We’ve been doing design since our inception in 2001 and one thing we’ve seen over and over again? Logo projects can be some of the most stressful creative endeavors ever undertaken, for both clients and creatives.
The good news? We put our individual minds together to create a mind-meld-of-excellence so we could help you and your company get prepared the right way and enjoy the rebranding process with less stress and more harmony.
Your Internal Checklist for Making a New Logo
Our founder and Creative Director, Dave Smith, has been doing design for decades now and has an excellent checklist to help you and your team get ready for the process. This part is something you and your team should do before meeting with a creative team.
Tips and must-do’s before meeting with a creative agency:
1. Know who your ideal target audience is
- If possible, create unique user personas to truly identify who it is you are trying to target.
- If you already have user or buyer personas for your marketing efforts, use those. If not, now is the time to get those done and align your entire team.
2. Identify your direct (and indirect) competitors and how they present themselves to your shared ideal audience
- Take a peek at the market, identify what you like and don’t like. Start a list of brand logos you admire, this is an extremely helpful step to ensure alignment.
- When doing this always keep your target audience in mind and do not just depend on your own personal preference. Remember, you are not necessarily your target audience.
3. Determine what makes you unique and special over your competitors
- Having clearly communicated differentiation including facts and statistics will be necessary to establish the correct positioning.
- Remember that a differentiator needs to be something truly unique: everyone can claim they have excellent customer service or world-class tech.
4. Get familiar with the concept of positioning
- Think about public perception. For example, you can be a small company that wants to be perceived as a large corporation. Or you can be a global conglomerate that wants to appear grassroots.
- All of this can be accomplished through the use of effective positioning utilizing your logo mark, your messaging, and being mindful of the channels used to communicate with your audience.
- Be clear about why you’re rebranding. What are you hoping to achieve? How does that align with your company’s goals?
5. Be able to identify how your audience currently views your organization’s brand, compared to how you would like them to
- Create a list of adjectives that you’d want people to use when describing your brand: this is easily done with a list of descriptive terms, like, cutting edge, progressive, elite, home-grown, etc.
- Put all of the adjectives on a whiteboard or Google Doc and see what themes emerge.
- Take this a step further by comparing these terms to those on your current website.
6. Take note of everywhere your new logo mark needs to be used
- Make a list of all of the places your logo is displayed, online, and in the real world.
- If there are special usages (neon signage, embroidered shirts, etc.), there may be factors that have to be considered early on in the concept creation process to accommodate these types of uses.
7. Establish who will be part of the evaluation process
- Note that the more people involved, the more varied opinions you get, making it difficult to reach a decision. Keep the evaluating group to as few people as possible.
8. Make sure that ALL decision-making parties are involved in the initial discovery meeting
- It is vital that all critical input is taken into consideration before the conception phase begins and work begins on the logo
- Share your research, other brands logos that you favor, and goals you’ve identified with the decision-makers on your team. Make sure everyone is in agreement!
9. Create a list of things you like and don’t like ahead of time.
- Conducting research on your company, your competitors, what kind of logos are already out there that are working and not working, researching a variety of typefaces, colors, your target audience, why you are having problems with your current logo and how we can correct those with the new logo.
BONUS- Here’s a tip from our Director of Client Services, Sarah Garcia:
Trust your partners. Chances are, you vetted your new design partner heavily…but if you’re still in that process, here are some things to look for:
- Make sure they have a thorough research process.
- Ask them to show their track record of success in this area.
- Do not, I repeat, DO NOT hire someone who does not design logos professionally. This is a big decision, worth the expense of a professional.
- Once you’ve hired the right partner, trust that they have your best interest in mind. Their recommendations are thoughtful & well studied for your industry, your goals, and your company.
While there are places that promise a logo for $20, know that you’re getting exactly what you pay for: a copy of a logo that already exists and/or has been rejected by companies that came before you. Updating or creating a logo is a process that takes research, thoughtfulness, and time but if you follow this checklist, the process will be much simpler (and less stressful).