Business is not all about numbers, processes and procedures.
There’s a fun part to it as well.
That fun part is the creative marketing part.
When you start with creative marketing, you’ll look into branding, logo design and web design, see some great visuals, get excited and start spending some money.
It’s actually a bit like retail therapy.
You have the power to spend money, claim ownership and thus feel accomplished.
The difference between retail therapy and business spending though, is accountability.
Your business expenditure is not there to satisfy yourself, like you would do with retail therapy.
It’s there to satisfy your business and your customers, and reap a return on investment.
Most businesses I work with don’t realise that until they have to choose their logo design.
This is when the excitement of creating something new comes to a thundering halt and reality kicks in.
At this point where you have to pick your logo design, you suddenly realise that:
- You’re not actually an expert in design
- You’re not a marketing expert
- You don’t really know what the end result should be
- The success of the logo is your responsibility
- Your branding, whether it’s a startup or rebrand, has suddenly become a very real process.
This physical presence is greater than itself though.
Your logo design is not just an idea any more.
It’s your business identity.
It represents you on every level and will be reproduced on everything to promote your brand.
The logo will become the face of success or a stupid mistake.
Doubts begin to arise.
- Which logo should I choose?
- Which logo is right?
- Which logo will my customers like?
- Which logo will my hubby/spouse like?
- What if I pick the wrong logo?
Let’s be honest, this may not seem like a big deal but it will be if:
- It’s your first time in business
- You’re somewhat of a perfectionist
- Your investing heavily to make this brand, your future.
Here’s the good news.
You’re no different than most business owners that I meet.
90% of my clients have had to go away and think about which logo they choose to use as the final logo to represent their brand.
The difference here is that I can give you some top tips to help relieve the stress and make sure you pick your logo design confidently, giving you the best solution for your business brand.
The only thing stopping you from picking the right logo design for your business, is if the logos you have to choose from are actually all bad designs.
A bad logo design could be bad:
- Aesthetically – It’s not pleasing to the eye. Why?.
- Because the logo design could be bad “Technically” – The wrong colour formulas are used, the wrong software was not used, a bad selection of fonts was chosen and no design principles were used to create the logo.
- Or it could be a bad design “Characteristically” – It conveys the wrong message, doesn’t resonate with customers and lacks depth. A result of bad market research and communication.
In order to pick the right logo for your business, you need to have a good set of logos to choose from to begin with.
To start, let’s look at how you can get a good set of logo designs to choose from.
1. Do the market research for your brand and logo design.
You may think that the sole responsibility of creating a good logo design is down to your identity designer. That may be the case if you paid them to scope the project and produce a creative brief or if you invest in a brand strategy first.
If not then it’s mostly down to you.
Any initial inspiration for a logo design will come from you.
In order to inspire, you need to do initial market research about the brand you want to create and have some solid logic and data to back it up.
You may think that you know who your customers are and what your business identity should look like based on your own personal opinions but without doing any solid research, you’re just guessing.
If you’re a start-up business or a business looking to rebrand then you may have done market research already, but if not, start getting an idea about your customers.
Who are they and what are their problems.
Create Datasheets and analyse commonalities between customers to define your brands purpose.
For more in-depth research about finding your target audience, take a look at our article about lifestyle branding.
Click here to learn about branding data sheets.
2. Create a logo design brief
A design brief is a summarisation of your business brand, historically, presently and futuristically.
It encapsulates any wants and desires for a branding project and acts as a springboard for design inspiration.
It’s also a regulatory document for the project ahead, setting goals and objectives.
The design brief will help you tenfold to think about your business brand and get all ideas down in one place.
Use our very own design brief to start building your brand now.
3. What’s your vision for your logo design?
If you don’t know what you want from a logo design, how will your designer know what to produce?
Sure, you can leave it all up to the designer, theres nothing wrong with that; it’s called art direction or creative direction.
They’ll produce an original brand identity for you, in which case they’ll do what they think is best.
But if you don’t like what they produce then you won’t have much ground to stand on because you had no vision for the project yourself.
Whether you take full responsibility of the project, hand over responsibility to your brand designer, or share the responsibility, it’s always good to build your own vision for your own logo design by looking at other brands, logos and graphics.
This can be a dangerous step though because it’s very easy for you to find something you love, that belongs to someone else.
The end result will be your attempt to mimic another brand.
This never works well in branding.
The identity designer will end up spending too much time trying to make something look similar to what you like whilst trying to make it look different.
That’s just a complete contradiction and lacks originality for your own brand.
Build ideas, look at work but only take away snippets of what you like.
The goal here is to consider elements such as colour, shape and form, and think of your logo project holistically.
What is the overall tone and message you want to create, rather than the visual image that you want to create.
This will help you to build a vision for your own logo without trying to be something that you’re not.
If after doing some visual research, you still don’t know what you want from your logo design then that’s fine, but don’t hide that fact.
Be honest and share it with your brand designer.
They’ll help you to find the right solution if your honest.
It’s what we do.
4. You’re not the designer, so don’t design the logo
I am a professional designer.
I use professional tools and practices to produce stunning work that has impact.
Every pen stroke, mouse click and colour pick is a thought-out action backed by logic, data, design principles and years of experience.
I am a professional designer.
You are probably not a professional designer.
You may be ambitious, creative minded and even successful, but that does not make you a professional designer.
Your initial ideas, wants and desires are key principles for the logo design project but refrain from designing and directing the logo design itself, especially without logic or reason.
If you do so, then there’s a great chance that you’ll ruin your logo design, even if you’re happy with the end result.
Your happiness is not the answer to a good logo design.
It’s about your customers happiness and that’s what the designer will be working towards.
Making the project a success for your brand, not for you.
I’m not being rude.
It’s just that you’re not a designer so don’t design your logo.
5. Don’t ask for too many logos
Some business owners really want to get their money’s worth when hiring a designer.
They think that the more choices they have, the better the end result will be!
They’ll ask for dozens of logo designs and countless logo design revisions.
This is actually a big mistake.
Dozens of logo designs lead to:
- Too much choice – You’ll find it incredibly hard to choose a logo design from so many
- Brand Confusion – If you need a dozen logos to choose from then it means that you’re now swaying about what you’re brand should be. You need to figure out your brand first, then the logo design.
- Wasted time – The more revisions and designs you ask for, the more time it will take. Take too long and your project will lose objective and momentum and you’ll be left with a bad logo design that just makes due.
Don’t have too many logo designs made. A set of three should be enough, six at max.
How to Pick your logo design
Apart from picking a good identity designer to work with, the above steps are all good practices to creating a great logo design.
Now it’s time to choose the right one for your business and believe it or not, it’s very hard to judge a creative piece of work that’s:
- Been commissioned by yourself
- Will have an impact on your business that’s greater than yourself
- Something new that you’ve never seen before
- Unexpectedly creative
All of these things will play on your mind as you begin to look over your new logo designs.
Here’s how you can choose the right one.
1. Logo Designs grow on you
When picking a logo design, you’ll be under a unique sense of creative pressure to choose the right one.
Your outlook on the logo designs will be altered, and you may be inclined to make a quick, rash decision.
To pick the right logo design, relax, be open minded, and look at the designs more than once in different time slots, in different places.
You’ll notice that the pressure will disappear and your perception will be different.
Designs which you were not so keen on to begin with, would have grown on you after looking at it so many times with a different perspective, maybe one of that of a customer rather than the business owner.
You’ll also get more time to judge.
A great looking design can be the obvious choice but actually not the right choice for your business.
A safer option could be the safest choice but not the best choice overall.
Sometimes the professional creativity can also be unexpected.
On many occasion I’ve sent logo sets to a client for review and they were wowed with the results.
They didn’t expect to get such a great batch of logo designs to choose from.
They see all the designs as best options, making it hard to choose.
The point is, take your time and don’t chose a logo design, let the logo design chose you.
2. Choose your logo design with a Process of Elimination & Creative Exploration.
Most business owners are not professionally creative i.e. they’re not designers.
And they don’t really know what the right logo design should look like.
But they do know what they don’t like.
This is a good thing.
It uses the process of elimination to find the right logo design by eliminating the wrong designs.
It may be a longwinded procedure but by eliminating things you don’t like, you’ll eventually end up with something you do like.
As you start to use the process of elimination to choose a logo design, you’ll also be doing some creative exploration to back up your decisions.
Creative exploration is a more thorough way of proving which logo is not right, rather than producing the right logo.
As tweaks and revisions reveal the suitability of a logo, you may find that the most suitable logo design was actually one that you eliminated from the beginning.
You see, logo design is a development.
And creative exploration is a visual process within that development to document choices and options.
By fully eliminating what you didn’t like with creative exploration, you found that the right logo was actually the first logo you saw.
You just needed to prove it to yourself with visual evidence.
3. Explain your decisions when choosing a logo
When choosing a logo design, don’t just pick one, explain your decision to yourself.
Saying “I like it” or “I don’t like it” is not good enough, you have to fully explain why. “I like it/don’t like it because
Look at the logo design and take in each element to define what you liked or disliked:
These four visual elements make up all logos and are easily identifiable.
A small change to one element could lead to a logo design with a completely different feel, revealing a new logo design that is actually the better choice for your business.
4. Getting opinions on your logo design
At the beginning I stressed the importance of market research to produce your brand.
At this stage opinions are still important but it’s wise to remember that art and design is subjective.
If you ask 100 random people what they think about your logo design, you will get 100 random answers in which none are right.
Without knowing your brief, your idea, how you came to the final logo, what it represents and how it will work you cannot get a good opinionated answer (whether it be right or wrong) about your logo design.
If you ask and show anyone about your logo design, make sure it’s:
- Someone you trust
- Someone involved in the project
- Someone who knows your brief
- Someone who shares your end goal.
- Someone who is an ideal customer
Still unsure? Just ask me
5. Be a confident decision maker when choosing your logo design
Confidence is key not just in choosing your logo design but using your logo design.
Whatever choice you make, right or wrong, be confident in your decision.
Without confidence, you’ll find yourself dwindling along, making revisions and never settling for any logo design.
You might be getting your money’s worth out of your designer but ultimately, it’s your business idea that’ll hurt most as it’ll just become stagnant.
Be confident, make a decision and work with a logo design.
The truth is that your logo design is not the be all and end all of your business, but it is a very strong component within it.
Its true power can only be leveraged if you create, choose and use the right logo.
The creative exploration of colour, line, type and form will reveal the right logo in the end, so the best piece of advice I can give is to start exploring logo designs now.