A Logo and a Lesson: Learning to Work with a Graphic Artist

SmartCollegeVisit - The educated way to visit campus. Before there was a Smart College Visit web site, blog or company, there was a logo. But, even before the logo, there was a worksheet sent to me by graphic artist Sue Gift of SG Graphics. I was already familiar with  this artist's work but not with “how” she worked. Simply by becoming her client, I learned valuable lessons in how to assess logo design, to evaluate input, and to get the logo right from the very start.

The worksheet included questions about my goals for the business, my target audience, what I liked or disliked in terms of images, colors, and themes and several other questions that helped me help her understand my needs. Funny thing though, the worksheet also helped me understand my needs, too.

According to Gift, the visual metaphors, graphic design and color scheme of the logo will communicate what's important to the client and their business. “A logo’s design is for immediate recognition of the company and inspires trust and loyalty in the business. I want to know if they see their logo/business as traditional, contemporary, friendly, casual or serious or whatever other descriptions they can provide me.”

From researching the logos of her clients' competitors to planning a design that will fit all web and print needs, Gift says she puts much thought into the logo design to make the company stand out from its competitors and to reflect a solid company image. “I highly recommend people to not design their own logos unless they are skilled graphic designers. Sure, they can save themselves money but most people do not have the skills to do a logo justice and will end up weakening their company image.”

Logo designers typically charge a flat fee, though most are more than happy to provide a quote regarding the cost. When choosing an artist to design my company's logo, I compared the work of several graphic artists, their years of experience, costs, and personality.

After choosing SG Graphics, the end result was a selection of several logo designs from which to choose topped with a truly positive experience. After polling an audience of reviewers and going over their comments with Gift - who provided insight on how to evaluate the critique - I found it easy to make a decision.

For me, SmartCollegeVisit became real the day the logo design was completed. The graphic depicting a paper airplane made from a mortar board in flight, on a path to who knows where, brought together the components related to travel, education and journey that were, and are, so meaningful to my company. A logo was designed and a business was launched.


Z. Kelly Queijo is the founder of SmartCollegeVisit and a frequent contributor to Handshake 2.0. You're invited to follow SmartCollegeVisit on Twitter, @collegevisit.


Smart College Visit, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, Inc. of which Handshake 2.0 is an enterprise.

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  1. Thanks Kelly. This is a very relevant post on the importance and process of a new company logo. Makes me consider re-designing ours.

    Happy Easter

  2. Barry, having a logo designed by Sue, a seasoned professional, was a wonderful experience. When planning the business, I knew I needed a logo, but I did not expect to love it. Good luck!

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