But you don’t want to place your brand in the hands of just any old designer. You want to choose somebody with the right skills, the right experience, and, just as importantly, the right attitude.
You also want to understand how to get the most out of them to ensure the project is successful and you’re delighted with the results.
Below, I’ve put together some tips for spotting the right designer for your logo design or refresh project, along with the questions you need to ask to make sure they’re the perfect fit for the job.
While it’s true that there are plenty of bright young things out there with talent, experience still matters. Established companies have proved their worth by surviving in such a crowded marketplace. This means that they are not only likely to be very good at what they do, but also that they know how to meet deadlines, handle revisions, and make sure your project stays on track.
Any freelancer or company worth their salt should be able to provide you with a design portfolio. Looking at logos they have created for other companies should help you get a feel for their house style. Be sure to ask for more details about any companies that you do not recognise, as some designers will bolster their ‘book’ by adding fictitious company logos in amongst their real work.
The way that a designer treats prospective customers should give you a good idea of how they will behave once they get your commission. If they are tardy with their responses to your emails and phone calls before you sign an agreement, what will they be like once they’ve clinched the deal? Great customer service early on is a superb indicator as to how you will be treated once your project is underway.
Designers may be inventive, but they are not mind readers! Make sure you spend as much time as you can putting together a thorough brief so you can get your point across and leave little room for misinterpretations.
Asking for two things that diametrically oppose each other will only lead to confusion. Be clear on what you’re looking for – and make sure any other team members who are involved in the design project are on the same page, too.
Make sure that your designer is fully aware of your business and the problems it solves. A logo should represent what the benefits of using your company over your competitors are, so be sure to provide as much information on your products and services as possible in the project brief.
Knowing who your audience is will help your designer create something that appeals to the people who are likely to buy from you. This is vital, as your customers are the core of your business. Yes, it’s still important that you fall in love with your final design – but your opinions aren’t as important as those of your target customers!
Failing to future proof your logo to the best of your ability might mean that you need to revisit the design further down the line. Let your designer know the direction your company is heading in. It’s the only way they’ll be able to create something with longevity.
Although being specific about what you want is important, leaving the design stage to the designer is essential. After all, it’s what they do best, and their thought process will work far better if it is not clouded by too many questions or suggestions.
Where I differ, however, is that I deliver a stellar experience alongside top quality design concepts.
From the second you enquire with me to the moment you receive the final files for your beautiful new logo, you’ll feel well and truly looked after. And it’s this commitment to customer service that’s commented on the most by my wonderful clients, many of whom have been with me since I started up shop back in the early 1990s with my main brand, Design FX Studio.
Here are five reasons why I’m running one of the best design studios in the local area – even if I do say so myself!
I have more than two decades of experience in guiding businesses through the branding process. I understand your challenges and your frustrations. I know that this is completely out of your comfort zone. I get that design isn’t your ‘thing’. I’ll do everything I can to make you feel happy, content and in control of your investment, and I’ll talk you through everything I’m doing as your project progresses.
All too often, logo designers try to come up with exciting concepts for their clients without fully understanding what their business is about, and how their products or services benefit their target market. This isn’t me. I’ll use my brand questionnaire to get lots of useful info on what you do and why – and I’ll put myself in your customers’ shoes to create a logo that really resonates with them.
One of the advantages of having a long career in design is that I’ve worked with all kinds of companies in virtually every sector imaginable. From plumbers to professional IT services, schools to sports equipment suppliers, and coffee shops to HR consultants, I’ve helped countless businesses in all kinds of disciplines find their visual identity.
You won’t find any Clipart illustrations or overused design templates here. I create strong, distinctive brand visuals by developing all my logo designs from scratch. Sure, I can take inspiration from logos that you like the look of, and I can take a steer from previous incarnations of your own designs – but I’ll always be looking to create something fresh and exciting, that’s never been seen before.
Once I’ve completed your new logo, I can project manage absolutely every aspect of your branding and marketing, both online and offline. Whether you need to launch an email marketing campaign, optimise your site for better exposure in the search engines, or simply create and print some stunning new brochures to distribute to partners and potential clients, I can be your first and only port of call.
See for yourself why I’ve got such a brilliant reputation for logo design in Essex and beyond. Reach out via email or give me a call to discuss your project!
Logos. They’re one of the most effective ways to communicate the message of your brand, and they have evolved massively over the years. Unlike other graphic design elements, logos are much more simplistic than they were 20 years ago – but interestingly there has been a re-emergence of 90s style logos lately.
With current and past styles now converging, what better time could there be to look back at the biggest logo trends of the last two decades?
Just after the turn of the millennium, logo design went through a huge change with the emergence of Web 2.0. The term itself refers to the change in how websites were developed and the tech that they used, but the phrase became used to sum up a distinctive change in logo trends, too. Before long, rounded letters, bright colours and multiple gradients were everywhere.
Crest logos were hugely popular by the mid-2000s. These kinds of emblems added an air of history and prestige to a brand, even if the company itself was new. The combination of medieval imagery (such as coats of arms) with modern and novelty elements was one that really caught on with customers, and crest logos became especially prominent in the sports industry.
Intricate lettering style logos have been a consistent favourite over the years, with advancing technology enabling designers to deliver more polished results. Although it has lost ground to more minimalist trends in recent times, lettering is still being used by companies like cafes and barbers, with the complexity of the calligraphy helping to create a craftsmanship-driven image.
Illustration logos have fallen in and out of favour as trends have fluctuated from detailed designs to minimalist concepts over the years – but right now, they are bigger and bolder than ever. Logos with a hand-drawn element have a big visual impact, and will help a company to stand out from the crowd. Commonly used for children’s products, illustration-based logos are enjoying a wide application, and there’s no sign of them going out of fashion any time soon!
Negative space hardly needs an introduction – but it’s particularly interesting as it is essentially a trend within a trend. There has been a shift from logomarks to logotypes, and we now often see text logos with shapes and images hidden inside the letters.
We’ve come full circle when it comes to flat design. Web 2.0 logos featured lots of gradients, shadows and reflections. Flat design is the antithesis of that. Block colours and minimal designs are in, and logos have taken on a much more streamlined look. This has made them much easier to view on mobile devices. Google’s logo is one of the best examples from the shift of Web 2.0 to flat design.
Fashion is fickle – as we all know – and there have been many logo trends from the last 20 years that we’re not likely to revisit any time soon. On the other hand, some techniques have stood the test of time.
Clearly then, trends and logo design processes have changed considerably in a period of rapid advancement. Looking at the historical development of a long-standing company’s logo will give you an insight into the various phases that the design industry has been through. We’ve mentioned Google already, but if you’d like to see the evolution of logo design in action, take a look at these great case studies from enduring drinks brands Coca Cola and Pepsi!
I love their versatility, and the way they can effectively communicate all of a brand’s core values within just a simple concept. It seems impossible to us to think of a time when the logo as know it didn’t exist, and wasn’t such a vital part of a company’s marketing communications.
But – perhaps like you – we had little idea where logos came from until we started researching the interesting history behind contemporary designs as we know them.
Once upon a time, a logo was simply a mark or a name stamped across a product as proof that it was manufactured by a particular company. The Ancient Egyptians, for example, were known to brand domestic animals with hieroglyphics to demonstrate their ownership of them. Potters in the Greek and Roman eras marked their creations to make sure they were forever linked to their handiwork, too.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that forward-thinking companies started unlocking the visual potential of these eye-catching little emblems.
The very first trademark was registered in the UK in 1876 for Bass & Co, which at the time was a popular international exporter of pale ale. Within the paperwork, and soon enough across all of the brand’s merchandise, the company name was accompanied by a small red triangle, framed by simple text – but this straightforward combination was enough to create what we now consider to be the first ‘official’ logo of its time.
John Cadbury, the founder of the Birmingham-based confectionery company, was one of the first business owners to wake up to the potential of combining recognisable fonts and colours to create an original moniker. The very first Cadbury logo was registered in 1911 and was formed of a basic image of a cocoa tree, intertwined with the company name on a distinctively purple background.
In the 1950s, advertising agencies in the United States started to harness the power of the logo in their client’s campaigns. They realised that they could use shapes, typography and colour to convey each brand’s ethos and produce a trademark that really sticks in the minds of their customers. Pioneering graphic designers like Paul Rand and Alan Fletcher took this idea one step further – they transformed logo design into an art form by developing key principles that are still adhered to by many design professionals today.
Since then, brands – or, more specifically, their design and marketing partners – have been tripping over themselves to come up with a design that rivals some of the most distinctive logos in the world.
From the stark relevancy of the Apple logo through to the familiar swirl of the Coca Cola signature type and the golden arches of the McDonald’s sign, the very best logos have a broad appeal. They can be simple, like the Nike tick; they can represent unity, like the Olympic rings; they can contain a cocktail of colours, like Google’s effort; and they can even be entirely text-based, like the logo from FedEx.
From then to now, logos have played an undeniable part in the growth of many of the world’s most successful businesses.
My job here at Design FX Studio is to develop attention-grabbing bespoke logos for all kinds of organisations that want better reach and a stronger brand. I have the skills to create a logo design that will connect with your audience, and I'm lucky enough to be able to draw inspiration from all the fantastic examples of logos from the greatest brand designers of the last century. Contact me today to discover what I can bring to your brand!