Whether you’re having a logo designed for your new business, or refreshing a logo you’ve had for a few years, the creation of a company’s mark can be a difficult process for many. What should seemingly be a fun, engaging project can at times become challenging and even frustrating. I see many clients struggle with the decisions involved in creating and selecting the right logo. As a logo mark not only represents their company and its people, it many cases it represents what they stand for themselves – it truly becomes a personal journey.
Now you’ve hired a design agency to do the creative work for you right – so what’s the problem? These guys do this stuff in their sleep don’t they? Hold on – although they eat and breathe good design, they simply can’t do it alone; it’s your company’s logo after all. This is a two-way relationship and there are a number of things you can do as the client to make the process run as smoothly as possible. Hopefully the following tips will help you better prepare for that next design project, allowing you to get exactly what you needed, whether you knew it or not!
It all starts with a good creative brief
Let your design team know what you want - likes, dislikes. Any good design agency will ask you questions, and a lot of them. Remember the logo is for customers and the target market; it has to reflect the company and how you want it to be perceived. Make sure you know your audience and that the creative brief is written with them in mind, not the personal preference of the CEO. Check your competition and evaluate what you like, and ask yourself why? What do you feel has been done well and what hasn’t and (again) ask yourself why?
A good logo doesn’t come off the shelf, it’s a custom solution. So the more information you give the design team, the better the results will be.
Get buy-in and consensus
Very important to make sure that everyone involved in the process within your company or organization is on board before you start the process of updating or changing the logo.
Be clear whether it’s a complete redesign or the evolutionary next step in the brand.
Make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what to expect and knows what the key points are you’re trying to resolve or achieve. Remember everyone and their dog will have an opinion, so you need to set some basic goals and targets or you’ll go around in circles. In the end this preparation will save everyone time, budget and a lot of unnecessary pain.
Keep it nice and simple
Don’t try and turn your logo into a complex diagram of what your business does. A good logo is a memorable logo, which usually requires an element of simplicity. Don’t dilute the impact of the logo with unnecessary clutter. Simple and elegant is always best. Consider brands like Nike and Apple, as examples. Remember: good marketing with a focus on strategy, consistency in branding, and a trained graphic designer's eye are all required for any logo to become iconic – it is not just designed that way.
Consider the applications
Let your design team know where and how you envision the logo will be used. Is online activity your company’s focus? Will you require business cards and letterhead and, if so, how will those be printed? Let’s not forget your storefront backlit signage or those embroidered promotional products. The manner in which your logo will be reproduced can vary immensely, and is definitely something for your designer to be aware of.
Rule#1 to follow: any logo should first work in black & white. There are way too many scenarios that require one or two colour applications to ignore. Although today, with innovations on the web, mobile apps and digital print technology, logos can sometimes get more complicated without compromise. In the end, any well thought out logo set will translate perfectly across all platforms.
Listen to the experts
Together with your design agency, you’ll have written a solid creative brief and sourced all the necessary information they require. It is then the designer’s job to come up with the right solutions that fit that brief.
If we are recommending a specific solution, it will be for good reason: one that can be clearly validated and explained if challenged. Listen to your design agency’s recommendations, and your company's brand will reap the benefit of their many years of experience and expertise.