So you’ve found the one — the graphic designer that’s going to rock your business world. But how do you know he/she is the one? Your answer should be that your designer has already asked all the appropriate questions, and knows how to execute the best branding for your business. In other words, they did their research; your designer has evaluated your existing brand image, and learned all there is to know about what you do and who your competitors are (and what they’re doing).
In your initial meeting, you’ll provide your designer with the specifics your business. However, one way to get ahead of the curve as a business owner is to think in concrete terms about how you want your business to be viewed and who your target audience is. When I step into a meeting with a potential client, I always come prepared with their logo and a branding questionnaire, aiming to obtain specific information about their business. In fact, following are some of the questions I always ask clients:
Getting to know the Client and Brand
1. Tell me about your business and what you do?
Just describe the basics here — pretend like you’re talking to a stranger in passing who has asked you what you do.
2. What values do you want your logo and brand to communicate?
e.g. feminine vs. masculine, modern vs. classic, playful vs. serious, or simple vs. complex? Those are just a few adjectives to consider conveying in your branding. As designers, it’s our job to translate these words and concepts into brand imagery.
3. Who is your target market?
Get as specific as possible here in terms of demographics: Gender, age, income, geography, hobbies, where they shop, their favorite brands, etc. These insights will help your designer figure out the proper logo design.
More About the Logo Design Itself
1. Do you have any ideas or examples of other logos you like?
It’s always good to provide appealing design samples to help your graphic designer get a sense of the style you’re after. Let them know any color choices or font styles you may want as well. Also (perhaps most importantly), make sure to also tell your designer what you don’t want to see in your branding.
2. What is your ideal logo?
Unsurprisingly, there are an abundance of choices for different logo styles and designs: Typographic, Pictorial Mark, Abstract Mark, Letter Form, Emblem, Character and/or Web Form. If any of those peak your interest, you should let your designer know.
3. Where will you be using the logo (i.e. stationery, websites, signage, T-shirts)?
Although it may not seem very important, the answer to this question could end up affecting your logo design in a big way. For instance, your designer may take an entirely different approach if your logo is primarily going to be used online vs. on signage or T-shirts. What’s more, you can also use your answer to this question to plant the notion of continuing work with the designer for additional projects down the road.
Answering this brief questionnaire as thoroughly and accurately as possible ensures that you’ll get the best possible final product. A stunning logo has certain qualities that the designer should be aware of, and having answers to the foregoing questions will really help get the ball rolling on an awesome brand.