First, I need to start off by saying it is not necessarily “illegal” to use copyrighted material in a profile image, a brochure or website layout if that material is licensed for commercial use (ie. such as stock imagery) but if the product is being sold as something unique, or the designer is claiming the work as his/her own, then that is a different scenario. All designers should check the stock imagery terms and conditions before using stock images in logos and all clients should assess their logo needs prior to engaging a designer.
Here are 6 tips to help you decide the type of designer you need for your business logo and branding.
1. Check out the designer’s website. Does it reflect the image they’ve portrayed as a designer? Does it showcase their recent work? Is there more information detailing their background and experience?
2. Check out the designer’s portfolio. A good designer will have a lot of examples of their work on display on their website. A portfolio that includes the names of companies and businesses they’ve designed for as well as examples is a sign that they mean business.
3. Ask the designer if they use stock imagery. If they do, but they don’t spell that out in their communication with you, then you might want to look elsewhere. It’s okay to use stock imagery if those images are licensed for commercial use. The same applies to fonts.
4. If you’re in it for the longterm, don’t go for the quick fix. If you are planning on expanding your business beyond a Facebook Page, then it’s important to have a unique logo and branding that you can then trademark eventually. If that’s the case, engage a designer who is experienced in unique logo design and branding.
5. Check out the designer’s testimonials. If they don’t have any on their website, keep a wide berth. If they do, make sure you can go and check out their work somewhere and even speak to a couple of past clients.
6. Have a look at the designer’s design process. Is it thorough? Is it a step-by-step process? Do they ask lots of questions?
With any business, a quick google background check is a good idea if need to know more about the business. Whenever anybody emails me, out of the blue, I do this. You really can’t be too careful.
It’s easy to feel like we know people online, but, unless we’ve met people in person, or at least have skyped with them on a regular basis, we really don’t. So, be careful and thorough when you’re checking out a business and, conversely, don’t be too quick to give recommendations. If you recommend someone without having experienced their customer service first hand and they end up letting the other person down, then it could be damaging to your business.
Here are some links to other useful articles about choosing a logo designer:
What’s been your experience of working with logo designers?