How do I work with a graphic designer?

I'm going to revolutionize the industry with my idea!

Congratulations! You've got an idea for a company. You've registered the name and set up the business with your county. You may have even bought the domain name. But what happens next? Now it's time to talk to a graphic designer about creating a visual look for your business. A company is more than just a name on a business card. You need to create an identity for your company to set it apart from the competition and that's where a graphic designer comes into the fold. Graphic designers specialize in developing corporate identity packages.

But graphic designers kinda scare me.

Don't be scared. We're gentle folks that just want to help you and we're very hospitable, if you take the right steps. Finding a graphic designer is like finding a good doctor. Ask your friends. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, odds are a few of the people you socialize with do too. See who they know, who they liked, who they've used. You'll never know until you ask.

Get the designer's phone number, email address or website. If you have their web address then do some homework. Take the time to look at their previous work. Most graphic designers have a thorough online portfolio. -- Here's an aside: We graphic designers are a proud bunch, we love to talk about our work and show our portfolio to the world. And we want your logo to be our next portfolio piece. -- If you see some things you like then it's time to contact the designer. Send an email and see if you can arrange a meeting or some time to talk on the phone. You can talk to the designer to get a feel for their personality and how they conduct business before you decide to work on a project with them. Make sure you like them and that you like talking to them.

OK, I found a designer that I like, but now what?

It's time to talk money. It's a scary subject, but you're entering into a business contract here so don't be scared. Figure out your budget and how much you can reasonably afford right now. Now talk to the designer. Do they charge per project or by the hour? A reputable designer will tell you their rates and discuss different options with you. Maybe you can only afford a logo and business cards right now and that's OK. Or maybe you're ready to get going on an entire package, the designer will work with you to get the most you can get right now.

I'm excited, when can I see my logo?

Whoh! Hold on a second. A logo is a process, we need to have another conversation first! We know you're excited, we're excited too, but you have to let us in on the secret. What's your business about? What do you do/create/build/sell? Who is your target market? Are you looking to market your product to other businesses? Dog owners? Children? Who is your competition? What is your style? Do modern logos appeal to you? Your answers will help the designer create the best logo they can for your business. Now give the designer some time and space to think about your logo. Let them work through the creative process. In a couple of days the designer should resurface and show you three or four different logo proposals.

I like parts of a few of the logo designs. How do I get the finished look I want?

Talk it over with your designer. We don't expect you to love every logo and we planned on making a few changes. Tell us what you love and what you don't. Designers want to create something you love and that your proud to show off.

Now take that logo, get out there, and start selling! And please don't forget to tell your entrepreneurial friends about your great graphic designer, Heather Ink!