Written By Lisa Hromada
Understanding the Process and How that Factors into What You Invest in the Development of Your Business Brand
Your logo is the very first impression people get of your business. It must be original, compelling, professional, reflective of your industry, easily applicable to multiple marketing methods of communication online and in print, and enhance and re-enforce your brand message.
The process of developing a business’s visual brand foundation is actually a very logical process as much as many unfamiliar to branding believe it to be purely subjective. The elements that go into designing the brand for your business—including typefaces, graphics, colors and illustrations—have certain meanings and inspire specific emotional responses from viewers. (check out my post on colors for examples).
For a professional logo design, it’s a collaborative process typically consisting of:
1. The Discovery/Project Start-Up: This is where you may fill out a questionnaire or you and your designer will take time to talk about your business and brand scope for your project to create a design brief and a basis by which your designer can start brainstorming ideas on your visual brand.
2. Industry Research: Your designer will conduct some research on your industry and your competitors.
3. Design Research: Your designer will explore logo designs that have been successful and determine visual methods of designing your business logo that distinguishes you, while staying within styles and trends that work best for your industry.
4. Conceptualizing: Using top of the line software, your designer will develop custom logo design concepts based on your design brief and her/his research.
5. Presentation: Your designer will present/send you a selection of logos and color palettes from which to choose. You will likely resonate with more than one, so your next step is to choose a logo for your designer to refine and finalize. Depending on your budget and logo project scope, you and your designer will likely only need one or two rounds of revisions to finalization and this should be spelled out in your project estimate and agreement.
Why cap the number of revisions?
As with other service-based businesses like coaching and consulting, designers base their design estimates on their time (number of hours for calls/meetings, research, designs, revisions, and final production) and experience.
Every brand design project is a collaborative effort between the you as the client and your designer. When you know your business, are clear on your values, your market and positioning and you communicate that to your designer, she or he will be able to communicate that visually in multiple, creative and logical ways. This diminishes the chance of receiving design comps that don’t authentically represent you and your business. Additionally, an agreed-upon number of revisions aids in dedicated focus, clarity, and decision-making on the part of you and your designer from start to finish.
6. Package: Depending on your agreed scope with your designer, she/he will likely be preparing a number of file formats for you to use on the Web, in your presentations and in your marketing Print materials in color and grayscale. It’s recommended that your designer also provide you with a style sheet with a breakdown of your brand colors, fonts and how to use your logo files.
7. Celebration!: You and your designer celebrate the completion of one of the most important (and often most personal) steps in your business’s development. You now have a visual foundation you will use for years from which to base all of your marketing communications, online and in print!
You can see how developing your business’s brand logo is much more than just randomly coming up with a mark and some text that you like, but you want to ensure that your brand logo is an authentic expression of your business and market, distinguished from others within your industry and will endure and grow in value and client-recognition and loyalty over time.
Sample case of what you might anticipate investing when working with a professional designer:
Let’s take, for example, that many designers base their fees at a bare-minimum of $60 an hour. Given that they meet and work in collaboration with you throughout the project, offer strategic consultation along the way, take time to get to know your business, explore your industry, create design options for you and do final production to provide with you the highest quality and correct formats, you’ll likely find a designer estimating your design project for a minimum of a few hundred dollars—which will be well-worth the investment when working with the right designer. Amateur designers will charge less than an experienced designer, but the drawback is you’ll be taking a chance that you won’t receive the best quality results and strategic planning on which you rely on for the success of your business, that comes from working with someone with more experience.
For more information on why a logo is important for your business, check out my post Logo: Why is it so important for Your Business?
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Known for her creativity, gentle disposition, enthusiasm, and passion, Lisa Hromada is a leading Personal Branding Strategist and Graphic Designer who works with service centered professionals throughout the U.S. to help them create thriving businesses, powerful brands and make an instant, clear and compelling impact with clients. Find out more at: http://www.youinspiredesign.com