Part Two… A ‘Wannabe-Designer’ Can Seriously Damage Your Health! –
Or The Pitfalls of not using a Professional Graphic Designer
Having explored the kinds of Logo that exist and the elements you can use (in Part One) and you begin to formulate ideas. What you want it to look like and what you want it to say, the next step is ‘Who’ is going to create it?
You want something great, stunning and memorable and produced so you can use it wherever you need it.
How to design a logo for business? Where do you start, who should take on the job?
Being a Graphic Designer, I will, of course recommend using a professional but the choice is yours. However read on and at least you will be prepared and forewarned about the pitfalls and problems you may fall in to.
Beware of False Economy!
The most common problem is that your end result is a poorly designed logo – caused by the need or wish to save money! Either the company has spent too much of its budget setting up the premises or on equipment, and although investing in the company brand should be essential it takes secondary importance!
The saving is then made by using the wrong people who have no experience in actual branding. It isn’t just a case of creating an icon that looks nice, or a bit of type to shout the company name.
There is an argument, when starting on a small budget, to start small and evolve and that is sensible in many instances but you invest money in products to sell and to sell products you need to create confidence in your company. If it is obvious you have invested hard cash in a branding and promoting yourself, your prospective clients will see that as evidence that you believe in yourself and will feel more encouraged to invest in you even if you are a new company.
DON’T use the neighbours nephew who does a bit of decorating and knows how to use ‘paint’ on his computer!
Another problem in using a friend or relative who is doing you a favour – how do you tell them you don’t like it?
How do you hurry them along when you need it desperately finished?
Some companies decide to save design bills by running competitions offering the lucky winner the privilege of their design being chosen and implemented as the new company brand! Not many professionals enter those kind of competitions, so again you will have inexperienced students and ‘hobbyists’ entering. Good practice for the students, although unpaid and no substitute for experience.
DON’T expect to get a targeted and brand orientated design that will stand the test of time from a competition entry.
When the winner is a ‘Blue Peter Badge’ holder and the proud parents want you to be photographed kissing their little darling genius you may wish for the slightly more expensive grown up designer after all!
A ‘Fiver’ a Throw…
Using online cheap design websites is another avenue for cost cutting. The designers on the end of the connection work on the information given and design an image along those lines. Depending on the depth of info and the language barriers that can complicate the ‘briefing’ process, one or several designs will be supplied, sometimes amendments are offered in the price but generally what you see is what you get. Designs may be clip art or produced in a format that can not be enlarged or easily edited.
There is also no guarantee that the design received will not have been submitted to anyone else previously or in the future. The worst case scenario is the possibility someone else will have something very similar and even be supplied with the same one to save time for the designer.
DON’T count on the final result being original or easily edited or suitable for print rather than web use – if lucky!
When the finished design looks unprofessional, the reason remains that is was not done by a professional who understands the extensive information and criteria that successful branding requires and the essential elements of good design.
Many people can put clip art together, add a bit of text and call it a logo, but that is what it will look like to any discerning client who knows their stuff. If you pay £50 for a logo you will get £50 worth of lines and pictures without the subtleties of colour and the nuances of type or the consideration of how it would look on a billboard at 10m or how effective it will be as small as 5mm on the web or business card.
Designers have studied and have gained know-how and experience, they put that expertise to work for their clients and charge a fee, like Solicitors and Lawyers and for very good reason – they too, are Professionals, without the wigs!