In a recent post we looked at the difference between brand and branding, highlighting the fact that we sit firming in the brand camp. So when the need arose for a Brandable & Co logo, it was time to find a designer to help us out with our branding.
When we think designers, we think 99designs - so that's the first (and only) place we headed. Today we'll be sharing the end-to-end process with you, so not only can you see how our logo design evolved to be what you see today but also to demonstrate how easy it can be to achieve great design - no matter what your time constraints, budget or level of design know-how may be.
First, we needed to Find a Designer. The 99designs site is super-easy to navigate and the entire process feels like it has been designed to be as uncomplicated as possible for both the designer and client. We selected Ela as our designer (she goes by the profile name of ale.T) Once you click on the Find a Designer link, you'll be able to narrow down the results by ticking categories which include: Logo & identity, web & app design, clothing & merchandise or packaging & label. You can continue to narrow down the results by selecting the industry, designer level (Top, Mid or Entry level), languages or recent activity as well as entering key words such as: Retro, Modern, Typography, Minimalism etc depending on your preferred style. When you find a designer that feels right for your project, if you click on their profile you will be able to see a full portfolio of their work.
Once you've chosen a designer whose style you like, the first step is to get in contact with them to see if they are happy to work with your brief and to obtain a quote. This comes in the form of filling out a simple brief which is comprised of describing your project, timeline and budget requirements. The form took all of 5 minutes to fill out - So far so good! Now, we didn't have a big budget but we shared the amount we had to play with and the designer then generated a quote that fit within our budget. Ale.T is a 'Top Level' designer so when we received her quote, we were surprised to see that the logo design was going to cost under £275 - great value for money!
Ela (our designer) responded within a few hours also giving us an explanation of the working process - which goes something like this:
- Secure the payment (it doesn't get released until the end of the project)
- Design proposals are presented
- Feedback, revisions and changes until satisfied with the design
- Approve final design
- Final files are sent through in various formats (for print and web)
- Payment is released
- Give the designer a review
Within a few days we received 15 concepts to browse through. We weren't sure of the colour palette at this point and the logos were sent across in black and white so we could focus on the design first and give feedback on the ones we wanted to develop further.
We were very impressed with Ela and the speed in which she turned the work around. Not only was she patient and professional when making changes and revisions but she really listened to the feedback and adjusted the designs accordingly.
We gave feedback on the design that fitted Brandable & Co best. We also made notes on the bits we liked and disliked from the other designs. Although there are better looking fonts out there, using a google font was important to us because we planned to use it on our website and on social media to keep the aesthetic consistent. Leaving feedback on the 99designs platform was as simple as 'click and comment'.
If you work directly with a designer outside of 99designs, this process could involve emails back and forth, calls and even text messages - making it difficult and time consuming to track and manage your project. In contrast, everything you do with your chosen designer on this platform is tracked on your 'Activity' Tab - there are four tabs in total: Overview, Activity, Files and Payment - so it's easy to stay on top of everything.
We didn't make many major changes throughout this process but there were lots of minor tweaks and by version 25, we had agreed on our final logo design... now it was time to look at the colour palette.
Within a day or so, we were there - a new logo, an agreed colour palette and lots of files for use online and in print. With another click of the mouse, we confirmed the project completion request and payment was sent to the designer. All of this had taken under two weeks and it would have been even quicker had we responded more promptly!
We're very happy with our new logo, it works really well on all the different formats we need it for and the process really couldn't have been easier. Lots of clients we've worked with over the years have felt overwhelmed by the design process - not knowing where to start, who to use or even what they're looking for - and we've not been able to recommend anyone because design is so personal and the styles that we prefer may not be what our client is looking for.
Having seen the variety of designers and design styles as well as having experienced the design process, we would not only recommend 99designs to everyone with design requirements but we'd also encourage any designers working independently to join the 99designs community.
If you've been feeling overwhelmed when thinking about your website, a new logo, a book cover or anything else design-related, we hope that sharing our experience has not only been helpful but the next time you think about design, you'll think 99designs and turn design into one of the easiest things on your to-do list!