If your business is ready for a brand new logo, then it is vital that you put together a detailed design brief so your graphic designer can create the perfect logo to truly represent your business, writes Shayne Tilley, head of marketing at 99designs by Vista.
There comes a time for every small business when you need to get serious about design and creating the face of your brand. You’ve already done the hard yards in building the foundations of your new venture. The natural next step is to create a logo that can help you grow and share it with the world in a memorable, engaging way.
Naturally, design is not a skill in everyone’s wheelhouse, so this is one of those times where it’s time to turn to the experts.
If this is your first brush with using professional design services, it’s understandable that you might not be sure what information you might need.
It’s important to remember that graphic designers are not mind readers! But they are expert interpreters. Their skills don’t end with their design abilities: they understand people, products, industries and how to choose appropriate aesthetics for these aspects. So the better you can help them understand your brand and who you are, the more likely they will be able to design the perfect logo for your business.
How to create the perfect design brief for your logo
Here, we’ve summarised four key considerations when putting together a design brief that will ensure your designer creates a new logo that you love, and is something that will ultimately help your brand and business kick goals.
Step 1: Collate everything you want to share your business
To create your new logo, your designer needs to know the name of your business and specifically how it is presented, as well as any tagline or slogan you want to include. But your brief needs to go way deeper than that.
Your logo is the foundation of your entire brand. Looking great is only one piece of its role. It has to also communicate who you are as a business, connect with your target customers, and stand the test of time as your business evolves.
To ensure your logo is communicating the right messages to the right people, you need to help your designer truly understand the driving force behind your business:
- What do you stand for and value?
- What is your mission?
- Who is your ideal audience?
- What do they also like and value?
- Do you plan on taking your small business global one day and need your brand to remain relevant in different markets?
The answers to these questions will translate to different design decisions and styles.
Step 2: Think about your design preferences, likes and dislikes
While a lot of the design is guided by your brand personality, industry and target audience, your preferences still play a key part in getting a logo that you love and that will stand the test of time as your business grows.
Is there a particular type of logo you like? Or maybe a design style, such as vintage or minimalist, that you would choose to embody with your brand? What about colours, fonts, imagery and graphics? Whatever preferences you have, be sure to list them clearly so your designer can take this into account when brainstorming concepts for you.
If you don’t yet know what kind of styles you like, start by looking at what other brands are doing (both in your industry and outside of it) to get a feel for what you like about their branding choices.
Similarly, it’s just as important to mention if there is anything you dislike so your designer knows what to stay away from. While you don’t want to be too prescriptive (so you can let your designer’s creative genius run free!), it is your business and you want to make sure you love the final product.
Step 3: Gather visual references
Humans, and designers in particular, are visual creatures, so the more image-based references you can share to show what you mean, the better. The goal is to create a moodboard that complements and enhances the written information you’re providing.
Whether it’s logos from brands or just certain aesthetics you’re going for, the more examples you can offer of what you like and don’t like, the more your designer will be able to narrow in on a direction to take.
If you already have brand assets that you’re wanting to update or refresh, such as a logo, website, brand colours, marketing materials, share these with your designer too so they can get a full picture of your visual brand as it stands today. Additionally, feel free to include any of your designer’s previous work that you love: it’s always great for a creative person to know you appreciate their work!
Step 4: Be clear on timing and budget
Finally, a creative brief for a logo and visual branding should always include a deadline and how much budget you have to work with.
Understandably you will have internal deadlines to meet, such as your business or product launch date, but don’t leave the design process to the last minute. The more notice you can provide your designer, the better the outcome will be, and always make sure to bake in some contingency for any extra revisions needed.
If you need a rush job, know that this will likely affect the cost – but clear up-front communication, or choosing a fixed price and structure option such as a design contest with a set timeline, will help set expectations on both sides.
On the subject of cost, being realistic about your budget is always best to ensure you select the best way to create a logo you love.
These same principles apply to any design you want to create for your small business, whether that’s for branding, website, merchandise or signage. Your designer knows design. But you know your business better than anyone else, so as long as you can arm them with all of the above information, you’re likely to get a brilliant logo that will do your business justice.
Want more? Get our newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! Follow Kochie’s Business Builders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Now read this: