view.
If you are a small business and can’t afford an agency, it’s better to go with designers who already have a track record. Ask for their portfolio to see how well they’ve been able to translate ideas into their designs. Ask them to explain some of their logos: what does it mean? what’s the idea behind it? Why did you use these colors? The kind of answers you get will inform your decision on who you should work with and who you shouldn’t. You’ll easily be able to tell who has an in-depth knowledge of what they’re doing and invariably save time and the stress of going through failed designs or settling for less out of frustration.
The concept of a logo being adaptable simply means responsiveness regardless of the platform where it’s being used. An adaptable logo is one that might have multiple versions but remains consistent regardless of variation while still recognizable as the same company logo.
Depending on the size of your business: small, medium, or large it’s important to have a vision for your logo. There’s no telling where you might want to place your logo in the future. It might be just your business card today but it might be a billboard tomorrow. Having a logo that adapts in whatever format you might need it for in the future is highly important. Are the fonts only legible when it’s close up or can people also see it from a distance? Are the details on the icon only visible when the logo is scaled up? Will the icon be able to stand alone after a while? Is it still recognizable when inverted? All these are questions to keep in mind to have an adaptable logo.
A lot of people want to involve their spouse, mom, dad, sister, brother, best friend, extended cousin, and lots more in the decision making process of picking a final logo design. In the case of an individual or small business, this results in a lot of compromises and eventually gives you generalized and predictable feedback on the choice of identity. It’s better to have as little as 2 people whose opinion you trust for a process like this. Get their opinion and weigh it against yours then make a choice. You must own your decision in choosing your logo. It should be treated like your baby. You should be proud of it not only because it’s beautiful but also because of what it represents; your values and the effort put into making it. After all, it’s the face of your company. Spending some time and money to make sure it properly reflects your values, goals, and objectives is the least you can do.
Large organizations might not have to face such as they most likely go through agencies who have gone through this process of them. At this point, any option they go with will most likely work for them.