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You have your business plan and a list of products ready to go. Now what? It’s time to start branding your company and the first place to start is with your logo.

Your logo is the first thing people will remember about your company. It is the cornerstone of your business and should always be your starting point. The rest of your branding will blossom from your chosen logo path so tread carefully. Set aside a large portion of your startup costs for your logo and overall branding design in order to hire an authentic designer, and avoid using “quick” logo design companies.

 

“BUDGET” DESIGN COMPANIES

While some companies may offer quick and inexpensive logos, many of the designers on these platforms don’t understand all the legalities about providing exclusive designs.

“An exclusive design allows your logo to be trademarked or copyrighted.”

Inexperienced designers will use stock photos, stock elements, and personal fonts to add extra flair. But now your design isn’t one-of-a-kind and is considered non-exclusive. This means it can’t be trademarked or copyrighted. Yes, that’s right. Your design has to be 100% original or used assets must be totally commercial free. If you don’t check, it might cost you massive legal fees and a huge headache, not to mention having to redesign your whole brand.

 

DO-IT-YOURSELF APPS

And that brings me to the “do-it-yourself” apps and design resource sites. I highly recommend them for everyday graphic design needs (such as creating killer social media content) and getting your business off the ground. But these companies are not recommended for logo design.

  • They use generic and pre-made layouts and elements, so your logo will not be considered exclusive to you. Non-exclusive logos cannot be trademarked.
  • If you want to trademark your logo, be sure to use only elements that you’ve created yourself, or commissioned directly.

READY TO HIRE?

Yes, hiring a freelance graphic designer can be a daunting experience and you should always do your research and ask plenty of questions.

  • First off, you’ll want to ask your friends and family members for recommendations. You never know who you might find.
  • Then, it’s time to do some research. Look on Pinterest, Instagram, and any other social media channels for styles and artists that appeal to your aesthetic. Unfortunately, many designers can’t pay the big bucks for a first page Google listing, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the skill.

Make sure to check out the portfolio of every designer you consider. Ultimately, you will want your brand personality to match a designer’s. Many designers can design outside of what is in their portfolio and comfort zones, but their portfolio represents their passion and niche. It’s also helpful to single out a few portfolio pieces to tell the designer what styles appeal to you.

 

CONTACT AND COMMUNICATE

Picked out a few designers? Great! Contact them with the all basic details and questions (see “11 Questions to Ask Your Logo Designer”). Make sure you talk about budget and price right away. You don’t want to fall in love with a designer you ultimately can’t afford.

Once you’ve selected the perfect logo designer, be sure to sign a contract. A reputable designer will have a contract in place to protect both parties and it will discuss payment terms, turnaround time, copyright transfer, cancellation, liability, and more.

And lastly, communicate! Make sure you provide and agree upon a suitable timeframe. Many designers are night owls so don’t be alarmed if you see messages at odd times. Just keep those communication lines open and don’t hold back. If you don’t like something, tell your designer. We’re thick-skinned. We promise! I’d never want someone to settle for a design and you shouldn’t either.

You’re almost ready to hire your designer! First, you need to download “11 Questions to Ask Your Logo Designer” if you haven’t already by filling out the form below. And if you love my work, let’s get in touch. Good luck with your business and don’t forget to download your questions!

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