Recently, I was asked by a client about logo design. With plenty of ‘logo design’ tools online, people are often tempted to take a DIY approach in order to save some money. My response to the client was that I recommend engaging a specialist Graphic Designer for something as important as a company logo. While it’s not absolutely essential for startups to have their logo established from day one, it is preferable. A good Graphic Designer will take a structured approach asking a set of questions to help them develop their proposal for consideration by clients.
What are the the company’s service offerings or products?
This gives a Graphic Designer a key starting point. Understanding the types of products and services a business sells sets the general direction of styling and rules out options not in line with the company.
Who are the target audience for the company’s service offerings or products?
This sets the focus of the styling options based on people demographics such as age, gender, geographic location and special interests. It’s also useful for a designer to have a list of main business competitors for comparison and avoidance of too-similar designs.
What does the logo need to convey about the company’s brand?
Any visual representation of a business needs to fit with its overall public appearance. For example, a comic-style logo wouldn’t be a good fit for a funeral service company.
Does the business have an existing or preferred colour palette that needs to be used?
Even if it’s time for a colour change it’s important for a Graphic Designer to be made aware of what’s been used before and what is currently in use. Designers know the colour palettes that work well together and what industries favour certain colour combinations.
Is there a typeface that the company needs to use in the logo?
Fonts are used to convey a particular feeling about a brand. The style of font needs to be not only appropriate for the individual business but their industry as well. It’s best practice for a company to use a single font for all their text online and in print but text in logos can be completely different.
Does the business have a tagline that needs to be incorporated in the logo?
This could be a company motto or tagline but should be carefully assessed to work out whether it needs to be incorporated into the logo itself. Using it will make things more complex and harder to scale across various sizes and use cases. Also, taglines can evolve over time so hard-coding the original one into the logo will require a re-design when it changes.
Are there any existing logos that the business owner likes?
It can be a real time-saver when a Graphic Designer knows what style of logo the owner is predisposed to. While the intention is not to copy, having this knowledge will enable them to focus and deliver a logo (or option set) that is more likely to be accepted by the client.
After all this information has been gathered, give your Designer adequate time to think, research, and understand your business. They will make sketches, and probably run some initial ideas past you before they get too far along the path. It will take time so don’t set unrealistic deadlines, rather, ask how long it will take to get a first draft. This will vary from person to person depending in their availability, skill and access to team members among other factors.
A good Graphic Designer will be a valuable asset to your team as logo design is really just the start. Ask them about webpage imagery including original assets and stock images, styling and layout trends, printable assets and more.