When it comes to ensuring the success of your business, one of the main factors every business should consider is their logo and branding.
Your logo is your online identity and is one of the most valuable assets any business can have, yet there are some very important things that every business owner should be aware of when either creating a new logo or purchasing a business with an existing logo or brand.
Choosing the right logo designer.
Type ‘sunshine coast logo design’ into Google and you’ll be inundated with logo design companies, plus a lot of Google advertising, offering logos from as low as $60.
Sure, cheap is nice when you are starting out, but do you really know what you are getting for that price?
If you are going for cheap, or any price for that matter, here are a few points you need to ask your logo design company:
1. Is the logo designer local.
Chances are someone that can produce a logo for under $100 is usually outsourcing to an overseas company, which means if you ever need to contact them regarding changes to your logo or other brand related issues, they may not be around in 12 months. If for instance, your computer crashed and you didn’t have another copy of your logo saved, could you contact your designer for a copy of it?
2. Is my logo unique or based on a template?
Many cheaper logo designs are not always unique logos, which some businesses are fine with. Some logos might be based on a stock library template, which means if you ever need to trademark your logo you may run into difficulties, it may not list well on Google’s image search, which means you lessen your chances of visitor traffic, and thirdly, your logo may be identical to another business owner’s design…possibly even a competitor! Now, that could be a little awkward.
3. What files am I supplied with upon completion of my logo?
As a logo designer myself, it always amazes me when I have someone ask for me to design a brochure or website and they only have a JPEG image of their logo, because that is all they were supplied with. A good logo designer will provide your logo in all common formats, including AI, EPS, TIFF, JPEG, PDF, and in both mono, greyscale, CMYK and PMS colours. This means that no matter the medium you need to use your logo for, whether it be a business card, press ad, brochure, website, signage or even uniforms, you’ll always have the right format available to supply.
Most logo designers will also offer you the opportunity to a Style Guide or Visual Style Manual (VSM) which outlines the elements of your logo as well as a breakdown of your logo colours, which makes it so much easier for signwriters, printers, etc to match your colours exactly when they need to, ensuring brand consistency.
When we look at the large corporate brands such as McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Microsoft, their logos and brand colours are always precisely exact to ensure 100% brand consistency, which is the core essence of a successful, powerful brand.
4. Who owns your brand or logo?
You’d think this would be a very easy question to answer, but in fact by law the creator of the logo actually owns the intellectual property of your logo, even after you have paid for it. At Smartfish we don’t believe this is right, so we actually hand over full ownership of the logo, in writing, to logo customers upon payment, so they have full 100% ownership of their logo.
There have been legal cases where owners have had to challenge their logo design companies as elements of their logo have been used in other logos, and technically this is allowed if you have not been assigned ownership of your own logo.
You should also ensure you have ownership of your own design to ensure you own the full trademark of your design if you register it.
Just because you have paid your logo designer doesn’t necessarily mean you own it!
5. Who owns the logo design concepts?
In most cases, unless you have an agreement with your logo designer, you only have the rights to the final logo you have paid for. Many logo designers will do 20+ design concepts in the process of developing the final perfected logo, and they have the right to sell those concepts as logos to other clients if they wish, unless you have requested ownership of the entire design process, which will usually be charged accordingly. If you were to use the concept logos without the designers permission then you are legally infringing their intellectual property which is actually a criminal offence. The same law applies to any create work, whether it be music, photography, brochure design, art or even fashion design.
So when you are looking for your next logo design, ensure you have discussed these with your designer proper to commencement to ensure you don’t encounter any possibly issues with your business branding later on that could affect the success of your business.
About the Author:
Chris Bourke is a graphic design and web developer at Smartfish Creative, born and bred on the Sunshine Coast, with over 20 years experience in professional logo design and branding.