Ideal logo design … and the pitfalls of getting it wrong

Blog by Dawn Button, Button Graphic Design

Recently Button Graphic Design have been getting requests for creating logos, which is wonderful for a creative. We get to research competition, isolate the client’s demographic target market (the art of deduction is part of what we do), and ascertain what appeals to our client and their market. Then we play with typography and graphics and work with our client to a solution that evokes the essence of their company offerings and identifies them to the public, enabling them to stand out and help grow their business. 

 Commendably, most of these requests are from new businesses, keen to succeed and trying to get it right from the outset. I read a lot of group shouts on social media where start-ups request a recommendation for a logo designer, and I’m astonished by the number of referrals suggesting they get a cheap one on crowd-sourcing sites, without the basic understanding that a personally designed, tailored, premium logo will only cost a small amount more from a reputable graphic designer. 

 Of course you need to save money as a start-up. But not at the expense of your business credibility right from the get go. 

 This is your brand. Your identity. Your public face. Your logo. Just get a cheap one. 

What could possibly go wrong? 

 Actually, quite a lot. 

 Firstly, you need a logo that doesn’t belong to someone else, a design that hasn’t been ripped off another designer’s website or worst-case scenario, has been trademarked then ‘repurposed’ this way. Infringement can result in expensive legal consequences if the holder of a trademark pursues successful action. 

 You need to know that the colours will look the same regardless of use – you don’t want your beautiful gold online logo to turn a muddy brown when you get it printed. Or your stunning handwritten logo illegible on a business card, because you authorised it at full screen resolution and it doesn’t scale. 

 Then you’ll require the logo in a number of different formats for print and digital use, large-scale and small. I’ve lost track of the number of logos businesses have provided for large-scale print and they’re tiny jpgs, only suitable for social media. When I ask for the PDF or .eps for print, the customer looks blankly at me and informs me that’s all they have, and they’re flummoxed when I explain what a logo pack is and what they need to look fabulous at any size of print. 

 It’s not ideal at all for the business, and quite frankly, it’s unethical of their logo designer, regardless of cost. 

 It’s the first element of your business or service potential clients will see, and they’ll form an opinion on you, your company and your professionalism based on a split-second glance, without even realising it. It’s a primal human instinct, it’s part of why we survived, it’s what marketers globally utilise to sell you stuff, and it’s an essential weapon in your marketing arsenal, far too important to marginalise and ‘just get it done cheap’.

Please feel free to ask for advice or a quote if you need a logo (professionally!) designed or redesigned.