Logo Design- Best Practices & Things to Keep in Mind
A logo is probably the most important part of your company’s branding as it literally says who you are. A good logo design should be a simple embodiment of your company. It should also be easily recognizable.
In this blog we will look at best practices that you, the business owner, can follow to help the process go as smooth as possible when working with a graphic designer.
We will discuss how to find the right graphic designer for you, how to communicate what you want, revision etiquette, and cost saving compromises.
Finding the right logo designer
There are several things to keep in mind if you are just starting the process of finding a graphic designer for your logo design.
The first thing to keep in mind is your budget. Once you have determined what your budget will be, then you can begin the search for a graphic designer to bring your logo vision to life. Knowing your budget when searching for a graphic designer will help you choose someone who is in your price point. Knowing how much certain graphic designers charge and what you are looking to spend will prove useful in avoiding future miscommunications when it comes to your invoice.
The second thing to keep in mind is that there are many places you can find a graphic designer. With a quick search on the internet, you will find that there are plenty of options for finding a graphic designer. You can check out freelance sites such as Fiverr and Upwork, or search for a local graphic designer in your area. Be sure to also keep in mind that a local designer may be able to meet with you in person and go over your ideas. This is always helpful when making sure your thoughts and ideas are communicated accurately, which will help the design process go smoother.
The third thing to keep in mind is compatibility. When choosing the right graphic designer for you, you will want to look at samples of their previous work, if provided. Make sure that the designs they have done in the past are along the lines of what you are looking for when it comes to your own logo. Every graphic designer has a different art style. Most designers will adapt their art style to fit what their client is looking for. However, some designers have a very specific style and will always stick to that even if it means upsetting the client.
Cost saving strategies to keep in mind
There are a couple things to keep in mind when dreaming about your perfect logo.
The number of colors in your logo doesn’t matter for most things you would use it for digitally. However, if you are ever going to want your logo screen printed, or embroidered on shirts, keep in mind, the more colors, the most cost.
Logos with a lot of detail are also difficult and expensive to screen print and embroider. Also, keep in mind, if you will be ordering business cards with your future logo, you may not like the way your logo looks when shrunk down to fit
on a standard sized business card. It may be hard for potential customers to read your business’ name.
Communicating your logo design ideas
Once you have chosen the right graphic designer for your logo design, it’s time to reach out and let them know what you are looking for and agree on a price.
Have an idea in mind
Keep in mind that having an idea of what you want, even just a vague idea, will help the design process go so much smoother. When envisioning your dream logo keep in mind some of the elements that make a logo design successful. A good logo should be: simple, memorable, timeless, versatile, and appropriate.
Provide examples if possible
A couple things you could do to help the designer have a clearer picture in their head of what you are looking for. One thing you can do is to provide the designer with a hand drawn sketch of what you envision your logo looking like. If you are not able to do that, show images of other logos you have seen and like. This will go a long way in helping the designer create your dream logo, faster.
Speak your mind
A good graphic designer will be able to take the instructions you have given them and communicate back an initial “game plan” on how they will execute the design. If the ideas they give you are not what you had in mind, make sure to speak up and correct any miscommunication. A good designer will take your feedback and revise the plan until you are comfortable with direction they are heading in. Make sure everything is cleared up in the initial stages of design. This will, in turn, make the process go smoother in later stages of the logo design.
Mock-ups and revisions
When your logo designer sends you your first mock-up make sure you look it over carefully. Analyze it to figure out the things you like about it, and the things you don’t. It more than likely wont be exactly what you are looking for in the first mock-up you receive. That’s normal. This is where it comes in handy to be as specific as possible about what you want in the initial stages of discussion with your designer. Now that you have received your first mock-up, be as specific as possible when communicating to your designer. Be specific about the things you like and and don’t like.
Again, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. The clearer you can be the quicker your designer will be able to perfect the logo. With clear direction, it shouldn’t be long until the designer has come up with a logo just like what you had in mind.
Be sure to keep in mind the number of revisions that you and your designer agreed upon. The logo design process may take more revisions than you initially had hoped. If this happens, you can ask your designer their protocol when more revisions than quoted will be necessary. Again, this is where it saves you money to have a clear idea of what you want upfront.
In this section I will go over the different file types you may want to have when the logo is completed. Be sure to think about what you are planning to do with your completed logo before meeting with a designer. This way the file types you will need can be included in your logo design package upfront.
When talking file types, most can be categorized as either bitmap or vector. A bitmap file, such as a .jpeg or .png relies on pixel size. This means that the logo can only be enlarged so much before it starts to get fuzzy and pixelated looking. I am sure you have seen a logo online or printed that looks very pixelated. This is because the business is using a low resolution .jpeg. When made any bigger than it’s pixel size it looses quality and often times looks bad. Make sure that your logo designer provides you with a high resolution JPEG. Then it can be used on items such as small business cards to large banners.
You have probably heard of a JPEG file, and more than likely you will be receiving a JPEG file with whatever design package you chose. It’s the most widely accepted image format. If your logo has a colored background, a JPEG file will be perfect and can be used for most things you would use it for digitally.
If you have a logo that is not square or rectangular A PNG file will more than likely be the file type you will use the most. Unlike a JPEG, a PNG file has a transparent background. This file type comes in handy when placing your logo over a colored background.
Unlike bitmap files, vector files can be as large or as small as you want and they will not loose their quality. Vector files do not rely on pixels so they can be scaled to any size imaginable and look just as smooth on a skyscraper as they do on a business card. As opposed to pixels, vector files are based on shapes and use mathematical equations to be infinitely scalable. Vector files are editable if opened in a vector editing software, however it is best to let your designer do the editing if future changes are needed. That being said, some designers may not give you the option to include vector files. However, as long as you have high resolution bitmap files you should have everything you will need to get your business started.
We talked about screen printing a little earlier. If you are ever wanting your logo screen printed, a vector file will more than likely be required.
Examples of Vector file types include
The design of your logo should not be taken lightly. It is often someone’s first impression of your business as well as what will last in their mind. Follow the steps discussed in this blog and you will have a logo you are excited to show off in no time!