What it takes to design a logo

Now and then I provide comments about people’s logos. It might be on LinkedIn or Quora. So I was just asked again for some design advice. I don’t want to reveal too much personal/private information, so here is a part of my response:

Most logos are, if anything, are too complex. It’s better to be too simple that too complex.

I don’t think non-designers realise that design is a long and ‘iterative’ process, meaning even though the final logo may be a simple symbol, it has gone through many many different steps, perhaps hundreds (if not thousands).

Each time, the designer(s) have the same critical approach. But instead of looking at it for 10 seconds as I did with your logo, we basically do this for hours and hours (and not just 1 or 2 hours, I’m talking 6+ hours for any half-decent logo). That’s basically the difference between a logo that costs $30 and one that costs $600 or more.

There are many questions. Lots of communication needed.

I think some of the hardest logos of all are for personal services and large corporations.

“Do you have any suggestions how to emphasize xyz?”

That is just one of the things that designers get paid for. Another thing is to come up with fresh ideas. Right now I do not have enough information about your service and target market. If you want me to design a logo for you, I can do it, but I can’t work for free.

Anyone can learn to be a designer, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of experimentation, a lot of trial and error, a lot of mistakes and a lot of money. Like a lot of things, it’s easier to just pay someone to do it for you, because you are not just paying for the time it takes to design a logo, but also their experience (which may take five or ten years of learning about design).

I personally think I have chosen the very two fields that people have the least respect for: science and then design. Just because a quality logo appears like it was drawn in five seconds, I can assure you that its development probably took more like five hours.

Logo design is expensive, but it’s often the very first impression that people have about your business. It really needs to have a lot of thought put into it…