5 hot tips for the perfect logo

April 12, 2018
Getting the perfect logo designed for your business can be a very confusing issue. Not knowing where to start or who to approach can be part of the problem, or not knowing the basics of design and file formats can lead to issues down the track. In this post I will be covering 5 important tips which will hopefully give you the confidence to make the right decisions when getting your logo designed. After all the logo is the face of your business and worth getting right!

1. What’s your budget?

There are many different avenues you can take when trying to find the right designer; from local print houses, graphic design graduates, online competitions, to freelancers and established design businesses. Not all options are equal and the general rule of thumb is you get what you pay for.

Your budget is a major factor you should consider before approaching designers. It should be a reflection of what your business is worth to you. For example if your business is your sole source of income, you would want to invest into your visual identity straight away. If your business is a side project or a hobby, you might consider a smaller budget and reevaluating as the business grows.

Another factor to take into account is how much material you will be applying your new logo to. Let’s say your business is plumbing, so you might have business cards, letterheads, magnets, website and your car wrapped. This can add up to thousands of dollars for the design and printing/application of this artwork, and if you only paid one hundred dollars to your nephew for the design of your logo, you may have some regrets down the track.

Below is a general guide as to who might complete a logo design for certain price brackets.

• $100 – $300  design graduates, online competitions, print houses

• $300 – $800 experienced freelancers, small design businesses

• $800+ established design businesses

Once you have a number you’re comfortable with, it’s time to start searching for the right designer.

2. How to pick a designer

Google searching, Pinterest, word of mouth, Behance, there are many different avenues you can start searching. Depending if you prefer using someone local who you can meet up with, or happy just to communicate over email.

If you see a logo which you love, ask the business owner if they’d be kind enough to share which designer they used. As long as they are not your direct competition they shouldn’t have a problem with it.

The one piece of advice I give anybody before they commit to a designer is to look at the designers folio. Just because their website says they create awesome logos, or just because your neighbour told you he’s a great designer doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Ask to see evidence of their previous designs, after all the only way of predicting the future is by looking at the past. If you’re not thoroughly impressed by their previous work, then move on.

Once you have a shortlist of possible designers, it’s time to begin the quoting process.

3. Quoting – what to look for

When it comes to quoting it is more than just a dollar figure, pay close attention to how the designer has itemised the quote.  A good quote should list exactly what you will receive for your money. We know that the final result will (hopefully) be a great logo, but the quote should also state how many options you will receive and how many revisions they include for the price.

Logo design is a process and generally will not be nailed on the first go. The client will have their ideas about what the logo should look like, and the designer will have their own. The answer is generally somewhere in the middle. This can take several rounds of amends until the logo has been approved.

Quote example:

• Logo Design for Pete’s Plumbing

• 3 x Logo Design Options

• 10 rounds of revisions included

• If 10 rounds is exceeded then an hourly rate of $xx will come into effect

The quote should also state the final output of your logo, which is covered in tip 5.

4. Design tips

It’s the designers job to come up with something that not only looks great but works in the formats which you require. Once you have approved the quote the designer should be asking you a lot of questions about your business. If they commence work without suppling you with a questionnaire to complete, see this as a big red flag. Again, It’s very important that the designer understands your business and your requirements before commencing work.

Here are a few tips or questions you can raise with your designer once the designs start coming through.

If the logo is very detailed or has intricate elements

How will this look at a smaller sizes? Remember logos need to look good small too both on screen and in print. An easy test is to print it our yourself on your deskjet at a multitude of sizes and see for yourself.

If the logo has gradients or any other interesting transitions

How will this logo reproduce? Generally speaking gradients and special effects don’t work well in logos, especially if you will be printing your logo. If a designer is trying to impress you with theses tricks then they’re usually trying to compensate for their lack of design ability. Most logos just use flat colour, and there’s a good reason for that.

If the logo is in one format

How will this logo work in different spaces and on different colours? It is not uncommon for a designer to supply you with up to 4 versions of your final design! A vertical version in “positive” and “reversed” colours and a horizontal version in “positive” and “reversed” colours. This is definitely worth asking your designer about so you don’t run into any issues down the track.

If the logo has more than 3 colours

Will it be expensive to reproduce? If your logo will be mass printed on signage, packaging or other material there is a big chance the printers will be using offset printing. One way of saving money is by keeping your colours to 3 or less. Besides sometimes less is more.

5. Final output

Now that your logo is approved and looking fantastic it is time to receive your artwork from your designer.

One important question that might have been worth mentioning at the start of this post, is what program is the designer using to create your logo? If you ask your designer this question and they say “Adobe Photoshop”, I want you to hangup the phone and call the logo police immediately. The reason being is that Photoshop cannot output “vector files”. Vector files can be scaled to any size without loss of resolution which is very important for a logo. They should be using “Adobe Illustrator” or another vector based program.

Below are some filetypes which you might receive from your designer. But the important thing to remember is that as long as they have created your logo in a vector format, any of these other filetypes can be created from it.

Vector EPS (CMYK & PMS colours)

A Vector EPS file can be read by a multitude of programs so it is more flexible than a native file (like an Adobe Illustrator file). CMYK and PMS are colour modes which suit different printing methods. If you have any questions or concerns about this, consult your designer or printer.

JPEG (RGB)

I think most people would be familiar with a JPEG file. RGB is a colour mode which is suitable for screens, not suitable for professional printing. This file you can use for your social media accounts and other digital purposes. You might request this file at multiple sizes, depending on your intent.

PNG with transparency (RGB)

Unlike JPEGS, PNG files can be saved with transparency so they are handy for web designers or even if you’re creating a Powerpoint presentation and would like to place the logo over a coloured background.

Hopefully this information has been helpful to you and if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Good luck designing your perfect logo!

Christian

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