I’ve spent much of my graphic design career designing logos for small businesses. As a graphic designer and a small business person myself it is important to me to help the business identify qualities that distinguish it from its competition. I want them to have a unique identity for their branding. While a visually appealing logo is important, there are many other things to consider that will play an important role down the road.
While you think it might be a great idea to hire a friend or family member who dabbles in graphic design (and are usually very inexpensive or even free) to design your company logo, the logo typically ends up becoming more expensive in the long run with the amount of revisions needed in order to come to a satisfying result. You are more likely to encounter issues such as design quality, and dealing with time delays are inevitable. They may also not have the technical knowledge to create stellar work. Regardless of where you find your logo designer, make sure you examine their portfolio and consider the following guidelines:
A (vector). pdf of the logo.
A (vector). eps of the logo.
A large, high-resolution jpg of the logo, and smaller jpg for use on smaller printed items.
I include these plus a number of other formats, and I include a file that is formatted to social media profile standards, as those can be a bit tricky.
Keep your final files on a thumb drive or stored safely on your computer. Future printers, web designers, graphic logo designers and promotional product manufacturers will need these files.
Make certain that your logo designer’s ideas meet the following design specifications (color, sizing and shape)
Color plays an important role in a logo. Ideally you should keep vibrant colors to a minimum, avoid combining colors in the same shade family, so as to create color distinction. Digital printers publish graphics just like your color inkjet or laser printer. Keeping colors to a bare minimum can save money. Publishing applications for apparel, signage and promotional products will cost more for each color. Promotional products generally have a set-up fee and a run cost per color.
Screen printing will likewise be more expensive per each color. Design a logo with one or two colors or have a version that can be used as a single color. Multi-Color Bleeding can cause various issues. If your colors are touching, that’s considered tight arrangement. Text that has an outline around it is a good example of tight arrangement.
Promotional items that are silk screened or pad printed are definitely a no-no with regards to tight arrangement. Tight arrangement can also become a problem if you are photocopying something in black and white. Two completely different colorings can look like the same coloring and become faded into a big black blob when photocopied. Avoid tight arrangement or have a version of the logo that doesn’t have any outlines or borders.
Text or lines that are too thin or small aren’t dramatic enough and can ” disappear” when published or photocopied. The small parts within a lower suit “e” and “a” can also fill-in if they are too small. When selecting your logo check to ensure that you can shrink it (or a version of it) down to 1″ broad pixel.
Shape is much more than a vertical or horizontal design. With regard to the shape of a design, you must take into consideration what is referred to the industry, as white space. Avoid design elements that layout too far away from the main focal point of the design. If your logo has a lot of unusable white space and you want to print it in a small area, the white space can prevent you from having room left for contact information that you want to include. Imagine how the logo will appear when paired with your address or website. Ask the designer to put your address blocking next to the logo as it might appear on a business card or on letterhead.