What to know before picking a logo designer

Now that you know your business needs a logo, it’s time to find a pro logo designer.

But before you do, there’s a few things you should do first.

1. The prep work.

Any good logo designer worth his or her salt is going to have a discovery questionnaire or call with you, so it pays to have the answers to these questions in advance. Also, thinking through these things in advance makes finding and selecting a logo designer much easier.

So what kind of questions do you need to answer?

  1. How do you want your name to appear in the logo? (e.g. Acme Co, ACME CO, acme co, acmeco, etc.)
  2. Do you have a tagline that you’d like to appear with the logo?
  3. Who is the key demographic/consumer in terms of age, gender, and location?
  4. What is your brand’s personality in 5 descriptive keywords? (i.e. masculine, intelligent, quirky, etc…)
  5. What is the core message you want your brand to convey?
  6. What parts of the current design (if it exists) do you like or want to keep?
  7. Do you have any color preferences, or existing brand colors you’d like to include/avoid?
  8. Are there images/icons/symbols you want to include/avoid?
  9. How would you like the typography to appear? (e.g. custom, script, sans, serif, bold, light, etc.)
  10. What are some styles of logos that you like? (Dribbble.com, Logopond.com, and Behance.net are all awesome places to find inspirational designs.)

This last question (#10) is super important and serves a dual purpose.  Obviously, it helps you determine the visual style that seems to fit your brand best. But it also helps you…

2. Find a Logo Designer.

No doubt you’ve found some epic designs and perhaps even have a favorite designer! But if you haven’t found a logo designer, have no fear, you have a couple of awesome options.

1. Hire a Design Agency.

This can be pricey, but is also worth it, if you’re looking for a polished brand package and a partner to implement that brand for you. With an agency, you’ll likely be getting more than just a logo, but a full package that can include items like:

  1. Logo in multiple layouts and versions (horizontal, stacked, icon-only, monotone, color, etc.)
  2. Identity guide (a PDF with instructions for maintaining brand integrity which includes complementary fonts, colors, and rules for using the logo—this is particularly helpful when working with other freelancers in the future as it keeps their work kosher with your brand).
  3. Business cards
  4. Brochures
  5. Website / landing page design
  6. Email templates

And so on. If you’re looking for a good design agency, totally check out design agencies in your area on Google, but also don’t be afraid to work with companies who aren’t local. If you like their style and they’re reputable, it could be a perfect partnership.

2. Find a Freelancer.

Likely not as expensive as an agency, freelancers are great if you’re working on a shoestring. That said, I’ve worked with quite a few logo designers and have had some mixed experiences. There are some who are truly fantastic and some that are… meh.

If you prefer the freelancer approach, find someone with a deep portfolio of consistently good work that you like. They may be expensive, but when it comes to your brand, good work is worth it.

Again, Dribbble.com, Logopond.com, and Behance.net are all awesome places to find great designers.

3. Confirm deliverables and process.

Whether you go with an agency or a freelancer, you should definitely have an idea of what deliverables you might need. As I mentioned above, agencies are likely going to be better equipped to offer you more deliverables above and beyond the logo design itself. However, you may just need the logo at this time. If so… ¡Bueno!

As far as deliverables go, at the very least I recommend you purchase the logo and identity guide. This investment up front pays dividends. In fact, most designers I know won’t do a logo without an accompanying identity guide because they believe in the value of having a clear set of guidelines for the life of the logo.

As far as process is concerned, definitely confirm the number of options and revisions you will receive. Hard pass on the logo designer or agency who only offers one option and no revisions. Also, ask about the discovery process and overall timeline. You want to make sure they have a system for (1) understanding what you want—discovery, and (2) delivering it on time—deadline.

4. Trust.

Once you’ve done your prep work, found a logo design partner, and confirmed deliverables & process, it’s time to ask, do you “have a bad feeling about this?”

But for serious, before you pick a logo design partner, you should really feel comfortable with them. This is a creative endeavor, so you have to feel like your creative input is valued, understood, and won’t be tossed out. On the flip side, you also need to feel like they know what they’re doing and that they’ll push back on your bad ideas.

If you’re digging the chemistry, it’s time to center your chi, cleanse your chakras, chillax, and…

5. Get started on your logo design.

This is where you design partner should take it away. As I mentioned above, this usually starts with a logo design questionnaire or discovery call. Let them guide the process, but don’t be afraid to ask questions whenever necessary.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

I hope this post was helpful. If you have any pointers for making it more so, do leave a comment below! Would love to hear your thoughts and stories about your logo design adventures.


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