Either you’re starting a new business or you’ve reached that milestone where it’s time to refresh an existing logo. Either way “get a new logo” is on your to-do list and now you’re faced with finding the right designer. The act of finding that designer can be the hardest part. Most businesses fall into two categories: they either 1) can’t find a designer that melds with their business’ aesthetic, or 2) are overwhelmed by the number of designers available and aren’t sure how to narrow it down to the right one.
No matter which category you fall into, this five-point checklist will help you hone in on the right designer for your business and start your partnership out on the right foot:
1) Does the designer’s portfolio show work that aligns with your style?
It’s true that a good designer is adaptable and can create work across a large spectrum of styles but every designer still has a preferred style, or specialty, that they excel in. By making sure that the designer creating your logo has a history of making logos with the same modern/classic/gothic/you-name-it flare that you’re looking for, you’re putting yourself in a good position to be beyond thrilled with the end product. This is a lot like asking a landscape artist to paint a portrait of you. Yes, they’ve undoubtedly painted portraits at some point in their training or profession and the outcome would be undoubtedly better than what your 15 year old nephew would produce, but it’s not going to compare to the work you’d get from an artist who specializes in portraitures.
2) How well does the designer communicate?
Most designers offer a free introductory consultation, so take advantage of it! These meetings tend to be held via video chat, email, live chat, or even in-person when applicable. No matter what the platform, you can use this opportunity to get a good read of the designer. Do they explain the process and answer your questions thoroughly? How will they communicate with you during the design process (email, website portal, live chat) and are you comfortable with that arrangement? Are they professional? Do you generally get along? You don’t need to become best friends with your designer, but you do need to be able to work together cohesively.
3) Does the designer have an organized client process?
You don’t want to become invested with a designer who’s going to take six months to complete what they said would take three weeks. Finding out if the designer has an outlined process to keep projects moving down the pipeline will help ensure that the designer is organized and isn’t going to lose track of your project. Designers with a clearly outlined process are much more likely to be organized and timely in their logo delivery dates.
4) What file formats does the designer guarantee to deliver?
It’s important to check that your designer is going to make your logo as a vector graphic, not bitmap, to ensure that your logo looks flawless whether it’s used on your website, social media, printed on t-shirts, or blown up on a banner (tip: vector art can scale to any size without losing quality, while bitmap/raster files become pixilated when resized). Once you’ve ensured that the designer is working in vector, you’ll need the product to be delivered in the right format to maintain that quality. As a rule of thumb your designer should at the very least provide the finished logo as either PDF, AI, or EPS files since these are all vector file types.
5) Does the designer have a contract?
Contracts are important for both parties involved in a logo design. For the graphic designer, contracts ensure that they get paid for their time. For you, the client, contracts ensure that you receive your deliverables in the formats and quality promised. Most designers include language in their contracts that protect both the designer and the client, so think of a contract as free peace of mind and insurance for everyone.
Ready to move forward with getting your business a new logo? You can find more information about my design process here, my portfolio here, and get in touch with me here. I can’t wait to learn more about your business and get started on a new logo for you!