The Significance of a Hunting Business Logo

30 May 2009 22,350 views 10 Comments

“Your logo is the first step in building a trusting relationship with your customer,” Sarah Hicks – Business Logo Designer

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.

Gain the Trust of Your Clients

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Image credit: LifeHouseDesign

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Continuing the series What are your Questions?

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(Please visit the post and ask your own question):

How to Do It All – The Time Management Question

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Quality Video vs. Viral Video

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Ben G.

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of Ben G. Outdoors
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asked the 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

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)

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

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. 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

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Sarah’s Work: Portfolio or work

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Sarah’s Contact: Contact Sarah about Design and Branding

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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

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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

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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.

Sarah’s Favorites

FedEx

Fed Ex Logo

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Interesting use of negative space between the e and x to create an arrow.

Nike

Nike Logo

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One of the most well known, simplistic marks in history. Read about the logo concept

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.

Milwaukee Brewers

Milwaukee Brewers Logo

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Great use of type and imagery to create a cohesive logo. I find this much more successful than their current logo

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.  (scroll down to view)

I Love New York

I Love New York Logo

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A logo for the city of New York. Most well known mark in the world.

Starbucks

Starbucks Logo

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Interesting logo concept

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and well marketed brand worldwide. Nice job Starbucks
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.

My Thoughts

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.

My Favorites

LL Bean Logo

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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.

Green Bay Packers Logo

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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.

Ducks Unlimited Logo

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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 Logo

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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.

Summit Treestands Logo

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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.

Summary

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.

Related posts on Hunting Business Marketing

You’ve Been Branded: The 5 Best Hunting Business Logos

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How to Grow Your Hunting Business Online: Make Connections

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How to Know Where and How to Advertise Your Hunting Business on the Web

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Related posts on the Web

Advertisements that Work: Lessons from Tissue Pack Marketing

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The Rise of Personal Branding

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More About the New Pepsi Logo

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10 Comments »
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  • T. Michael Riddle
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    said:

    You know Dayne,
    Your site and content are addicting, I just can’t seem to go a day without visiting and learning something new here!

    The title of this one really brought home some very good and quite familiar points for me.

    While playing in various bands over the past 30 years and now my hunting business as well, here below was probably one of, if not the, hardest obstacles for me to over come.
    First would be the name itself! Will it reflect what we do and what we are about? then how do we come up with a respective logo which will brand us effectively? etc. etc.

    This process would sometimes take weeks of think tanking and brainstorming.
    Then, just when you finally settle upon something which you believe does everything that you think it should, now comes the real work of checking that your Name and Logo do not infringe upon someone else’s established Trademark!

    Then after that, finding a graphic artist who can convey what image that you have in “your” head to the brand that will eventually establish your product into the mind of the buying public.

    The one thing which I have learned over the years is to trust the people whom you have hired out to help you do this.
    They are the professionals, so let them do their job without hinderance.
    You would not attempt to tell your brain surgeon how to operate upon your head, so do not tell your marketing firm how to market your business.

    A couple of examples would be: When I would write songs, our producers would ask for about 30-50 songs so that they could choose 10-12 good ones to take into the studio for recording.
    While in the studio those final songs would sometimes get chopped up quite a bit, rearranged etc etc. to the point that they were barely recognizable (to me the artist) from what they started out as in the beginning.

    While just starting out as a young writer and with just barely 10 songs under my belt, I would view those 10 songs as my “babies” and anything that anyone wanted to do to them was particularly abhorrent to me.
    “don’t molest my songs! I would be saying in my head”
    After the first 100 songs or so you begin to lose that overly protective attitude, and then you start to look at the “business” of music rather a little differently than when you first started out.
    That is when the real art of collaboration begins to take form and the result will sometimes be where legendary albums are created.

    That same way of thinking is what got me through the Re-Branding of my hunting business.
    When our marketing firm suggested that we change our logo to something a little less redneck, and something with more family appeal.
    I immediately knew what to do and that was to let the pros do their job without my interference. And the result of allowing them to reshape our image placed the company exactly where, and to what I wanted it to be in the first place.
    It just happened to be out of my realm of expertise in respect to graphic arts, and appealing to a broader market with a logo style that would do just what it was intended for.

    It must be remembered that a single person cannot do it all by themselves because any successful company owner, be it a band or a hunting business will tell you, that it was through collaborative efforts that they got to where they are today.

    I think that our old website is still up if you search down for it and you can there, view my old self designed brand compared to the new one which comes up first on the search.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @T. Michael – I’m glad you liked this post Michael. I was hoping it would be valuable.

    I love when you comment because you bring such wonderful experience from two industries. Your perspective is unique and relevant. Thanks for all your contributions.

    You’re right on the money about letting go of some control because one person can’t do it all when it comes to business. Let the professionals do their job as you say.

    That’s why I asked Sarah if she could help out with this post. I knew my thoughts weren’t worth much without the thoughts of a true professional.

    I like your logo and entire Website now. Do you have a link to your old site for comparison?

    Thanks again,

    Dayne

  • Sarah
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    said:

    @T. Michael – You make a great point Michael. Many clients tend to think they are the experts when it comes to design projects. Although they are the experts in their field/business. It is important to give your designer a little bit of leash, as they are the expert in their field too.

    The branding process can be a quite extensive one and often clients are at the point where they think, it’s just a logo, can’t this be quick and cheap? It is one of the hardest parts to any business, especially naming too! It’s as if you were to come up with a look for yourself, for example, that shows who you are and what you stand for in just a few minutes. Everyone is complicated. I’m glad you’ve gotten to experience the process and I appreciate your comments!

  • T. Michael Riddle
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    said:

    Thanks Dayne and Sarah,
    Yes, if you put the cursor on my name next to my post here, an image of the “old” red neck logo comes up on screen.

    However, when you click on that, it will take you to the “new” family friendly web site with new logo.

    I hope that people will take and use this great advise which you have presented here on your site.
    Myself, and many others like me from just a short decade ago, had to pay lots of money for this very valuable type of advise and information which you are offering here.

    Keep up the great work!!

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @T. Michael – We’ll keep trying to provide thoughts and insight.

    It makes me happy that you’re getting value from the content here.

    Feel free to share any content here with anyone else you know who may find it useful.

    And if you or anyone you know ever needs a more in depth marketing help feel free to contact me.

    Best,

    Dayne

  • Ben G.
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    said:

    Dayne/Sarah- thanks for the info I agree that you need your logo to speak for your company without any words, but I never thought it would negatively affect your business if you had a bad logo. The reason I asked this question was b/c I myself was pondering the idea of getting a logo, but not sure how best to look at the situation. The only thing I don’t agree with is Dayne’s statement about the greatest sports team of all time. GO VIKE’S!!

  • Sarah
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    said:

    @ Ben. G – Thanks for the comment on the post! But, I’m going to have to disagree with you on the greatest sports team of all time. I’m a Green Bay native, so I’m quite partial to them! Let me know if you’d like some help with a logo. I’d love to help out your business.

  • Dayne Shuda
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    (author)
    said:

    @Ben – Let us know if you have any further questions about that logo.

    The Vikings?! It’s on now Ben. ;-) Just kidding.

  • rhassall said:

    This is great information Dayne and Sarah!!! I just may need to contact you for some design work!

    Oh, wait I have it is coming along beautifully!

  • Jason @GameGlide
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    said:

    You make excellent points. I am currently going through this the logo creation process for my business. For a very brief time, I had considered going with a pre-made logo on one of those websites, but chose not to use one, because just as you wrote, the logo is WAY too important.
    Now, I am using my second design firm, but that is another story for another time. Trust me, I am not high maintenance. :)
    Hopefully my logo will be done soon and I will share it.