Aristotle believed that the eye is where our perceptions begin. Processing information visually allows us to recognize, interpret, understand and recall what we see. As a result, branding is strongly connected to visual identity, paving the way for thousands of graphic designers.
When you are creating your visual identity, or more specifically your logo, I would recommend seeking out a professional. They can help you to develop a cohesive visual brand, freeing you to focus on other aspects of your business. Make sure that your designer takes the time to understand the vision of your company and the messages you are seeking to communicate. Ensure that all parties agree upfront and in writing about the design and payment process. For example, the designer may initially provide you with a number of prototypes to choose from, but they may charge you for subsequent changes to those designs. It is also important to establish ownership of the work. In the future, will you have the right to make changes to that logo without their permission? Understanding these issues can save you loads of time and money in the future.
If you are working on a tight budget, consider contacting your local design schools (click here for American schools) to connect with a student who is wanting to expand their portfolio. As usual, I would also recommend trading (Zoe and I are big fans). Over pancakes on Friday I learned that my lovely friend, Tricia Kawahara of Inspiration Training, is having her designer do her logo in exchange for personal training. You do need to balance out what your time is worth, but trading can really cut down on your expenses.
Occasionally, however, serendipity intervenes and you wind up with a product without having to consult an expert. This was the case with Loaded Bow. Zoe and I were so happy to have the amazing Jeremy Crowle shoot LB’s images. I was so excited when we got them back that I couldn’t sleep. I found myself playing with Microsoft Picture It! at 2 AM (I can actually hear my design friends cringing right now. Microsoft??! On a PC??!). I was fooling around with photo finishes and accidentally turned this image (below) into our logo (above).
Loaded Bow Image
A few minutes later we had our thank you card
and business card
So there is something to be said about taking the time to PLAY. But regardless of which route you choose, choose the final product wisely because it is a significant investment in your brand.