View Full Version : Logo Brief: what do I need to tell a designer?

Aug 20, 2007, 06:56 AM
Hi guys,

I'm about to go on the hunt for a logo designer for a little project of mine. I don't have much money for it so I need to be as succinct as possible in order to maximise the time spent on it.

Therefore, what are the things a designer needs to know to be able to get a good idea of what I want? I don't have any ideas on the specific look, but I do know the type of things I want the logo to demonstrate (cutting edge, technical, cool, "digital" media focused-website etc).

So far that's about it on the brief. I'm not sure on if the name of the site is to be the logo or whether I want a standalone logo.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Aug 20, 2007, 07:56 AM
try to tell the designer everyhing you can about you and the web site. Don't leave anything out, but if you are unsure, try to find examples of things you like, and give the designer create e freedom. Just my 2cents.

Aug 20, 2007, 08:03 AM
you should be able to tell the designer:

-what your company does
-what your "mission statement" is/what is your motivation to do what you do
-who your target audience is for your business
-who your competitors are
-who you think is doing what you do better than you do it

-you should have an idea of where the logo will be used (websites, cards, posters, billboards, tshirts, etc.. the designer will help you expand on this)
-you should allow the designer full access to any materials you have as it will give them inspiration for the logo. if you own a store, let them walk around it, let them see the back room, etc.. they will want to study the physicality of your business, the things you touch and handle every day.
-you should also have a realistic budget and timeframe. as i have posted on here many times, proper logo design takes time.

things like colors, and sizes and typefaces are best left to the designer.

Aug 20, 2007, 01:35 PM
things like colors, and sizes and typefaces are best left to the designer.

although if the company has a corporate colour scheme it may be worth mentioning it :) Say for example the company is called bumblebee and they use yellow and black as their uniform colours etc and then you get a logo made up of purple and green (doubt it would ever happen) it wouldn't work well would it.

Aug 20, 2007, 01:44 PM
thats true, but one could argue that a new logo may necessitate a new identity with new colors, etc. if you are designing a logo based on an existing style guide then you are already coming at it backwards.

Aug 20, 2007, 06:21 PM
Thanks guys all very helpful stuff. I don't have a mission statement yet (well not one that's finalised and written down - it's still swirling around my head at the moment...), so that's a very good point.

Ditto on where the logo will be used. Currently the plan is a website (actually a blog but really, what's the difference...). I don't need anything more than that. Ideally I guess the logo would fit as a favicon but I think that would be a big restriction. In my dreams I would see it on business cards and t-shirts, but in dreams I think that will stay.

I'm lucky in the sense that it's a completely blank sheet of paper - so no set uniform colours, look or style yet.

Also, what's the feeling here on the "Name being the logo"? I'm in a bit of a dilemma with this as the URL I have sums up the topic perfectly, but it's got a hyphen in it (I had to compromise due to no budget). If I'm thinking of doing stuff like podcasts for this site and if the name is the logo, I'm going to have to say "my'dash'website.com" the whole time?

I guess this is more to do with the name of the site itself (should it be the URL or not) as opposed to the logo, but I think this is probably the biggest thing I want to have clear before I go talking to people. It's so annoying but not really had a chance to discuss it with anyone who knows anything about this stuff. :(

Aug 21, 2007, 08:09 AM
"good, fast, or cheap, pick two"

Aug 21, 2007, 04:21 PM
thats true, but one could argue that a new logo may necessitate a new identity with new colors, etc. if you are designing a logo based on an existing style guide then you are already coming at it backwards.

Defnitely can't hurt to ask about colours. If the colours they request do not fit the company image, that is something you can easily bring up. I would say 70% of logos I have done, customers had colours in mind.

Aug 22, 2007, 12:47 AM
"good, fast, or cheap, pick two"

I pick "good" and "cheap" - where does that take me? :D

Genghis Khan
Aug 22, 2007, 03:27 AM
My Advice:

Give them all the constraints you want...then let them have free reign from there and embrace any ideas they come up with...

that'll get you the best result

Aug 22, 2007, 09:54 AM
I think that you should not have the name on the logo as this can clutter things up. If the customer can remember just a symbol that is easier than trying to remember words, wich is why logos exist. But if you can get your logo to yell to the world 'I'm the logo for Bumblebee Printing (borrowed from an earlier post)' that your good. Look at Apple's Logo for example, it's an... apple; this speaks very clearly. Or better yet look at MacRumors' logo; an apple that has a question mark as one side it speaks perfectly. Thats just my opinion but I think that should help.

PS: One other thing, someone posted a very funny and scary link with 8 things NOT to do to a graphic designer, make sure not to follow those. :)

to dejo, thank you for posting the link

Aug 22, 2007, 10:08 AM
8 ways to drive a graphic designer mad (http://groy82.blogspot.com/2007/03/8-ways-to-drive-graphic-designer-mad.html)

Aug 25, 2007, 03:31 PM
In my experience on the designer end. By all means, for the love of god, DO NOT tell him what you don't want.
If you don't know what you want, you are wasting everyones time.

Sep 9, 2007, 07:38 PM
Hey guys, just wanted to say I've now had the logo designed and all went very smoothly!

the advice and tips here were great, I gave a pretty detailed brief (mission statement, examples, ideas, specification, use, colours etc) and got exactly what I was after, with only a few revisions.

The "8 ways to drive a designer mad..." was also taken on board so my "concise feedback" was noted by the company as very helpful!

All good. I'd show you all the final result but it's still under wraps for the time being :D

Sep 9, 2007, 08:14 PM
I pick "good" and "cheap" - where does that take me? :D

About 2011, usually.