BEFORE deciding on a logo designer, there would be things that you as a paying customer need to think about and be sure of, so that you get just the right output that you are looking for. These would include:
What is your purpose of desiring a logo?
The reason for which you want a logo must be very clear to you. When you are sure of your own goals for desiring a logo, we too can be equally sure of giving you want you want – a logo that will fulfill your need and requirement.
Just in case you are not very sure of the precise goal that the logo will serve you, think of what it is going to achieve for you. Perhaps it will give you a strong and compelling identity? Perhaps it will command attention from existing and prospective customers? Perhaps it will establish you firmly in the marketplace? These are usually the most compelling reasons for which most individuals and companies seek a logo for themselves and your goals are likely to be no different.
While going about your endeavor of getting an appropriate logo for yourself, it would serve you well to check out what the competitors are up to, especially if they are in the same/similar industry as you. Are they choosing particular kinds of imagery? Do they have a particular style? Perhaps one that you would either like to adopt or avoid.
Imagery and symbols have been in use for a long time. They are all a testimony to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and they represent the very strong human mental faculty of visual imagery. One symbol, one picture, one sign – can depict a multitude of thoughts and ideas, and that is what your logo is going to represent and stand for. Reflect upon those signs and symbols which you instinctively know what they represent; for instance, universally, at traffic signals, you know that the red light implies that you need to stop while the green light implies that you can go. Similarly, a skull and bones symbol implies danger and you really do not need to be separately and specifically told about its meaning.
So, as you can see, it is the aforementioned symbolic imagery that your skilled logo designer (us!) can incorporate into the logo that we will design for you. Our task is cut out in terms of using imagery like the above and then turning them around completely to something totally new, innovative and highly creative.
Therefore, it is imperative that your thoughts on the above are clearly conveyed to the designer, and that any information that you have regarding imagery or symbols that you have in mind, or even samples that you have with you – which you would like to have incorporated into your own logo – must be shared with the designers.
Target customers – clearly identifying them
There would be many questions to answer when it comes to determining your target customers clearly. These would include identifying your target customers accurately, having an understanding of the way they perceive your industry as well as your business, knowing who are the ultimate consumers of your product [for example, if diapers are your products, your target customers are new mothers (and fathers!) while your end users are the babies themselves], the means by which you intend to reach your target customers, the incentives that your target customers have to actually buy your product, and the ways in which they will actually be benefited in making the decision to buy your product or service – by your logo.
Positioning of your company: what are the values that your company represent?
Your logo must embody all the core values that your company stands for. At a glance, people should be able to relate to the credo of your company as well as be able to differentiate you and your offerings from all others in the market. Your logo must clearly tell customers the things that you do, the things that you are good at – either directly [like the WWF Panda which is in fact rare in today’s metaphorical age], or indirectly [like Nike’s Swoosh which may not tell you at a glance what the company does or makes, yet embodies the values of Nike].
Keeping these aspects in mind, you must ideally create a listing of the key facets of your company that you would like your logo to represent. They would in turn be pointers towards the kind of image that you would like to portray of your company. From among the listing, identify the one most compelling facet and point that out to the designer along with the other aspects that you have enlisted.
Give adequate time
Being a work of art and creativity, combined with the fact that your logo would go on to represent all that you stand for, across the world, this is one task that really should not be rushed. This is particularly true if you are looking at a redesigned version of your logo; ideally keep the project timeline as separate from all other pressing activities of the company, and use the old logo till you have a new one that truly satisfies you completely.
Choice of color
The choice of color for your logo is an extremely important decision, and make sure you think through carefully. Do not enforce your personal favorite as the color for the logo, since it may not be appropriate. Also, do look up resources on aspects such as the psychology of color to gauge the perceptions that these colors leave in our minds. You can in turn identify the attribute that you intend to create in your customers and then choose the appropriate color. While such an implication may change over time as well as across cultures, maintaining the link between key attributes of your company and the color you choose would be imperative at all times.
Another aspect to keep in mind would be the eventual contextual extensions on which you would like to have your logo appearing. This has an important connection with your logo’s color scheme as, for example, the choice made for paper backgrounds may not be suitable on fabric, and so on. Similarly, the brightness and contrast of the color you choose would also be relevant to your product line. Finally, limit the number of colors that you use in your logo to ideally just one or two, otherwise your costs would increase incrementally, each time your logo appears anywhere.
Reasons for desiring a new logo when you already have an existing one
In case you already have an existing logo and are desiring a new one, it would be good to inform the designer about the reason for the change. Is it a change in ownership? Perhaps a change in values? Perhaps your old design is just too outdated? Whatever be the case, it is vital that you inform your designer about the reason for which you desire the change. Also, if your logo is on your website, make sure that you supply your company URL to the designer.
Your favorite logos
It would be extremely useful for us to know about any logos which you really like and appreciate. Even though our creation for you would be unique and original, we will try to capture and imbibe those same values and attributes that you see in your favorite logos of other companies – in the logo that we will design for you. Same holds true for the logos in our design portfolio so make sure you take a look at that as well.
Brainstorm within yourselves
Notwithstanding the extent to which we would be able to bring creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to the table, it would be of the essence that you too have an extended session internally where everyone gives their opinion on the logo that the company should have. Often, brilliant ideas emerge out of such sessions. Involve everyone who is going to be a part of the decision process, as early as possible, including the CEO, especially if that gentleman or lady would be the one giving the final consent on the logo.
Let us know about anything you deem important, as if you think it so, it may well be significant indeed!