This question is one that is HEAVILY discussed online, offline and still has many clients baffled when it comes to hiring a designer for their own logo design.
As I personally grow to perfect the art of designing a “good” logo, I have boiled my own design philosophy to this: “A (real) designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
As UX design (User Experience) gains momentum, SIMPLICITY and FUNCTIONALITY in any design has never been so important and valuable. These assets alone make a design stand out quickly, they are what makes interaction with your target audience intuitive and enjoyable. The more complex our communication networks become, the more ‘simple’ our messages have to be to cut through.
The same principle applies to logo design, not only because it is the founding block of your brand but also because, as your “branding”, it will have to be applied to a range of mediums and for that it needs to have some extremely important basic qualities.
WHAT SHOULD YOU GET WHEN YOU PAY FOR PROFESSIONAL LOGO DESIGN?
Professional designers have a well thought out process as well as deliverables that you probably won’t get with cheaper designers:
A professional designer will require a brief before starting any work on logo design. They need this to be able to produce a logo that is strategic in communicating the brand’s activities/values/personality.
A professional designer might provide sketches to discuss concepts with you – or they might provide computerised samples. In any case, you should be able to request sketches if you feel that you need them. Logo files should be in vector format (scalable) when delivered and a professional designer will make sure your logo can be applied to a dark or light background, as well as to various mediums. You should also be able to request these different applications of your logo from your designer.
Basic branding guidelines
Professional logo designers will most often recommend a style guide to accompany your branding – the style guide is a set of guidelines that prevent your branding from getting distorted or wrongly applied by other designers in the long term. If no Style guide has been ordered, a professional designer will always include typography and colour charts when delivering your logo design.
Last but not least, a professional designer will guide you through the above process seamlessly. Designers being paid the minimum for their work expect to be doing a quick job and additional requests from clients will either increase the fee or irritate the designer. For something as personal as a logo you are better off going with a professional, investing a bit more straight away, but getting everything you need at once. Time saved, dollars saved.
WHAT DOES A PROFESSIONAL LOGO LOOK LIKE? HOW CAN I TELL IF IT IS BAD?
Jacob Cass from JUST Creative points to 5 attributes that make a good logo:
When you look at a logo, the questions you should be asking are the following. If the answer is yes to all then you have yourself a good logo!
- Can I remember the logo after looking at it for less than a minute?
- Do I have to squint to understand what is going on?
- Would this logo work 5 years ago? In 5 years’ time? (Is it trend-affected?)
- Does this logo work if it is as tiny as a stamp? As large as a billboard? With reversed colours?
- Can I understand what this logo stands for without knowing the brand behind it?
NOW FOR THE FUN PART 🙂
Some fun links for you to explore…