I don’t think anyone when anyone orders a logo that they start out thinking ‘You know what, I really just want a mediocre design’.
Sadly, if your logo design brief isn’t up to scratch then it can be close to inevitable that that is what you’ll get.
How can you tell that your brief may be lacking?
Well, there are several things you can look out for.
#1 – Don’t be vague
Because your designer can’t read your mind you have to help us to fill in the blanks. Be as specific and give as much detail as you can.
Because the number one thing you should never do when writing a design brief is to be vague.
A vague brief means that your designer has to rely on assumptions based on very little information. This usually leads to a very generic looking logo that will suffice – because a good logo needs more information.
#2 – Don’t be contradictory
“I want something that is dark and edgy, but still professional – and using light colours like white, and pale grey”
Huh? Sounds a bit contradictory doesn’t it? And yet it is easily done – a lot of the time it is just a miscommunication issue where what you’ve said does make perfect sense if explained over the phone.
The trouble is the written brief has to be the master plan and the reference book. If a contradiction gets missed that means your designer ends up with what is basically a vague brief (and they’ll probably be confused to boot).
#3 – Don’t specify too much of the design
It’s great to have a vision but if you’re going to specify every single detail of your design from the shape, images, fonts and colours then you might be going overboard.
It is great to be specific in a few details that are important to you, but know that a professional designer understands the best way to portray you visually based facts about your company and the feel you are going for. It is actually harder to create a good design if you describe exactly what you want to see but leave out that vital information.
# 4 – Don’t forget about the future
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. True in exams, true in life, and also true with design – particularly when it comes to looking ahead to the future.
A logo that doesn’t take into account your needs for the future is either going to hold you back, restrict you or mean you have to retire it early. Whether this means realising that you’ll soon be branding up a fleet of vans so you’ll need something that works in that context, or that you’ll be bringing out a new service that will change how you market your services.
The more of this kind of detail you can tell your designer the better – this is an important part of your brief specification and means you will be prepared with the logo files and sizes that you need for many years to come.
#5 – Don’t focus on the latest trends
Modernity isn’t everything. The best logos are actually creatures of longevity – so following fashions can actually have a negative effect. The best thing to look at is what you can do to make your logo timeless and simple.
Following the fashions and trends of the design world is just like to mean you end up with a logo that will be dated by the time 2014 rolls around.
What you should do when you write your brief
Luckily, it is easy to write a good quality logo design brief – it just takes a little bit of initial thinking and planning. We’ve got a number of great resources on this including a guide to help you with your brand values, places to get creative inspiration, and a guide on what to include in your brief itself to make it really strong.
Would you like some more advice? Did you know you can tweet us your questions on design and marketing? Just send your question to @britishlogos
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