We all want our logos to represent who we are [ if it is an individual consulting firm for example ], what our company does and what we want our clients to perceive. The logo should be a good representation of all the above and more – maybe a literal representation of the culture of the country that you’re from and some more literal representations of what products and services you sell and also, maybe, a literal representation of your favorite flower. The ‘more’ can also include color preferences of the fiancé, type preferences of the partner with a larger stake in the company, style preferences of the self and so on and so forth.

Notice the ‘AND’?

If your purpose is not defined well, the possibilities to cover that ‘AND’ are never-ending and they will confound you and lead the logo designer to despair and the project to scope-creep.

If it is your first time wanting / needing a logo designed [ and usually it will be your first time – because most people start just one venture – the chances of you being a repeat client for a logo design engagement, are low ] find out what the process entails and what a logo really is.

Going to a professional logo designer without knowing what it is that you’re signing up for is going to cause grief. Not only is it going to be unwise in terms of the money you will invest, it will also create stress and the logo designer might just give in and give you a crappy logo. [ If you push us too far, the only thing suffering will be your company’s logo because you leave us no choice. ]

The idea is to find the most important ‘ANDs’. Sit down with a logo designer and discuss with them what it is that keeps you and your company going. Don’t talk only about your literal, physical, tangible products and offerings. Talk about emotion, attitude and feeling. Things you believe in. Even if your company does not currently live up to what you believe in, create a vision of where you want your company to go in the future.

Till the time you haven’t discarded everything that is redundant, important only in the short-run, colored by biases from people who have nothing to do with the business, till that time keep at it. Chip away all that is unnecessary and pick out one nugget of gold that truly speaks to you. It could be a keyword, a visual, a photograph, a person – someone well-known – a celebrity, a particular star product of the company, etc.

Take the nugget and give it to the logo designer. Explain to them all the ANDs that were discarded in the process. Partner with your logo designer to create a logo that speaks of your brand. Share your preferences in color and typography but do not push them down the logo designer’s throat. It is not wise and does not make economic sense to ask the logo designer to go through all 20,000 typefaces on their computer. [ This is easily solved by doing some preliminary research on the internet and finding out what the various kinds of typefaces / fonts are. ]

When a logo designer shares their recommendations with you, with detailed descriptions of their thought process and why they prefer certain logo concepts over the other, don’t construe it as a preaching session. The designer is only doing her job. The one that you hired her for.

[ I have developed a dislike for analogies – at the risk of oversimplification – if you call a plumber to fix a leak and the plumber proceeds to describes to you four different methods in which the leak could be plugged, you listen to them patiently and evaluate your options. Each option will have pros and cons and the plumber is making sure you are made aware of them before a solution is picked. Even if you were a plumber in the past, technology might have changed, material to be used might have become better and target audience perceptions might have changed – the market could have changed – this guy might be a better plumber than you were. ]

What you see in a logo designer’s portfolio is the client’s vision transformed into a visual that represents the brand. It usually starts out as a jumble of data and is eventually condensed into a nugget of gold.

It is important to know that as a logo designer, I can help you pick a direction and I can help pave the way for creating a visual identity for your brand – I can’t lay the foundation to create the company or the brand and I can’t create your vision for you.

You know best how to run your business and I know best how to design a logo.