With such a plethora of choice it may be hard to find the right designer for your specific needs. Below is a short guide to help you make the right choice when choosing a logo designer. These points could also be useful when hiring a web designer, graphic designer, or any designer for that matter.
I don’t want this post to come across as self promotional, however, I’ve linked to my own examples to show you how I personally communicate to potential clients the value of my design work. For other designers, I hope this in turn, gives you an idea of how you too can communicate the value of your work.
In no particular order:
Previous identity projects will give you a good idea of what skill level your designer is at and what you can expect though this is not to say that a new designer can not produce top quality results – this point has to be considered with all of the other points mentioned below, in which case a strong portfolio is probably the best indicator.
For examples of some quality identity design, please check out Logo Of The Day, where Jeff Fisher and I feature a new talented logo designer every day.
2. Positive Testimonials
Have they got positive testimonials from past clients and colleagues?
Ensure you check the testimonials validity which can be done by looking for a web address or even by emailing the company. It’s a good idea to check if the company even exists.
3. A Thorough Design Process
Do they have a logo design process in which they follow or are they simply producing logos like fast food? A typical process does not take under 48 hours to complete which is why I wrote the article How NOT To Design A Logo which tells you to avoid design contests, logo factories, etc.
Think for how long your logo design will be in use – would you want that to be designed (let alone researched) in under 48 hours? Logo design is not a take away food store and this is why logo design does not cost $5.00.
There is no ‘typical’ time frame as every client will have different needs but for small and medium businesses a rough guide would be around 2 – 6 weeks.
4. Awards Won / Published Work
Have they won any awards for their work? Is their work published in any books or magazines? How recognised are they in the industry?
5. A Strong Portfolio
How strong is their portfolio? What is the make up of real to ‘fake’ logo designs? When I say ‘fake logos’ I refer to the logos made for fictional companies, rather than for real clients.
The costs of the service is usually quite evident of what you are going to receive. In most cases, you will get what you pay for but don’t take price as the only indication.
How much does a logo design actually cost? In my experience, this is the most frequently asked question and the hardest to answer. This is because every company has different needs… the best approach is to draw up a customised quote for each individual client.
7. Design Affiliations
Are they affiliated with any design associations or publications? This is a good indication of how dedicated they are to their craft though is not at all essential.
As an example, I am a member of NAPP – The National Association of Photoshop Professionals and Logo Lounge, an online gallery for logo design professionals. Other affiliations could be AIGA, HOW or even a local design group.
8. Great Customer Service
Do they respond to your emails quickly? How do they communicate & present themselves? A designer should provide great customer service throughout the whole process, from the initial email right through to after sales support.
9. Business Professionalism
Attention to detail, trustworthiness, strong communication skills and time management are all vital and go hand in hand with great customer service.
10. Appropriate Questions
A designer should ask a variety of questions to find out your needs in relation to your business goals. Questions should revolve around the companies history, target market, competitors, company goals, etc. For an example of the questions asked, check out my logo design questionnaire.
These are 10 things you should take into account when choosing a logo designer:
Proven Success & Experience
A Thorough Design Process
Awards & Published Work
A Strong Portfolio
Great Customer Service