How to Get the Best Logo EVER!
Hire the best designer. Okay, see you next week!
...just kidding. That would make it a one step process, but it's a loaded statement because there is no one best designer. Who has the most skill with their chosen design program? Who knows the most about color theory? Who has the most success stories? It's my opinion that none of that matters so much as this last question: who do you trust? You need to find someone who will be able to capture both your vision and your audience. And what does that take? Oh yes, my friends, this is a group project...just hopefully less emotionally scarring than the school variety.
1. BE ABLE TO DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS.
Hopefully you tell people all day, every day about your business. This is the perfect time to use your elevator pitch - on your designer. That's a great start, but they'll want to delve deeper than keywords. Come prepared to tell them not only about your business, but your industry, your competitors, and your target market. Why? Because as an expert in your industry, you are a designer's greatest resource. They will use what you tell them as a starting point for their own research. And trust me, there will be plenty of research. Research galore. Research a-plenty. Big, fat piles of research.
2. BE OPEN ABOUT WHAT YOU DO (AND DON'T) LIKE.
If every time you see the color cobalt blue, you feel the need to flip a table, rip off your shirt, and run down the hall screaming, now would be the time to tell your designer. If every single piece of clothing you own is a shade of purple and you feel the need to continue the trend on your work polos, that's relevant to the design process. If as a child, you were given the nickname Acorn for a terrible reason by equally terrible children and you get PTSD-like episodes when you hear the word...you may have watched my favorite Dilbert episode. (Seriously, it's a great one.) Good, bad, or ugly, you should give your designer as much information to work with in the initial meeting as possible - color palettes you like, the Pinterest inspiration board you made, a list of logos you like and why you like them. Not only does this put your designer on the right path from the start, but it also keeps them from wasting their time coming up with something you could have told them you wouldn't like. It's a win/win.
3. BE COOL WITH BALANCING WHAT YOU LIKE & WHAT WORKS.
I know I just got done telling you that your logo should be something you like, but I also need to slip in a caveat. You're selling to your target market, not yourself. If you absolutely love cats and you have a house painting business, perhaps it would be best if never the twain shall meet. Unless it has to do with your personal brand identity, throwing something in the logo just because you like it can muddy the waters for your clients/customers. (I learned this lesson myself, but that's a story for another post.) Trust your designer if they tell you that a specific color or image just isn't going to work. Remember: there's a reason you hired them.
4. BE CONSTRUCTIVE WITH YOUR FEEDBACK.
Your designer is good at what they do, but they're not a mind-reader. Well, not 100% at least or else they'd probably be making their money as a psychic. When you get your first version of a potential logo, you're going to have an initial reaction. Good, good - let it flow through you. Now put it into words, but make them helpful words.
"I like it, but it's not popping for me."
BETTER: "I like it, but I was hoping the colors would be more intense."
"It looks too busy."
BETTER: "Could it be simplified by (insert what you think would make it better)?"
"It's not what I was expecting."
BETTER: "Could we make it more (luxurious, retro, sleek, etc.)?"
Tell your designer what you actually think. They aren't going to get their feelings hurt. It's a first draft and they need your honest input to make something that you will love.
5. BE LOUD AND BE PROUD.
When you finally have your perfect logo that totally encapsulates your business and makes you smile every time you see it, take a moment to thank your designer and congratulate yourself. A job well done is something to celebrate. Go teamwork! Now get out there and plaster your logo on everything. Throw business cards like confetti. And when someone asks you about your logo, tell them about your designer and your awesome experience.
You can always follow Pickles & Oliver on Pinterest for up-to-date tips for social media, blogging, design, branding, and small business success. I hunt down all the best advice from the pros and curate it for you in one place.