So you’re looking for a logo design agency in Cleveland or Columbus and your online search reveals lots of FAST, AFFORDABLE, ORIGINAL, 100% OWNERSHIP, 100% GUARANTEED logo designs. These offers all sound really inviting, but what are you really getting for your $50?
For starters, what does FAST mean? Does it mean you will get your logo in 24 hours? In two days? What process is followed to ensure that your new logo is developed to properly support your company’s core brand? In attempting to enhance your long-term image, a logo designer should spend time gathering specific information up front about what you are trying to convey, who your target audience is, what visual elements you would like to incorporate, and more. A great logo, one that has been carefully thought out by both the designer and the client, evolves from several design options. The final logo is oftentimes a combination of different versions and different elements of those versions. Communication between the client and the designer is key.
Spending $50 dollars for a custom logo sure is crazy AFFORDABLE, but you’ll likely get what you pay for. In fact, if you’re looking for a really cheap solution, there are logo building apps that you can download to create a logo yourself. A reasonable price to pay for a new logo design is between $800 to $1,500 depending on a variety of factors. Experience does count, so whether you decide to work with a freelance designer or an agency, ask to see their logo design portfolio. Find out in advance how many logo designs you will be given initially and how many rounds of changes will be included in their estimate. An experienced logo designer will understand that getting a logo approved can involve many committee members with different tastes and opinions. Knowing how to incorporate all of their feedback is an art form in itself, and something that simply can’t be achieved for $50.
Creating an ORIGINAL logo is tougher than it sounds, but the reality is a logo needs to be original so you are not infringing on anyone’s intellectual property. A good designer will take this one step further and develop a logo that is clean, simple and memorable, giving it a true visual meaning that will gain recognition over time.
As for 100% OWNERSHIP, if you pay a designer for a job, then you should own the artwork. One thing your logo design company should caution you on, however, is the legal availability of a trademarked name, phrase, or even logo design. You can conduct your own basic, free, preliminary search through the United States Patent and Trademark Office to see if the mark is free and clear to use by clicking here. An experienced logo design firm will also be able to get you in touch with a trademark and patent attorney should you have specific legal questions or want to register your mark on a state or federal level.
The phrase GUARANTEED logo designs is a little unsettling. Does this mean the logo will arrive in your inbox as promised the next day? That you’ll be amazed by the design? Or that it will maximize some type of measurable result? This is such an inflated catch term to apply to logos which are somewhat intangible by nature.
At Linear Creative, one of the first questions we like to ask potential clients who request a logo design is how much equity or value they feel their current logo has. Perhaps a complete redesign isn’t even necessary. In fact, a slight color adjustment or typeface alteration may be the best approach if your logo is already clean-looking and well-recognized. Large companies like Google understand the value of keeping key design elements while making less obvious improvements over time. It is very important, however, to know whether your target audience is connecting with your logo. Using a tagline in conjunction with your logo can also help describe and position your business in a competitive marketplace.
Depending on the type of tools being implemented, you may need to have bi-weekly meetings for status updates and changes, or only discuss the campaign once a month or so. But since it’s your dollar and your business, the agency should be willing to accommodate your preferences, especially if the relationship is a new one or the campaign is one you haven’t tried before. An unwillingness to do so or an attitude of “just let us handle it all and don’t worry about it” should be considered a red flag.
At the same time, your expectations regarding results must be reasonable. Discuss with the agency what is realistic for each tool, since it may take weeks or even months for the individual tool as well as the campaign itself to bear fruit.
Here are some questions your logo designer should be asking you:
- What is the overall brand message or story that you want your logo to convey about your company?
- What are some words that describe how you would like your logo to look? Examples include modern, nature-like, feminine, futuristic, sporty, edgy, fast, fun, childlike, energetic, etc.
- What colors do you want to include in your logo? Are there specific Pantone colors that we should be using? Are there any colors you do NOT want to use? Do you need four-color, two-color, and/or one-color versions?
- Are there any visual elements that you would like to include in your logo? Examples include: a house, a leaf, a steering wheel, a globe, an arrow, a wave, a water droplet, etc.
- Is there a tagline that will be used in conjunction with your logo? A tagline is a short phrase that’s associated with your brand name. The tagline does not need to be finalized at the initial design stage.
- Who is your target market (age, gender, geography, role, etc.)?
- Are there any logos that you have seen that you like? If so, can you provide website URLs so we can view them? What are some aspects of these logos that appeal to you?
- Are there any corporate identity guidelines that we need to work within when designing your logo?
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