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Logo Design: Non-Designer vs. Designer Created

Logo Design takes time, research, lots of drawing and careful execution. A year or so back a potential client contacted me about designing a logo for her. She wanted several people to design a logo. She would pay a nominal fee to the designer whose logo she liked the best.

I never work on spec. I spend a minimum of 2 weeks designing a logo. Designers ask a lot of questions in the form of a Client Intake Form, and create a client brief that the client signs off on. We do this to make sure we understand as much about the client and their customers as possible. A logo should stand out from its competitors logos. So we research the competition. Requiring 1/2 the fee up front is standard practice to protect the designer in case the client refuses to pay. I’ve never had that happen, but it can.

I politely declined her offer and went about my business. A few months later she posted her new logo on social media. I instantly knew that a professional designer had not created the logo. It contraindicated every aspect of good design. At first glance it was not readable. It had very large text and also minuscule text superimposed over the larger text. I had to enlarge it quite a bit in order to understand what was going on. Once I enlarged it I could see that the lines of the letters were jagged.

A logo design can be purchased on the internet for as low as $5 or $20 dollars. The resulting logo is made up of a symbol (image) and a wordmark (company name). The image is drawn from a pre-set menu of images and then your name attached in a font of your choice. While these images are nice they cannot represent the individual values and goals of your company or your clients. Plus the same image could be used for hundreds of other companies with their names attached. They might use a different font for the lettering but the images are the same.

Your symbol and wordmark (together they are your logo) are important because they are the company’s face to the world. It is your brand and how you will be recognized. It should reflect your goals, values and your customers goals and values. A good logo is deceptively simple, it is easily read in both large and small formats, and works well in color and black and white.

A good designer knows how to distill your individual goals and values into a symbol and font choice that reflects your brand and the values and goals of your customer demographic. And in order to do that; the designer must ask a lot of questions, which is not something that computer generated logo sites can do.

Deceptiovely Simple Design

Take these before and after logos for example:logo design before and after shotA logo designer would not create the first image above. The person who creating this design is being too literal here. Snowflakes, arrows and flames surround the word mark making it difficult to read. The logo is difficult to read with a gradient red and light blue background under the white text. Put all of that on top of a drop shadow and you have a classic mess that is not readable at a small size or in black and white. I might also add that it was a bit blurry on the company business card.

Now look at the after logos created by a designer showing that less is more. They both have beautiful clean lines. The red and blue arrows are unencumbered by snow and fire and they still represent hot and cold and the movement you get from a HVAC system.

Here is another example. logo design redesign

This is another very literal representation of the company name where the designer merely illustrated the client’s design concept. The company provides embroidered logos on shirts, jackets, and backpacks for other companies. The before logo, although nicely illustrated, does not reflect what the company does in its name or in its symbol.

In the redesigned logo the designer focused the design on the target demographics. Other companies are the target demographic. The before logo, although very cute, appeals more to individual crafters and hobbyist. But the sleek redesign appeals more to their target market of other businesses. The designer kept the apple symbol, however by using a minimal design that draws your eye down to the threaded needle it allows the viewer a clearer picture of the company’s services.

Don’t skimp on your company’s logo. It is your face to the world and should be designed to attract your demographic and target customer. A designer takes your concept, vision, goals, preferences and much more into consideration . We understand how important it is to the success of your company and we can only succeed when you succeed.

Joy Bezanis

Joy Bezanis takes a holistic approach to organic growth by integrating your brand, website, social media optimization (SEO), and social media content targeted to your market demographics.With her formal education in Graphic & Web Design, and her legal and marketing experience, she is passionate about helping small businesses create a cohesive and comprehensive brand and customer experience.3rd Power Creative is a full service creative agency located in Phoenix. We work with small businesses to create outstanding logos, branding, marketing campaigns, websites and more.

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