Let’s face it, with the economy in shambles and more and more individuals opting to fulfill their dream of starting their own business, it is imperative to launch your new venture on the right foot. And nothing is more vital in helping to do so than the creation of your identity. It is this identity, this logo mark, that sets you apart from competitors and plays a key role in making sure you are seen as a legitimate, established company.
So what’s the next course of action? You have chosen the perfect company name, but you soon realize that you do not have the budget to enlist a high-dollar advertising agency to create a logo and website for your business. You want to save money, but you do not want to rely on a friend, who might dabble in graphic design, to create it for you either. You realize that your logo must be top notch and, although generous, their limited time and abilities will be evident in the final product. So, in turning to the Internet for a possible solution, you discover that there are companies that specialize in doing exactly what you need – helping small and start-up companies develop and create logos, websites and all other essential marketing materials at an affordable cost. But, of these numerous companies, which one do you choose?
Here are seven key elements to keep in mind when determining the company that you should hire to produce the most critical aspect of your company – your logo!
This should play a major part in choosing the right logo company. Make sure to check out their gallery of samples, making sure that the logos shown are of exceptional quality. There are companies out there that offer extremely inexpensive logo design, but, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” And one thing that you do not want is to pay for a logo, only to later realize that it does not meet or exceed your expectations. In this scenario, you might then feel compelled to hire a different company to design your logo, spend even more money, and be left feeling soured by the entire process.
Pay close attention to what each logo company promises as far as their service and delivery time. Many lower-end companies will promise as fast as a 24-hour turn-around on your logo concepts. Let’s be honest, do you really need your logo that quickly? Probably not. Instead, choose a logo company that has a more realistic five to seven day turn-around time. As you might expect, fully understanding and appreciating your company’s vision and philosophy takes time. Superb logo creation does not happen overnight, so be weary of choosing quickness over quality.
Regarding service, make certain that you will not be charged each time you wish to discuss your project. Some logo packages on the market will come with only one free consultation. Taking ownership of your logo and being a part of the overall process is your right. You will likely want to speak with your project coordinator or design consultant more than once. Lean toward a logo company that will welcome your enthusiasm and participation, not charge you for it.
Detailed Creative Brief
As the client, you want to be involved and stay involved in your logo process. Make sure that the logo company offers to provide you with a Detailed Creative Brief. A Detailed Creative Brief is a document that serves as an overview of every aspect of your business that you feel will contribute to the design of your logo. If a logo company does not provide you with such a document, your company’s mission statement, philosophy, goals, etc., may go by the wayside, often leading to design concepts that are off target. A Detailed Creative Brief is the most essential item in achieving a successful logo mark.
Customer satisfaction should play a large part in deciding which logo company to select. Make sure to read the “Terms and Conditions” of every company that you are considering thoroughly. These “Terms and Conditions” should state the details of any applicable guarantee and refund policy. Some companies may practice “bait and switch” tactics, making it seem as though they will refund your money if you are not satisfied with their quality of work, only to later decline your refund based on some fine print buried deep within their “Terms and Conditions”. Choose a logo company whose policies are clearly stated and, more importantly, one that works with each client on a one-on-one basis to ensure satisfaction and that the objectives of the Detailed Creative Brief are being met. As any favorable logo company will tell you, the best client is a referencable client.
Know your Revision Allotment
It is very rare that any logo company, or big advertising agency for that matter, will develop a winning logo concept the first go-round. Having a Detailed Creative Brief may get them close, but, almost always, a final concept will require a few changes to fully realize your vision. In addition, you can usually count on that one last revision that you had not accounted for, or its necessity did not rear its head until the final stages of the logo process, and you will want to make this one last adjustment. Be certain that the logo company that you choose offers unlimited logo revisions on their middle to upper-tiered logo packages. If not, you may end up paying more money in additional revision fees than the entire cost of the initial design package.
Be sure to select a logo company that offers multiple designers to design your logo concept. Even the most talented designer usually has a certain style that he or she might find difficult to stray from. Having two or more designers working on your logo will better assure that you receive a fresh, more-creative product.
It is true that virtually anyone can create a logo. However, it is the quality and the uniqueness behind a logo design that sets it apart from the competition. And, frankly, that is what it boils down to: Bringing your business to the forefront.
There are logo companies out there that allow you to select from a pre-designed logo portfolio, placing your company name into a cumbersome, interchangeable field. I question where the uniqueness is. Should this be a common practice, then your business, and hundreds of others, could potentially share the same logo mark, set apart only by the company name. If the quality and precision behind your logo is lacking, or the potential customer is aware that your logo is a cheap knock-off, your business may immediately be perceived as one that cuts corners and lacks experience.
With literally hundreds of logo companies having a presence on the Internet, searching for the right one can be mind boggling at best. However, with the knowledge of these seven steps, you will now be more prepared in making the best possible decision for your company in preparing to create the most crucial aspect of your business – the logo.