How to Find, Select, and Start Working with a Logo Designer
Who knew the life of an entrepreneur would be a constant motion? When your daily list likely includes door-to-door sales, manufacturing, working with current customers, reading helpful entrepreneur blogs, and attempting to comprehend legal business jargon, you may likely feel that everything you are working on is incredibly overwhelming. Updating your current logo may not feel like a priority for your growing business. Reconsider your opinion and recognize why a refreshed logo is vastly advantageous for your company and why hiring a logo designer is advantageous for you.
Why Having a Good Logo Is Important
Find out why Forbes, Tailor Brands, 99 Designs, and Design Hill all believe that having the right logo is crucial for any company. It has been said that first impressions are everything; for businesses, a logo is the first impression that many potential customers will have. Logos stand out to draw attention and distinguish you from competition, reveal your brand’s identity, entice customers to learn more, facilitate brand recognition and loyalty, allow for consistency, and present a professional demeanor. A logo is more than an image, it connotates everything without a single word, it presents who your company is and what it stands for with just one glance. Your current logo may be good, but as your company has grown and developed, it may be time for an updated logo and brand.
How to Hire a Designer
Designers are great if you are incredibly busy; do not have the bandwidth and creativity necessary; or simply want to avoid spending countless hours learning the jargon, copywrite laws, and logistics of logo design. Designers make the process convenient and likely already know the difference between raster and vector images, what a “typeface” is, and how a .EPS and .AI file differ (these are all important things to know while making a logo). Recognize that not all designers know how to create an animated logo or how to code your website to display the updated icon. Figure out what you are looking for before you start an interview process, and remain open to the additional services they can provide that you had not previously considered.
Decide if you want to hire an-inhouse designer that works directly with your company, or a freelance designer that works with you as one of their clients. Most likely a freelance designer or agency is more applicable to your growing company, but we will take a moment to explain the difference. In-house designers are directly employed by your company, are available during work hours, and know your brand and business; but they may be incredibly expensive if they are working full-time without full-time work. Freelance designers and agencies are only paid on a project-to-project basis, but they work with multiple other clients and may not always be available for last minute meetings or projects. If you do decide to hire one, make sure they are a good balance for your company’s team. The remainder of this article will focus on hiring a freelance designer.
When searching for a designer, you should review their portfolio to see a sample of their work and understand what their style and experience is. Identify one whose aesthetic matches your vision for the logo. Determine if your company needs just a refreshed logo now, or if a long-term marketing relationship is more appropriate. If you need more of a marketing partner, it would be beneficial to select someone that can provide business cards, print ads, video, digital display campaigns, and more, in addition to the updated logo. A designer that has worked previously with multiple industries is ideal, and having experience in your industry is a plus. Agency or studio experience usually equates to being efficient with time, whereas in-house experience at a corporate level often means they are disciplined and sensitive to budgetary constraints.
Search portfolios and find designers by going to freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, 99 designs, or Freelancer. You can also visit portfolio sites like Behance to find work that you like and then try to contact the designer to inquire if they are currently open to work. For local designers, consider asking colleagues for recommendations or conducting a quick Google search on your area. If distance allows, you will want to meet your graphic designer in-person and they should want to meet you too. Failing to meet you or not responding to email/calls within one business day may be two red flags that indicate when a designer does not have enough time to provide your company with a reasonable amount of attention.
More experienced designers usually charge more, but come with more connections to industry experts, vendors, and helpful resources. Less-experienced designers often charge lower rates, but may take longer to complete a task and may require more management and direction from you. You will want an individual who focuses on the entire picture to understand how your refreshed logo will compliment your business strategy and goals. For more things to consider when hiring a graphic designer, read Ron McDonald’s article here.
Research realistic rates in your area before entering negotiations to ensure that you do not disrespect a perspective designer with an offensive lowball offer. Deciding how you will pay is important too, such as: what percentage you will pay upfront versus after completion, when payment is due, and if they accept digital payment or require check. They should discuss prices and payment method even before starting to work on refreshing your logo. It may be crucial to ensure a contract exists in writing well before they start the process, and do not forget to generate in a W-9 or 1099 MISC form for taxes! If you are feeling overwhelmed, 99 design has more valuable information regarding hiring a graphic designer and correctly reporting taxes.
We highly recommend hiring a professional when redesigning a logo to ensure that your company puts its best foot forward, and to ensure that you are able to focus on running your growing business. Ultimately, it is your decision if hiring a designer would be advantageous for your company. Regardless of your decision, keep an eye out for next week’s article on the creative process of redesigning a logo, as well as information on branding guidelines and important file types.