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Want an ugly logo?

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With the multitude of businesses out there, it seems like people are running out of ideas on what to name their company or how their logo should look.  Entrepreneurs are having to look at available domain names (that’s the part after www. by the way), before they can even begin to settle on a new company name.

Nowadays, you have people buying cool sounding domain names so that you’ll have to buy it from them in case you accidentally name your business before you even checked to see if the .com was available.  And what if the perfect name is already taken or is so similar you might get sued?

What if  you design your own only to realize that it looks almost exactly like someone else’s.  Take for example: Meat Water.  ..And no, it’s not a joke.

So, how do you avoid a product that looks just like your competitor?  How do you avoid a bad logo, a subconsciously created copycat, or just plain ugly logo?  It’s easy, hire someone.

Having a logo designer might not cost as much as you’d think but you have to remember you’re not going to just need a drawing to scan in to the computer.  It’s going to cost a bit but it’s completely worth the cost.  Once you begin business, you realize you need it for business cards, letter head, slide shows, products, packaging, store fronts, web sites, even tape!

So, here are some do’s and don’t’s of logo design that you should review if not follow wholeheartedly.

1.) Get to know your designer

This is important!  If you develop a good relationship with them, emails will be a lot easier to understand.  You’ll avoid those pitfalls of asking for a rose for a kid’s promotion and getting a bleeding skull with a rose through the eye.

2.) Just as important, make sure your designer knows your product

Your whole company plan and product may make a lot of sense to you and seem really straight forward but it isn’t always for those on the outside.  If your designer is a guy, designing a logo for nail polish might not be second nature.

3.) Provide some key points of your business plan

Information like target market, demographic, location of sales, cost of product will make a difference between the Little Debbie® logo and the Pepperidge Farm® logo.

4.) Where’s the competition?

Take some logos that your competitors use and discuss what you like and don’t like.  You can’t expect your designer to spend hours researching your field and besides, who knows it better than yourself?

5.) Write it all down

From 2 things to 20 you want represented in your design, they should ALL be written down.  Save yourself and the designer a headache by compiling the list before you commission the work.  No designer wants to strive to complete a logo with out enough information only to be told they have to practically start all over again because you forgot “one little thing”.  A hand drawn rough draft is always a good idea.

6.) Keep the irons in the fire to a minimum

If you’re having design work done, make sure that only one person communicates changes to the designer instead of your 8 heads of whatever departments.  Meet to review, compile possible changes, and present the list of approved changes yourself.


Odds are your graphic isn’t fresh out of the classroom door.  They’ve been around.  They’ve seen things.  Believe them when they say they would recommend against it.  The phrase, “I really don’t know that that’s a good idea” actually means, “I really know that that’s going to make it look like garbage.”  You paid them for there expertise; don’t insult them by thinking you know more about their business than they do.  After all, you wouldn’t want the design person tracking your P n’ L or tackling your fulfillments.

If you want the best company logo out there, keep these things in mind.  It may feel really hard to give up something that’s precious to you like your company logo but, in the end, you’ll be glad you hired someone.  Besides, it will allow you to focus your attentions on other important areas of getting your business running.

All images of MeatWater and the use of it’s name are registered trademarks of Dinner in a Bottle.
December 16, 2010 by Lacy Sereduk. All rights reserved 2010

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