Logo Design: Here's how to cross the finish line with a great logo...

You want a great logo, don't you? So what is the secret, anyway?

A logo is typically the most recognizable part of a brand. If your brand image (a logo is a key part of your brand image) is managed correctly, it quickly becomes the instant visual memory when the name of your business comes to mind. But sometimes creating a logo can be an elusive process.

Colored pencils on a desk.

So why is that process so elusive? Logo design shares the same linchpin of so many things in life...crossing the finish line with a great logo requires efficient, intentional, and constructive communication. So often, we can all neglect communication simply because it feels cumbersome and time consuming. Often times we don't even know how to communicate what we want or need. Relationships suffer and expectations aren't met. We make ourselves the victim of the unknown.

I have great news! It doesn't have to be that way. When we take the time to communicate in any situation, tension disappears, expectations are filtered and understood, collaboration takes over, and something truly magical emerges.

The same is true of logo design. When you are looking to re-brand, make sure you insist you and your designer do these things, and don't settle for the "I'll know it when I see it" mentality (spoiler alert...both you and your designer will be very frustrated at the end):

  1. Clearly communicate your expectations about the design process, to include timelines, methods of communication, and deliverables. (For example, Agile not only provides the logo images as deliverables, but we also include the vector logo creation file so our clients always have full access to the logo for future use...we highly recommend asking for this file). Ask your designer for their input and allow them to contribute to the discussion.
  2. Spend time looking at different logos to determine what you like and what you dislike. Pay attention to the style of logo that draws your attention and the colors you naturally favor, but don't waste time trying to "categorize" them into groups...just leave it wide open so your ideas can evolve throughout this discovery process. A simple Google search will produce an incredible amount of logo examples for your review. Visit stock photo and logo sites like Shutterstock to get ideas. Save those logos to a Word document and type short notes that capture your thoughts on each image. Be clear and transparent.
  3. Send that collection of design ideas to your designer and allow them some time to digest it, gather their thoughts, and schedule a time for a face-to-face discussion.
  4. Meet face-to-face with your designer and go through the document. A professional designer should have a clear and concise interview process to help gather insights, narrow down design ideas, and spark a practical discussion. Let them lead the conversation, and don't filter your responses...your intuitive responses will be your most honest and useful to your designer. If you feel like your designer missed something during this discussion, they are asking the wrong questions, or they don't understand your brand, then speak up and help them better understand what they may be missing.
  5. Your designer should limit the amount of logo concepts they present to you. We recommend 1-3 concepts per logo, as any more can demonstrate a lack of focus (the shotgun approach) and can be hard to review and discuss. Ask them to limit their concepts...it will be of great benefit to you!
  6. Provide your designer with practical, specific feedback that helps him or her refine and complete the logo concept. Avoid sweeping or emotional statements, and don't panic...branding your business is very personal and can be scary, but trust your instincts and bravely create a brand that represents you and sets you apart, rather than going the "safe" route.
  7. Save all of your deliverables to your computer and ensure they are backed up and well-organized.

If you are considering re-branding your business, we would be honored to serve you. Please choose from the options below to get more information. As always, we're never pushy, and we'd love to chat!

Mike Childress