Working with a designer to develop a logo is an exciting process. While a good designer will be able to provide a great variety of creative options, there are somethings that you need to already have in mind. Things that can reduce the budget and help point your designer in the right direction.
Knowing these five things ahead of time will lead to a smooth logo creation process:
Know the Name
Seriously, is there a problem with the name you have? Are you constantly having to explain “No, not automobile audio, hearing aids”? Is there a change in popular culture that has affected the impact of your business? For example, there was a popular product called Ayds (pronounced as "aids") that was a popular appetite-suppressant candy in the 1970s and early 1980s, but by the mid-1980s AIDS was capturing the world’s attention and unfortunately , it was pronounced phonetically the same as the candy, and the disease caused weight, a goal of the candy. It was an unfortunate perfect storm of reduced sales and eventual destruction of a product. The moral of the story, before you spend on the branding, be sure you are still good with the name, and that the name is still good with the times. Coca-Cola, 20th-Century, and Quaker Oats are great examples of long-lasting brands that needed no changing and have a proud history of marketing.
Know What You Like
Your designer will have plenty of ideas to share with you, some you may have never considered. But it’s always good to know what you like and dislike in brands you see every day. No great designer is going to rip off what you like in the brands, but rather be inspired, take note of what fonts you like what colors turn you off. A little googling homework and you’ll be ready to talk with confidence about what you like and don’t like before any budget is spent!
Know that It’s a Process
It’s unbelievably rare for the first round of options for a logo to have “the one” with minor changes, even rarer to be “the one” as is. Enjoy the exploration of what could be and rather than being frustrated with it. Sometimes a client seeing the first round of logo options may even trigger an aha moment of what they want. I always try to build into a design quote, any design quote, time for revisions.
Know that Less is More
I bet you think I mean in one area, NOPE! This applies in two ways, the amount of detail and the number of people in the decision-making process.
Design by committee almost always increases the budget and sanitizes the end product. To put it bluntly, we just don’t all have the same taste and each person tends to carve off bits of what makes each other’s taste cool, in the end often leaving a very bland brand.
Know When to Fire the Designer
Did I say that? Yes, I did. Too many times I’ve seen designers sit through a consult with a client and then just do what they want. I’m not saying every idea a client has should be used. We designers are sought out for a reason, we have training and a gift for design! It’s our duty as designers to say, this or that doesn’t represent your brand well. There’s always a way to give a client what they are looking for, but with a designer’s touch that makes it professional looking. I’ve had too many clients come to me frustrated after dealing with designer s that were snotty and wouldn’t listen to their vision for the brand they wanted. Let’s think about that for a minute, their brand and a brand they are paying for. Hello! If the designer won’t listen and seems like they don’t have a heart for what you desire, FIRE THEM!