The key to creating a successful logo is good communication with the customer. In order to provide the client with a variety of logos to choose from, it is very important for a designer to understand said client’s preferences. The only way to accomplish this is to ask the right questions, such as…
1. a. What is the name of your company?
Often, the name of the company will play a major role in deciding what will be represented on the logo – sometimes, the name itself is the logo. Even if that is not the case, the name of the company is incorporated into the logo more often than not. Even the simple question of whether the company’s name is long or short plays a major role in deciding the type of logo to be created.
b. Which words in the company name do you want to emphasize?
If the company name consists of multiple words, the client may not wish to give equal billing to all of them, especially since that might make an unnecessarily long logo. Some words will be made to stand out while others will be given minimal priority.
2. Do you want to include a tagline into the logo?
Adding taglines to a logo can help your target market understand who you are in more detail, why they should work with you. They make the logo cumbersome and we offer a solution to include the logo with and without the tagline to be used appropriately. On a website, you won’t need the tag line but on the printed literature, it is often good to include the tag line.
3. What field are you in?
Different businesses call for different logos. For example, IT or Technology logos are usually all straight lines, hi-tech looking and include geometric shapes, while food companies prefer colourful logos with smooth and curvy shapes. A single glance at the logo should be enough to understand what the company does and what it’s all about.
4. Who is your target market?
The logo has to look attractive not only to the client but to the client’s own customers. Different age groups have different tastes. This is why logos for kids’ toy companies, for instance, are almost always very bright and colourful and would have been considered overly garish for most other types of companies.
5. a What distinguishes you from other companies in this field?
This can be as important as the field of the business itself. There are thousands of companies in each sector of the market, but every logo needs to be unique. One possible way to achieve this is to base a logo around the specificities of a company. If it has something distinguishing it from its competitors, you can base the logo on exactly that.
b. Who are your competitors (what do you think about their logo) Do you like any of their logos?
It’s much simpler to design a logo that sets the company apart from the competitor if you understand what the client likes and dislikes about other logos in their field.
6. What colours do you want or not want to be used in your logo?
If a client dislikes green, then it does not matter whether you think it would be the most appropriate colour to use for their logo – if you make the logo green, it will simply not satisfy the customer.
7. Should the logo include an icon like the Nike tick or an actual human silhouette?
The three options below show the types of logos that include icons. A. the company’s initials or Monogram. B. a graphic related to their business/company name, or C. abstract graphic.
8. What logo layout do you prefer?
Some logos are fully text-based, some have a graphic incorporated into the text, and in some, the graphic is separate from the text. Additionally, there are also logos made to resemble seals or badges. Make sure to ask your clients which of these layouts they prefer.
9. Where will your logo be displayed?
Website, business cards, promotional products… The logo has to “work” in each and every location it will adorn. If a company intends to make a lot of promotional products, then the logo should be easy to reproduce on any medium (pens, mugs, clothing)
Logos intended solely for web use can have gradients and a wide colour palette, while embroidery calls for simpler logos, with up to 3 colours.
10. If you have existing marketing materials, graphics, icons or elements that need to be included in the logo design?
Some clients may come to you with an existing logo. It is important to ask whether they want to forget about that logo completely or whether they want to refurbish the existing logo to increase its quality. Some clients really don’t know what they want. They rely solely on you, the designer, to come up with all aspects of their logo for them. Most clients, however, will already have at least a sliver of an idea for their logo in their mind. Some may even have a clear mental image of the logo they want and just need your help to bring it into reality. By asking this simple question, you may have your work cut out for you and reduce the risk of clients disliking your logo because it does not fit with what they had in mind.
No designer is a psychic, so getting into a client’s mind is not an easy task. However, with your clients’ responses to these questions, you should gain enough understanding of their taste in logos to design a selection of samples they just might have a hard time picking a favourite from!
About the Author:
Logos have always been a source of passion for Katherine McAdam. She started her business Brand Magic in 2008 to help local business create a strong brand identity for their businesses. Her motto is “Total Quality Management!”