Business Owner Guidelines for Logo Design

You should know up front that I am The Logo Handler and not a logo designer. I have designed a few logos in the past, but it is not my forte. Clients entrust their logo to me for printing and marketing purposes. While I can’t design you a glorious logo, I can tell you immediately if the logo is going to cause you troubles along the way. I’ve spent the major part of my career working with corporate logos. Some logos are great and others are a problem. They might be pleasing to the eye, but they pose a myriad of printing issues.

One critical mistake people make at the very beginning is to offer their designer little to no direction. They find a designer, give them the company name and tell them to design a logo. In most cases no further direction is given. Perhaps some preferred colors or a suggestion or two on a symbol that might be used, but that’s it. The business owner assumes that the designer understands the needs and parameters of logo design. From my experience, about 50% of the logos I encounter are centered on aesthetics only. While an eye pleasing logo is important there are many other things to consider that will play an important roll down the road.

SELECTING A DESIGNER

While it might be tempting to use a friend or family member who dabbles in graphic design (and are usually very cheap or even free) the logo usually ends up costing you down the road. You are more likely to encounter issues with design egos and have to deal with time delays. They may also not have the technical knowledge (bitmaps vs. vector, bleeds etc.). This is less of an issue for logo design but can cause major issues on other projects. On the other hand, don’t discredit these people. I’ve seen some great work come from aspiring designers and those who design as a hobby.

Regardless of where you find your logo designer, make sure you review their portfolio and then confirm these two criteria:

1. Find a designer that will provide you with a vector logo. If they can’t, get another designer. If they don’t know what a vector graphic is, do NOT hire them!

2. Make sure they will give you the following files:

– The original (vector) file from the program the logo was designed in.

– A (vector).pdf of the logo.

– A (vector).eps of the logo.

– Three high resolution.jpg’s of the logo, one 2″ wide, one 12″ wide and one 24″ wide.

While your computer probably does not have a program that can open the first three files, make sure you have them on a disc in your office and stored away on your computer. Future printers and designers will need these files. See Images 101 for more information on vector vs bitmap.

Think about color, size and shape when designing and selecting your logo. You should also have different versions for different applications. Make sure you have the right files stored away for printing. Keep in mind that the most recognizable and most famous logos are simple and the colors are limited. Work it and re-work it until you have the perfect logo. It’s your logo, take ownership of it and keep your logo visible!