What one thing should I tell a designer about my brand before commissioning a logo?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. The Type of Industry You’re In
Share with your designer whether your company plans to focus on products in one or multiple industries. For example, if your company plans to only sell toys, it’s OK to have a logo that is younger and more colorful, like Toys “R” Us. Whereas if you plan to have products in varying industries, it makes more sense to have a more abstract logo like Apple.
2. A Clear Idea of How You Want Your Customer to Perceive You
Give him or her a clear idea of who your customer is and what you want them to think when they see the logo. Ideally, you’re looking to influence a particular perspective or emotional response from the customer. Make sure your designer knows what the objective is so they have a good starting point.
3. The Style You Want to Evoke
Pinterest is a great tool for communicating aesthetics. If you make a practice of collecting images that fit with your brand, you can give a designer a much more effective starting point than trying to describe your visual aesthetics. Of course, your goal isn’t to copy existing visuals, but rather to inspire something new. Pinterest is great for that sort of project.
4. Your Long-Term Goals
5. Your Company’s Mission
Before commissioning a logo design, explain your company’s mission to the designer. This includes the picture you’re trying to paint for your target audience. For example, a job recruitment firm might want to convey trust, professionalism and confidence in their logo design. This gives the designer a place to start and makes choosing colors, fonts and styles much easier.
6. An Idea of How You Want it to Feel
The most important thing to communicate to a designer is how you want the piece to feel. Is it suppose to be welcoming? Upscale? Elite? Low key? Giving your designer an idea of how you want people to feel when they see your logo is important. As visually creative people, good designers will not only design for aesthetics but for emotional impact.
7. Your Target Audience
You should have the buyer personas of your target audience(s) established and in writing. The look that attracts one person might just be something your target audience wouldn’t give a second glance. Share these buyer personas with your designer and identify the traits of other brands that have been successful in your space. You can have the same audience-targeting traits without copying them.
8. That You Want an Elegant and Timeless Design
Trendy logos are excellent for the present but embarrassing to feature long term. Outdated designs will make you a laughing stock before you get your first customer. An elegant and timeless design is one of the most important criteria to mention before getting too deep into specifics. With that in mind, you’ll have greatly influenced your designer’s approach in a very positive way.
9. The Epitome of Your Brand
10. That You Have a List of Examples
While words like “transparency” and “quality” might inspire a designer, be concrete about what you want and come up with a list of logos you like and logos you hate. Go through them with the designer and explain your reasoning.
11. Your Brand Identity
Often when you create a logo, you’ll see it and say: “something just isn’t right.” That “something” is the feeling you have with your brand identity. Take the time to think about your brand and your mission. Think about what it means to you and what you hope it will mean to customers. This will help your designer get in the right mindset and create the visual representation of your brand.