Questions to expect from a good logo designer ( Part 1 )
Negligence in gathering the right information and asking questions in the early stages of logo design almost always results in a messy (and much longer) logo design completion. So where do you start? You could be be proactive and prepare a proper work brief to help your logo designer produce an impactful logo within budget and agreed time. This would easily be done if you know the types of questions to expect from your logo designer.
Let’s think of it in terms of shopping for a car on behalf of your new boss. If he or she asked you “go and buy me a car” with no specifications then every car in the entire planet can be on the buy list. And while I may sound very freeing to have such an honor to be the captain of buying your new boss his wheels, chances are it’s going to get you fired before you get the blank check.
Will your boss be wanting a SUV, sedan, or coupe? Are they into gas, full electric, or hybrid vehicles? What car brand? Which model? The color? What type of paint job finish for the car exterior? Moon roof or not? Leather seats or not? Do they prefer a stock designed interior or want to customize it? Oh, what color for the interior? Should the car be pet friendly?
You wouldn’t want to buy a full electric coupe for a traditionalist boss. Just as you would not want your designer to craft a quirky logo for your ninety-year-old family run finance company.
Just like Sylvester Stallone in Rambo tried to teach us over and over again. Knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle. Now switch things around and imagine you’re the designer, they don’t know your business so expect to have the questions below asked.
The Basic questions a good designer will always ask you
1) What is your budget and timeline?
This is the single most important question. Everyone has a budget and timeline in mind, even though they don’t know it. Your designer has other projects to do, you have lots of other work to do, your times are not unlimited. You are working on a budget set by finance so your obviously not going to go over the ceiling for your new logo.
The timeframe for delivery and budget are super important factors for the overall logo result.
A low budget or short deadline will obviously affect the design process, as in less time and lower quality of manpower to work on the logo design. It could also mean fewer logo options, less revisions, and basically a big waste of your time.
It is very important to get this very first question answered for your designer. Any good designer will need to know if their time is worth it for this project ( hey let’s be honest your not the only client looking to make a logo ). You will also need to make sure you can afford this logo designer, because they are not the only logo designer who can complete the job ( you have other options as well ).
If your designer doesn’t feel comfortable talking about the budget and timeline then it’s a big red flag. There is a high chance for misunderstandings and the project to not finish on expectations.
2)What’s your company called?
This question is a no brainer. The name of your brand or company will tell any good designer a lot about your logo design. We are assuming you have your company name registered and website domain name as well with proper authorities.
Is the name long or short? Does the name have a hyphen, multiple words or just a single word? Are there any places, events, colors, or nouns within the name that evoke imagery? Can the name be turned into a monogram or anagram? As you can see, the name can tell your designer a lot about the logo without even starting to design anything.
For instance if your company is named “Red Boat Wines” then your designer should have already learned a lot about what your logo should be. There is color in the name, there are two objects in the name ( boat, wines). It would be up to your designer to know connect the dots, but you need to provide this type of information to them so they don’t give you wrong designs.
3) Does your company have a tagline or motto (and should it be added to the logo)?
Unless your apple, the big American consumer electronics company, average folk will not know what your company does from your logo. This is when including a company tagline or motto in the logo can help sell the larger branding aspects of your logo.
Its always a good idea for you to tell your designer what your company tagline or motto is. Your designer could obviously get this from asking “what does your company do?” but do not expect them to know what your business does unless they have worked for you before.
The tagline and motto is important for your logo to integrate with your business goals and brand strategy. Now where should the motto or tagline be placed on your logo is up to you and your designer. What matters more? The tagline or motto fonts and message should obviously match your logo.
For instance, Nike’s tagline is “Just Do it”. The “Nike swooosh” as depicted by the symbol of a growing tick sign shows you that the designer got something right. The tagline and motto are woven into the logo in a beautiful way, this is how your logo designer would be thinking for your logo when they ask you this question.
4) What does your company sell?
How you describe your company is super important. The words you use and how you use them can give your designer insight into how you see your company.
This kind of information is pivotal to the logo design process. This basic question will at least give your designer an idea of what your company offers.
When explaining what your company’s products and services are you need to imagine how you would explain it to a minimum of three kinds of people.
– One kind of person is a total stranger. This is a person that doesn’t know anything about your company. This is important for the designer to know how the logo would relate to a total stranger.
– The second kind of person is someone who is from your industry and most likely would understand most of the content on your marketing copy. This would give your designer a different perspective on how to design your logo.
– The final kind of person you’d describe what your company’s services or products is yourself. The designer would need to know what the company’s core values are from those who love it the most.
As it is obvious, your logo will be seen by different kinds of people. This makes it crucial that you empower your designer to create a logo that appeals to the widest range of audience. By describing your products / services for different types of audience to your logo designer the final logo will tick more boxes.
5) Who is the company’s target market?
A logo is a company’s most important visual identity. For this reason alone, you need to know who your audience is before your designer starts his or her work.
32-to-36-year-old single mothers are going to respond differently to certain design styles and aesthetics than 50+-year-old retired married couples. You have to know your market to advertise effectively.
If your company wants to market its wines to 30-year-old couples, the logo designs should reflect that. If you tell your logo designer your target demographics then you wont waste both yours and the designers time into discussing inappropriate logo directions.
6) Who are the company’s main competitors?
To design an effective logo, you need to know some dynamics of your industry. The most important dynamic is centered around your competitors. You need to make your logo designer understand what others are doing.
From competitors your designer should be able to know industry standards in terms of colors, styles, and fonts. Once this is established, your designer would then ask you if you want to follow the industry standard or break out?
A worse case scenario is when you focus too much on the industry standards that the logo ends up looking very similar to a competitor. Your designer probably will be ok to get paid for the project but you wont be when the competition’s legal team come knocking at your office.
7) What are the company’s long term goals?
This is perhaps a hard question to answer as It depends at what stage your company is presently is in terms of lifecycle. Are you a start up, family run, or corporate company with shareholders? Where do you see your company in 10 years time? In 50 years do you plan to still be in business doing the same thing?
Its important for your designer to know what you see the future of your company to be like. This will allow the designer to design either a very flexible logo or choose to be more focused.
To prove this case, look at Coca Cola’s logo. If your designer does such a good job with the logo you won’t need to change it – ever.
Next part of the article to be completed soon where we tell you more questions to expect centered around the logo design elements themselves.