Logo Design

I know it may sound silly to think about paying someone to design a logo. How hard can it be? What difference does it really make? But really, a logo defines an entire mood about your business. This isn't a new age sort of discussion, it a factual one that millions of dollars of research have gone into. When you think about the Gerber baby shown on baby food, that face was chosen very specifically, to get people to feel a very specific way about the product. The result was great success. When you think about Coca Cola, there are various images that are branded into your brain, very powerfully. They give you a certain feeling about that company.

Sure, many people have designed their own logos. Usually those logos are perceived as being unprofessional, though, and are forgotten quickly. Meaning right there, with that one thing, a company has already made or lost business because of the logo. Even things you may feel that are "unimportant / meaningless" like choice of color can really have a profound impact on people. Numerous studies have shown that red tends to make people feel more aggressive, green makes people feel more relaxed. The color you choose randomly while starting up your business can have a long term impact as it becomes involved in your letterhead, your business cards, your website, and every item related to your company.

So what I'm saying is to actually PAY ATTENTION to this choice you are making. Many people randomly choose a logo / color at the beginning, and then stay with it for DECADES because it is what they've always used. It is well, well worth it to spend a few hundred dollars with a designer and to create a logo that really drives home the message you want to give. Now when you build your entire business around that logo, it will create a credibility and professionalism that you would otherwise have had to put hundreds of hours into creating.

I hate to give specific examples, but try searching the web for book sellers, for example. Take a look at a large, professional site - and then look at a tiny, made-by-eighth-graders website. Just look at the entirely different way you feel when you are viewing those sites, and how much you trust that company with your credit card numbers. Now multiply that difference amongst the thousands of people you hope to reach with any marketing message you put out.

Having a logo designer that has a design background is really critical. They have been trained in how humans tend to react to certain colors, shapes, textures, and more. They understand about balance and symmetry and how the eye tends to move. The designer I work with is Debi Gardiner who created my logo at Minerva WebWorks - but whoever you choose, make sure you see samples of their previous work, and talk with them about their credenetials before you begin. Remember, this is the foundation of your marketing strategy and customer first impression you are about to set in place.

Choosing a Logo Designer
Definitely the most important factor is if you adore the graphic designer's style. Every designer has her own style, just like every cook has her own style. So if you're not fond of Cook A's style of cooking, and you enjoy Cook B's style, then definitely you should hire Cook B to cater your wedding.

Scout around for designers whose style you adore and then negotiate with them.

To help you in future negotiations, here are some of the details.

Making a logo usually takes a ton of back and forth, tweaking, adjusting, etc. So it easily can take 20 or more hours before the designer presents you with the final version you go with. That's why it can be pricey, because high quality graphic designers usually charge around $100/hr. The logo becomes the most visible presence of your company, the thing that sticks in peoples' minds, I'm sure you've read about the power and importance of logos. So it really is worth the investment, but again you need it to be something you LOVE because this is your soul going out to people :) So find someone who you absolutely adore to work with on your logo.

Once that logo is done, then it's a separate task to create a gorgeous letterhead design incorporating the logo. Since this is a much easier task, it's cheaper (fewer hours). So typically this would be where they incorporate a variety of thick or thin lines, a colored background, etc. to make the letterhead pop.

Graphic designers are notoriously poor at English (different parts of the brain?) so I wouldn't hold that too much against any designer you work with. You'll find it's fairly common.

An EPS file is an Encapsulated Postscript file, it's a high end graphic file that is very detailed. It can scale and size. You definitely don't want a JPG from whoever you work with, for example. If you got a JPG and tried to make it bigger, it would get fuzzy.

I'm not *exactly* sure what AA means, I think it is Additional Adjustments. What it means generally is any requests beyond the agreed on ones. It's very common for graphic designers to get sucked into continually updating pages for their clients for years and years because the clients keep saying "maybe it would be better slightly more yellow. OK how about slightly less yellow. OK how about a bit more green". And doing this over and over again for months. So the AA is trying to rein that in. It's a fairly common request.

I hope this helps with your searchings, but again, the key is that you are going to be working with the designer on something which is *critical* to your business and which needs to feel brilliant to you.

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