By Brenda Fleming
You have an amazing business idea and you’re ready to change the world, and make some money in the process.
But if you want to attract customers you need an identity that people will remember. Before you can make a website, manufacture products, design ads, or even print out business cards you need a logo to hold everything together.
Your logo is the face of you your company. It can visually reinforce your company’s values and has the power to forge a subconscious emotional bond with your customers.
When you’re getting started, your logo plays such a big role establishing a good relationship with your customers. You want to hire a graphic designer that can get it right the first time.
But it is up to you to give them the information they need to create a logo that will make the positive impact you need to make a profit. Before you contact a graphic designer, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- What three words describe my company?
Think this over. Stay up all night thinking this over. Ask other people what they think about your idea and what they want to see in your business. Research how other successful companies describe themselves. After gathering all this feedback you want to boil it all down to three perfect words. Tell your designer what those words are.
Yes, you will end up telling your designer as much as possible about your company (how big it is, what your business goals are, everything). But your logo needs to express one strong and concise message. What are those three words?
- Who is my target audience?
A good graphic designer will create a logo that will appeal to your target market. Find out as much as you can about your target customer. Details like: How old are they? What kind of money do they want to spend? What other products do they love? Be prepared to give your designer this information. If your graphic designer doesn’t ask a lot of questions about your customers, take it as a bad sign.
- Where will this logo be promoted?
Is it going to be on a tiny label, only online, or printed a silk tag sewn to each of your products? Is it going to be on an app? Printed on a fake brick (yes, I have seen that) or up on a billboard? If you have a storefront, will the sign be in neon, carved out of granite, or cut out of glossy sheet metal? Think of all these ideas, because your designer is going to create something that will work in context that you choose.
- How can I tell if a designer is as good as they say they are?
Check out designers via their portfolio – do you like their style? Resume’s are an important way to show you their experience, but it’s more important to see proof that that they can design. Make sure you like what they have already done. Also, see if they have done work in your industry.
It’s simple: If you don’t like what’s in their portfolio, don’t hire them. If they don’t have a portfolio, certainly don’t hire them – you don’t want to be someone’s first project.
- What is my budget?
Logos can cost anywhere between $5 and $50,000+. What should you spend?
I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the $5. If you spend $5, you are either paying someone to get it done in under a half hour, or you’re or you’re asking them to work for free. A logo is an investment, and if you don’t invest in it, don’t expect a lot of return.
I’ve had several clients come to me after buying a $5 logo that looked like it was done in less than five minutes (it probably was!). They were happy to pay to get something they could be proud of.
Still, there’s a huge range in logo prices. How do you set a budget?
I charge between $1,200 and $2,200 for a logo. I meet with the client for a project interview, conduct research on the company, and create up to three good logo options and then give them three rounds of revisions. The fee gives me plenty of time to deliver my best work, and my customers are happy because they get what they want without having to redo anything later.
When you’re setting your budget consider how much you can afford to spend, and how much you are planning to make.
In the end, you need to respect the prices that the designers set. Shop around to find designers with a range of prices and ask yourself if the quality of their work justifies the price. Then hire the best designer that you can afford.
Brenda Fleming is a graphic designer based out of Los Alamos, NM. Visit her website at www.brendafleming.com.
Click on the links below to see some of the projects that Brenda Fleming and Mandy Marksteiner have collaborated on:
Poster “Lose Weight and Tension for Life”
Infographic for Famine to Feast