How to Choose the Right Logo Designer
Let’s face it, there are (quite literally) millions graphic designers in the world. Which on one hand is great, because you need one. But on the other, if you’re anything like me and overanalyze every decision for far too long, you’ve come to the realization that you have no idea how in the world you're supposed to pick just one to work with!
I know that finding the right logo designer can be a super overwhelming process. You’re essentially buying something you haven’t even seen yet which, understandably, can be nerve wracking. It’s sort of like buying a pair of jeans on the internet – they look perfect online but when they get here, will they actually fit my squared off hips and chicken legs?!
However, like buying clothes online (another topic that I happen to be well-versed in), there are a few ways to ensure that you’re choosing the perfect logo designer for you and your brand. Since this can be such an overwhelming process, I want to drop some knowledge to make this decision super straight forward.
1. Choose someone with a compatible aesthetic
Just as most retailers have a specific style that their clothes fit into, graphic designers also often gravitate towards a particular aesthetic of their own. Although most designers can assimilate to whatever design style fits your brand best, usually no matter how hard they try, their main aesthetic will still show through in their work.
Personally, I definitely gravitate towards a more modern, minimal aesthetic that often has more of a fun and playful vibe rather than a super serious one. I use a lot of sans serif fonts, gradients and color overlays in my work. With that being said, I have made some solid rustic-chic logos before, as well as some feminine and classic brands, so my style isn’t limited. But if you’re looking for a bomb modern logo, I’m you’re girl. However, if instead, you want a super trendy, hand lettered logo, I wouldn’t be a great fit for you (though there are tons of designers who specialize in just that!).
All of this goes to say that if you have a particular vision for the overall style of your project, keep that in mind while looking for a designer. Dig through their portfolios and you will often see a specific style more frequently than the rest.
If you’re unsure on the style you’re looking for, look for someone with an array of styles in their portfolio. However, if you have a super specific style in mind, look for someone who specializes in that particular aesthetic.
2. Make sure they have a design process set in place
Designers with a set logo design process are designers with experience. They’ve done this hundreds of times and understand what works and what doesn't when it comes to designing a logo for clients.
I know this because I too was an inexperienced logo designer at one point and I know what a difference an established design process makes. Not only that, but having a plan also shows a level of professionalism and trust for your designer than someone without a plan does.
This design process should consist of:
- Getting to know you and your business, (that might be a phone call, a questionnaire, a Pinterest board you put together, etc.)
- A preliminary mock-up of the designer's ideas (for me, that's a mood board)
- Logo options
- A certain amount of revisions
- And getting you your final files
Experienced designers should have stopping points set in place to make sure that you’re both on the same page throughout this process. This helps to make sure you, the client, is 100% comfortable with the progress your designer is making and therefore fully trusting in the final result. Because it is can be a nerve-wracking investment, your designer should do everything possible to make sure you feel involved and heard in the design process in order for both of your visions to come together to create the perfect logo.
Here are a few ways that I ensure check-ins throughout the whole process:
- A mood board to visually display what we talked about and what I envisioned for your brand
This helps because sometimes “fun and feminine” could mean something totally different to me as it does to you. When I lay out my ideas visually, this helps to make sure we are both on the same page stylistically, before I even begin designing.
- Three logo options
Giving my clients more than one logo option allows them to be more involved in the direction of their logo. These options are usually pretty different from each other, giving you the final say on your brand.
- Allowing 2 rounds of revisions
Building revisions into the logo package help give you the peace of mind in knowing you can request changes without spending more money on design time. This also helps to make sure your logo is perfectly to your liking and exactly what you had envisioned.
Think of these check-ins as being similar to the ease of mind of knowing that there's free return shipping if those jeans you ordered don’t fit. Although you can’t actually return your logo, knowing that you have a final say in the end result makes you feel better about making the investment in the first place!
3. Find someone who has clearly established their expertise on the subject
I’m not going to lie, a large part of why I have my blog is to show my audience and potential clients that I know what I’m talking about (when it comes to logo design that is – the rest life I pretty much make up as I go).
You too should find a designer who shows you that they’re experts in this area. Don’t use just any old designer that you found on a logo contest website – which I won’t name here but it may or may not rhyme with “diver". Because you have no idea how much they actually know about design (plus they probably won’t give you all the files you need and the chances that those logos are already copyrighted are pretty dang high).
You know those online clothing stores that show up in your Facebook ads and are actually in China but the clothes are so cute and so cheap you have no idea if they’re too good to be true, so you order that dress anyway and then you find out that it literally looks nothing like the photo? Yeah, that's because that shop has zero credibility and was, in fact, too good to be true. I may or may not have ordered from several of those sites, only to be disappointed 90% of the time with no way to return them because shipping the clothes back to China cost more than the clothes themselves 😉. Just because something looks cute online doesn’t mean its actually a good product – so do your research people!
4. Find the perfect logo package
Often, logo designers will offer branding packages that come with a set amount of work. In my opinion, this is totally the way to go. Here’s why:
- You know exactly what you’re paying for
- You know exactly what you’re getting in the end
- You don’t need to worry about how many hours your designer is going to take to design your logo
- You don’t need to worry about asking for revisions because they're already be built into the package
- Payment plans are often available because of the set price
Packages are also set up in a way that you typically get more than just a logo. Usually, you receive an entire brand identity ranging from color palettes to multiple variations of your logo, to font pairings, etc. In my branding package, you even get three branded graphics of your choice (ie. blog post template, social media banners, business cards, letterheads, etc.).
Moral of the story is to find the perfect logo and branding package for you because you get more bang for your buck!
Last but not least, find a designer with raving testimonials. I don’t know about you, but I’m 100% a millennial in that I always read reviews before I purchase something. I’m that girl in Walmart who’s blocking the aisle because she found a new product and needs to read its reviews on Amazon before I can actually put it in my cart. (Less than 4 stars and you’re dead to me).
The point is, if you’re the type of person who needs to read reviews for different types of cat litter (just me?), then why wouldn’t you read reviews of the designers you’ve worked with?!
You want to find a designer with several testimonials on their page because you want to know that they've worked with actual, real, live people before and that those actual, real, live people enjoyed working with them! Bonus points for any designer with headshots next to each testimonial. Anyone who is willing to write a testimonial for the internet to read AND allow their photo to be shown next to it means they stand by what they said. Therefore, they’re probably legit designers and you should consider working with them.
What are your tips on choosing a designer? Leave them in the comments below!