November 13th, 2018 BY Douglas Lober

Should You Hire a Logo Designer? 4 Factors to Consider

A logo is a crucial element in any brand, and indeed any business. Think about the logos we recognize without thinking twice: The dual-toned abstract shape of Pepsi. The cute little bird symbolizing Twitter. The bold letters that characterize Levi’s jeans, and have for decades.

Unfortunately, recognizing big-name logos and coming up with your own mark to last the ages are two very different things. As anyone who has ever tried to design a mark themselves has discovered – and that includes pretty much all small business owners or marketing department heads – it’s not nearly as easy as you think. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not important.

The Power of Logos: A Brief Look at the Numbers

“Startups and small businesses communicate through their names, logos, and messaging,” explains Crowdspring. “It’s becoming increasingly important to have a strong brand (for example, there are over 30 million small businesses on Facebook alone), a recognizable name, and a logo that rises above the rest.”

The power of logos is abundantly clear in today’s world: “Recognition equals value: out of 40 million images posted to Instagram every day, over 10,000 of them are of the Starbucks logo – and for the most part, not on purpose,” continues the article. That’s crazy, especially when you consider that it only takes between five and seven impressions for people to remember a logo. For anyone who DOESN’T yet know the Starbucks mermaid, they soon will.

Obviously, you need to get in on the action. But, given the critical importance of logos, it’s probably best to bring a professional logo designer on board to do the job for you. It’s a big decision, though, because not only do pro designers often charge a pretty penny, you’re also putting your brand into their hands. With such a sizable commitment, there are several factors to keep in mind:

Whether You Already Have a Logo

The first question to ask yourself is whether you already have a logo. If you’re a new company, you probably don’t yet. You might even be well-established, with plenty of business and limited time for “another project.”

Don’t make the mistake of thinking your services speak for themselves, though: A recognizable stamp will significantly increase the likelihood that former clients and customers will return to you. Maybe they see your mark on a folder in their filing cabinet, or a keychain fob or a reusable bag, and that jogs them to get back in touch with you. Or maybe someone else sees it, kicking off that journey toward logo recognition. As long as it’s modern and meaningful, that is.

Now, if you do have a logo, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel just because you’re launching a new marketing campaign. There are a lot of reasons to stick with a logo you already have, including:

  • A quality mark that you already paid good money for
  • An already fleshed-out brand design that you can use in your marketing efforts
  • Considerable brand recognition of your current mark
  • Significant penetration of your existing logo, from websites to cards to signage

In other words, if it would cost so much money to redo your logo that you feel financial concerns, maybe skip it for now. On the other hand, don’t let money stop you out of hand; sometimes poor brand recognition is costlier than that upfront outlay, so choose carefully.

If you don’t have a logo yet, there is only one answer: Get it now.

Whether Anyone on Your Team Has the Necessary Skills

Next question is, should you do it yourself? Again, this is a mistake many people make. “How hard can it be?” they think. “I just choose some colors and shapes, words and punctuation and I’m done? Easy peasy.”

Not so fast. While creating a logo is easy, creating one that actually works to engender brand recognition and bring in consistent business is another matter. A good logo designer needs a solid understanding of:

  • Common colors and themes in your niche industry
  • “Red lights” in logos, such as improper colors, shapes, unintentional hidden messaging and more
  • What the competition is doing and how to distinguish yourself

If you or a team member can’t honestly say you have the experience, outsource.

Whether You Need ONLY a Logo Designer

Sometimes, a logo designer isn’t enough. If you’re doing a complete brand overhaul, don’t hire a specialist instead of a generalist. Sometimes you need a graphic design company that also offers web design and development, print expertise and overarching visual marketing knowledge.

Spend some time thinking about whether a logo is enough for you right now, or if you need the works. If the latter is the case, it’s best to source all your services under one roof.

Whether Now Is the Right Time

Logos are a gateway to brand recognition, making a faster and stronger impression on your prospects, clients and customers than mere words ever can. In fact, our brains recognize images 60,000 times faster than words, Crowdspring reports, making this a can’t-miss task on your to-do list.

That said, there’s always timing to consider. Even if you’ve decided you do need a logo, that you should hire outside your company and that you need other branded collateral as well, that doesn’t mean you should go for it immediately. It’s not always the right time to make a big switch, especially if you’re already an established company.

For instance, consider a retail shop. Labor Day sales are one of the high points of the year, and making a brand switch right before you send out your coupons can confuse customers, making them less likely to show up on your doorstep. Ditto tax preparers, who most definitely shouldn’t roll out new branding campaigns on January 1st.

Instead, wait until you have some breathing space and can implement your new brand with clear messaging. Email your audience, take time to saturate your company with the new mark (website, cards, pamphlets, promo products, etc.) and make sure it gets off on the right foot.

Questions? We’re always happy to offer free branding advice, so get in touch with our team today!