Editor’s Note: This is Part 3 in our series about designing a new logo. In the previous installments, I outlined steps in the process of having a professional logo designed through Logoworks by HP. I now have been through three different rounds of of logo design and revisions. (Go here to read Part 1 and Part 2.) With each successive step we kept refining the design concepts. At this point, it is time to make a final choice.
If you recall from the earlier two installments of this series, I commissioned a new logo for another business website I own, called SellingtoSmallBusinesses.com.
I received 8 initial design concepts. Based on reader feedback (thank you!) I settled on this particular design as the one to focus on:
However, the design composition still needed some tweaking. So in my last article I outlined how I went to Logoworks and gave feedback about the design. The feedback I gave was based largely on your feedback last time around.
Fast forward to today: I received back from Logoworks two separate rounds of design tweaks and improvements — 16 revisions in all.
At this point in the process, I have narrowed it down to four revisions. At the end of this article I will present the four variations and ask you to vote for your top choice. That choice will become the logo I use for my other website. And I have a surprise for you — woohoo! — you will be entered in a random drawing to receive a Gold Logoworks package to design or overhaul your own logo.
But first, let me recap my overall impressions of the Logoworks system.
My Impressions Using Logoworks
Overall, I have to say that the process of using Logoworks to design a new logo has been very satisfying. It was a lot easier than I expected. There was a lot more communication and back-and-forth collaboration than I expected. Here are my specific thoughts about the process:
- The Logoworks logo design process did a nice job bringing out my needs and desires for a new brand image for a neglected website. The structured process worked very well for me. It guided me each step of the way. It prompted me how to express my needs. Without prompting, I would not have been able to convey my thoughts as effectively.
- In all, I received a total of 24 different logo design variations. It cost $349 (normal price is $399 — Logoworks was running a special at the time I signed up). I thought I got excellent value for that price. FYI: the package I chose offered unlimited design revisions, so I could have continued to ask for revisions.
- I was able to set my own pace. When I was ready, I could log on to my admin panel at Logoworks. Most of the time, I logged on in the evenings when I had more time to concentrate than during the day. And if I was slammed with other projects, I could just put everything on hold for a week or so, and know that it would all be in one place when I was able to free up time to get back to it. No hunting through my disaster of an inbox to find email messages or image attachments.
- Getting a logo fast wasn’t my main need, but for some of you, I know speed is critical. You get designs back within 3 to 5 business days (for me it was 3 business days). All deadlines were met. If I got a message that it would take 3 business days to get design concepts or revisions back, I received the designs as committed. Every single time.
- I liked the communication process. There are real designers — human beings — behind the scenes at Logoworks and I liked being able to exchange written comments with them. I have to admit being a little leery at first about using an online system for a logo design. My biggest fear was that I would not be heard and that I wouldn’t be able to carry on a dialogue with the designers. But as it turns out, communicating in writing back and forth was easy and a rather elegant online solution.
- The affordability of Logoworks and the self-serve process got me to a professional-looking logo much sooner than I would have otherwise. If I’d had to go out and find a designer on my own and pay more, I just would not have started a redesign project right now. I would have continued using my homegrown logo.
- With Logoworks I will get a logo that includes files in JPG and GIF format suitable for the Web, and print-ready formats of TIF and EPS. A mistake I made once in the past was to have someone design a logo for a website, but I never got a print-quality version of the logo. The version I’d received was fine online but looked fuzzy and pixelated when printed. In that situation, my original designer subsequently got a job in a large company and was no longer available for freelance work. In the end, I had to pay another designer to re-create my existing logo in a printable version. Ai yi yi.
- If I wanted to, I could easily upgrade and get stationery created with my logo. Same goes for getting a website design to match. So it would be a pretty efficient process to commission a coordinated business identity, based off of my chosen logo design.
- As far as downsides, I experienced no major downsides. If you are looking for one-on-one verbal discussion, I suppose that would be a downside to using an online system like Logoworks. But since I preferred doing everything on my own time in the evenings, and enjoyed the written communication, I considered it an advantage, not a downside. But you’ll have to make that decision as to what works best for you.
- The other point I’ll mention is that once you narrow down your choices for a particular design, most of the designs you did not choose to disappear from your admin panel at Logoworks. For instance, if you wanted to go back and look again at one of the earlier designs, you can’t find them all in the admin panel. But there’s an easy workaround — just save all the compositions on your hard drive. Luckily I had done that and could refer back.
- Would I recommend Logoworks after having been through the process myself? Definitely.
The Four Final Logo Design Revisions
In a moment I will reveal to you the 4 finalist design revisions. But first, let me say a few words about the designs I did not choose.
I had asked for some “Web 2.0 style” compositions. I got several back. I liked two of them, but they had a gloss treatment to the words. They looked fabulous online. But when I printed them just to get a sense of how they would look on a business card or letterhead, I did not like that special effect. The gloss effect made the logo appear as if it had partially “faded out” on the document.
Also, another of the revisions made the font taller and bolder. But that caused the letters to be closer together. Again, when I printed it, the cramped lettering made it hard to read. So I also eliminated it, too.
(As an aside, ALWAYS print out a logo to see how it will look on paper.)
I narrowed it down to the following four revisions, which I include below. You can actually see the designer’s comments on the side next to each revision, explaining the changes.
Revision #1 is straight forward. It’s easy to read:
Revision #2 is similar to #1, but makes the words “small businesses” stand out due to the different color:
Revision #4 makes the letters slightly higher and bigger. However the font is different:
Revision #8 was something I wasn’t expecting — and was pleasantly surprised to get. It changes the paper clip graphic to tilt it slightly. Also, the letters are much larger. It’s different and unusual:
So now comes the moment of truth. It’s time to choose one of the four.
Whichever one of the four revisions gets the most votes will become the logo I use on the SellingtoSmallBusinesses.com site.
Vote and Enter Drawing to Win a Logo Package
Please vote for one of the 4 logo revisions, by leaving a comment below. The voting will remain open through April 30, 2008.
After that I will hold a random drawing of those who voted. Logoworks has graciously agreed to contribute a Gold logo package to one lucky reader (I was thrilled when they agreed to provide it when I asked them for it). So leave a vote below. You’ll be helping me out AND you’ll be entered in the drawing and one lucky reader will win a Gold logo package worth $399.
UPDATE: COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED BECAUSE WE HAVE A DRAWING WINNER.