1. Trust your instincts
Go to perspective designer or agency websites to check out their logo portfolio. If there isn't one, they may be guarding their client identities. Ask for 3 to 5 logos that best reflect their creative work. If there are samples on the website and you immediately sense "I like these!", then pencil them in as a possibility. If you sense that they don't match your taste, it's time to move on. First impressions generally don't lie in logo design. If you are not seeing design that resonates with you in the samples, you most likely won't see it in concepts or final art for your logo. Living with a bad logo can be painful. Trust what you like to guarantee that you get it.
2. Maintain the focus
Your graphic designer probably comes equipped with Attention Deficit Disorder, which was bad in high school homeroom, but can serve them well in the creative space. Their brain is like the proverbial room full of cats. Make sure that your graphic designer channels their energy on your logo. Before you begin, take time to outline your likes, dislikes and expectations. Share this information with them at the outset and throughout the project to keep them on track. This will give you a greater selection of concept choices that you like. Plus, it can greatly shorten the project timeline.
3. Keep it simple
The objective of a logo is retention. Busy logos defeat that purpose. Gradients, complex graphics and poor use of fonts are hard on the eye in this space. Think Apple and Nike. Enough said.
4. Make it relevant
Expect icon concepts that have meaning for your company. The designer should be able to give abstract definition to each icon concept, and explain why it relates to your company's personality, culture, history, vision, etc.
Below is a recent effort of the logo design process. This client is an exceptionally talented, soft-spoken woman who specializes in portrait photography. I provided an initial bracket of four concepts: A) an infographic portrait frame with light script font, B) an understated swirlie monogram with uncluttered san serif font, C) a camera symbol framed by her L.E. initials, and D) my favorite, a reverso, mid-centuryistic icon housing her initials.
So which logo did Louise choose? Visit her website to find out: www.louiseerdeljohnphotography.com
5. Versatility in use
Today you may need your logo for a website. Tomorrow a business card. The next day, who knows what? For that reason you will need numerous file types. You won't want to go back to your designer once the logo is delivered. (Remember the ADD thing?) Get everything that you need prior to final payment.
There are three aspects to final art: A) color, B) format and C) use. A) Make sure that your final logo package contains the necessary color files, such as CMYK, RGB or Pantone where applicable. You will need black and white art also. Have the designer provide color standards, so that you can apply them to other art in the future. B) There will be times when your logo will need to layout differently. You will want horizontal and vertical formats. C) For large scale reproduction, like banners or billboards, you will need a format called vector art. This file-type can stretch to any size without loss of quality. Secondly, you will need raster art. This is made up of pixels for smaller projects such as websites and print.
Your designer or agency should provide you with a comprehensive logo package at the end of the project. It should contain files for the many different ways it will be utilized. Below is a list of components that Friedrich Advertising includes in every logo package:
• Horizontal and vertical logo formats
• Color and black and white versions of each
• Adobe Photoshop raster formats for small applications: .eps, .tiff, .pdf, .gif, .jpg
• Adobe Illustrator vector file: .ai (can enlarge to any size without distortion)
6. Avoid expensive $29 logos
We're all adults here. We know that anything of quality takes time to produce. Be leary of those cheap internet pitches. You simply can't design a bracket of logo concepts, then go through multiple revision rounds, then production of art mechanicals and deliver it for $29. Well, maybe you can if the offer is the hook that baits you into spending money on other design work. Skip the "too good to be true" deals and pay up for your logo. With a talented designer, one that you click with, the fee is small for a moniker that will last a lifetime.