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In this post I'll provide some basic, but useful, advice for clients who are looking to find and hire a logo designer on Google, and the Website in General

If there is one thing I know for certain? It's that it must be a complete nightmare to hire a logo designer that 'ticks all the boxes', not because there are so few of us logo designers around: it's actually the complete opposite.

There are gazillions of potential logo designer candidates worldwide: all of varying skill levels, some with years of experience and some none at all; some experienced without any academic qualifications, and some with; some with a unique 'signature' design style, and others who are very adaptable; some that are cheap, mid-priced, and others that pitch higher than usual.

I really don't know what 'the' usual price level is for logo designers given the sheer scope of factors that can and do determine how much a logo designer can, should, does, or doesn't charge

Some are local for a given search, and some will be geographically challenged; some talented logo designers simply don't advertise, or make it easy to be found, whilst some logo designers have the marketing, advertising, social networking savvy that makes it easier for them to be found; some are well-known, and some are not; and so on.

Just to be clear: I am mostly talking about the self-employed/freelance logo designer, not so much the hobbyist, or indeed the larger design studio/agency. 

However, it's certainly a travesty that certain logo design shops tend to dominate Google's (and other search engines) top rankings, as well as completely gobbling up the sponsored ad spots, which must cost them a complete fortune to run day-after-day-after-day (I can barely afford the minimum for one day).

Typical search terms, like: "logo designer", "logo design", "freelance logo designer", "professional logo designer", "I need a logo designer", and so on, are invariably 'taken' for Google 1st page results.

It's Better Than it Was

For sure, things are much better on Google than they were, even just 2 or so years ago. Google has done an incredible job really, when you think about it, of clearing up the no-good-for-nothing-black-hat-gangsters looking to prey on the weak and naive.

I clearly remember thinking how on earth is someone like me will ever be found on Google: the proverbial needle in the haystack, likely at the bottom, in the middle and buried under 5ft of earth.

It's a Daunting Process To Hire a Logo Designer

It's a daunting process trying to locate a suitable logo designer for your needs, made even harder when you have to negotiate and filter out logo design 'battery farms'.  You may be looking for a certain type of designer, or looking for a company local to you.

Yet, whatever you search for in Google, you are faced with the many number of search results focusing on the latest marketing buzz hook: 'free logo designs', 'logo designers for $5', 'create your own logo for free online', '300% Guarantee', 'professional logo design for £19.99 in under 24 hours', 'bronze package', 'silver package', 'carbon fibre with titanium and moon rock dust package'.

I need to emphasise that not all the 'package deal' options are to be avoided, far from it. But this is part of the problem, some of these package-dealers try hard to look respectable, genuine and honest, and often succeed in doing so.

Being discovered is seemingly the hardest challenge for the: solo, self-employed, small studio logo designer. The genuine, the sincere, the passionate logo designer will likely not have the funds, resources and audacity, needed to prise themselves to top of the 1st page of search results.

Look Past the 1st Page

All these search results seem to take up the first page, you may be lucky and find a respectable and very reputable logo design studio/agency dotted the 1st page of results, but it helps to know what you are looking for, and what specifically one should avoid.

Unless you are familiar with graphic design, and have inside track on the logo design industry, you may find yourself out-manned, and out-gunned, and very quickly out-financed.

You may end up exhausted and frustrated in your search, giving up and opting to go with a logo designer that you just hope will deliver. The promise of that 'Titanium Package with unlimited tweaks, designed in 24 hours and only costing you a fantastically cheap rate of £49.99' seems to good to be true.

If you're needs are small, and you simply don't care much for quality, then you'll be serviced just fine, but if you feel the logo and identity is important to you, then it's unlikely the cheap options, but the ones that you'll be served up on the 1st page, will indeed deliver.

Picking up the Pieces

In recent years, I have found myself, more and more, picking up the pieces for a number of clients who thought they'd try their luck with the cheaper logo design option, or crowd sourcing site, such as 99Designs.

Invariably, after being served up their 3-5 logo ideas, they realise how utterly disappointing the experience has been. Then it's usually a case of having to pay yet more money to now find a more competent, and personable, logo designer.

It's quite gutting for me to see the sort of work they were presented, you can just hear the utter disappointment in the their voices. The realisation of how far behind schedule they are, and now having to pay all over again.

Some General Advice to Hire a Logo Designer

The best advice I can give, without sounding too 'use me, use me' is to not rush any part of this process of finding a logo designer to work with. If you are genuinely short of time, then the first option below could be the life saver you need.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations are valuable, if you know of someone who had a logo designed, then ask them for a name. Twitter is perfect for this sort of method, as word-of-mouth quickly spreads, and you could have a interesting mix of contacts to check out.

GOOGLE
Ultimately, and this really is the moral and purpose of this post: Don't give up looking on Google once you reach the end of Page 1. I can assure you: if you spend time looking through pages: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and onwards, you'll come across some truly talented logo designers.

Just because a logo designer does not appear on page 1 of your favourite search engine, it certainly does not mean they should be ignored. If anything, it's this reason that they ought to be given more of your time.

"Poor Google rankings, and placement, is by no means a reflection on the integrity, skill and reputation of a logo designer."

I know many talented designers that probably don't come even in the first 5 pages of search results.

A GOOD FIT
And this is the thing, try to find a logo designer that is a good fit for you, not just visually but also from a personality point of view. The more you can 'gel' with a designer, the better the whole process and the more likely you will have a logo designer prepared to bend over backwards for you.

That level of commitment in a designer just can't be bought. It is a partnership.

COMMUNICATION
A designer who is prepared to talk on the phone, who is relatively transparent in the area of communication and contact is a positive sign, but not all designers can or will spend hours on the phone with their client. This is down to you, go for a designer that feels right for you. You may be OK with not needing to talk on the phone to discuss progress, or you may be someone that needs that level of feedback and interaction.

To Conclude

Many logo designers are keen social media junkies, actively contributing to the design community, writing and posting on their own blogs, chatting with other like minded designers on Twitter and Facebook.

You'll find some super talented logo designers on Flickr, just browser through some of the popular Groups, even basic search queries will provide some good results to check out. Dribbble is another major creative platform that should certainly result in finding a suitable designer to work with.

There are heaps of external portfolio sites, such as Behance, Iconify etc, that specialise in showcasing logo and brand identity projects, and these provide a proverbial gold-mine of talented designers to pick from.

Don't rush your search to hire a logo designer, but do try to be a little more selective on where you conduct the search.

If it's Google, then you'll be rewarded if you generally scoot pass the 1st page of results.

Don't ignore the 1st page, as it depends completely on your search term, but do allow yourself time to give the next few pages of results some of your time.

We are everywhere, if you know where to look.




The Expectation  Of Value & Quantity With Hiring Freelance Logo Designers

The Expectation Of Value & Quantity With Hiring Freelance Logo Designers

Just had to add my own thoughts to the excellent article over at IDApostle by Steve Zelle:  Logo Design and the Misconceptions of Unlimited Choice with freelance logo designers.

Steve touches on some excellent points that we could all do with being aware of in a very concise article. I'm just going to add my side and expand on what Steve has written.

Value = Choice?

As consumers we often associate 'value' by what we are getting in return, and that in spending our cash we have a notion that value often equals quantity, choice, selection and variety etc. If we don't get the choice or selection we were expecting, or assumed to be to be getting, then we can feel we didn't get value for money.

Logo design is one area where this illusion/expectation of: choice, selection and variety equals value.

Online logo sweat shops—I can't even bring myself to call them logo designers—offer unlimited choice and reversions until the client is pleased. This is wrong on so many levels and I urge you to read the article by Steve if you have not done so already.

Logo Design Is Not About Choice

Logo design is not about getting a mammouth choice or selection of ideas to choose from. That's not where the value is. The value is what you are getting as a finished design by the logo designer your hired. If you feel the freelancer logo designer has failed you by not offering a selection of ideas then you don't quite grasp the notion of what you are asking that designer to do for you in the first place, as well as the designer being at fault for not setting expectations clearly at the outset.

One Idea

I am a firm believer in working hard to find that one winning idea from the outset rather than laying out a pretty selection of 4-6 differing ideas. This idea I will present can sometimes be the first idea or it can be the result of many sketches and brainstorming sessions. I have to be 100% behind this idea before showing any part of it to the client. If after the presentation the client has valid reasons for not liking it or not finding it appropriate then we start again.

To put your valuable time in finding 4-6 different ideas from the outset I believe, as does Steve, is a colossal waste of time and energy which would be better spent finding that one winning idea and perfecting it.

When Hiring Freelance Logo Designers

When you hire a logo designer try not to associate overall value of your investment by how ever many ideas and variations you might be getting ready to see. The value of what you are getting is not directly related to quantity but IS related to quality, and this expectation should be set out from the outset.

A very famous logo designer going by the name of Paul Rand had the right idea, and I briefly talk about his process in this article: Paul Rand Has The Right Idea Design One Logo Only.

One of the quotes by Paul that I particularly find interesting is:

"Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations."

Apply that line of thought to client expectations, ensuring that their expectations are modest from the outset, can only be a good thing for the end goal and overall sanity of both designer and client.

If you are confident about what you do then you should have no problem in steering your client towards an acceptable and agreeable expectation of value for money. The value is a logo design that reflects your business/product/company/consultancy in a suitable and appropriate way.

As Steve points out: Invest in the (designer-client) relationship, and a talented and well informed designer will deliver the one effective solution you need.

Hiring Freelance Logo Designers

Pinning down these details is all the more important if you are self-employed or work freelance as a logo designer. Being able to focus your energies on the main idea at hand is so much more productive and beneficial to your energy and motivation than trying to come up with the first round of 4-6 differing concepts.

Even if you can come up with 4 awesome ideas this doesn't particularly prove anything, or helps you in any perceivable way–except if you like showing off how cool you are with your fast and creative spinning mind. I'd much rather have one awesome idea on the table, one that I have put everything into, than trying to choose one of many.

In the post about Paul Rand I show a few examples where I have focused my energies on early ideas rather than try and impress my client with a selection. In all these cases the client was happy and we were able to spend every minutes tweaking and perfecting it rather than play spin-the-bottle.

It's up to you to change this expectation to something more humbling and modest just as Paul Rand hints to.

But It's Not Always That Simple

This isn't to say that this notion of only working on one idea is always feasible or workable. I still end up getting sucked into a project where my best ideas were turned down and I end up desperate to please. This will mean I might be 20 even 40+ ideas into the project with no end in sight.

This is the worst possible place to be but can be hard to drag yourself out of. Standing your ground with a client can be tricky and uncomfortable at the best of times so this is why it is so very crucial to lay down expecations right at the beginning and try try try not to deviate from that.

If you often find yourself with a reasonably clear idea or thought for a logo design at the beginning then you ought to consider making this the rule rather than the exception and adjust your work-flow accordingly.

Quite often I will get an email from a new client where they are looking forward to seeing a number of ideas. When I get such an email then I will have to reply back and re-calibrate their expectations. It is often hard for a client to accept the idea that they might only get to see one idea with a few variations but this comes down to you the designer to convince them and make them feel secure that this is how it is done.

If Not The 1st Time

It's important to stress that if the client has valid and genuine concerns over this first big idea, that it's so far off the reservation that it's in another solar system, then you will of course listen and re-calibrate your own vision.

It happens and just means that your initial perception or understanding of the brief was just way of, and hopefully the next time round you will be much closer to hitting the target. It's about setting expectations, being firm, and also giving the reassurance that you are also fair, reasonable and realistic.

What's The Aim

The overall aim with the idea of focusing on one general direction opposed to providing 4-6 different ideas is: a client unable to choose or tell which is the right option out of their choices; choices are notoriously hard at the best of times so asking a client to make a choice like this can lead to frustation and confusion; to focus the designers mind on working with that one direction and taking it all the way rather than splitting their focus x6; it forces the designer to really work on understanding the company and the brief in order to best meet the clients' requirements and satisfy any of their personal preferences; wastage of funds based on 3-5 unused ideas that took time and energy to put together, so far better to exert that time and energy in better understanding the brief and their needs the first time around; not having to explain to the client why all 4-6 of your ideas are perfect and worthy of their consideration because they're probably not, so why did you do them?

To end with.

A designer is not always right and equally the client is not always right. There is room on both sides for the mid-ground.









Two Free Fonts from Pablo

More free fonts added to the ImJustCreative free and opensource font library. This time a double helping from Pablo Caro, with two interesting styles to choose from. One being a rounded geometric font and the other a very cool, paint brushed effect slab serif. Read on and download for free.

Bola Font

Bola Font Designed by

Pablo Caro - http://www.nuevostudio.com

About

Bola is yet another chunky geometric font like many others out there! I didn't wanna be left behind so here it is

Download

Download Bola and use for free

Tiza Font

 

Tiza Font Designed by

Pablo Caro - http://www.nuevostudio.com

About

Tiza is a font developed as a means of learning Font design software. It is inspired on the lovely slab-serif Giza . It has been recently used on the website for the Teen Choice Awards 2008... "like,OMG!"

Download

Download Tiza and use for free

 

Link Credit

I was made aware of this font by FreeTypography.com  

imjustcreative-54

Not Any Old Free Font Will Do

Releasing free versions from a commercial family is a great idea, and it has seen me buy the remaining family on a number of occasions. The most noticeable example was Museo. Being a freelance logo designer, finding quality and unique 'free' fonts for that next logo project can be a struggle. Whilst there are 1000's available, many are poor in quality and feel. Finding those 'special' free and open-source fonts is something of a past-time for me. Here on ImJustCreative, I am trying to find the fonts that are that little bit special, for any number of reasons. Not any old free font will do.

Colophon

If you like this post and like the general idea of what ImJustCreative is all about, then would be sweet if you would consider signing up to my free Newsletter, powered by RSS and email. No spam of unsolicited correspondence, just updates from this website as and when they occur. No updates, then no email. Finally, if you do need any kind of logo and brand identity design, then take a peek at my home page for further information on how to hire me, contact details and prices.