5 tips for providing your designer with helpful feedback
I’m often asked about process, especially when it comes to logo design. What do I do, exactly? Why should you pay me for my services, when your mom’s best friend’s daughter can make you something in Microsoft Paint for free, or when you can hop online at 99 Designs for mass selection? Well, I’ll give you my best reasoning.
For me, the task of creating someone’s logo is neither a quick nor easy one. It is most definitely a process, and one I take great pleasure in. I charge not only for the finished product, but for my knowledge throughout the way. Now, I’m by no means a veteran in this industry- but when I’m hired for a project, I do believe that my clients trust in my proven skill set, to date. Likewise, I trust in their knowledge and expertise of their product, service, or business. That’s why I like to have an initial chat with my clients before we begin any work together. I like to find out exactly what they’re looking for, their likes and dislikes, and as much about their product or service as I can.
A logo is the face of a business, one that will ideally withstand the test of time, and be easily identifiable. It’s the first thing a customer sees, and they will form an initial opinion based on it. It’s important to me that my clients leave with a finished product that is both my best work, and something that they are completely satisfied with. If expectations are exceeded, even better.
As an example, I’ll use a recent client of mine. Ifenna approached me last month in regards to creating the new branding for his photography business, Figaero. I’d long since been a fan of his beautiful work, so I was stoked.
(photo by Figaero, figaero.com)
After our initial chat, it was time for me to begin the design process. Now, I normally never show my sketchbook or initial hand drawn concepts- not for any secretive reason, but because they’re always a giant mess of scribbles that look like a page from a kindergarten child’s journal. See below.
From this, I drafted three different logo options for Ifenna. Based on what he told me he was looking for, while incorporating my own style, this is what I came up with:
I always send three concepts- it gives my clients choice without being too overwhelming. From here, I get their feedback on what they like, what they don’t like, what they’d like to see different- and hopefully they’re pleased enough to choose one concept to move forward with. Ifenna chose the middle option- which also happened to be my favourite of the three. #WinWin
Since he didn’t have any design changes, we proceeded to colour. I put together three more options, this time in colour:
And ultimately, we settled on a darker version of the last one.
Both Ifenna and myself are super pleased with the final product. I’ve been blessed with awesome clients.
So, to conclude- why choose a designer? Why not just get your sister to do it, or throw down a fin at Fiverr? Because to us, your logo isn’t just a cash-for-jpg deal. We aren’t just thinking, ‘okay, how fast can I churn this one out?’, but instead ‘what’s going to work best for this person?’, ‘how can I help them achieve their business goals?’, and ‘how can I make sure the face of their business is unique, strong, and timeless?’. It’s not just about getting the job done. It’s about listening, offering our expertise and advice every step of the way, and working together for that killer finished product.
Be smart, be deadly, and support local business.
Under normal circumstances, these two things don’t really have anything in common. But here in St. John’s, during the month of November, Quidi Vidi Brewery and Fogtown Barber & Shop collaborated on a project that would break fundraising records in this part of town. I was lucky enough to have a small part in it.
I’ve been working with my friends at the brewery for a while now, and earlier this summer they approached me with an upcoming project: a new beer to be released. At the time I started the project, I wasn’t fully aware of what was involved with the campaign. After a few small changes to the label, the first thing we did was come up with a packaging colour theme and layout. One of the initial concepts looked something like this:
I like the black and white because it’s classic, but we ended up going with the gold and black- it gave more of an old school barbershop vibe. The labels turned out pretty deadly, because the gold had a metallic sheen to it. I was pretty stoked on the final packaging concept as well.
As I learned more about the ongoing project, I realized what an ingenious idea the whole thing was from a marketing perspective.
They decided to go with a Movember theme- the beer was to be a limited release during the month of November, and a team would be created to fundraise for men’s health. Here’s where the barbershop connection comes into play. Three events were held during November to promote the beer: an initial launch party and face-shaving event, and mid-month ‘check in’ party on the moustache growing, and a final awards event and count of total funds raised.
And fundraise they did. The QVFOGMO team raised over $30,000 for men’s health, blowing their initial fundraising goal of 10K out of the water. They ranked #1 in Atlantic Canada for fundraising, #16 nationally, and were the #1 brewery in the WORLD. Absolutely unreal.
To top it all off, Fogtown Lager sold out- like I mean, really sold out. The NLC supply was gone in the blink of an eye. The brewery held limited releases of 30 cases at a time every Saturday of the month, and ended up with lineups at the door before they even opened. Oh, and I should mention that the beer itself is most definitely delicious. It’s a pretty sweet feeling to have been involved in design work with a great cause.
(photo by Matt Crane)
Until next November, Fogtown Lager. It’s been real.