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Marketing / Business branding

Business logo designs: Briefing a designer

In a previous article on business logo designs I wrote about making an effective logo. If your business needs a new identity, here are some tips on briefing your graphic designer.

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A highly successful soloist I know moved her business premises from one state to another. She wanted to combine the launch of her new business premises with a launch of an upgraded logo. Her graphic designer hadn’t followed her brief and the result was a logo she didn’t want to use. The frustration – and financial cost – was palpable.

Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening to you when briefing a designer on your business logo designs.

Give a long brief! 

When enlisting the services of a graphic designer to create your logo, ensure that your brief is detailed with what you think your market wants and needs. It’s critical to remember you need business logo designs your market will respond to, not you personally.

Naturally it is important to be comfortable with your logo, but don’t think that it should be purple because it’s your favourite colour. Think about what might symbolise your business best and what your target market is most likely to respond to.

" It’s critical to remember you need business logo designs your market will respond to, not you personally."

Write down the brief

For best results when briefing a designer, write down your brief. It should include answers to the following:

  • What is your service/product?
  • Who is your market? List demographics like: age, income and geographic area.
  • Who is your competition and what makes you different from them?
  • How will the logo be used? Letterhead, website, signage, stickers for packaging, ink stamps, pens, t-shirts, billboard or television.
  • Are you likely to need other business logo designs for partners to your business?
  • Do you want your business to be perceived as gentle or strong?
  • Does your market need a real relationship with you or just a quick solution? 
  • What sort of colours would reflect the nature of your business? Why?
  • Is a sense of long history more important that a fresh, young contemporary feel?
  • Do you want your name to be the whole logo or do you want a graphic to appear alongside your name?
  • Should your business name appear in uppercase, sentence case or all lowercase? Why?
  • If you already have a logo, what are the elements that are already successful and what do you want to change? Why?

Want more articles like this? Check out the business branding section.

When you are briefing a designer, they might ask you these kinds of questions, but many don’t. Even if yours does, it’s easier to address these aspects on your own prior to the meeting, so that more detailed discussions can ensue.

If you have any visual ideas, sketch them. It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t draw as any indication is further information for your graphic designer.

It’s also helpful to copy and paste business logo designs from websites of your competition, so the graphic designer knows how to differentiate your business from theirs.

Consider asking the graphic designer to present the layout of your letterhead, compliment slips and business cards, so you can see how the logo works in context with your collateral.

Gathering as much information as possible in advance before briefing a designer not only helps with initial discussions, it also assists with potential negotiations later if the designer has strayed off the brief. So be painstakingly detailed, throw all your thoughts down, even if you want new ideas from the designer.

In my next article, I will give you advice on how to respond to your graphic designer’s business logo design drafts to ensure you get what you want. You can also read my previous article on making an effective logo.

Megan Hills

is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys helping others be engaging and understood. Through her marketing, publicity and graphic design nous, she can maximise the power of what you want to communicate to the people you want to reach.

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