So the situation is like that: you have a business, either settled or planned, and you realise the necessity of having a logo. You however know nothing or almost nothing about the design industry and are not so savvy about logo design and chemistry behind it. What to start with? Where to go? How to choose? Here I will give you more or less comprehensive guide on handling a logo project for your business.
What is a logo?
A logo (abbreviation of logotype, from Greek: λόγος logos "word" and τύπος typos "imprint") is a graphic mark, emblem, or symbol commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype or wordmark). So for you a logo would be that mark that you would put onto your products, office papers, your website, social media accounts and pages, business cards, T-shirts, cups, whatever you need.
When you buy a logo template or some other creative piece of work on a webmarket you usually buy it with certain license, which regulates how you can use it. When you hire a designer or an agency to create logo for you, you normally have an agreement which as well regulates who has rights for the logo and how it can be used. Often designers would waive rights for a logo so that a customer has a full freedom with a design. But it depends.
Normally you will apply your logo via different media: digital and real-world. Before getting on a device screen, business card, banner, lightbox your logo resides in a digital source file. Industry standard for a logo would be vector file formats like AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS (quite universal, Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw), CDR (CorelDraw). Vector file format means you can upscale and downscale image without quality loss. Including PSD file is a great plus, as it will allow flexible preparation for web publications and desktop printing. To cut long story short, in your logo project pack you would normally find AI, EPS, PSD and sometimes CDR files, and of course a designer would prepare PDF, PNG, GIF, JPG files. Normally you would get a styleguide as well, which will help you and other specialists working with a logo to use it properly.
In case you have a custom logo you might not need to edit it at all. It would be enough to send a right format logo file to your printer, graphic designer, or web-developer and they will do the work. But if you purchase a logo template mind that you would need special software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Indesign, CorelDraw, etc, to open and edit the file. Unless you get a logo customized for you by another designer.
Ready-made or custom?
First you should figure out the scale and perspectives of your business. If you have a small scale business, and spending a substantial amount of money on exclusive logo design seems unreasonable to you, then the best option would be to go to web markets and purchase a ready-made logo template. If you believe your business needs only unique specially for you made logo, you definitely want hire a designer, or do crowdsourcing.
On the above mentioned and similar websites you will be able to buy a pre-made logo template for a really light price. Such template won't be original, because anybody can buy it, but it's you who customize it and give it a personalised feel. So even if you are resorting to ready-made solution, still you can have a very good logo.
If you strongly believe your business will only profit with exclusive logo, then you need hire a designer or design team, agency.
Where to search a custom logo?
Go to a local design agency or graphic designer.
Ask your friends or colleagues to reference a good designer.
check a designer's website portfolio – if there is none or it is sloppily built, looks ugly – don't hire!
look at a website address – if it's free domain and looks similar to 'sitename.provider.com', sort of bestdesigner.wordpress.com – it is a sign of a novice, won't recommend.
check a designer's social networks and webmarkets accounts – if they are branded and show consistency, you are dealing with a serious designer who cares.
send a message, ask about a process and peculiarities – you'll see from the communication if a person is a specialist or a novice.
How to pick-up a logo template
What is a right type of a logo template for your business? Well, first of all it depends on what mood you want your brand to create and project. Most possibly fun and playful would be irrelevant for an insurance company, as well as upmarket, lux, premium might be way too much for a local fast-food. In a word, pick up proper logo template to represent your business and sphere. Pay attention to types of source files available, as you might not have certain software to edit it. My article on 10 qualities that will make your logo work might be very helpful too.
That's it, thank you for your attention. Don't hesitate to contact me have you any questions.