At Your Brand Week, we look for a handful of very specific qualities when we need to hire a logo designer for our team—and the relative importance of these qualities might surprise you. A lot goes into designing a great logo, and much of it has nothing to do with the activity of design at all.
Here are the top 5 things we look for when we hire a logo designer, plus why we don’t recommend hiring someone based on talent alone.
We’ve all seen it: the branding faux pas that makes us cringe and wonder, “Really?! What were they thinking!”
Those branding mistakes aren’t solely limited to large, tone deaf corporations that have lost touch with their customer base. Startup and small business founders make some pretty epic branding mistakes too. The difference is that when you’re a new startup or a small business, your mistakes don’t often end up trending on Twitter for everyone to see.
Just because your business is too small to have your mistakes published all over social media doesn’t mean you aren’t making them—and it certainly doesn’t mean your audience isn’t taking notice.
Below are 3 of the most common mistakes most founders make when branding their businesses and how you can make sure you avoid them at all costs.
Have you ever seen a Coca-Cola advertisement, product, vending machine, or even a bottle cap that didn’t prominently feature that fire engine red color?
The answer is almost certainly a resounding “No.”
As a consumer, you buy from companies you know, like, and trust—and trust is the operative word.
As a business owner, you build your audience’s trust with repeatable positive experiences, from your product itself down to the typography that gets used on your instruction manual. Building brand trust requires a maniacal devotion to one thing:
Hiring a logo designer can be a complicated process. There are lots of options and sifting through each of them to find a good fit for your business can get overwhelming really fast.
Below are 7 categories you’ll want to check off your list, plus questions you should ask for each category, so you can start narrowing down your options to hire a logo designer who’s right for the job.
1. Bona Fides
Has the designer been a professional for 5 or more years?
There’s no formal accreditation for graphic design the way there is for architecture, law, or medicine. This is why it’s important that your logo designer has been working professionally for a handful of years. These experienced designers cost more than hiring junior designers, but the increased professionalism that comes with time will provide you with a significantly better branding experience.
Did the designer attend a well-known design school?
Like any other type of education, there is a wide range of educational quality. Those considered the best in the nation include (in no particular order): Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), Art Center College of Design, Ringling College of Art and Design, and The Cooper Union. There are certainly other excellent design schools out there, but these are the “ivy league” design schools and most of their graduates can be trusted to produce high quality work.
Has the designer won any awards for his/her designs?
Not having won any awards doesn’t mean your designer isn’t talented, but having won a few awards is the closest thing to professional bona fides available in the graphic design world.
There’s a myth among startup founders. This myth is that in a moment of inspiration, their business name and branding will magically come to them. And so founders hold meetings where people throw ideas around until something “feels right.”
This is a terrible approach to branding your startup.
Making business decisions based on something “feeling right” in the moment almost always guarantees that your company will need to rebrand within a year. This is due to an obvious, but often overlooked reason: no one asked your target customers what they thought.
While most startups gather customer research to determine product-market fit, many of them forget that their branding should also be rooted in research to get brand-market fit.
Below are 5 simple tactics you can use to guide your research to develop branding that will resonate with your audience.