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Most logo design websites make great promises. They are cheap and you can have your own 'personalized' logo in your inbox within minutes of buying it. That all sounds good and gets you something that you can quickly throw on a business card to hand out at your next business social event. But what is your brand sacrificing in choosing to go this route?
Don't run to online logo builders so quickly
It may not capture your brand
Logos are more than just cool images, fonts and colours. Your logo is a reflection of your values, aspirations and the audiences you want to attract. Working with branding experts can open up a whole new world of design possibilities that can not only spark your imagination but even help define your business itself.
Amateur logo design mistakes are likely to happen
Designing something yourself can be fun at first. “Look! Purple triangles and a spooky font! I love it!” Hold on there. Not to be overly blunt, but you’re not a designer… and that’s OK. It’s fun to look at the options and you may even get some great ideas from exploring prefab logos. But you’re an expert in your own industry with unique offerings.
It's not a unique logo
If you use an online site, other people will have access to your logo design. Other businesses can and will use your logo in places that will potentially devalue your business. Ensure your logo design is original. These logos have no thought, concept or memorability about them, they are merely symbols. You will find many free online logo makers on the web. Not only do these logos look unprofessional, hundreds of other people could have the same logo as you and what is the point of that?
Design contests don't give you a relationship
When going through a design contest, you can miss out on the dialogue between you and a designer who can truly cater to your needs. During the contest, you can ask designers to tweak their submissions, but many choose not to. Plus, the winner you select might be unwilling to modify the logo once he or she receives the cash prize.
Cheap stock images cheapen your brand
Did you know that stock imagery gets downloaded by thousands of people? This should be reason enough not to use stock imagery as your logo. Some so called “designers” (usually the same people who enter design contests) steal images from stock sites to design your logo… or in some cases, business owners download and use the stock images themselves. This is a huge no-no.
“If I’m researching for new doctors, I wouldn’t ask for a hundred different treatments and then go with the best one that I thought I liked.”
Quick Bio: Kevin is the Senior Graphic Designer at Henderson in Brockville, Ontario and has won awards for his designs and creative development. He's also a music fanatic and a Redskins fan. You can check out some of his great graphic design projects on his Behance portfolio here.
If you haven’t already heard about the controversial logo design contest hosted by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the controversy stems from the contest rules outlining only submissions from students were allowed, restricting any firms or freelance professional graphic designers from submitting their own design. University of Waterloo Global Business and Digital Arts student Ariana Cuvin created the design that was chosen. For her piece, she focused on the maple leaf, adding in subtle effects to represent the ten provinces and three territories. As for the multi-coloured aspects, they were used to reflect Canada’s diversity.
“I like the research she’s put into creating it, the 4 provinces of confederation, and the 9 more to create a total of 10 provinces and 3 territories. Although without reading her brief, I wouldn’t immediately clue into the reason behind the number of diamond shapes. Some of the things she could have worked on a bit more would be the kerning of the type (notice how the ‘0’ in 150 seems a bit too far to the right), and the use of colour. Perhaps red could have been used more prominently (and in the type?).” said Chauntel Perry, one of the lead designers at Henderson.
Beyond the design itself, we asked Perry how she felt about it being strictly submissions from students. As a once graphic design student who is now working within a graphic design firm, she felt as though they shouldn’t necessarily have only allowed students since it takes away from freelancers’ opportunity. It also could potentially allow for negative repercussions on the graphic design students themselves when looking for positions post-graduation.
“I'm on the fence about whether student should be allowed to take part in these types of projects. On one hand it gives them a chance to show their work and get their name out into the public; BUT they also aren't completely trained, so any 'mistakes' they make will then follow them,” explained Perry.
As most professional graphic designers in Canada can agree, it would have been beneficial to hire a graphic designer for the appearance of the piece and also for the knowledge they have about the cost to design and print. As Chauntel explains strictly speaking from a print-perspective; this would be a costly logo, assuming the colours would be Pantone to ensure colour consistency, because of the (at least) 11 colours used.
“Creating a design that is ‘friendly’ to work with by both web and print professionals (and thereby saving money in the long run) is something that professional graphic designers take into consideration when creating each piece they develop,” said Perry.
All in all giving students the opportunity to showcase their work should always be encouraged, but for a design holding this much importance, similar to a design used to represent your business, hiring a professional graphic designer is the way to go.
In today’s day and age a graphic designer is absolutely necessary for the success of any image process or marketing program for businesses. What exactly is a graphic designer you may be asking? Well, a graphic designer is a profession within the graphic design and graphic arts industry who assembles together images, typography, or motion graphics to create a design. A graphic designer creates the graphics primarily for published, printed or electronic media, such as brochures and advertising.
Here at Henderson Printing and Web Solutions we are lucky enough to have a pair of the highest qualified graphic designers and illustrators in the province, and with the graphic designer and illustrator industry on the rise with no visible future of it slowing down, it is crucial that we have such talent on our team. Being a successful graphic designer roots from a combination of creativity, an eye for detail, and the ability to use computers to present the envisioned design. The multilevel of talent and knowledge makes these professionals truly unique.
Chauntel Perry, the first of our graphic designers, is a Kingston native who was hired directly out of the Graphic Design program at St Lawrence College in Kingston. She has been with Henderson for four years.
“I’ve always enjoyed art, all aspects of art. Once I started exploring the digital side of it I decided to see what career options were available. Graphic design was on the top of that list, I enjoyed that I could be creative on a daily basis, and continue learning new techniques and technologies,” said Perry.
Working along side Perry, is Kevin Neadow. Neadow is the Senior Graphic Designer from Brockville with 12 years in experience. He graduated from St Lawrence College in Kingston with a degree in Graphic Design.
“I got into graphic design because of the joy of being able to be creative as a career. Starting at a young age, drawing and designing my own lettering, I continued into my teens where at the end of High School my art teacher advised me to look into graphic design for college and a career. I realized that it would be a great fit for me. It’s an evolving field with new avenues that enables me to apply to the creative process too,” said Neadow.
If you’re interesting in learning more about the work that Perry and Neadow have done, check out the links below to see their online portfolios.
If you've spent any time with our customer service reps at Henderson lately, I'm sure you've noticed that we take great pride in seeing your creative projects executed well. We take the time to really listen to your design or print ideas and we work with you to discuss a variety of options that will help you keep your costs down without sacrificing quality.
That is what makes delivery day so satisfying for us. We get to see all that hard work on your finished product, whether it be a one page brochure or a four hundred page catalogue, finally packed carefully for delivery into those white Henderson boxes. Itís the sign that we have successfully completed another great product. It signals another happy client.
I would like to say that every print piece is produced without a hitch and that there are no bumps on the road each time we load a delivery truck, but thatís just not the case. Not every project soars through our production process.
The most common reason for this is that we occasionally receive Ďsuppliedí design files that really aren't up to professional standards. They have common missing ingredients necessary for a printing press and the final quality gets affected. I can touch on some of the specifics with another post. For this discussion, itís important to understand that not all the files we get meet the standards for print. Trying to fix a Ďsuppliedí file can sometimes cause us more work then if we were to just design something else from scratch.
If you think about it, it is easy to understand this trend because more and more people have access to design programs and apps. But while itís true that there are a lot of people now who can create designs for tablets and for computer monitors, the art of transforming that composition into a design that can be printed to the best quality is a different skill. Professional printing is a different animal.
Please donít misunderstand the spirit of what Iím saying. Iím not saying that the designer you having working on your current event poster isnít creative and doesnít have a skillful eye for design. They probably do. However, just because someone can adequately create a Facebook event cover image, that doesn't mean they fully understand commercial printing standards and should prepare your next brochure.
This is where our expertise can come in. We can help if we are involved in your creative process soon enough. Ideally we hope to be your graphic designer with every project. But if you do have someone else you are working with, then let us assist by giving recommendations and advice so that we can save you stress and ultimately, money.
In our next blog post we will tackle the three most common mistakes people make when supplying us with 'finished' design files. But for now, we simply want to encourage you to consult with us when your next creative idea is about to be tackled so that the mistakes are minimized and you are satisfied with the final product.
We can also work with your designer by educating him or her so that they can produce the quality that you desire. You may be working with someone who has great potential but just lacks some of the experience and knowledge necessary for this industry. We can help anyone who is teachable. Many people who have an interest in graphic design have the right intentions but just need some advice and encouragement to improve.
Itís important to be careful. If youíre partnering with a designer that you have little experience with just to save a couple dollars, then consider connecting with us about how to ask the right questions before you get started. Otherwise, you might end up paying more, waiting longer, and not end up getting the quality you really want.
Many people love to design. But not all files are created equal.
Thanks for reading,