Logo design companies are a dime a dozen these days. The popularity of cheap gig sites coupled with inexpensive clipart has created a cottage industry. When you look deeper, you’ll find that most of these companies are not actually designers but rather what I call “borrowers”. When you hire a borrower, the design is typically picked from thousands of pre-made graphics that may or may not relate to your business. The borrower then quickly adds your company text in Photoshop and it’s done. Typical time spent: About 30 minutes.
Few things of quality are cobbled together in 30 minutes, especially logo design. A reputable logo design company is going to first take the time to learn your business, and then work with you to design a logo that matches your goals, customer affluence, and service levels. For more on how important a professional logo is, see my post on first impressions. Now that we know the important of a great logo design, here are 10 things you should look for when hiring a logo design company.
1. A Great Portfolio by the Actual Designer
It goes without saying to review the company’s logo portfolio. But more importantly, ask to review the portfolio of the actual designer who will be working on your logo. It does know good to review the portfolio of anyone else. Here at Company 50, we use one designer so you can be assured it’s the same person who you see represented in our portfolio. Many larger logo design companies employee many designers and the quality varies greatly, so be sure you know what you are getting.
2. Multiple Concepts
Even the best logo design company on earth cannot read your mind. You may have a completely different take on what your logo should look like. For this reason it is important to hire a company that offers at least 3 unique concepts for your review. But be wary of company’s promising many concepts – the quality will likely drop considerably (or worse, they could be using pre-made clipart). Pictured below is an example of multiple logo concepts we created for a recent client.[one_whole centered_text=”true”] [/one_whole]
3. Unlimited Revisions
A logo design company should always be striving for your complete satisfaction. It does not make sense to limit revisions, forcing the client to accept a less than perfect logo. In our experience, clients rarely require changes and when they do, they are almost always minor. So offering unlimited revisions should not be a big deal to any firm. If the logo design company you choose limits revisions, be cautious as it may also reflect the level of service you receive.
4. Doesn’t Follow Trends
I’ve noticed over the years that certain trends come and go each year in logo design. Which is a bit strange since, unlike clothes, you don’t replace your logo every couple years or so. Your logo should be designed to be timeless and original. Past trends like swooshes and mirror reflections quickly turn into cliches. What happens next is even though you paid a web design company to create the logo, everyone will think you went the amateur route. Speak to your designer and find out their style. Make sure their portfolio is void of trendy logos.
5. Provides Logos in Vector Format
Nearly every reputable logo design company will provide your final logo in what is known as “vector” format. This is a file format created by a program such as Adobe Illustrator that allows the logo to be expanded or reduced to any size and still maintain razor-sharp resolution. Cheaper firms and some freelancers may offer your logo only in “raster” format such as PNG or JPG. These file formats lose significant quality when enlarged, making them unsuitable for offline use.
6. Creates Original Artwork
I touched on this earlier, but it cannot be stressed enough: A logo design company that uses clipart is not a design company – they are just a borrower. The problems with clip-art logos are many: Any other business on earth can use the exact same graphic as you and you will have no recourse, the logo cannot be trademarked, and in most cases the graphic doesn’t communicate your business message. It might look cool, but the idea is to bring you customers. Original artwork is what makes you stand out amongst your competitors. Some logo design companies will even show you a “making of” so you understand how the logo was created (see below).[one_whole centered_text=”true”][/one_whole]
7. Understands Marketing Science
There are many truly great designers out there. When given a sketch or a detailed brief, most professional designers can churn out some really impressive artwork. But a designer with years of marketing experience that understands the science behind a great logo is even more effective. There is a difference between a logo that just looks cool and one that attracts customers to your business. When you hire a logo design company with artists that get the science marketing – you’ll get better logo concepts and much higher ROI on your final design.
8. Designers With No Ego
Nobody loves an egomaniac. When it involves logo design, egos typically show up in the design itself. Typically, a talented designer wants to show off his or her skills to the world (through your logo) so they come up with a wild and crazy design that very well could look amazing, but with an unreadable font, unusual colors, and a design that doesn’t jive with the tone of your business. This doesn’t do you any favors. A designer without ego will take the time to learn your goals and objectives, and create a logo design that matches what you want, not just what they want to draw.
9. Money Back Guarantee
Common with cheaper logo mills (since there is little work involved to begin with), a money back guarantee from a professional is a sign of commitment to the design process. It says that the logo design company will do what it takes to ensure you love your final logo. It’s a powerful promise and gives you the peace of mind that in the end, your decision to go with a pro is risk-free.
10. Fast Turnaround (But Not Too Fast!)
Nobody wants to wait a month to some their logo concepts, but a 24-hour turnaround should not inspire confidence either. Any logo design company promising that quick of a turnaround likely has few clients or low design standards. Be aware of this and never select your logo designer based on turnaround time. Typically a 5-10 day wait is typical in the industry to receive your initial concepts once your designers get to work.
The Final Word on Choosing a Logo Design Company
Because of the low cost to entry, there are many logo designers out there. Using this list will help you whittle down the contenders from the pretenders. My hope is that when all is said and done, the logo design company you hire provides you with a quality logo that defines your business objects, attracts customers, and is remembered for years to come. Looking for more tips? Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.