Branding is the new buzzword. A year ago, only those who did it knew what it was. Now it’s on every business owner’s mind. With good reason. Branding basically is recognizability. It’s what products like Coca-Cola, Kleenex, and Q-Tips have done so very well. I mean, other companies do make cotton-tipped swabs, but everyone still calls them Q-Tips.
We all want that level of recognizability for our product. As for how to get that, that is exactly the question branding is designed to answer. As we know from the Nike swoosh, it can be a name and/or a symbol. A good logo will embody both. So, how do you get one?
First, how much will it cost? This name and logo will probably – hopefully – be with you for a very long time. You want to get one that is so good, so representative of what you do, and so appealing to customers that it helps drive business to you. So, you might think it’d be very expensive. And you’d be right. Maybe.
You can get logos designed for as little as a couple hundred dollars. You can also pay thousands. While you probably think nothing of spending $1,000+ for a computer that will be obsolete in three or four years, spending half that on a symbol seems extreme. Practically speaking, that may very well be your situation. Just wanted to give you some perspective on it.
Getting recommendations from people you know is always a good place to start. Keep in mind, just because someone has little experience doesn’t mean they aren’t good. And they charge less. But make sure you look at his/her portfolio. Experience or no, a designer will have played with designs, maybe for made-up companies, so there’s always something to look through. Whether you like a designer’s work is, oddly, not the first thing to look for. I mean, if you don’t like anything in the portfolio, sure, move on. But your eye should be more on what the work tells you. Does the logo suit the name and/or spirit of the company? What does it say about them? A good logo is simple, or people won’t remember it. It usually does not require great drawing skills.
Most designers will give you a finite number of choices and may or may not give you your money back if you don’t like any of them. That said, it is also true that most designers will do whatever they can to make sure the customer is happy. There is also another option: 99designs.com. This is not a commercial, so I’m not going to talk about them too much. I will tell you I got mine from them, they offer a money-back guarantee, and honestly, I was completely satisfied with their service and process from start to finish.
Whatever you choose, do your homework well and be sure you are happy with the results. Most designers will do whatever they can to make the customer happy.