Even if it sounds a little bit illogical, between creating a wonderful logo and having a logo that satisfy a client’ requirement is a big difference. Yep, let’s suppose that a logo designer created a good logo, but lacking any contact with the client, he used a color combination similar to the logo of main competitor…there is a huge chance that people will consider that it was inspired from…or even copied and it is the last desire of the client.
Also, logo design is a subjective matter, therefore, what is appreciated by me, may be rubbish for you and vice versa. I think that any experienced designer faced this awful situation: to create a good logo, that received good feedback from other designers and in the end, not to be appreciated by the client.
In order to avoid any issue with the client, the better approach is to have an active dialogue with him; in this way are avoided the issues related to the preferences and the good collaboration is usually finalized with a quality project. On the other hand, we all know that the clients aren’t very disposed to communicate with the designer- the common mentality is that once you, the client, hired a logo designer, he is responsible for everything project related. Well, no matter how a talented designer is someone, none may guess the preferences of someone. At the beginning of the carrier, it isn’t a quite beneficial manner of work but is recommended to avoid humble attitude and instead you should explain to the clients that also, your time is limited and you can’t make new and new logos until the client is satisfied. In conclusion, don’t be arrogant but clearly explain to all your potential clients that asking for a logo is different than asking for a pizza, it supposes collaboration and not a plain ordering only. Any experienced logo designer is aware about the importance of communication and the design community created various strategies to overcome the inherent issues with the clients. One of the most common items is to have a questionnaire for the client. By offering answers to the questions, the logo designer is making a bird-eye opinion about the situation and clearly, he would be in a better position to create both a cool and satisfactory work.
Another positive aspect of this questionnaire is that it may be emailed and of course, the answers may be emailed back; yep, the face-to-face meeting is preferred but there are situations when thousands of kilometers separate the designer and the client so….
About the questions to be inserted in the questionnaire were written books and tons of logo designers make comments; anyway, there is no fixed result, everything depends on the mentality of the designer. Here we propose you a questioner to ask your client…I think the simple presentation of the items will help you but surely won’t be as efficient as have them logically explained. In conclusion, enjoy the list and apply these advices into your manner of work!
#1: Which is your field of activity?
It is impossible to create a proper logo for a client without having any idea about his field of activity. Each domain has its own set of best practices and a logo designer should be very familiarized to these. Let’s suppose that you create a cool logo, one simple, using grey and black colors for someone that you have no idea about. Your work is awesome, get impressive feedback from other designers, but will be it suitable for a grocery as the client want to use? I have doubts…
#2: Who are your direct competitors?
Another capital question from your questionnaire is about the state of the competitors and how they are represented in online. It’s vital for any logo design project to be taken into account the competition…the final result must be suitable with the unwritten rules and specific features of the respective domain of activity but also different from the competitors. It’s useless to say how important is to have a suitable logo but being distinctive from the rest.
#3: Was there another previous logo?
A logo is strictly related to the brand strategy and a new or a redesigned logo supposes modifications in the way of advertising. There are different situations and a logo designer must know very well the case. A new logo usually means a new branding and advertising strategy…anyway the logo represent a new beginning. A redesigned logo is a different story; it represents a slight change, a new improvement. In this case, there are only small changes in branding & advertising and the new logo takes the history and the “achievements” of the old one.
#4: Which are the client expectations?
The logo designer must know which the expectations of the client are. Some clients believe that a new logo may bring a huge profit and this is the single reason behind asking for a logo. Well, the designer must explain that the situation is way different and the overall success is dependent on many other factors.
#5: Do you have a website?
It is obvious: if the client has already a website, then the new logo must suit to it (anyway, I honestly believe that a logo must be firstly created and the website should be created to match it).
#6: Which are your long-term plans?
Having a clear idea about the plans of the client is another important factor in the final equation of a wonderful logo. A successful logo should be timeless and any designer should know the goals of the client project; in this way, there would be no difference between the message of the logo and the client message.
#7: Is there a preferred/ill-advised color/color scheme?
Finally, even if the client has no background in color theory, as long as the logo is for him, he must have an opinion in how to create a better logo. Therefore, I recommend asking him about his preferred colors, which color schemes are appreciated and of course, if there is any color that simply he doesn’t like.
#8: Which is the budget for the design of a logo?
It sounds a little bit avaricious, maybe I am, but it’s a vital question and we shouldn’t ignore. Everything in this world is working for and with money and a logo designer isn’t situated out of this system. In conclusion, you should ask the client about the budget for the logo. Let’s be honest, I think that you will dedicate much time and resources for a logo that costs 1500$ than one that the client would pay 250$, isn’t it? A bigger budget assures you the conditions to search more, to try more because you know that your bills are already paid, while having a tight budget can’t assure the perfect climate for work.
#9: Which is the deadline?
The deadline is very important; many inconveniences were created across time between designers and clients due to this fact. In order to avoid any issue is highly recommended to ask for a decent deadline and of course, to respect it!
In the end, I hope that it will help you in handling the situation with clients. Once again, it is made up from very general questions… you shouldn’t consider it incomplete, but there should added other questions particularly to each case, so you should contribute yourself to have a better dialogue with the clients!
– Written by Daniel –