10 Logo Design Questions Freelance Designers Should Ask New Clients
A logo is an essential part of a company’s brand. It represents their business across many mediums and will have a direct impact on their overall success. Therefore, it's imperative that when designing a new logo, it not only works well for them, but sells their products and keeps their business booming.
As simple as some of these pieces advice may seem, they are surprisingly useful to keep in mind when working with new clients.
Prior to creating a logo, it's best to put together and discuss a brief. This brief should have plenty of detail about what the client is looking to communicate. There are quite a few considerations that need to be made so that there is optimal understanding about which path you're going to go down. Below are the top 10 questions you need to ask your client before putting pen to paper.
1. What is the industry?
The shape, structure and layout of a logo should be instantly recognisable and have connotations that reflect the industry it represents. For example, a children’s toy company are likely to need child-friendly graphics with curvy letters and bold colours, where as a beauty or healthcare business will require a cleaner, crisper look. Have a good understanding of the industry before starting a design.
2. What's the target customer demographic?
The logo style needs to be relatable to the people it's aimed at. This means that everything from font and colour schemes to the wording in a tag line should be directed at a specific audience. Generic logos can fail to deliver such specific messages, resulting in a loss of interest. Therefore, ask your client to give you an idea of what their ‘typical’ customer looks like. Is the brand aimed at women? Men? What age group? Any particular ethnicity? What would be their average earnings? Once you have a visual image of the customer, you will be able to create a logo that says something especially to them.
Further reading: How Sprite Markets to Very Different Demographics (via CreativeLive)
3. What is the company ethos or mission?
Ask your client to state using just a few words what the overall aims and goals of the company are. What is their mission? What values do they hold close to them? Write some of the words down to keep in mind when brainstorming logo ideas. At the end of the design process, prior to submitting the work for review, take another look at the mission statement and decide whether it is encompassed through the logo. If it is, then you're likely to have a satisfied customer.
4. What makes the company different and unique?
To get an answer to this question, it's good to ask the client to compare her business to similar competitors and talk about the brand’s unique selling points. It's important to know why they think they stand out so that the logo has a chance of reflecting their individuality.
5. What kind of impression do they want to make?
Does the company want to come across as reliable? Trustworthy? Fun? Different? Playful? Serious? The characteristics of a law firm that deal with personal injury claims is likely to give out a different vibe to a children’s entertainment business. Therefore, discuss how they want their audience to feel when they see the logo. You can begin to shape the design around the image they want to portray at first glance.
6. Do they have a favourite colour?
With every colour comes a connotation. The psychology of colour schemes affects our day to day lives. While you may have a good indication of what colours work well, don't forget to ask your client what his or her preferences are. Even if you detest the colour pink, if they say it's an important shade to factor in, then you'll need to work with this from the offset. There's nothing worse than handing in an excellent black and white design only to find that you client wanted the entire thing in royal blue. Equally, find out if there are any colours that they absolutely hate, to ensure you avoid those at all costs.
7. What kind of layout do they want?
There are so many layouts to choose from. While you may have a few favourites, it's important to discuss the full range of options with the client before commencing a job. They may not know all the lingo, so to remain clear, give them some visual examples of the options available.
8. What timescales are they expecting?
Some designs take longer than others, especially if you're being asked to produce several formats or need to produce multiple revisions. To save time, ensure that the brief is fully agreed upon from the offset. Then, ask your client if they have a particular deadline in mind for the project to be completed by. From there, you can discuss whether that is do-able.
9. How many different formats will be required?
Often, several formats are needed for one logo job. The client may not known the technical names of these, so make it really clear what each format is for. Ask them where they intend to display their logo, for example on their website, on a Facebook page, on a business card etc. Once you know this, it'll be easier to a) quote the client and b) give an accurate timescale.
10. Who are the competitors?
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer! Get to know the competition. Look at their websites, logos, themes, styles, graphics and colour schemes. In order to do this, you'll need a list from your client. Become a private detective for a couple of hours and hone in on what's already out there, and how you can make something original and superior.
Further reading: Logos of the top 100 largest companies in the world (Via Postashio)
The communication between you and your new client is the foundation in building a successful and relevant logo. It's critical to have a deep knowledge of the target audience, company preferences, competitors and ideal first impressions so that you can be sure from the offset that you'll create a logo that your client is happy with.
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