You’re starting a new business, and you’re eager to start the branding process by having a corporate logo designed. Are you as ready as you think?

Trust us; you’ll save time and money by completing five preliminary steps before you call a logo/brand designer.

1. Finalize the company name so your attorney can begin trademark research and registration. Someone else may have already trademarked your name of choice, and in your market. Don’t be caught short. To protect your brand and avoid wasting money, it’s vital to finalize the name and complete those trademark steps before asking a designer to start a logo design.

2. If you plan to have a new website for your new business, register your domain (URL) as soon as the name is finalized and trademarked.

3. Brainstorm your company profile. Once you have the name with trademark in place, the logo designer will need some answers about your business, your competition and preferences:

  • How do you want your company to be seen? (i.e., professional, humorous, trendy, conservative)
  • Do you need a tagline written to accompany the logo? A tagline can clarify your market or services.
  • What are your logo likes and dislikes? Do you have a color preferences or bias?

4. Hone your elevator pitch: Can you describe your services and market in 30 seconds? Narrow down your top services or products. And know your market!

5. Identify a few successful competitors. The designer will research your competition to see what branding has already been done in the marketplace.

Skip any of these steps and you risk wasting valuable time and funds on a design which will likely have to be re-done at your expense.

Once a logo concept is finalized, ask your designer to create a style guide. This guide provides branded color formulas, font styles, and rules for where and how the logo may be used. A style guide is the first step in establishing approved usage for your brand. It’s also the basis for designing future marketing collateral, such as a website, brochures, signage and presentations.

Now you’re ready to start using your logo on a website, email campaign, social media sites, stationery, brochures, presentations, signage and swag. Add it to company email signatures. To ensure consistency, a pro designer will make use of your branded colors and fonts as they create your various marketing materials.