Hiring the right logo designer is far more important than you think. In general, choosing the wrong person for a design project will lead to frustration, anger and quite possibly an end result completely at odds with your initial vision. Since your logo is supposed to be representative of your entire brand, designing a low quality logo or one that doesn’t fit your company culture could spell big problems for your brand going forward.
The design process is a fun and even exhilarating process … when you choose the right person. Take heed of the following advice in order to avoid making the mistake of hiring the wrong logo designer for the job.
Design by Ava N Garda
1. Choosing based on price
We get it; you’re probably a small business with a tight budget but cutting corners with the design process is not a good idea. There is absolutely nothing wrong with shopping for value. However, you have to be wary if you look around the web and find a logo designer with far lower pricing than any of his competitors.
Rates will vary depending on the skill and experience level of the designer but they shouldn’t vary drastically and if they do, something is very wrong. Rather than trying to save a few pounds by looking around the Internet, look for sites that allow you to set up design contests. With this process, you can choose between huge numbers of logo designers. Obviously, your budget dictates the number of entrants but you will receive at least several proposals and can choose one that best fits your brand.
2 . Paying everything up front
Rule #1 of online hiring; avoid paying freelancers the full amount up front if you can. The exception to this rule is if you’ve worked with someone for a long time and can trust them and their work. Otherwise, you need to come to a compromise with prospective logo designers. It’s up to you to decide how much you’re willing to pay up front but 25-50% is normal. The rest can wait until you receive the final logo design and are happy with it.
The other key issue is of course your budget. Be very clear about the amount you are willing to spend and ask the designer what you can expect to get for that price. If a designer says that he can’t honestly create what you want for the price, at least you’ll know before the project starts. Then you can either find someone who can do it for less or pay a little extra to get the designer you want.
3. Not paying full attention to portfolios
Pretty much every logo designer has his own unique ‘style’ but you must take a closer look at his portfolio to determine if he is capable of producing what you need. You may find that certain designers have a particular ‘style’. As a result, you should look through a variety of portfolios to discover different design techniques. This increases your chances of finding something that’s perfect for your brand.
The best case scenario is to find a logo designer that can understand your business and target audience and has the ability to adapt his style to meet your needs. Designers with varied portfolios are always a good bet because it’s clear they have a history of meeting the requirements of their clients.
4. Being unclear with your instructions
If you check out the vast array of logos created on 99designs, you’ll notice that clients typically outline their needs from the very beginning. This alleviates confusion and enables the logo designer to focus on creating one design. It also increases the chances of the designer hitting the mark first time around.
One of the worst things you can do is ask a designer to give you several logo options. The design process takes time so it’s unlikely that the designer will be able to put heart and soul into every one. Besides, logo designers always have one design they prefer over the rest regardless of what you think.
Their job is about trimming the options down to find the best logo as much as it is about dreaming up designs in the first place. Be clear about what you want and work with the designer instead of against him. This means you should be available to discuss the project from the very beginning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make comments on what you see. Your input will almost certainly expedite the process and once again, improve the chances of it being a successful project.
5. Failure to ask the designer about his process
If you simply allow the project to proceed without learning how the designer operates, you are basically betting on a roll of the dice. Clear communication is crucial; if you learn more about the designer’s process you can come up with a project outline that avoids misunderstanding. For example, you could ask the designer about:
- The number of concepts you can expect to receive.
- The number of revisions he will do.
- The likely timeline.
- The types of files you’ll receive.
The best logo designers always strive to keep clients in the loop and are generally very clear about timelines. It’s also a good idea to begin with a Skype call, regular call or some other kind of video conference meeting. You’ll find that this actual discussion can help you determine whether or not the designer is on the same page as you.
Hiring a top notch logo designer doesn’t have to be an expensive or stressful experience. Once you know what you want from your logo and find a reputable designer with the skill to carry out your vision, the entire experience should be an enjoyable one. Alternatively, you can just go to 99designs and find the best logo designer for your budget by running your very own contest!