1. Get a professional in
While this will of course cost you money, it’s such an important aspect when starting your business, it’ll be money well spent. It doesn’t have to cost the earth though. Many people will tell you that if you’re going to do it “right” you need to find a designer that will charge over £250+. This is not the case. We can provide logo design for less than £100, and many other companies can provide you with a professional, bespoke logo for a similar amount. Always check through the designers portfolio (which should be extensive). Ask for recommendations from other business owners. Really shop around and compare portfolios, prices and what’s included. You should choose a designer that lets you be involved in the design process, and will not limit the number of amendments you want to make. I would only recommend designing your logo yourself if you have experience in design and are confident in your abilities.
2. Make sure it’s unique
Some companies will provide you a logo design based on a template. This is a huge no no for any company… even if you love the template. Your company needs to have it’s own unique brand, and it’s not possible to do that if hundreds of other people around the world have the same design with a different name in it. When choosing your design company double check that each logo is bespoke and designed with your specification in mind. While it’s always a good idea to look around at other companies logos, and select ones that you like (and why you like them), never copy a logo design. As well as this meaning you are not unique, it could have a legal impact on you.
3. Your point of view
It’s important to have a logo design that you love. You should be looking for a logo to last for the life of your business. This will not happen if you do not love it. Write down a list of things you definitely want to include, and a list of things you’d maybe like to see. It’s also worth writing a list of things that would turn your stomach. This will give you a good idea of what you’re looking for, before contacting potential designers.
4. Your customers point of view
While what you like is important, what the customer will feel about the logo design is more crucial to the design process. The design needs to be relevant for your target market. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. What would draw them to delve further into your products and services? What would catch their eye? What would they like to see? It might be worth asking family and friends, their thoughts on what would be right for your business, or even creating a survey to ask potential customers their thoughts.
5. Select the right colours
The colour of your logo could make or break your design. They need to be colours that look good on the web, and on print. They need to be colours you’re happy with. They need to be colours that are suitable for your target audience. In theory, this should be simple enough to work out, but experiment with a few different colour combinations. A gadget shop would probably appeal to a predominantly male audience, so don’t choose pinks. A bouncy castle company needs to appeal to families and children and be bright and fun, so don’t use black and white. As a general rule, I tend to try and stick with no more than three colours, to prevent a design looking clumsy and cluttered, however for some businesses (such as the bouncy castle company) you can afford to be a little more adventurous. If you want to use more than three colours, but you’re not sure it would suit your company, you can always try using a couple of different shades of one colour.
6. Be sure you can use it for different purposes
I touched upon this in the last point, but you need to be sure your logo can be used for a variety of different means. Think about what you’re going to want to use your logo on… Website, Leaflets, Letterheads, T-Shirts, Signs, Car/Van, Promotional Merchandise. Steer clear of animated logos where possible, and if you’re looking to have your logo embroidered or printed on merchandise, it may be an idea to also ask the designer not to use any special effects on a logo such as bubble-typed lettering, gradients or a glittery finish.
7. Big or small, it needs to work
Professional designers will ensure this is the case, but it’s important if you’re using a friend or family member, an amateur designer, or yourself to ensure you the logo is designed BIG. You can always reduce the size of a logo, but you increasing the size of a logo can affect the quality. When printing large banners, posters and shop signs, your artwork needs to be very big. On the other hand, make sure that when reducing the image to make it smaller, for your website, avatars, etc you do not lose any important aspects of the design. Keeping it somewhat simple will help with this. Fiddly details can be lost when reducing the size of your logo, and just look messy.
8. Images and Icons for your logo
If you want to use an image/icon for your logo, avoid using any form of clip art. It can look unprofessional and somewhat tacky. Others may use the same clip art which means it’s not unique. If you want to use an image/icon then ask your designer to create one from scratch, or if the designer is unable to do so, commission an illustrator to create the icon for you. This ensures it is unique to you. Ask your designer to find a clever way of incorporating the image into your logo so that it doesn’t look out of place. Not all logos need an image to work.
9. Picking a font
Unless it is vital to you to use a specific font, try and let your designer select this for you. Choosing the wrong font can fail a logo. There are SO many fonts available to designers, that it is good for you to have a general idea of the style of font to look for, but be open minded. As a designer, I am obsessed with fonts, know what works best for different types of projects, and it pains me when clients say they want X font… which will NEVER look good.
10. Get Feedback
Before finalising your logo, get feedback from your friends and family… even your children (My 4 year old is my fussiest client, but he tends to get it right, so I always welcome his input! Kids are honest!). Getting feedback from an outsider will prevent you from getting too wrapped up in what YOU want, and will remind you to focus on what your customers will want.