A series of articles written to help you save money and get the most out of your collaboration with Plan 9 Design.
On Logo Design
If you're starting a business, having a logo designed is pretty exciting, it somehow makes you endeavor that much more real. But before you contact a designer and tell him to get to work, there's a few things to think about first.
What it is
Your logo. What is it? The best analogy I can think of is a handshake. When you meet someone, their clothing, expression and body language convey a certain vibe. It's your first impression of this person. Of course you want to make the best first impression you can.
What it aint
A logo is not your capabilities brochure. It is not your mission statement. It is not a 3' x 4' portrait of your company.
This point is probably illustrated best with a true story. A client of mine is planning on opening a new restaurant. He already has several successful establishments under his belt and needed a logo for his new venture. He contacted me early in the process of getting it up and running and we exchanged ideas and discussed his concept for the place. A couple of weeks later I presented him with a logo that we were pretty happy with...for the time being. A few months later he asked me help him choose paint colors for the exterior. As we're talking about the restaurant, I learn that things had changed since I handed him the finished logo.
He had revised the menu and decided to use locally grown produce and Texas-bred beef. We also discussed the landscaping and interior decor, delving deeper into "who" the restaurant was turning out to be, I realized the logo I had created was off the mark. I proposed revisiting the logo again, I offered him a really good deal on my fee because I felt we were partners in this process. Round two of the logo was received enthusiastically with no changes or tweaks.
Like most projects, your initial vision of it is going to differ a little or a lot from the final product, During the process you will "get to know" your brand, discovering limitations, and receiving inspirations about how you might do things differently. Certainly before opening your doors, but definitely after having lived with your idea for a while, would be the best time to call a designer about getting a logo created.
You gotta do some homework
So you've gotten to know your brand. Now is the time to put that into writing. Below is a link to a questionnaire which will help you nail down exactly what your brand is about.