Mason Weis

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3 Things to Ask Your Designer For When You're Having a Logo Designed

So let’s say that you’re a business that’s just getting your start. Or you’re a business that’s looking for a fresh new identity. You’ve gone through the steps to find a designer and you’re in the process of talking about prices and the logistics of the project. Sure things might seem perfect, but many people who aren’t design minded might not know everything they need in order to help get their new logo up and running. As a designer myself, there are certain things I think every client should ask for in order to get the most out of their new identity system.  I’ve broken it down into three things that I personally believe will help your logo go from a design with no true applications, to something that’ll hopefully give your company the fresh, consistent look you’re dreaming of. Without further ado, here are the things I think you should ask your designer for when you’re getting a logo designed for your business.

A Style Guide

While you might think your logo will speak for itself and things will come naturally after all is said and done, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have some form of a style guide. A decent style guide will turn any directionless logo into a cohesive system. 

Think about it this way. If you were to receive your logo as an .ai or .eps file without any context at all, how would you know the logo’s intention? Furthermore, if you hired a different designer at a later date to make materials for your company, how would they know the fonts or colors that go best with your logo? A style guide will provide context and make it much easier for other designers to work within the parameters of your brand. 

A couple of screen shots from Walmart's style guide for reference. The entire document is incredibly thorough. Most style guides don't need this much depth, but the more info the better.

A couple of screen shots from Walmart's style guide for reference. The entire document is incredibly thorough. Most style guides don't need this much depth, but the more info the better.

Most style guides cover a wide variety of topics, including correct logo use, typography, color choices, photography, iconography and more. As a rule, the bare minimum inclusions I’d look for are information on correct logo use, typography, and color. Not only will asking for these things ensure that your logo looks clean and correct in the future, it will also make it much easier for your company’s materials to look connected and will make you seem more professional in the long run. 

Print Materials

While it might seem unnecessary, I absolutely promise that asking for business card designs, letterhead designs, envelope designs etc. is a smart move. While it’s likely that your designer will charge more for these items, it'll be well worth the money. While an online presence is certainly important in our digital age, it’s also important for customers, stakeholders or other contacts to have something physical that they can take with them. 

You just bought a logo, so why wouldn’t you want to do something with it? Chances are pretty likely that you’re going to buy these things down the line anyway. What better way to immediately, and proudly show off your company’s new look than by getting business cards or a nice letterhead design alongside your logo and the style guide? As a courtesy, I often design mocked-up business cards for my clients during the proposal phase to begin with, so getting the real deal to them is really only as difficult as making a few edits and polishing things up to begin with.

Though these images are just a mockup, notice how consistent they are. You too can achieve this kind of look for your business.

Though these images are just a mockup, notice how consistent they are. You too can achieve this kind of look for your business.

Images courtesy of http://www.pixeden.com/psd-mock-up-templates/stationery-branding-mock-up-vol-1

Images courtesy of http://www.pixeden.com/psd-mock-up-templates/stationery-branding-mock-up-vol-1

My advice would be to go with business cards as a bare minimum. While things might not be as united without the other kinds of supporting material I mentioned above, you can most definitely get by without them until the time is right. A well designed business card, however, is bound to make a lasting impression if you get it into the hands, so I’d certainly recommend asking for that in addition to your new logo and the accompanying style guide if you can. 

Be proud of your new look! Put it out into the world and show people what your company’s about. 

Social Media Material

Yes, I just said that online presence wasn’t everything in the last section, but nowadays, anyone will tell you that it’s an essential part of marketing your business. Having an attractive Facebook or Twitter page is going to make your business seem much more appealing. Ask yourself this: if you saw a twitter page for a company that looked like this, how trustworthy would you think the business was?

Yes I made a twitter for this example. Ignore the fact that the name of the account is "test," we're just talking graphics here. 

Yes I made a twitter for this example. Ignore the fact that the name of the account is "test," we're just talking graphics here. 

While you could certainly fill your pages with other kinds of imagery, it might look too disconnected from the look your brand is trying to go for and could even hurt your online presence more than help it. Similarly, you could attempt to make the materials yourself, but this could lead to low-resolution imagery or materials that would likely look better with input from a designer. 

Asking your designer for some social media materials will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. Because your designer’s already overseeing the creation of your brand, they’ll surely be able to steer your social media presence in the right direction. 

My recommendation? Try asking for a Twitter avatar as well as a Facebook profile picture at the very least. These items are generally very easy to set up and honestly shouldn’t cost much at all in addition to the materials you’re already getting. Plus, in the meantime, you could use something like a picture of your office space or something similar as a cover photo. 

Having a professional looking social media page will certainly drive more people to your page and will help you spread your message more quickly. Definitely consider asking your designer about this kind of stuff. 

Final Thoughts

When you’re having a new logo made, it’s important to have things roll out smoothly. There’s bound to be disconnect if only some of your company’s materials show off your new look. Yes, asking for additional materials for your logo might involve more cost and a longer design process, but I’d suggest thinking of the additional cost as insurance. Having everything set up and ready to go will most definitely make your new logo more successful and will probably make you happier at the end of the day. 

Until next time!

Mason Weis