Should You Use a Free Logo Design Service?

Picture the scene. A packed flight, flying over the ocean, on it’s way to somewhere exotic. Suddenly a man grabs his chest and collapses to the floor. He is having a heart attack. The flight attendant shouts to the passengers, “is there a dentist on board?”

What?! Well, her logic could be that a dentist is a bit medical so might be able to help.

So what does this have to do with logo design? Well what if we used someone who was a bit good at design…

Another scenario for you – a man decides to start a new, innovative business. He has found an accountant, who is recommended, to handle the finances. He has had contracts checked over by a lawyer he has had recommended. His business plan for the next 12 months has been thought through. He is ready to start his business.

Marketing, ah yes, he will have to market his business. His excitingly named business needs a logo, but where should he go for a company logo design? Then he remembers, his nephew has a computer with some graphic design software on and he is quite good at art. He will ask him.

Weeks later and with lots of hand holding over many evenings he has a logo. It is OK. It will do. It’s not that bad. It was done on a computer so it looks finished, now he can get his business cards printed and start to market his business.

Does this sound familiar? Why would this be the wrong approach?

A company logo is more than just a pretty face: your company logo is the first impression that a customer gets when they start to look at your company. It has to convey your professionalism, expertise and make you stand above your competitors. A potential customer needs to feel confident BEFORE they approach you as a business.

A designer is more than a mouse and software: it is too easy these days with free software to think we are masters of everything we try. You are not a designer just because you push a mouse around. A graphic designer looks at your logo as a problem that needs a solution. All good graphic designers are good listeners and problem solvers, not artists.

How can you tell if a graphic designer is right for you? Get recommendations first. If you see something you like, ask who did it. Then have a look at their portfolio online. Take time to meet the designer. A graphic designer can take a better logo design brief if they have met you face-to-face. You will usually need to get on, if you don’t then they won’t be able to design for you – I don’t know why but I can’t design for you if we don’t gel. I love all my clients.

What happens next? The chosen graphic designer will take a brief, and come back to you with 3-5 logo designs. Any more then they weren’t listening, and you probably won’t like what they have done. A smaller selection will help you both to understand each other and take the project forward to the next stage. There is usually 2-3 sets of development until you reach the final solution. You will then have a logo that you can use on all your literature and website – and try and stick with that designer for those items if you can. They know you now.You are building a relationship that should last for years.

How should I use my new logo? Speak to your designer, a good graphic designer would have designed a basic set of brand guidelines to accompany your logo. This will talk about how the logo should be used, what fonts you should use for consistency across your new brand, what colours are used and how you can recreate them across a host of media. Your designer, once you have paid them, will also supply you with the logo in various formats so you can put them on your email, website, word documents and any signage you may need to get you started.

Finally, I should point out, the whole process although more detailed than using your nephew in his bedroom, will be a much quicker and pleasurable experience. Once you have found a graphic designer, who has taken the time to understand you and your business, they will become an invaluable member of your team.

Member of the Chartered Society of Designers

 

csd_marque

We are very excited to announce that Vicki has been accepted as a Member of the Chartered Society of Designers (MCSD).

This would not have been possible without the help of our clients, who had to admit to working with Vicki (very brave), and help us compile a book of ‘evidence’. Which can be viewed hereplease take a look.

So what does being a member of CSD mean?

It means you are guaranteed to be working with a designer who is not only creative, but also runs their business with the customer in the forefront of their minds within the professional guidelines of the CSD. Read more>>

Inspirational words

I don’t think there is a person out there who hasn’t been touched by advertising designed by Sir John Hegarty. He is quite frankly a creative genius.

Today I stumbled across this article about Sir John in Director.co.uk

There are some real words of wisdom in this, not only for the designers amongst us but for all business people.

My favourite quotes from the article:

Great creative people are outsiders. They’re always looking in and observing, commenting and reflecting, wondering how it could be better. As soon as you’re part of something, you’re compromised by it.”

When a brand is in trouble, go back to its soul. If a brand drifts away from its basic principles it becomes vague, flaccid, nobody understands it. The answer lies in – what made it great? Why was it so successful? Go back to its roots.”

Inspiration

We all get design inspiration from different sources, and for me it is rarely in the graphic design community.

Most of my inspiration comes from interior design and fashion design, usually the prints and colours so I guess that is graphic design in a way.

Today I got this article in my Facebook feed. It reminded me of a book I bought in the ’90s from the English Eccentrics which featured lots of prints and patterns which helped shape my style and point me down the graphic design route.

So today I am going to soak up textile prints and see where it takes me…