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Marketing / Business branding

Business logo designs: Getting what you want

My previous article discussed briefing a designer prior to business logo design. It is important to give a detailed account of your business and market as well as your design ideas. Naturally you will want designers to introduce their own ideas also.

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So your graphic designer presents his or her proposal of your new logo. What comes next? You might love the design, hate the design or feel unsure about it. Whatever your response, generally showing respect and being honest helps. Also try to keep an open mind.

Here are some tips for making these sorts of discussions as easy as possible for all concerned.

1. Where possible, talk about new ideas first

It’s natural – and valuable – for your designer to think outside the square, but going down the wrong track can waste their time and your money.

This aspect can be tricky because naturally the designer will want to show the idea in all its visual glory. But if the idea is moving away from your already established regal blue towards a light lime green that your market will not respond to, then having the conversation first can avoid later disappointment.

"It's natural - and valuable - for your designer to think outside the square, but going down the wrong track can waste their time and your money."

2. Set the deal in advance

People have been presented with business logo designs from graphic designers that they are not remotely happy with, and are stuck with an invoice to go with them.

Of course, it is reasonable for he graphic designer to want to be paid for their time and effort.

So I suggest you offer an outcomes-driven arrangement in advance. For example, agree to pay for three design options where if none are used a minimal fee applies, but if one of the three is used, a greater fee applies.

Be prepared for the graphic designer to reject these terms, however, as that is his or her choice.

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

3. Keep it simple!

The best business logo designs are the simplest. Why? Because people who see it at a glance are more likely to remember it than those which are more visually complex. Think of the logos belonging to telephone companies and banks – very, very simple. And generally two colours maximum, not including white. Talk about this with your graphic designer.

4. Remember the context

Check out how the proposed logo(s) will look in context with your letterhead, business card and so on, which is a job the graphic designer might already be working on for you. Also consider asking the designer do a quick ‘rough’ to show how the logo might look on the cover of a DL brochure or a flier, and/or your website home page – think of contexts likely to be useful for your particular business.

5. Test the logos on your target market

Before making your final decision from the options your graphic designer has presented, test the business logo designs on your target market. No, not your spouse or your friends. Encourage honest answers and perhaps offer a discount or special deal for a response if you are emailing out to a decent-sized sample group. Use the research process to ask other questions about your business. Provide simple response options: yes/no, scales (i.e. from 1-10), etc with an option for further comments.

Next time, I’ll give some tips for those who don’t want to hire a graphic designer but want to design their own business logo. This will help you require a small alteration or if you are already clear about what you want for your logo and just want a graphic technician to create a beautiful high-resolution image of it.

But remember: when it comes to making your business look professional and attractive, a good graphic designer can be worth their weight in gold.

Click here for my previous article on briefing a designer.

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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