It takes a matter of seconds for someone to form an opinion of your business and it”s usually your logo that helps them generate that opinion. So using Comic Sans font in Word isn”t going to give off that professional image. It has always been advised that when starting a new business you should hire a professional designer to create your logo. In the past it was considered standard to pay ?500 for logo and stationary but that rule has changed in recent years. The regular spam e-mails titled “quality logos only ?99, create your own online” mean that a good quality logo is regularly undervalued. This article will offer straight forward advice on costs and knowledge needed to get a logo designed for your business. It will look at how to choose a suitable designer and what you should expect from them. We then finish on how to use your logo to establish a brand and how to maintain a coherent image.
Choosing a designer
Designers aren”t always qualified and don”t have to be part of an official society to call themselves designers. This is why you should be cautious when hiring a designer. If quality is important, choose one with either a degree or more than 3 years experience. For those on a budget you can easily pick someone up on a designers bulletin board to produce a logo for around ?40, but these designers are more than likely to be teenagers in their bedroom. For this price you wouldn”t expect the designer to fully understand the message your logo should say about your business. For this price, expect a 4 hour job with a fancy font. However, for the business on a tight budget this might be suitable.
Small to medium size businesses (SMBs) should be looking for a designer that will provide you with a descriptive logo that sells your business. The designer should show you past work, it doesn”t have to be a logo it could be something else that they show you, but as long as it shows off their ability.
The designer should also:
– ask questions about your business (scope).
– determine what colours are needed
– suggest styles and discuss sans serif and serif fonts with you
– he/she should have rights to the fonts they use and supply them on completion
– draw any illustration that needs to be incorporated into the logo
– not use clip art
– not copy anyone else”s work and you should not ask them too
– often produce the design side of things within 2 weeks
– provide a style guide to accompany your finished logo.
The style guide will be a guide on how to use your logo, depending on what your budget is the designer will give you a guide of dimensions, font sizes, usage and colours (we”ll come to colour later). This style guide can also be expanded to show position and usage on different media formats (i.e. the web, fax, compliment slips). The style guide should be the final thing you receive and should come on CD with all fonts and files used. This service should cost ?200 to ?700 depending on the designers experience and normally on the amount of amendments you request.
If you have a larger budget and feel you need a logo that really works for the business then it”s advisable to get a designer who specialises in logo and brand design. This designer will, for around ?300+ a week, investigate your company and provide detailed research work on why certain ideas should be incorporated into your logo. This might sound excessive but many large and successful companies spend thousands on their identity and class it as one of their major assets (i.e. Coca Cola, McDonalds, BP).
How to use your logo
It”s all very well having a great logo designed but your company but all this can be damaged by not using it in the correct way. If you have taken the above advice and have a style guide with your logo. It must be used, it should be sent to everyone from the printer to the PR person. Have it sent around the office and get everyone to understand how and when the logo should be used. It is important to maintain a coherent image on all of your stationary. Don”t allow the colours on your compliment slips to be different than those on your letterheads. This is where the style guide comes in. The designer should have put colour guides on the style guide that tell you and your printer what colours should be used for reproduction. This is usually the mix of ink needed to reproduce the same colour every time a document is sent to print.
All you have to do now is print the logo on everything. If you are happy with your logo designer, why not get them to design the stationary and the company brochure. You”ll find most designers will offer discounts on repeat work and as they already understand the company, will most likely produce a much more empathic design.
Good luck and I can be contacted if further help is needed.