Designing a new logo can be quite the challenge. It can be time-consuming and hard to make a final decision, as you're committing to something you and your customers will be looking at for many years to come.
Choosing a Logo Designer
Many choose to work with a local designer, which is a great option if you really want a lot of hand-holding and in-person meetings to discuss the type of logo you want, and to review design iterations.
However, that can often be quite pricey, and you end up limiting yourself to a single person's design perspective.
If you're looking for a more affordable solution, and want to see a lot of different ideas all at once, check out 99designs.com.
99designs is logo design contest website that allows you to host a 7 day contest for a winning design. You specify the prize money (at least $250), pay a design contest fee (which is how 99designs makes their money in the process), and provide some very high level details about what kind of logo you need.
During the 7 day contest, you'll get ideas submitted from logo designers all over the world, competing to win the prize money.
While the out-of-pocket cost is relatively low, what's expensive about this option is the time committment. You'll want to plan on setting aside at least an hour every day during the 7 day contest to provide feedback to each of the designers. The more you engage with the designers, the more ideas you'll get and the more designers you'll attract to your contest.
If you stay active in your contest and provide daily feedback, you can expect to receive upwards of 100 ideas.
The quality of designs is excellent. I've worked with many agents who have ended up with a very professional logo from a 99designs contest.
Choosing a Logo
Regardless of who you work with or where you go for a new logo, here's a quick checklist of things to consider before making the final decision:
- How will it look in black and white? Logos with really complex colors and gradients often loose something (or everything) when shown in black and white or even grey scale. This is important because your logo will be printed a lot, and not always on a color printer.
- Do you plan on using it for t-shrits, pens, tradeshow goodies, etc? Be sure the logo you choose is going to work well on these types of products.
- How will it look when shown small? You're often shown large versions of a logo to review when in the design stage, so it's important to see a small version to make sure it's still readable/recognizable. This is especially important when there's small "sub heading" text under/next to a graphic on your logo.
- How will it look on your agency website? Is it a really square shape, but your website only has a place for a rectangular shaped logo? Many times your web designer can make some modifications to your website to accomodate a different shaped logo. If you don't have anyone to manage your website for you, and aren't a designer, this is definitely a consideration to remember.
- Do you need a version that can be used in a square shape for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Many social media sites have a place for a square shaped icon, and if yours only makes sense in a long rectangular shape, you may have to get pretty creative down the road to make it fit. You shouldn't turn down the perfect logo because of this, but have the designer show you some ideas on alternate layouts/shapes of the winning logo for these other uses.
- Is it obvious you're an insurance agency? This doesn't mean that you have to have a logo that is a house/car/boat type icon to represent insurance. But you should consider having the word "insurance" in your logo, so that customers can easily identify your line of business.
Developing a new brand/logo can be overwhelming. I often work with agents who are trying to do both a new logo AND a new insurance agency website all at once. If your color scheme is already decided, but you just don't know what your logo will look like in the end, start the new website sooner rather than later. You can always update the logo down the road, and provided that your designer kept in mind the shape of logo your website will require, it should be fairly easy to upload the new logo to the site.