An impactful logo representing what the company stands for is a sound investment. Designing a timeless brand that speaks a universal language and captivates the mind and feelings of a wide audience, however, demands more than just creativity. That’s why we have ranked the leading logo design companies with the help of a customized evaluation process. We also offer a detailed guide to the stages of logo design and answers to related questions.
How We Choose the Best Logo Design Companies
Finding the best logo design outfit for your needs demands a deep understanding of the design process and careful consideration of a team’s portfolio, skill set, reputation, and pricing. There are many quasi designers out there exploiting inexpensive clipart and calling it logo designing. So, unless the background work is done right, eliminating the pretenders could be tricky. Let’s look at our findings about the elements we believe are quintessential in building a game-changing logo.
A Rich Portfolio
A logo is a mini version of a brand’s identity with the objective to make an impact on public perception. Having this in mind, we first looked at some of the logos of the top logo design companies and whether their impact and ideation match the design style of the customer. Then we looked at whether the company possesses the relevant experience across different industries and can back it up with a catalog of versatile and aesthetic brand icons. Naturally, we eliminated the outfits that did not satisfy our criteria.
A top logo design is timeless rather than trendy, but most importantly, portrays the scope of a business. To achieve this, the company should demonstrate that they first evaluate the brand, research the industry and produce digital drafts that are refined with the appropriate feedback. And here is how the best do it:
The Overview of the Project
At the very first meeting, logo designers discuss the project details with the potential client. The designer needs to see things from the client’s perspective and learn what distinguishes the company from its rivals. If any promotional materials were used in the past, the logo creators should be informed. It is important that the client conveys the marketing goals and vision for the future. Bear in mind that at this stage, it is crucial for both parties to be united on the logo’s target demographic. And finally, this is where the client expresses their ideas on what they want the logo to represent.
Explanation of the Design Process
Once the client has provided the essential information, it’s time for the logo design agency to share some of their magic. Some firms have integrated designer-customer portals which are excellent for communication and client feedback. At this point, the sketching techniques and customized tools should be discussed, along with whether the agency will designate a team and project manager exclusively focused on your custom logo design. Finally, the product must be delivered in modern file formats.
The Main Steps Taken During the Design Process
Throughout our research, we identified several steps needed for top logo designs. The first one is brainstorming and conceptualization, starting with identifying keywords related to the product or service. Words trigger the creation of visual symbols and shapes which is how sketching begins. A stellar logo design service firm usually includes its clients at this point by showing them variations of the raw concept to get feedback early on.
Sketches are then digitally implemented on the computer which marks the design execution phase. Color is added to the sketches and then, based on second feedback, variations of fonts are incorporated into the selected design. Testing a number of different fonts is recommended as it usually leads to a more impactful final product.
Some of the most effective changes and ‘eureka’ moments happen when the designer takes a step back to gain perspective. Unbiased third-party feedback is also desirable and extremely beneficial during the creative processes.
Finally, the best logo design company would showcase the most effective creations for client feedback. In most cases, they are presented in context to better pitch the ideas behind the company logo design. If needed, the designer makes appropriate revisions.
The Final Measurable Outcome of the Design
Once revisions are completed and the client expresses their satisfaction with the logo, the file to be used for various outputs such as EPS, JPEG, BMP, and Tif or Tiff is delivered. A simplified version might be required if the full-size logo contains too many details or the client needs a black and white version but this is almost never an issue. The advantage of teaming up with one of the best logo design companies is that future corrections and revisions are usually anticipated, meaning clients will not worry about their logo’s digital survival for years to come.
Experience in Creating Different Types of Logos
Your logo should be the icon that dances to the rhythm of your business. More importantly, however, it must stir up the right feelings in your audience. Based on the combination of typography and images used in logo creation, logo design firms can offer six types of logos used for targeting audiences:
Pictorial Logos are instantly recognizable emblematic icons or graphics-based symbols. An image forms the brand as in the case of the Apple or Twitter logo.
Abstract Logos are a specific variation of pictorial logos but with them, it is not the image that is recognizable but an abstract geometric form. Take the stripy Adidas flower for example or the divided circle in Pepsi.
Lettermark (Monogram) Logos are letter-based logos consisting of a few letters. This type of logo is often used by logo design agencies for organizations with big names. CNN, HBO, and HP are good examples of cases where a company’s initials are used.
Logotypes (Wordmarks) are based on a specific font and include the full name of the company. Wordmarks are very effective for companies with catchy names such as Coca Cola or Google.
Mascot Logos ordinarily involve illustrated characters and a custom logo design agency would use them as a way to appeal to families and children because they are usually cartoonish, colorful and enjoyable. Mr. Peanut and KFC’s Colonel Sanders are some of the best logo designs and most successful mascot logos.
Combination Mark Logos are created by combining a wordmark or lettermark with a mascot or pictorial mark. The image and the text are juxtaposed to appear unified as in the Lacoste or Doritos logos.
An Established Strategy
Information provided by the client only tells half of the story. The top logo design companies we considered have design strategies in place to dig deeper, get their clients ahead of the curve and support their plan of action with actual data. As the experienced players they are, their game plan will not only guide them in creating the perfect logo but will also add value to your business and offer a new perspective.
A competent designer will conduct independent online and offline research to get an idea of the client’s vision of the company. Based on similar research as the one conducted by UX design companies, logo designers will try to predict which logotype is most appealing to the target audience. With today’s technology and tools, user research is easily done but the fact remains that only the best possess the skills, intuition, and experience to correctly interpret the data and create a top logo design that customers will worship.
Understanding the environment where the logo will be used and investigating the current trends that govern it, play a leading role in the logo design process. An experienced logo design firm knows how valuable market research is and uses it to dissect the identities of competitors and discover their strengths and weaknesses. After all, market research insights navigate the tactics for drawing customers’ attention.
A Varied Skillset
It is our opinion that in addition to exceptional artwork, skills such as clear communication, research capabilities, a proper understanding of technology and time management are most welcomed if not a must. Researched-backed data is the nexus between what drives customer interest and the message the logo should communicate. Most of the logo design companies we reviewed insist on their client’s involvement through the various stages to maintain open communication. In today’s digitized world, the design team must be master in using design software like InDesign, Quark, Adobe. We, therefore, appreciate companies whose teams boast varied skills.
Feedback from previous clients is how we investigated the quality of the logo design services offered and whether the company fulfilled or broke the promises made on their website. By considering testimonials we acquired a sense of a team’s dedication to their client and how hard they tried to resolve conflict if there was any. After all, rankings speak volumes and often disclose weak points such as poor communication or bad time management which we definitely took into consideration in comprising our list.
If you are aiming for a top logo designer, we should warn you that they will probably be pricey. Other than that, the average cost of a solid logo design ranges from $300 to $1,300. The price is of course contingent on the size of the team of designers that will be working on the project, number of logo concepts, revisions, refinements and additional services such as business cards or envelopes. In our experience, companies that have money-back guarantee are committed to the creative process, risk-free and instill confidence that they have what it takes to produce a fantastic logo.
How to Choose One of the Best Logo Design Agencies
Having gone through all the details of what goes on behind the scenes of logo designing, in this section we will share some exclusive tips to help you shortlist agencies. To make things easier, we’ve compiled a list of six points that ought to be considered before starting a partnership that will fuse the authenticity and genuineness of your products/services into a memorable logo.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Before going on a first ‘date’ with a potential logo design agency, it is important to set the right expectations and goals. Try and elaborate on the matter of where the logo is intended to be used and in what capacity. For example, a logo used on a billboard usually requires more detail than say, one used on business cards. In case your company already uses an established color scheme or style, make sure to provide the designer with the details. If the goal is to freshen up an existing logo, the best logo designing company would aim to incorporate these features to ensure brand consistency. On the other hand, if the aim is a totally new visual identity, old elements most definitely should be avoided.
Define Your Target Audience
Does your business deal with financing? Did you know that if kids are your target audience your logo should have bright colors? Did you know that even if you have a brilliant logo idea and the best logo designers on your retainer your logo could still fail? Spoiling the party is no fun for us either but the target audience is pulling the strings on this one. A logo should be an adequate portrayal of your company’s values and philosophies and how it looks tells your customer/client profile a lot about your business. A cheerful and slightly comical design might be super artsy and would definitely be good for business if you own a bakery, and not so much if you are in the insurance sector.
Consider the Additional Services You Need
Logo design services might include anything from logo replication to brand unlimited packages. To remain competitive on the market many companies offer extra services such as web design, graphic design services, web development, etc. So, making sure you know exactly what services your need or don’t need is paramount.
Get to Know the Working Style of the Companies
Once you’ve started screening the companies’ portfolios, take a good look at their working style and do not get impressed if you see powerful brands such as Samsung or Apple on their list. There are plenty of branding agencies that have worked with strong brands but this doesn’t mean they’ve designed the logo. Instead, they might have just been hired to integrate the existing logo into an image or billboard. Also, try to look for diversity in style as the best logo design firms tend to show off their stylish creations. Plus, too much of the same design could mean the firm lacks experience in layer styling.
Bring Your Own Ideas
You are the one making an investment that should last for years to come, and since you and only you know what your brand stands for, it is only fair that you actively participate in the logo design process. So be bold and share your ideas, give them hints on what details your target audience might find trustworthy or relaxing. And rest assured that even if your ideas are not that good, top logo designers will find a solution to meet you halfway and if they don’t, just try the next candidate.
Define Your Budget
Limited resources can be a major hassle, so before you even begin your quest for the best, try to determine your budget. The price of a very basic logo design can be as low as $100 but for a terrific logo, it could go as high as $12,000. In any case, it all depends on which extra services are included in the package. For logo design, it is the same as with other investments — the higher the investment, the greater the yield. So make sure whatever money you intend to spend is spent wisely and paid for a logo that will last a lifetime.
A company that promises multiple concepts most certainly relies on pre-made clipart designs and in most cases will not produce a logo to your satisfaction. The optimal number of logo designs a prospective client should be offered is two or three unique concepts. As far as revisions go, there should be no limit. At the end of the day, a company that limits revisions is probably not that good.
The turnaround time is the time it would take for a logo design company to finish the logo. The optimal number of turnaround is between five and 10 days as it leaves time to follow through all the principles of good logo design. Be aware that there are plenty of logo makers out there who are promising a 24-hour turnaround which often leads to poor outcomes and outraged customers.
Getting an expert to customize your logo, based on your feedback, market and user research can come at a higher price but original artwork always pays off. Custom logo design companies are famous for delivering state-of-the-art logos. Some outfits even show a video of “the making of” to bring their client closer to the creative process behind their artwork. Awesome right?
Typically once the final designs are approved, a well-established logo design company will provide a format that is called a “vector” format or vector graphics. This Adobe Illustrator created format is the real deal as it enables the logo to be fitted to any size and still maintain an excellently sharp resolution. However, in case you need raster graphics file formats such as PNG or JPEG, a reputable logo design outfit shouldn’t charge you extra for these.
In accordance with the law, if the copyrights are not paid for, the designs belong to the designer. In essence, any piece of art is owned by the creator. That said, logo design companies usually sign the logo rights over to their clients as they understand they would need the owner to be able to use the logo. In any case, it’s something that you need to discuss with the firm prior to signing any paperwork.