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Whether you are a one-man entrepreneur or multinational company or corporation, typical or atypical business or industry branch, one thing is for sure - you need a visual identity. Visual identity or brand identity is a set of features that characterize your brand and have a specific way of communication with audience. Brand identity determine your first impression, be it positive or negative. A logo is the foundation stone of every brand identity. It's a symbol used for visual communication. In addition, a logo is starting point of further development of brand identity.
Since ancient times symbols were first used as a visual way of communication. In ancient Egypt, people used hieroglyphs as means of communication and just by looking at them; we can conclude that hieroglyphs are typical symbols. Practice of such ways of communication sticks till today. Logo is every company's way of visual communication through one symbol that represent everything that company stands for. That is crucial reason why choosing the right designer for creating your company logo must be taken very seriously.
Milton Glaser, famous artist and one of the best logo designers once said:
Lots of people can fall into the trap of searching designers through Google. Knowing of the phenomenon "First page on Google" can be a problem. When you type "logo design" or similar terms in Google, on the first page you will get a lot of "logo factories" with all kinds of offers for logo design. Those are options every man, who wants a professional logo design for business , should avoid. Those generic logo designs that most of those agencies or companies are offering, could not possibly be unique and recognizable as custom designed logo especially for your needs and suitable for your brand identity. To have your logo designed properly, you need a real human, talented designer and not a program which just combine random elements and forge meaningless logo creation. Among all reasons, why you shouldn't choose any of those offers is time related matter. You can bump onto offers like : "perfect logo design within 24 hours", "Create Your Logo in 5 Minutes?" etc.
For anyone who possesses even the slightest knowledge of art or have extended knowledge of art by graduating in art university or school, such offers sound unreal. To explain an analogy to common people, I could make this comparison: It's like asking a sculptor to create 4 meter tall, exact marble replica of Michelangelo's David in a day. It simply cannot work. Everything under 48 hours for creating first drafts of logo design is highly doubtable. Even basic process of creating logo design, for simple, modest wordmark logos should not be less than a day.
Proper process of creating logo must have several stages. One of the stages is researching.
No matter how large or small company or business is, proper market research take time. There are researching of competitors, studying their visual identities, comparing them, and lot of other processes involved so a designer won't come up with similar design already present with other players. Knowing that, you can be certain that if you want a professional logo, you will not get it in those "logo factories".
Another thing that can mislead people is price. Majority of "logo factories" will offer logo design from $5 to unknown amount. They wrap it up in sweet offers on several levels such as "Gold package" "Platinum package" etc. Any respectable designer will not accept to design logo below $100, and I emphasize respectable because when you search online for a person to design your logo you can find a lot of amateurs, enthusiasts and all kind of people who think they have adequate knowledge to design a logo.
Therefore, your search must begin on some place where you can be sure that you reached respectable and talented designer.
There are several platforms which offer serious service and where you can be sure that you can find the right person for the job. Some of them are Upwork, Freelancer or Logo Design Guru. Partially because of these platforms reputation and partially because your option to choose from many, they can be the right choice for a start.
Several things are very important when choosing right person for hiring. Decent logo designers must have:
Portfolio is every designer's personal ID. In portfolio you can find out a lot about a designer, from preferred style to design niche he is best in. A certain important things related to logo design can also be found in designer portfolio. One of those things is previous experience in logo design and conformation that those designs are real, alive and in use, or they are just ideas and creative art with no applicable use. That is important if you wish to hire an experienced logo designer with a proof of his work. Portfolio doesn't have to be key for choosing designer because there are lot of very talented students who yet don't have extended portfolio but have knowledge and will to nail the job.
Every designer has their own design process and it's recommended to ask them about it. The process of creating logo should include designer's questions about brand and task which is put before him, researching, contemplating, sketching, choosing right style, vectorising etc. Questions from designer are crucial and must be clear, straight and targeting right angles, which will help him later to develop proper idea and to crystalize image in his mind and imagination. The steps of logo design process may vary but previously mentioned are usual ones, and without them, it's a lot harder to come up with professional logo design.
As mentioned before, in the design industry and among real designers there is a rule "You get what you pay for." Meaning that spending a larger amount than planned shouldn't be considered as loss but as an investment. A professional logo can significantly boost your chances of success. Your logo can stand for itself just for a short period of time because when a company is growing, also the needs of proper visual identity are growing too, so in a point in time you will have to have a Brand Guidance Book and that's something that should be considered when hiring logo designer. Company colors, company typography, web and print rules for identity are just several elements that a brand guidance book should have. It will be much easier that a person who designed a logo also to create Brand Guidance Book so when hiring a logo designer that should also be kept in mind.
Good communication is key to success in almost every corporation. Therefore, when you choose a designer you think who will fit your needs you should insist on short phone/Skype/Whatsapp call. Desirable is a video chat because it can remove any suspect that person is actually who he present himself for but it's not mandatory. Some people may not be comfortable with video chat so audio conversation should do the trick. In short conversation, you can explain your ideas and ask the logo designer some questions that are important to you. It's not recommended to ask the designer for opinion on your ideas because it can drive him into unpleasant situation if he disagree with such approach, so it's best to just say your wishes and thoughts and let the designer take further steps in deciding on the matter. Short call should just use for introduction and brief conversation, later communication is recommended to be in written form so both of you can refer to all parts of agreement in future, if needed.
Testimonials are highly desirable in the process of choosing the right designer. From testimonials of other people who already engaged him you can learn a lot. If testimonials are mostly positive it can be a good sign that you are on the right path to hire a good designer. You don't need to look at only the positive testimonials, you should also look into negative ones. From negative testimonials, you can learn what possible problem can emerge when hiring that him.
For conclusion I can say that there is no universal recipe for hiring the right designer and there are no guarantee that he will be up to task but I hope these tips will help you a lot of going in the right direction and with this tips you'll avoid been tricked. Instead you can end up hiring real talent who will create the perfect logo for you.