HOW TO CHOOSE A LOGO DESIGNER
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
A graphic designer is a graphic designer is a graphic designer, right?
Not so much!
Graphic design is an INCREDIBLY broad field and it would take a lifetime to truly master every skill within. Not every designer is going to be ideal for your needs and there are a number of ways to identify a good fit with whom to collaborate.
1. CONSIDER EXPERTISE
When it comes to your business' logo and graphic design projects, you are best served by finding someone who niches in the type of project you need completed.
Not every photo editor can create a solid event flyer. Not every web designer can produce a worthy business card. And not every graphic designer is cut out to build logos.
I refer to myself as a logo designer over a graphic designer because that is my area of deepest expertise through which I provide value to clients.
I still understand and offer other design services, yes, though I am fully transparent that logo design is my forte. This makes it abundantly clear as to who benefits most from collaborating with me.
All graphic designers should treat their area of expertise similarly. Anyone who claims to be proficient at absolutely every aspect of graphic design is likely someone who only dabbles in numerous areas with no true expertise or in-depth knowledge in one.
There is risk associated with hiring such an individual to design a logo that truly needs to perform, turn heads, and draw in business.
A logo is a communicative marketing resource meant to leverage customer traffic and therefore cannot be wasted.
Handing over your brand design projects to a designer who does not excel in the project you need completed often results in wasted money and time in the long run.
If you're an entrepreneur, you understand the importance of making sound investments.
When it comes to logo design, specifically, one needs to understand color psychology, font flavor, simplicity, spatial composition, market research, and future applications among other things, all the while comfortably using vector design software.
Each element mentioned is not unanimous to all forms of graphic design. A photo editor who uses raster software may never pay any thought toward these concepts, and likely handles entirely different file types.
This does not make them a bad designer - it makes them a different one, with different expertise. Though, this should be taken into account by an entrepreneur looking to hire someone for logo design.
2. CONSIDER THE VALUE AND QUALITY OF WORK
An unfit designer may try their best, but it is likely that future considerations for the logo will go overlooked and unaccommodated.
Unexpected roadblocks like this are what lead to costly redesigns later on - whether they are caused by copyright infringement, failed planning for web and print applications, or lack of market research and appropriate development.
Complications such as these are what one hires an applicable designer to avoid.
As a logo designer, I've worked with numerous professionals who admit that the logo and branding they developed at the start of their business would not allow them to grow and level their business up to a new tier.
That's where I came in - as a means of unlocking an upgraded visual identity to appeal directly to next-level clientele. This took marketing research that was simply part of my work process as a logo designer.
This is how do-it-yourself attempts and collaborating with unfit designers can come back to haunt business owners.
Proper logo and visual brand design should be permanent solutions that only need to be executed once in the life of a business.
Herein lies some explanation for price disparity that can sometimes scare entrepreneurs away from the designers that are most capable of helping them.
Higher value logo designers typically provide everything necessary for lifetime use in a single collaboration and don't count on you being a returning customer if they've done their job well.
This makes it a one-time investment.
A cheaper logo in the moment saves nothing if it needs to be revisited every few years thanks to lack of foresight in the design process. Not to mention every change makes a business harder to recognize and costs more in reprints of materials and website updates.
Due to the fact that lasting businesses come back around to it if they do not address it in the beginning, quality design is largely unavoidable and unable to be fudged.
Entrepreneurs and businesses frequently lose unfortunate amounts of startup capital hiring the first graphic designer to cross their path thinking that any designer can facilitate any project in question.
This is seldom the case. Graphic design is an umbrella term under which a slew of professionals (and amateurs) stand, many of which are eager to get paid and disappear.
Make sure to hire the one who knows the craft your business requires and is willing to provide insight and guidance along the way.
3. CONSIDER COMMON IDEALS AND UNDERSTANDING
Once comprehension and expertise are assessed, the last element to tie it all together is how well you as a person connect with your designer.
This may sound like a no brainer, but consider this: the right designer is an extension of you. They must be able to interpret and take a vision out of your mind and make it a reality.
If your designer's morals, values, and experiences do not allow them to relate to your mission, the relationship will be strained and the end result likely impertinent to you and your target customer base.
The key words here are care and empathy. Do they take the time to understand you? Do they understand what is important to you? Are they interested in working off of more than just your company name?
A logo designer should wish to become personally invested in helping you succeed, not simply complete the job.
Will that be accomplished by someone who turns up in the first search result for "logo designers near me"? That is ultimately your decision to make.
But! The clear indicator either way is: does your designer take the time to understand who you are, what you need, and why you need it?
Do they make opportunities to pick your brain on your likes and dislikes and gather information from you before setting to work? Or do they simply start throwing out drafts?
If a designer has next to no questions for you when getting underway, that is a glaring red flag!
The investment you make in a logo designer is an investment in your business and directly corelates to the amount of attention and consideration you receive. If you feel you and your business are worth attention, seek out the designer that agrees!
Collaborating with any designer should be based on their areas of expertise, the valuable insight they bring to the project, and the level of effort they exert to consult and understand your individual story.
For more on what to look for in a professional logo designer, check out this supplementary reading.