1. Hire a professional designer. So you went on that $5 site and got you a crispy new logo, huh? Yes, I can tell. A professional designer wouldn’t have you out here looking like that. There was no research, sketching, or color theory involved in the creaton of your logo. It was a young up and coming design student named Rifah in Bangladesh, where your five dollars equals to 419.25 Bangladeshi Taka. For that amount of money young Rifah can pay 3/4 of his rent, buys meals for a month, or ride the public transportation for 2 months. So while you did Rifah a huge service, he did you a disservice because now you got a logo that’s not good and you’re down 419.25 Taka.
2. Hire a professional designer. When you decided to create your own logo, how much designing had you done in the past? Do you know anyone else who would have hired you to create their logo? You know your business, better than anyone else. There’s no way that I would pretend to know your industry well enough that I would think it would be ok to cut you out and do what you do on my own. Your logo is the visual representation of your company, and you left the ideation, the development, and the creation of it to an amateur. An amateur who’s totally biased and is gonna tell you it looks good when it doesn’t because it makes them feel good. That amateur never took the time to think about the functionality of the logo so when you put it on your site (also created by you, of course) there’s a white box around it that the designer doesn’t know how to take off. Would’ve been better off feeding Rifah for a month.
3. Consider your customers. When you finally realized that you should hire a professional for you logo, and that professional sent you 3 proofs to choose from; what was the criteria that you used to select one of them? Did you make the selection because it made you feel good? Because you liked the colors? Did you ever consider the people who will be looking at the logo? Did you give any thought to how it would make your target audience feel or the message that it sends to them? Did you consider that the icon you asked for may offend some people? Your logo is not designed to make you feel good, it’s designed to make your customers recognize your company and remember it when they need the service or product that you provide. In logo design, the target audience is the purpose of the logo. Say it with me, my logo is not about me, it’s about my customers.
4. Get familiar with file formats. When the professional designer sends you your logo files, will you know what to do with them? I send my customers a pdf outlining the usefulness of each version of their new logo as well as how each file format is used. A jpg will always have a white box around it, unless the logo is a square or rectangle and was designed to the very edge of the page. It will not work on anything that doesn’t have a white background to conceal that white box. Google will be happy to teach you the uses of logo file formats. If your designer doesn’t send you instructions on how to use the files, you hired the wrong designer. Take the time to get to know logo versions such as monotone, icon, and wordmark and also take a few extra minutes to get familiar with jpg, eps, png, and svg.
5. Make sure the words are legible at any size and from all distances. Too often we find a font that we like and we create or approve a logo using that font because we fell in love with how it looks. But when you put that font on a sign that people need to read while driving, you realize that your beautiful sign is just a waste of money. Simplicity is the key when choosing logo fonts. How will this look on a sign? How about a moving truck? Tiny on an ink pen? I was reading the back of a truck as I drove today “Mike’s Bread” or so I thought it said. There was something else in the middle. Mike’s Kitter Bread? WTH is kitter bread? Nah, that can’t be right, so I got closer. Mike’s Kitten Bread? Damn that sounds nasty, that can’t be it. So I got even closer, oooooooohhhhh, Mike’s Killer Bread! Mike should really reconsider that cursive font used on the word “killer”. The words Mike and Bread were bold and easy to read from a distance, but I had to get really close to be able to read the word “killer”, and that’s just not good.
Honorable Mention: Hire a professional. Friends don’t let friends design their own logo.