Even though a logo isn’t necessary to do business as a coach or consultant, I find most people like the idea of having one. It’s a nice way to represent your brand name graphically on your website, business cards, and other marketing. A well-designed logo can also communicate a lot to potential clients about what type of coach or consultant you are and what you can do for them. And, when you combine a tagline with your logo, together they can pack a powerful marketing punch in a very small space.
So, what’s the best way to get a high quality logo designed?
First, you need to make sure you’ve identified your brand platform. Who are you? What do you and your business stand for? What’s your brand personality? Who are your ideal clients? What do they want? What message do you want to communicate to them about who you are and what you can do for them?
These are important questions you must ask, and answer, if you want to get a logo design that works.
A logo is more than just a pretty picture.
As stated above, a logo can communicate a lot about you and your business. You want to make sure it’s sending out the right message. Otherwise, it could do you and your business more harm than good. If your marketing doesn’t look professional, prospective clients won’t take you or your business seriously. If you’re expecting people to invest money with you, you need to be sure you look worthy of that investment. While you may be an excellent coach or consultant, it’s important to remember that your marketing very often provides the first impression. You want to make sure it’s a strong one.
A logo needs a marketing strategy behind it.
When I worked in the advertising agencies we always had to develop what’s known as a Creative Brief, or Strategic Brief, before we asked the art department to develop anything. Whether we wanted a print ad, a TV commercial, or even just a logo, we had to drill down exactly what we wanted that piece of marketing to convey before any creative development could begin.
I’d say that’s one of the best marketing lessons I ever learned.
Once you’re able to share this type of strategic direction with a graphic designer you’re ready to begin a logo design project. There are a wide variety of places to get a logo designed. And, logo design pricing can range from free to thousands of dollars. So, it’s important to pick a design option and price that works for you and will get you a professional-looking logo you’ll be proud to have represent you and your business.
Here are a few logo design options to consider (or not):
Your Website Developer
Cost: Free (sort of)
Choosing free logo design is typically not a good option. Unless your website developer is also an accomplished logo designer I would not suggest going this route. I can tell you from experience that I’ve tried this with not very good results. A few years ago I was having a very complex, and pricey, website designed and because I didn’t want to spend extra money on logo design I asked the website developer to design something. He agreed to do it at no extra cost and as part of the project. You can see for yourself below, the results were less than stellar. While this design looked OK in the website header, it did not translate very well as a standalone logo mark.
Free Logo Makers
Search for free logo makers online and you’ll find a bunch of sites inviting you to make your own logo for free. The problem is there’s nothing strategic about designing a logo in this manner. You’re simply provided with clip art images and type styles you can put together to create a logo. You may end up with an OK-looking logo but someone else may be using the exact same clip art you’ve chosen. You’re also limited to the clip art and fonts the program provides. And, if you’re a coach or consultant, odds are you’re probably not also a graphic designer. I decided to play around with one of these online tools to see what I could create. Even though I chose an icon that somewhat represents what my business stands for (the icon resembles a thumbprint to me) and a script font (I use a script font on my website tagline) this is a pretty bad logo. And, it’s certainly not one I’d want representing me and my business.
Logo Design Software
Cost: $20 and up
You can also buy software that will help you design your own logo. Similar to the online logo-maker programs these also include clip art and fonts you can use to build your own logo. Some even include template logos. The problem with this approach again is that it’s not strategic, so your logo may be a piece of art (and usually not a very good one at that) but it doesn’t effectively communicate your brand platform. Even if you do have a good design eye, your logo often looks “template” because that’s what it is. I tested one of these programs a few years ago. Even though I’m no graphic designer, I think I have a fairly good design sense. However, my results were not very good. Good logo design requires more than simply putting together a symbol and some type.
Fiverr can be a good choice if you know exactly what you want and you don’t expect to get a lot of revisions (if any). You’ll want to carefully review the portfolios of the designers you’re considering before choosing one, to ensure you like their design style. And, you may need to hire several designers. But at $5 each that’s certainly financially feasible. Keep in mind some designers charge extra for revisions and/or for different formats of final artwork (which you’ll want to have). I tried Fiverr as a test because I’d used it successfully for some other creative work, and the first time around my logo design project was a disaster. I gave it another go with a different designer, and ended up with a logo I was pretty happy with. Although I will say this logo was for a small project and it gets limited use. My experience is that Fiverr can yield good results but it can be a bit hit-or-miss. However, at such a low price it’s certainly worth a test. You may just end up with a designer who’s there to build his or her portfolio and is actually pretty good.
48 Hours Logo
Cost: $99 and up
I had never heard of 48HoursLogo until a client recently used them. With this service you create a contest and set a price and designers compete by creating logo designs for your consideration. In the end you pick your favorite design. In my client’s case, for an investment of $99, she received 51 entries, and got quite a few good logo designs to choose from. She was able to request revisions and ultimately got a high-quality, strategically-designed logo, at an affordable price. It’s important to note that she did not commence her logo design project until we had gone through all the steps to identify her brand platform, brand personality, and business name.
Cost: $299 – $599
I have used LogoWorks for quite a few logos over the years. They have several different packages available. The package/price correlates to the number of logo designs and revisions you receive. They require you to complete a creative brief when you submit your logo design project and this is one of the reasons I like this service so much.
Freelance Graphic Designer
Cost: From a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars
You can also hire a freelance graphic designer, graphic design boutique, or full-fledged advertising agency. Advertising agencies are typically better suited to larger businesses with big marketing budgets. Freelance graphic designers often work with smaller clients and typically charge less. The best way find to a freelance graphic designer is through a referral or a service like Elance.com. While I’ve used Elance for many things, I have not used it for logo design. However, I’ve been very impressed with the work I have had done there (everything from transcriptions and book cover design, to website development and design) that I’m sure I’d be equally happy with logo design.
A few final tips on logo design.
Whichever logo design route you take, here are a few more tips to make sure you get the most out of your logo design project.
- Provide a creative brief even if the designer doesn’t ask for one
- Provide the designer with examples of logos you like
- If you already have a website, colors, or other marketing the logo needs to work with, let the designer know
- Ask for final versions of your logo artwork, with and without your tagline
- Get the name of the font face(s) and size(s) used in your logo design and tagline
- Get the colors used in your logo design so you can use the same colors in your marketing materials (get color codes; e.g. HEX, PMS, RGB)
- Make sure the logo design works in black & white or grayscale, as well as in color
- Get final versions of your logo design in a variety of formats: JPG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, EPS, and also full color and black & white versions
- Get the final logo artwork on a transparent background
- You may also want to ask for the logo icon (if your logo has one) as a separate file so you can use it as a favicon on your website
While a logo is not a business necessity for coaches and consultants, it can be a nice marketing asset to have. If you make sure you’ve first created a strong strategic foundation for your business, and you’ve developed a unique brand platform and brand personality, investing in a logo can be a great next step in the marketing of your business. And, with such a wide variety of creative and pricing options, it’s now a reachable goal for most coaches and consultants.
Do you have a logo you love and that you feel strategically represents your business and brand?
If so, please post a comment and share it. I’d love to see it!
Note: I have no financial stake in any of the logo design options mentioned in this article.