So, you have come to the realization that your 10 year-old logo is starting to look a little dated and that it’s time for a fresh new look in order to take your business to the next level. You are now faced with the crucial task of finding someone who will guide you through that terrifying and exciting journey of change and innovation. Here are some things to look out for when picking a branding specialist / designer.
You like their work
First thing, first, you need to like the work they have produced so far. Look at the brands that they have worked with and see if you like their style. It doesn’t mean you have to find a look that would fit you in their pre-existing work, but it is a good sign if you like what they have done for others.
They come recommended
Word of mouth is still one of the most reliable ways of finding good help. Ask your friends and colleagues whether they know a good graphic designer. It doesn’t mean that designer will necessarily be right for you but it might help steer your search in the right direction.
You click with them
Once you have found something that you think you like the sound of, arrange to meet with them in person or schedule a Skype call. How do they talk? Look? Do they get you or do you keep feeling misunderstood? Do you feel like you could chat for hours or are you in a rush to get out of the meeting? Although it might not be key when you are looking for a plumber or cheesemonger, feeling right at home with someone who is going to redesign your brand is of the utmost importance. Also bear in mind that for this type of work, geography doesn’t matter. With new technology, you can easily have a good working relationship with someone you can’t actually meet in person.
They fit your budget
Be realistic about what you need and what. Just a quick logo? Or a whole rebrand for a new professional you? If you want a quick logo for a couple of hundred dollars, don’t seek out someone who normally charges more and then try to haggle. That will only lead to both parties feeling frustrated. Equally if you would like a bespoke rebrand, don’t try to save pennies by going for an amateur or a student with limited experience. Better spend a reasonable amount and love your new look, rather than make do with a mediocre result you will be stuck with for years.
They are professional
As a graphic designer, people often comment on how good I am at responding to emails in a timely manner and how surprised they are that I’ve got my head on my shoulders. Why do people assume that creative has to be synonym with disorganized? Look for someone who knows how to spell, who can draw up a clear proposal and who responds when they say they will. They are not sacrificing their creativity to do so. You can expect as much.
They can deliver what you need them to
You are looking for a vector logo but the designer will only deliver a logo designed in Photoshop – run a mile! Equally if you are looking for a web designer, make sure the person can code. However don’t be put off if you need a logo and branding and the designer slips that 3D animation is not their thing. Have a vague idea of what files you want delivered in the end and make sure the designer knows what they are (you might be surprised). But a look out for a “jack of all trades, master of non” type of character too! There is a fine line between having a real specialist and someone who just doesn’t have enough technical knowledge.
Take your time researching the right person to take you on a branding journey. You might need to meet a few different people before you find the right one, but when you do, you will be so glad you took the time to research properly. Once you the one, you will be all the more comfortable entrusting them with your new image.