If you’re a startup agency, getting your logo designed is an exciting time. It’s the first time that you start to see the visual representation of your brand. It’s also the most important element of your brand identity as it will be used in all visual marketing.

If you already have an established brand, changing your logo can be a much more difficult task, but if dealt with delicately, even the biggest brands can and do change their logos. This kind of change would normally be preceded by a change in brand strategy, although sometimes a logo just needs refreshing.

Although your logo is important, it doesn’t define you. Your brand does. Your service does. Don’t force your designer to make your logo too big on your website or any other marketing. Your logo should be noticed without shouting. Your content is much more important to users!

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Some companies can be recognised simply by a symbol. If your brand leans towards needing a symbol, then we recommend using it in conjunction with a wordmark at least until you become the next NIKE.
A wordmark is your company name spelt out in a custom or chosen font. Most companies will use this on it’s own or in conjunction with a symbol.
Similar to a wordmark except using the initials of a company name. Sometimes this is necessary for long names. “Bavarian Motor Works” works better as BMW.

Your Name

If you’ve gone through the process of developing a brand strategy, you should already know what your company is called. If not, you’ll need to decide before design can begin. Although a studio can come up with this, it’s a time consuming process that can cost a lot of extra money. It’s also very personal and needs to be embraced by business owners. We recommend choosing your name in-house. Try avoid cliches or names that sound like other companies.

Design Brief

Before hiring a design studio, look at their portfolio. Most have a “style”. Be careful about asking them to produce something that falls way out of the look they’re known for.

A lot of useful context for the designer will have already come from your brand strategy (be sure to pass this on), but there are still some important decisions to make specifically around the logo. Answer the following questions to help your designer give you the best designs.

  • What logos do companies that align with our brand have? Look for similarities in style. For example, purely online agencies pushing the boundaries of technology probably wouldn’t have more traditional ornate logos.
  • Do we have a preference in terms of construction? For example, you may want a symbol if your company name lends itself towards having one or just a wordmark if it’s your family name.
  • What colours represent our brand? Although your designer should give you options during the process, you may not want the same colours as competing agencies in your areas.
  • Do we want a stamp version of the logo? You may want to use a flat, single colour version of your logo in certain applications.

You may be wary of giving your designer too much and squashing their creativity. Trust me, the more detailed the brief, the better for all parties. Answer the questions above and give as much additional context as possible without telling the designer what to do.

PRO MOVE - Trust your design team and try take personal feelings out of the equation. You must be happy with the result and it must represent your company, but remember your brand is being designed for your users, not you.

The Process

All studios work in different ways. The following is the process that Prop Data will go through and what you can probably expect from most designers:

  1. Receive a design brief
  2. Supply a mood board to the client for comment. This is a selection of graphics, photographs, fonts, materials etc and form a visual representation of the brief and brand. Your designers will use it for inspiration when designing the actual logo. Moodboard
  3. Supply logo variations. At this stage it’s important to narrow down a construction from the options presented. Option 2 3
  4. Refine and settle on a colour scheme. If possible, ensure you select Pantone colours from a physical book as this will help with consistency across all your printed material. Option 1.1
  5. Design variations for use vertically, horizontally, in social media etc Group 42

You’re now ready to start looking at the other visual elements of your brand identity.

Personas can also be used in your sales and marketing funnel which we’ll cover later in this course. Bonus!


“What about a slogan?” I hear you say. A slogan is not your logo, although they are often seen in close vicinity. If you have a slogan, we suggest using it in your marketing where applicable, but not tied to your logo.


Choose a design studio that, as much as possible, fits the style your brand represents. Give a detailed brief. Enjoy the process! Trust the instincts of your designer. Remember you’re designing for your users, not yourself. Next up: Brand Identity