Logos are part of the front line for your brand. So it makes sense to really think about it and commission a graphic designer to make it original and professional. Graphic designers and creative firms all work differently. Some just charge by the hour. Some offer a flat fee and limit your revisions and draft iterations. Either way, you are limited by time and/or money. In order to save both, be prepared before you talk to your designer and know what to ask for. Below are some tips on logo development and working with a designer.
Research: Research your competition's logos and color choices to make sure you stand out. Also look up other logos, design elements, color combos, fonts, etc. that you like. Share these with your designer to make sure you are both on the same page.
Maintain your brand: Make sure to clearly explain your brand to your designer in order to maintain the same look and feel you have overall for your company.
Consider intended uses: Most designers would kill me for saying this, but form follows function. Make sure to consider the placement of your logo and how you plan to use it. This will help you determine the general shape, colors, required versions, etc.
Keep it simple: This is probably my favorite of all of these tips. Logos should be simple, clear and easy to read. Avoid using complex illustrations or elaborate fonts.
Avoid trendy design: Assuming that you want your company to withstand the test of time, you will likely want your logo to do so also. Now I know rebranding over time is sometimes necessary, but to avoid more frequent changes, don't use trendy design elements that seem to be popping up everywhere.
Get others' opinions: Don't fall victim to the HiPPO (Highest Paid Person's Opinion). Not that the "boss" isn't capable of making these decisions on their own, but it doesn't hurt to consider different perspectives. A customer or sales person might have a different view on a design than you.
Get different color versions: Be sure your designer provides you with a one-color version, black and white version (which can be your one-color version), and a grayscale version (if necessary) in addition to a full-color version. Some print media do not support color versions, and it is best if you have that on-hand from the get go. Also, if you are getting promotional items printed, a one-color version will help save on setup costs.
Understand file formats: Either educate yourself or ask your designer to teach you about the different image file formats (JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, EPS, etc.) and best uses of each. Make sure you get all necessary formats from your designer. This way you will not need to consult with the designer when using your logo files in different on different mediums.
Hopefully this helps save you some time and money when you begin planning a new logo design.
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