Frequently Asked Design Questions

Time for another round of design FAQs!

1. I have a crowd-sourced logo, but I’m not happy with it, and none of my print or web vendors can use the versions the creator provided. Why?

Most crowd-sourced logo companies are not professional graphic designers who will take the necessary time to research your needs, your market and your services. This research is key to good branding and logo design, and is only one reason good logo design is not cheap. The ‘crowd’ is likely to be online communities of (usually inexperienced) designers who cannot provide a unique design, and who depend on cookie-cutter concepts being used by other companies.

The logo file versions that a professional designer provides are the following:
  • vector
  • rasterized (high- and lo-res)
  • full color, and black and white

Logos should be originally created in a vector (drawing) program, such as Illustrator. Inexperienced designers sometimes try to use only Photoshop which is a raster program, thereby creating sizing and resolution headaches in the future.

2. What can we do to avoid our company’s name or logomark being challenged by a competitor?

Since you are spending time and money to create your brand, logo and/or tagline, we highly recommend that you contact an intellectual property attorney with specific trademark experience to help you determine the IP (intellectual property) value of the name or design you’ve chosen, and whether you might be at risk in infringing another company’s IP.

If you don’t seek this legal help, you risk losing the time and money you’ve invested in branding and collateral materials. If you need a reference for a trademark attorney, we are happy to provide one.

3. Why won’t you design my brochure in Word?

Clients sometimes want to be able to make their own brochure changes using their Word skills. However, Microsoft Word is NOT a design application; it is only a document application and is extremely limited. Without refined capabilities for layout, text and styling, any print piece created in Word is inherently mediocre and will never have a well-designed look. (See our previous post on more reasons not to use Word as a design tool.)

Adobe’s InDesign is our choice for a professional design application for print collateral. Hundreds of tasks, functions, and styling options enable a skilled professional designer to produce some wonderful-looking print pieces.

Don’t dumb down your collateral; create a budget for hiring a designer who knows their stuff, and who can update and refresh your print pieces to maintain the design’s integrity.

4. Does it matter which web host we choose? (We design websites and get this question a lot.)

YES. Web hosting companies can vary wildly in their server up-times and customer service. Some that we rated highly in the past have fallen down on the job, so we’re always re-evaluating the “best” hosts. For what it’s worth, we never recommend GoDaddy (low customer service ratings and a tendency to upsell unnecessary features to customers). Give us a call to see who we are currently recommending!