Logo is the face of your startup; it’s sink or swim, either get it right the first time or prepare for what could be years of rebranding and reparations. Here are just a few of the biggest mistakes when seeking a logo designer for your startup, from poor choices to portfolio pitfalls. Check them out before you get your new logo designed.
1. Hiring a Friend
While you may have a cousin, niece or friend of a friend with a decent amount of skill in graphic design, this isn’t the same thing as being a professional in the field of professional logo design. Choosing a friend may seem like both the most economic and the most comfortable option, but you’ll pay for it in the long run. Not only can the process of creating the “perfect” logo strain the relationship with the friend or family member doing the work for you, but the cost of a much-needed rebranding effort a couple years down the road could be astronomical. Business Insider recommends seeking out professional designers through established design platforms rather than the grapevine.
2. Overdoing It
There comes a time when you need to let go of the logo designing process and let your new logo fly. It’s easy to spend months nitpicking every aspect of the design; this process should be undertaken with the utmost care considering the importance of a logo in your business image, but going in circles can actually end up taking the “streamlining” process too far and ruin what could have been a great design.
3. Not Knowing What You Want
While it’s up to the designer to translate your brand image into a single highly flexible piece of design, you need to do your part to make their job easier. Figure out the kind of company values you want to portray through your logo, and have a color scheme in mind if possible. Any ideas you have should be discussed with the designer before contracts are even signed in order to be sure the designer has the style you’re looking for.
4. Don’t Choose Your Own Typeface
It’s easy to get attached to a font, especially with the hundreds of thousands all over the Internet. However, Creative Bloq reminds us that typefaces evoke a certain ambiance and image, so the selection should be primarily up to the designer.
5. Not Getting Details
When you look through the portfolio or look over the resume of a designer who may just create your new logo design, it’s not good enough to take everything at face value. When reviewing a portfolio, make sure you ask the designer what their role was on agency and large-scale projects. It may look impressive to list work with Sony or Samsung on a resume, but if that work was literally slapping their pre-existing logo onto a photo chosen by the graphic design marketing director, that doesn’t show a lot of skill.
After portfolios have been sent, questions have been asked and review is underway, it’s a matter of looking over the portfolio carefully to avoid other possible pitfalls.
6. Everything Looks the Same
The first portfolio pitfall is over-consistency, but thankfully it’s easy to pick out. If you find a portfolio of logos that are almost all circles or rectangles, always use the same set of typefaces or the same color palette, move on to the next option.
7. No Consistency
Just like too much of the same thing can ruin a good portfolio, you should also be on the lookout for designers with work in designing logos that is literally all over the place. If the quality and styling varies too dramatically from one piece to the next, this denotes a lack of understanding of composition, the design process, or even the tools the designer uses. If every logo is a new experiment in layer styling, you want to look for someone else.
8. Color Choice Seems…Off
Color has meaning! Especially in logo design color choice is the key to evoking the emotion and ambiance that you want, which in turn helps target the correct audience. According to Smashing Magazine, warm colors evoke passion and energy, while cool colors are relaxing and create a sense of trustworthiness. If your prospective logo designer is using color choices that seem wrong to you, they probably lack the knowledge of color theory you need to succeed. Try the next candidate.
9. The Wrong File Formats
JPEGs and PNGs are nice, but you should also have your logo in a vectored EPS format. This file format can be scaled up infinitely to place your logo on everything from business cards to billboards. Ask your designer what formats they offer before you get started; you can even ask for them to be listed in your contract.
10. Dated Designs Everywhere
Logo designers, more than anyone else, need to be up to date with all the newest trends—but beyond that, they need to be able to foresee which trends will hang on and which will fall by the graphic design wayside. A dated logo will make your business look equally dated, and that can impact the perception of your credibility.
When it comes to business, especially start ups, your brand’s credibility is everything. Don’t let poor logo design ruin your brand image; make sure the face of your startup is the face you want by choosing a pro that works with you.
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