Archive for October, 2010
If you are a new business looking for your first logo, or perhaps you’re simply wishing to update your existing brand, you might be tempted to go to google and look up “logo designers”. If you do, you’ll notice something interesting: there are a ton of logo design “services” who operate completely online.
You may click on to their web site, and be tempted by their pricing pages. Often times they have “packages” with prices from high to low. It seems like you can buy a logo as easily as shopping at your favorite online retailer. But don’t be deceived, there are quite a few reasons why you are actually short selling yourself when you use a faceless “logo designer” or “crowdsource” your branding.
To walk you through these hazards, lets take a look at the design process of one particular web site. To protect the innocent ( and to keep me from being sued ) , I have slightly altered the copy and removed any names, but have stayed true to the message they were conveying.
“…just fill out our online form and submit payment. This form gives us all of the information you need to get started working on your logo”
This particular web site gives you three fields to fill out describing your business. Your name, your “tag line”, and a little box asking you “describe your business”. There are quite a few things wrong with this right off the bat.
To start, your business identity is just that, your identity. A good logo and identity will incorporate all the things important to your and your organization. Your ideals, message, mission, goals and desires. Can this all be summed up in one simple text box? Can you, as a person, be summed up in one single text box?
A good logo design will give you a full featured design brief, or questionnaire. Often times these can be 1-2+ pages long and consist of questions asking about your business, it’s vision, what it’s values are, and other important aspects of your business. This is all part of getting to know you and what’s important, and what’s not. Without knowing this, how can you possibly hope to represent your identity?
Let’s move on with the design process, shall we?
“Within 2-3 days, you will get five or six concepts to look at. We have as many as 6-7 logo designers working on your logo, to give you many choices to choose from…”
There are two glaring things wrong with this concept. First, you can’t rush perfection. A good logo design process can take up to a few weeks, bouncing ideas and concepts back and forth between the designer and you. All the while, the designer is learning what makes your business tick, and you are learning about their creative process. Second, scattering your logo ideas amongst multiple designers gives your multiple people, who know even less about your business. It just further abstracts the process and gets your further away from crafting a truly unique and meaningful identity.
“Take some time to think over the designs. You might like the colors from one, the fonts from others, and layout from another…”
A good logo designer will usually present your initial concepts in black or grayscale. A good logo works in black and white first, and color after the concept is approved. Thus will begin another round of changes and you discuss color options. They will also make sure it works well at small sizes, reversed out, enlarged, and any other presentment options that were discussed, in the design brief. Since these logo web sites don’t first evaluate all the needs you may have for your identity ahead of time, how can they anticipate what your needs will be after the fact?
“After we finish, we will send you your logo files. Now is a good time to think about one of our letterhead and identity packages.”
Stop right there. Branding and other identity ideas should begin as soon as you have some initial logo concepts. That way, you can seamless link and integrate all the concepts together. Usually, a good logo designer will already present logo concepts along with some “rough” identity ideas such as letterhead, business cards, etc. in order to let you see your logo in context. Branding and future identity uses should never be an afterthought.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons why you should work with a local designer. At the very least, if you must use an online designer or agency ensure you are working with one or two people at the most. There are some very solid designers out there who work primarily online, but they still extend all the best practices in branding to their clients. In fact, one of my favorite designers, David Airey ( http://www.davidairey.com/ ) works with clients from around the world. But his design process is so personal and intimate, he might as well be next door to you. A big box “logo shop” will never give you that level of satisfation and quality. And after all, doesn’t you business deserve the very best?
Ed Roper is a freelance graphic and web designer from the Philadelphia suburban area who specializes in print, identity, and web design. He caters to small to medium sized businesses and non-profits. His web site can be found at http://www.edroper.com.Share on Facebook
After a little bit of early growing pains, I am proud to announce that I will be operating under the banner of Ed Roper Designs. Providing full service design, identity, web & photography services, this will allow me to align myself as a one-stop-shop for small to medium sized businesses and non-profits. I also will be expanding my service offering to provide web design. Drawing on almost 10 years of web application development, I can combine my design aesthetic with my programming know-how. Backing this up will also be service offerings for businesses looking to branch into social media, search engine optimization ( SEO ), as well as identity & branding reinforcement techniques for the online world.
More good things are to come, including a brand new web site ( to replace the current brand new web site ).
Soon I will be getting nice, new business cards, that will surely blow you away. I don’t want to give it away, but it’s going to look great!
Also keep an eye out for upcoming informative blog articles, and many more new great things.Share on Facebook
Signup for the brand new email mailing list. Keep up-to-date on whats going on with Ed Roper Designs, as well as information on special deals, promotions, as well as free giveaways! Coming very, very soon, will be a monthly free business card design giveaway, but only for members of the mailing list! Sign up now at this link :
Click the link to be taken to the signup form, and you’ll be notified when the contests, as well as other events, start.Share on Facebook
It’s been quiet on the blogging front, because I’ve been hard at work with some interesting projects. The most recent of which is an annual report I’ve completed for Good Samaritan Shelter of Phoenixville.
Utilizing their branding standards, which includes color schemes and font choices, I designed an interesting annual report that provides a clean and very professional look, something that every non-profit can benefit from.
With the client’s permission, you can view the entire publication in PDF format by clicking this link : PDF Download ( 3mb)
If your business or organization is in need of professionally designed annual reports, presentations, or other business documents, I can help. For more information feel free to contact me.Share on Facebook