When it comes to the web I’ve got quite a diverse skill set but one area I’m severely lacking in is graphic design so this is a job I always outsource. I’ve used numerous designers over the years with mixed levels of success, in this post I’m going to share my latest experience (which I’m pleased to say went quite well).
Finding good designers can be tricky. I used to use forums like Digital Point where I’d post my requirements, offer a decent monetary prize and then wait for submissions to come in. This normally led to a good number of varied submissions (ranging from absolute crap to excellent) however I always found these designers may be good in competitions but were not consistent and often vanished off the face of the earth when you needed them. So how do you find a good and reliable designer?
Word of mouth and personal referrals for me has been the best approach. When you’ve been in this business a while you network and get to know a fair few people and I’m sure at least one will have a logo or design that you like, so simply ask for the designers details. In my case this was done via Twitter, I was following Cory Shop and he posted about the work he’d received via Twitter, so I checked out his previous work, the style suited me I went for a couple of logos for new blogs I had planned.
The process is fairly simple you pay upfront $150 for 3 logo mockups and then refine as needed. I did try to haggle but $150 is pretty cheap and Cory wasn’t budging (the price is due to go up to $300 so I suppose I got them half price ). Next step is answer a set of questions about your requirements:
1) Your company name(if already decided upon)
Blog : Foolish Gadgets (FoolishGadgets.com)
2) Target Audience and the industry the company is involved in. Description of the company or venture.
Gadget blog focusing more on the crazy/foolish side of the gadget world
3) An existing Website address (if any)
4) Desired Colors
Open to ideas
5) Text or Slogan that will go with the logo
6) Other logos the client may like
7) Specific objects they would like to see in the design
I like the idea of a court jester being in the design somewhere
I like elements of each design but none were what I was really looking for, so emailed Cory explaining (Note, Coolest Media is another logo he was working on for me at the same time).
Thanks for those. Could I get a couple of adjustments please/
I’d like to go for Coolest Media #1 but could you also do a version with .co.uk in blue at the end please.
With the foolish gadgets I’m after a bit of a mixture. I like the text from #2 but without the pen knife. Could you do the OO like you have on Coolest Media but make the smile something foolish like blowing a raspberry (not sure how) and also add the jester hat from design #3 above the OOs. Finally I’d like foolish to be different colors to differentiate, so would you be able to provide a few suggestions please.
This was getting closer to what I was after but not quite so:
These are the changes I’m after to foolish
- Current mouth looks more angry than confused so can you change it to a confused style (like an emoticon ~ but better).
- Tag line should be “coz not all gadgets are cool” this also needs to be darker/more readable
- Lose the nose (this was a debated one, and it was voted off but be only 1 vote)
- The hat is too tall, it’s currently 75pixels above the top of the f, could we reduce this and move it closer to the OO, also have a slight gap or white outline between the f and hat (hopefully that makes sense)
Couple of minor points on foolish. Hat and eyes look fantastic. Could we have a vertical .com at the end in the blue foolish lettering (sorry should of mentioned this before), extend the byline to go under the .com and could you change toe coz to because (I didn’t think e had enough space before seeing it) Last bit is the smile, I’m after a more squiggily look
We were also provided with more source files than I knew existed:
Corel Draw File – .CDR – Layered files. This is your primary source file.
Adobe Illustrator File – .ai – Layered files. Often used for print and required by print companies
Adobe Photoshop File – .psd – Layered files. Often used for print and required by print companies
PDF File – .pdf -A format everyone is familiar with.
EPS File – .eps – Often used for print and required by print companies
Font Files – .ttf – All the fonts that were used in the design.
Images Folder and files – 3 different sized images in a format that is ready for the web.
In total the whole process took 2 weeks and I’m very happy with the result. What I particularly liked about working with Cory was his reactions to changes and suggestions, always professional and willing to do what ever it took, I like working with people like that.