Author : Christian Lee
So you've started a new business and now you need a logo. Or maybe you are ready to blow some of that dust off of your existing logo. If you don't have a friend who is a designer or don't have any friends that can recommend you one, you may be in a bit of a dilemma.
There are thousands of logo designers on the Internet who are vying for your business. Maybe more. This is both a good thing and bad thing. The good thing is, there are plenty of people out there that want your business. There are also plenty of capable designers that can design an effective logo for you. The problem is whom do you choose?
You could just take a shot in the dark and choose the service that seems to have the best portfolio. Sounds logical enough. The problem with this is that sometimes what you see in those portfolios is not always what you get. The designer who created those logos may have quit the company and now they have a new designer that does the logos. I have created this article to serve as a buyers guide for Logo Design Services. I will give you some pointers on finding the right logo designer for your business, as well as warn you about some of the pitfalls involved in the process. I will also attempt to demystify some of the terminology often used in the field of Graphic Design and Logo Design specifically. You will need 2 pieces of software to accomplish the tasks I set out for you here. Microsoft Word (word processor) and Excel (spreadsheet).
You could theoretically stay in what I call Logo Limbo forever when searching for designers on the Internet. Like I said, there are thousands of individuals and companies alike that are promoting their websites and logo design services. You could do a search on google.com for logo design and rummage through the endless pages of results for an eternity if you wanted to. Not only are there tons of logo designers on the web as we speak, new ones seem to pop up daily. Running my own logo design business, I can attest to this fact. Logo Design is definitely a competitive industry.
The first thing you will probably be tempted to do is hit the first two or three websites that pop up in your search results. Keep in mind that in most search engines these days, those first 2 or 3 websites that pop up in the results are usually paid sponsors. They pay for those sponsor positions on the top of the regular search results for particular keywords such as Logo Design. So, that being said, these first few are not necessarily the best or most relevant in your logo design quest. Go ahead and check them out, however don't limit yourself to the top search engine pages. You may have to dig a bit deeper to find a designer that has the style and skill set you are looking for.
My advice is to find 4 or 5 sites that have portfolios that stand out and have prices and packages that seem within your budget. It would be a good idea to take a look at their logo and the design of their site. Chances are if their logo and website are ugly, your logo will be too. Check the prices and features of each package carefully. For each site you deem worthy, copy this information into your word document. Make sure you note the Name and URL of each site next to their Logo Packages. Make other notes along with this information, such as logos you particularly liked in their portfolio, each sites refund policy and any other terms of service you can find on the site plus any other information that you deem relevant to your final decision. Pay attention to how many concepts and revisions they offer in each of their logo design packages. This is also a relevant factor in your final decision.
Once you have compiled your Word document with the most relevant logo designers, you can begin to analyze and compare the different packages, features and pricing. This is where Excel will come in handy.
Now create an Excel spreadsheet to compare each service side by side. Most sites offer a 3-tier model for their logo design pricing structure. This usually goes something like, basic, standard and deluxe packages. Think of it as small, medium and large. The bigger the package, generally, the higher level of service you will receive. You can break down these packages in your Excel spreadsheet and compare side by side the similar packages that each company offers. I do this myself when comparing my company's prices and features to my competition. I usually compare the companies packages based on the following criteria:
Create a table using these criteria as the first column in your table. Then use the top row of the table to input the names of the different companies. You will be making 3 of these tables, one for each of the different levels of service, or logo packages, that the companies offer; Basic, Standard and Deluxe or whatever other similar package each company offers.
Start with the Basic packages for each company. Fill in each of the criteria for each company's basic logo package, so that you now will have a table with each of the company's packages side by side for comparison. Repeat this process for the next two levels of service. You should now have 3 tables. Note that not all logo design companies will conform to the 3-tier level of service model, in which case some companies may not have any criteria listed in a given table. Just leave those blank or fill them with an N/A. For those companies that do not conform to this module, you will have to find the packages they offer and try to fit them in where you think they best fit within the 3 tables.
Okay, so now you have the tables and you can begin to compare the features and pricing for each package for each company side by side. Once you start to analyze the data, you will start to get an idea of which company seems the best for you. Combined with any notes in your Word document, you should be able to make a reasonably informed decision. But wait! Don't stop there.
Now what you should do is contact each one of these companies, via phone or live chat as many of them offer. Ask them specific questions about the logo package you are interested in. Who will be designing your logo if you choose that particular package? Verify the information in your spreadsheet by asking, how many concepts and revisions? What is included? Make sure they back up the information provided on their website. Also be sure to ask them if the same person who designed the logos in their portfolio will be the actual designer who will be designing your logo. Complete this process for each company and you now should be able to make a good decision or have at least narrowed it down to 2 companies. One other thing you may wish to do is ask for references for each company you are interested in.
Finding a Logo Designer for your business can be a difficult task, however using the process above you should be able to make an informed decision and end up with a very decent logo design. That's it for now. Good luck in your quest to find the logo of your Dreams!