Having a business or organization or blog means you will also need collateral and flyers and logos etc. created. Many people resort to making some of their visual assets themselves because they don’t have the budget to hire a professional.
Everyone cannot afford Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator so at the minimum, go on Fiverr and get something done for $5. At. The. Minimum. Someone can get you a $5 logo but with everything, you get what you pay for. There’s also Canva, which is great for flyers and other marketing collateral.
However, if you can squeeze some coins from somewhere, please do because your branding can be seriously affected by the LOOK of what you’re presenting. If you have no design background and your only tools are MS Paint, please consider hiring someone.
Know what to ask for when you’re working with a designer for graphics. Here’s a checklist of things to protect you and make sure you walk away with all the files for your logo that you will need now and in the future.
Here are some questions you ask:
1. Can we sign a contract or have a written agreement?
You need to get a contract for the work you’re about to pay for. Why? Because it allows both parties to be held to certain standards, and having it in legally-binding writing makes it highly official. If you don’t have a formal contract, at least have an email that outlines expectations so something is in writing.
2. How many revisions will I get?
When you’re speaking with a designer or artist, in general, ask for the number of revisions they make under your current agreement. This number is what they will do in terms of edits before having to charge you extra. It protects them from indecisive clients, and forces clients to be clear about what they want it. Usually, it’s between 2 and 3 revisions.
One round of revisions typically count as ONE SET of changes you send when you get the initial work. So if they send you a flyer, what you do is create a bullet list of changes you need made and send it back. That counts as ONE round. If you’re a part of an organization or have a business partner, both of you need to look at whatever the artwork is, and come up with ONE list between you. That makes it easier for the designer to go through and give you what you want.
Anything after your agreed round of changes will incur charges from most designers, so be sure.
3. Can you send my design on a transparent background, on a white background and on a black background?
Your logo needs to have a transparent version, which allows it to be placed on any color document or even merchandise without anything behind it. You also need one that will be on a black background, and one on white. This will make sure that no matter what, you have a version of your logo that will be useful in most circumstances already on hand.
The transparent version of your file and logo will be a .PNG file. You want .PNG and .JPEG versions.
STAY ready so you don’t have to GET ready.
4. Can you send me a vector version of my logo?
As a former web designer myself, when I’d ask clients for a file format I’d need for their logo, and they’d say they never got it, my heart would break into pieces because they should have received it. Let’s talk about what vector is.
Vector is a type of format for files and it basically means that it is created to be resized and not lose its quality at all. Programs like Adobe Illustrator create vector files. Adobe Photoshop does not (those are raster). What this means is that a designer SHOULD create your logo in Illustrator. Logos often need to be resized for all types of things.
This is what happens when you try to make a non-vector file BIGGER than the original. It gets blurry and pixelated:
But if your logo was a vector file you can stretch it to be as big as an entire wall and it will never get blurry. It retains its smoothness and quality.
So, in addition to the .PNG and .JPEG file, your designer should send you a version of your logo that is one of these file formats: like .PDF or .AI or .EPS. They can send you a version of these files that doesn’t allow you to alter the design itself, but it lets you resize.
5. Can you make my flyer high resolution?
Besides your logo, flyers are important and they need to look good. One of the things that prevents the greatness of a flyer or anything that is designed is if it’s too small of a file. Your designer should always send you a high resolution final version of anything they’re making.
High resolution refers to how much detail is in a file, and the higher resolution, the higher the size. You want your flyer to be high res so when you print it or upload it to the web, it looks clean and clear, it’s easy to read and it retains the colors that it’s supposed to. How do you know if your file is high res? Well, for a picture that you’ll be using for the web it should be no less than 800 pixels (px) wide. Even THAT isn’t considered high res enough sometimes.
If it’s something you need to print, it needs to be at least 1 MB in terms of overall size. Again, this depends on the purpose but it’s always better to get a picture/flyer/logo that is a HUGE size and then make it smaller than getting something that’s too small and trying to make it bigger. Err on the side of BIG.
6. Can you make a square version?
Instagram is a huge platform and because of its impact on how we market and connect, it has added the requirement that EVERYTHING you get designed needs a square version. If you’re having an event, and your flyer is the traditional rectangle, that can work for everywhere else. If you try to upload that to Instagram, you’d need to add a border so it can be square. Avoid that extra step and have your graphics created in a square version too.
For my blog posts, I use a long rectangle for the graphic for the post itself because those do best on Pinterest. However, I always have a square version that I use to promote on Instagram.
Although these are all questions, the answer you get should ALWAYS be yes. In case you need a checklist, see below (hover over it to Pin it):