“Your logo is the first step in building a trusting relationship with your customer,” Sarah Hicks – Business Logo Designer.
Image credit: LifeHouseDesign
Continuing the series What are your Questions? (Please visit the post and ask your own question):
Is a good logo essential for your hunting business or blog if so why, or will simple text work just fine?
This is an extremely relevant question for any hunting business owner.
Your logo is very significant for your business, your Website, your blog, and for yourself.
Normally I would write this post from my perspective along, but I thought it would be beneficial for you to get not only my thoughts on the importance of a logo for your hunting business, but to get the thoughts of a professional designer.
So for this post you and I are lucky enough to get the thoughts of a professional logo designer.
Sarah Hicks not only design logos, she designs all types of materials for both Web and print.
She is more focused on Web as that is one of her passions.
Here is a brief bio of Sarah…
Sarah Hicks (@shicksdesign)
Sarah and I had a chance and brief first meeting about five years before I met her again through her freelance design work. We had met at a get together with mutual friends, said hello, and left thinking we’d never meet each other again.
Flash forward five years to now when Sarah and I met again and today she is designing images for an upcoming post on this blog. She is going to put a few of the Essential Hunting Industry Stats. It’s going to be great and I can’t wait to show it to you.
If you are looking for information on any design work for your hunting business I will give my personal recommendation for Sarah. She is wonderful to work with. She is flexible, timely, organized, creative, and most importantly she understands how crucial design is for businesses.
Sarah’s Website: SarahLynnDesign.com
Sarah’s Work: Portfolio or work
Sarah’s Contact: Contact Sarah about Design and Branding
Let’s take a look at the significance of your hunting business logo from not only my perspective, but from Sarah’s perspective as well…
Professional Designer Thoughts
To answer Ben G.’s Branding Question:
Q: Is a good logo essential for your hunting business or blog, if so why, or will simple text work just fine?
A: What is the purpose of your blog or website? Do you want to bring more traffic to your site? Are you looking to sell products/services?
Having a logo means uniquely identifying your website/blog so readers can familiarize you from the sea of blogs out there. It is a snapshot into the window of your business and it has to say everything you cannot in just a few seconds. It builds trust and gives you a strong reputation right off the bat, if it is designed well. It is easy to create a trendy, nice looking logo, but that isn’t the point of branding. Many blog readers have a long list of blogs they subscribe to. How are you going to stand out once they get to your blog? They want something that is going to be easy on the eyes and give them confidence that your content is reputable and trustworthy.
Favicon– When bookmarking a website, a favicon appears next to the title of the website. For bloggers, this is another great reason to have a professionally designed logo. It is a great way to create an identity for your website in a vast list of bookmarks.
5 Things Clients Should Know Before Working with a Designer
1) Time, time, time. – Designing isn’t a quick process, especially when it comes to branding. Like anything else, it takes time to do something well. Today, many people have the mindset that they should be able to get things quick and cheap. Branding is one of the most important parts to any business. It is the first thing your customer sees before they know anything about you. A logo can turn your customer away in seconds. Think trust. When using a service or buying online, would you rather purchase from a poorly designed site, or one that has a professional, well thought out appearance? First impressions are crucial to a business’s success. Your customer has to have trust that your product or service will meet their expectations from the start to finish. If you don’t show thoughtfulness from the start, they might lose confidence in what they are purchasing as well.
2) Spill the beans – Not everyone knows the entire ins and outs of your business. Be as specific and detailed as possible when explaining to your designer what the core values of your business are and how you want to be portrayed. Leave no details left to chance. Be prepared to show examples of designs that capture your attention. Designers choose their clients just as clients chose their designers. Personally, I look for a client who is willing to be involved in the process and can be available to give feedback, copy, and necessary materials in a timely manner. I require my clients fill out a design brief which gives me insight into their business and a feel for their expectations in a design. This is a very important step in the process.
3) Bad Design – Don’t hold back. If you don’t like a design submitted by your designer, tell them. But, tell them why. Designers have thick skin and are made to take criticism. You are paying them for a service so use it. Just don’t take advantage of it. Share bad logos with your designer and tell them what you think a bad logo is. Give them some insight into what you don’t like as well as what you do. As I mentioned before, the most information you can give them, the more successful your logo will be.
4) Pony up! – This is probably the area where a relationship with a designer can go bad most often. Know what you’re paying for before beginning a project with any designer. Make sure your designer spells out what they charge for and how much they charge for it. Don’t get nickel and dimed for every phone call, email and text change. Ask lots of questions, have a written agreement on price up front and what they are charging you for.
For my own business, I charge differently depending on the nature of the project. Logos are usually priced out using a flat-rate including the number of logo options given, the amount of changes included to those logos, as well as if color and black and white options are to be submitted as well. When charging a flat-rate, emailing, phone calls and any communication methods are included. They are part of the process just as much as designing the logo is. Know what you are paying for! Don’t let miscommunication ruin your relationship with your designer. Remember, it is our source of income and our business, not just a hobby. Client/Designer relationship
5) Everyone thinks they are a designer– Open up any image editor with a text tool and a paint brush and your off! This is probably the worst thing a designer can hear and unfortunately one of the most common. When explaining what I do for a living, I am constantly asked, “What exactly is a graphic designer?” Well, a designer has a multitude of jobs. In today’s society we become so accustomed to seeing logos, packaging designs, menus, billboards, websites, television commercials, the list goes on and on. But who creates all these pieces? We do. Every hard working designer out there. Design takes a lot of research, knowledge of ever-changing technologies, and experience working with many processes depending on your specialty. Do you want to use your logo on a t-shirt, car door, website, coffee mug and your store front window? Oh and don’t forget paper… Each of these applications require different processes, color formats ect. Just keep these things in mind when hiring a designer. You aren’t just paying for a “pretty” logo.
Interesting use of negative space between the e and x to create an arrow.
One of the most well known, simplistic marks in history. Read about the logo concept.
Great use of type and imagery to create a cohesive logo. I find this much more successful than their current logo. (scroll down to view)
I Love New York
A logo for the city of New York. Most well known mark in the world.
Sarah just discussed the importance of a logo for you blog, Website and hunting business. Here are my thoughts on why a logo is essential for your hunting business…
What a logo says about you and your business
From my point of view (hunting business owner), a logo may be one of the first impressions you make with potential clients. This single fact alone should be enough for you to put emphasis on creating a quality logo for your hunting business.
Everyone, including potential customers, should be able to look at your hunting logo (and the name of your hunting business) and know what it is your business will do for them as well as get a feel for the type of company you are.
For example, if you are an outfitter and your unique business benefit (besides having unique and quality hunting land) is that you serve local, unique meals three times a day. The logo for this example should represent the type of feel your company has – you’re small town and local. I’m not saying you need to somehow show the design of local meals, but if possible (and if you have a great designer) you should somehow give your customer the feel of “local” when they see your logo.
Your logo is the face of you and your company.
What do you want your customer’s first impression to be of you and your business?
Your answer to this question should be the thought behind your company’s logo.
5 Things I Wish Designers Knew About Working with Hunting Business Owners
When it comes to business relationships there are often hang-ups and frustrations.
For any designers (or other business-to-business owners), here are a few things I wish designers understood about working with hunting business owners:
1) We are impatient. We don’t understand how long it really takes to create a logo. Don’t get frustrated if we ask you how the logo is coming along. We’re excited for the final product. Give us a clear and accurate (honest) schedule. Give us feedback of what exactly you’re trying and working on. We’ll be more understanding throughout the process this way.
2) We don’t want to criticize. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for feedback. Some clients, even though they’re paying you, are reluctant to question your work. We don’t know much about design so we assume you know what you’re doing. Tell us that you want our initial reactions and feedback (positive and negative) and we’ll be able to better communicate and come up with a great final product.
3) We ask simple (stupid) questions. Your clients won’t know as much or anything about logo designing. You are our knowledge base. Encourage your clients to ask any questions. Don’t be surprised when we ask seemingly simple questions about design. Be helpful and we’ll appreciate you sharing your wisdom. We’ll also be more likely to refer you to our other hunting business buddies.
4) We’ll ask for more. One of the best things any business relationship can have is a detailed agreement or contract. If you don’t have a detailed agreement your client will ask for more than what you originally felt was agreed upon. This may lead to apprehension for you both. Make sure the business agreement is detailed and clear to both parties before any work is started.
5) We may contact you a year later for updates. I remember contacting the designer of the Hunter Share logo about a year after she designed it. I had a few questions about changes for print and embroidery. If you have the forethought, think about the questions or changes your client may have and request and take care of them during the initial process. Your client may not think of everything right away so try to anticipate and help them consider all aspects of their logo design so you can take care of it up front.
I like the simplicity of the LL Bean logo. In this instance, the logo is unique and simple. It’s the reputation of the LL Bean brand that customers think of when they see the logo. The company has a strong reputation, but their unique logo is what sparks the thought when people see it.
Come on…I had to include the logo of the greatest sports team to ever play football. As with the LL Bean logo, the Packers reputation is strong, but their logo is what sparks feeling (pride or hatred) every time someone sees it.
The Ducks Unlimited logo is another simple design (I like simple) that is unique and strong. The design is a simple, yet unique duck head and sometimes the text of the company name. I can’t really put into words why I like this design (some may consider it boring), but as a hunter this logo is appealing.
Schlitz may not get enough credit it deserves, but their logo should. It’s another simple text design and the reputation of the name is what carries significance. For me however, it’s the globe that makes the brand seem big and bold.
I like the Summit Tree Stands logo just because I think it’s unique and creative. Most hunting business logos (related to deer hunting) always include an image of a buck. Summit includes both the silhouette of a buck and of a doe. This stands out and the best thing you can do for your business is to stand out from the rest of the noise.
A logo is essential for your hunting business, your Website, and your blog if you want personally brand yourself, brand your business, or looking to bring in customers.
Hopefully the duel perspectives of logo design were beneficial.
Do you have any other questions for Sarah or me regarding logos or business graphic design?
Feel free to share your thoughts or ask your questions in the comments.
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