Have you ever engaged a designer only to come back with a logo looking too outlandish for your liking? Think again. If you find the design rather bizzarre, it could well be your acceptance level OR it might just be a brief given without a clear direction. Designers generally live and breathe creative aesthetics, just like professional lawyers or doctors who basically focus all their attention to their work. However, getting the results you desire from them, might not always be the ideal case. The end result which I believe to be amazing would be the mutual respect and understanding of what good, relevant and creative work is between client and designer.
Here are some of the tips you can consider the next time you would like to do a branding or rebranding of your corporate image.
Research and be awe by design
Most clients I have worked with had given me samples of their past logos and told me how hard it was to get the creative to come out with a decent design that works for them. Almost every single time the references look either too mundane or it was ‘client-driven’. I might be starting to sound one sided here, but truth is, many times clients do dictate or reject opportunities where great work might be produced. I urge that you do some references online on creative portfolio sites like Behance or AShortInspiration and shop around for an idea of how you wish your logo best represent your business. That way, you not only gain the respect from your designer, you might also yield better results.
Understanding and work out a good creative brief
In order for a creative to be able to express the best of his/her abilities, one must know exactly the nature of your business as well it’s operations. You might want to spend some time sitting down with your designer at your office and at the same time bring them around for the ‘factory tour’. I remember having visited one client who was in the laminate business. When we arrived at his office and warehouse, we caught a glimpse of the production and after his explanation of the entire business operations, it convinced the team that positioning the brand with an edgy voice might not be a suitable call. We recognize the need to design a logo that extrudes more robustness and that signifies the concrete heritage the brand was shouting for. So give your designers the required details and even discuss the future business objectives you have planned out for. That way, both parties will be aligned and on the path to create a logo that would be relevant and well served for the future years to come.
Sometimes you just have to invest in the right people
I heartily concur with this point. The fact that creatives pride themselves based on the kind of work they produce, you would want to first request for their past works as one of the criteria to chose a good designer. It is natural that a creative designer would place a higher remuneration if he/she is aware that they have the substance and capability to produce great quality work. Of course, when ego takes over them, that is the time to give ’em the boot! A really skilled designer is not only able to interpret your ideas, they are also capable of creating that extraordinary element out of your logo given the stringent requirements. On top of that, they might also give you more inputs and directions based on their experience.
“Why isn’t McDonalds’ blue?”
At some point of your life you would probably have given some critical comments about logos you see on the street randomly. The fact is, a good logo is made up of several important design elements. One of the important elements is color. Have you ever asked why Subway sandwiches uses green and yellow for their logo and Armani uses black for instance? Truth is, for brands in the F&B industry, it is crucial to represent your corporate image with the right colors that best illustrate your brand’s product or services. Take Subway for example, most people who knows Subway or crave for vegetables with bread would naturally yearn for a good roasted Subway sandwich. And the color to best represent vegetables would be green and how it does wonders to portray the image of being natural and healthy. So do research and check out your potential competitors and what have they done. That might also give you a clue of what best to adopt next.
Is there a brand story?
Not every logo comes with a story. These days, if you happen to get one, you should count yourself lucky for this bonus. Why I’m saying this is because many designers are so involved in crafting that beautiful visual of your logo that most of them have almost completely forgotten the importance of having a concept and story behind their design. So it is vital that you have a brand story which you would throw in together with your brief. That would help the designer to best picture your logo and create a logo that would not just look nice but also complements the story behind it. Otherwise, you could make it a requirement that the designer would provide you his creative rationale: a write up which best describe his/her creative inspirations and processes when developing the logo base on their understanding of the brand. After all, what could be more cool than to tell an amazing story when prompted a question like this during a social party?
Always ask for more options
There is always more than one way to get the job done. If you engage in an experienced designer, he/she would understand the fact that good work requires fine tuning and making the necessary tweaks to get it done. And the more options you get , the more diversity you can see in the choice of logos you could get. Of course, I am not implying that you start exploiting 10s and 100s of variations for one single logo as that could also mean that you might be getting low quality work. As the adage goes, quantity depletes quality. So learn to ask for options but quality options and narrow down your selected designs as you work towards the final logo.
“Can I have a mascot? You know, like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny?”
When it comes to logos, it is without a doubt that having an iconic character does help in some sense. But, NOT ALL. There has to be some relevance to your business nature. Throwing in a nicely designed and cute character without the context of relevance will not only backfire, it would put your logo as a laughing stock should the character portray a different message. Of course, if you deem that having a mascot or character would best represent your company, I would recommend having the designer depict the character with a strong personality that would bring life to your brand. A character with a timeless design and characteristics of your company.
Here are just some of the tips that would help you in deciding your next corporate rebranding or logo design exercise. However, do feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more advice on doing a good logo for your company’s identity or marketing campaigns. Best of luck and hope this article has helped you.