|Posted by Jennafer Conley on April 24, 2019 at 11:00 AM|
There are a lot of designers out there. I'm all for small business, solopreneurs and learning as you go/teaching yourself. However. There are a lot of folks out there portraying themselves as professional designers when they are not. A logo is not simply slapping a crappy graphic next to your business name. A brand is more than just an image. Also, all "logos" are not created equal. Usually, you get what you pay for. So if your "designer" is charging under $100 for a logo, chances are they are not a true professional and they do not actually understand the ins and outs of design, file formats, etc. Sometimes these people even charge professional prices when they do not provide professional quality. Only a true creative professional can create a clear logo that is engaging, presents your business in the light you wish and can actually be used in many applications- from your business card to a billboard to the web and everywhere in between.
Here's my advice when you're looking to hire a designer/creator/branding specialist. Please note: as a non-designer, you don't have to know what these things mean. But your designer HAS to if they are a true professional.
Five Questions to Ask:
In what file formats will my logo be supplied? If they do not answer with at least PNG, EPS and PDF, run. Run as fast as you can. If your designer cannot provide you with an EPS File, then they are not giving you a logo that you can truly use on anything. The other two are just standard for print and web and secondary to your EPS. Also note, you yourself will not be able to open an EPS. EPS files require professional designer software. The other two, you can open and use yourself. EPS files are what a designer will want if you advertise on anything later on.
Will you be providing my logo in a vector format? If they can't provide it or explain to you what vector is, smack them for me. Then run. A vector format means the logo can be scaled from an inch to 1000 feet and never be pixelated. You MUST have this if you want to portray yourself as a professional business. I can't tell you how many times I've been working on something, say a sponsor banner for an event. I'm supposed to place the sponsor logos on this large banner for print. And companies, I'm talking large, million dollar corporations here, that will send a low res, web version JPEG of their logo that is 2 inches tall. It gets pixelated at even twice it's size (4 inches) and can you imagine how bad it looks at 2 feet wide?? And when I ask for an EPS, they say it's all their designer gave them. Either thats the case, or whoever is running their design and/or marketing department doesn't understand the intricacies of file formats and what they are best used for. Either way, the company is wasting money.I can't imagine what they paid for something that going to look awful and present them as a sad company that doesn't even have a professional logo. See below for an example of how shitty this looks.
Ask them to tell you the difference between CMYK, RGB and Pantone/PMS. A professional, trained designer will have no problem with this. Also, be sure to ask them if they will be using Pantone colors in your logo. Ask them to guide you as to whether PMS or CYMK should be used.
Ask them what software they will be designing your logo in. Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard. Some use Corel Draw. Photoshop is not for logos guys!! If they use photoshop for a logo, they are the Dollar General of design. And if they say Canva, feel free to tell 'em that Canva was made so that business owners are marketers could DIY. It's a simple design program that is made for the individual and NOT the professional. If you use Canva, you shouldn't be charging for your services and labeling yourself a designer.
Ask them if your logo will be original. Will they be using any design elements they've found online and from other designers? This can be a grey area and something you should think about as Business. How professional do you want to appear to your customers? If you have a small budget, a designer may use remade design elements as parts of your logo to save them time and save you money. Again, it's a "you get what you pay for" kinda thing. If the design elements come from outside sources then someone out there can have the same exact icon as you or at least a part of it. It's not unique and it's personalized completely to you and your business. If you are being charged $500 of over for your logo, then the designer should be able to provide original design that is unique to you and your company.
Feel free to ask me any questions about how to be sure you're hiring a professional. Whether it's me or someone else you choose to work with, its very important to me to empower the small business owner with knowledge. Email me at jennaferbconley[at]gmail.com