How To Hire A Graphic Designer For Your Personal Brand Logo

8 min readMar 9, 2018

What Is A Personal Logo?

The internet is rapidly increasing the number of touchpoints your audience has with your personal brand. Great news for you, but not so great news for your inconsistent branding.

Just like the Skipper needs Gilligan and sushi needs ginger, your personal brand needs a logo.

Keep reading to find out:

  • The 3 definitive reasons why a personal brand logo is important
  • 6 personal logo design tips to consider BEFORE a designer starts your logo (#3 might surprise you)
  • The dos & don’ts of giving your logo designer feedback
  • Your final logo checklist

Why Is A Personal Brand Logo Important?

1. Own The Mind

It’s not as important to be first in the market but first in the mind of consumers. This is more important than actually being first in the market. When your audience thinks of you first, you are the thought leader in your niche.

A logo is instantly recognizable and triggers thoughts in your audience’s mind.

2. Own Your Brand Identity

Your logo is the cornerstone of your personal brand. It makes up your visual identity and distinguishes you from everything else competing for your audience’s attention.

A great logo allows your audience to identify with your personal brand no matter where they find you. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, your website, your company’s website, Pinterest… you own your personal brand with your logo.

3. Own Your Message

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A great logo won’t save a bad message, but a bad logo (or no logo at all) can kill a great message. The human brain is wired to respond to visual cues, and a logo provides the visual cue your audience needs to remember you and more importantly, your message.

4. Help Your Audience

Branding is a little like dating. Everyone has a different “type,” and you want to attract the right type of people. Use a logo to attract your “type” and help them find you.

These people want (need) to hear your message. Don’t scare them away with a bad logo (or no logo) that’s not their type.

Hint: A good logo designer will take time to learn about your market to create a logo that works best for your personal brand. Some may even conduct or request a competitive analysis of your niche.

6 Tips To Consider BEFORE A Designer Starts Your Logo

Unless you’re an expert in graphic design, it’s best to hire someone to create a logo for your personal brand. The most successful method for doing this starts by providing your graphic designer with some guidelines. Do this before they begin working on your logo.

Consider these factors when establishing guidelines with your graphic designer:

1. Ask the right questions.

A logo needs to convey the meaning of your personal brand. Tap into that meaning with some or all of these questions:

  • What are your top 3 core values?
  • What problem does your message solve?
  • Is there a unique story that inspired your message?
  • What type of person does this design need to appeal to?
  • What 3 words best describe your personal brand or expertise?
  • What is the primary message you want to convey to your audience?
  • What 3 words do you want your audience to use when they describe you?

2. Find the symbolism.

Symbolism goes deeper than meaning. It captures the essence of your personal brand. A great logo will convey meaning through symbolism.

How do you find the symbolism? Start by writing down 10 words that you think best illustrate your expertise. What adjectives, objects, emotions, events, or periods of time represent your message?

These 10 words will help your designer create symbolism through typography, color, and illustrations.

3. Understand the psychology of color.

Branding colors matter because color evokes emotion and emotion drives decision making. What emotions do you want your audience to have when they experience your personal brand?

  • Red — strength, passion, desire, importance, attention, energy, power, determination, love
  • Orange — friendly, vitality, playfulness, enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity
  • Yellow — happiness, optimism, warning, joy, intellect, energy
  • Green — prosperity, nature, stability, growth, safety, trust, loyalty, wisdom
  • Light Blue — trust, tranquility, openness
  • Dark Blue — security, formality, efficiency, professionalism, serenity, duty, logic, coolness
  • Purple — royalty, creativity, luxury, dignity, independence, mystery
  • Pink — youth, innocence, femininity, nurture, warmth
  • Brown — rugged, earthy, old-fashioned, reliability, support
  • White — clean, virtuous, healthy, goodness, innocence, purity
  • Gray — gloom, subdued, neutrality
  • Black — sophisticated, edgy, authority, power, elegance, formality

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but acknowledging that color psychology affects emotion should influence your logo choice. Let your designer know if you have a preference.

4. Make a mood board.

Truth #1: You know your personal brand better than anyone else.

Truth #2: Graphic designers are not mind readers.

Bridge the gap between the thoughts in your head and the ideas in your graphic designer’s mind with a mood board.

Think of a mood board as a swipe file for logo inspiration. It’s simply a compilation of images that communicate your ideas, culture, values, and vision.

When you see pictures that inspire or validate your brand’s visual identity, add them to the mood board. (We like using Pinterest to create collaborative mood boards.) This will guide your graphic designer as they begin creating a logo.

5. Decide the type(s) of logo you want.

There are 5 types of logos to consider along with personal brand examples for each:

Lettermarks: initials

Wordmarks: text

Pictorial marks: symbols or icons

Combination marks: symbols + words

Emblems: text + symbols

6. Your logo shouldn’t cost less than $500.

Logo design gigs are a dime a dozen. Fiverr, Craigslist, or Upwork all advertise thrifty logo packages, and while it may seem tempting to go with an inexpensive option, don’t.

Any logo costing less than $500 dollars means you’ll be working with a less-experienced designer with bad design software. They likely won’t take the time to fully understand your personal brand.

Our clients work directly with our Creative Director to come up with their personal brand logos (if they don’t already have one).

As an example, here’s one of our client’s logos:

Our Creative Director explains how she designed the logo like this:

“The logo, using only the name “Schwally,” easily communicates the personal brand. It includes an element similar to the AVL logo (client’s business is AVL) where the W and the A connect. The S in this logo communicates continual motion which was inspired by the idea that companies need to constantly evaluate their financial status.”

The Do’s & Don’ts Of Giving Feedback On Your Personal Brand Logo

Because graphic designers don’t have psychic abilities, you’ll want to provide feedback in the most constructive way possible. To provide constructive feedback:

DON’T use subjective language. DO use specific, objective language.

Ambiguity causes frustration and wastes time. What’s bland for you may not be what’s bland for your designer. Pinpoint exactly what concerns you.

Bad example: It needs to feel more alive.

Good example: The colors aren’t evoking the right feeling. I’m concerned it won’t resonate with my audience.

DON’T state the solution. DO state the problem.

Your designer knows what they’re doing, so trust them to find the right solution to the problem. If you tell your designer what’s bothering you, they can find the right solution to fix it. They understand how to play with design elements holistically. You don’t, so trust them.

Bad example: Make the text smaller.

Good example: I’m afraid the text takes up too much space and it’s drawing attention away from the rest of the screen.

DON’T tell. DO show.

Telling your designer what you want is difficult. Showing them is much easier. Give your designer a visual reference to help them understand your preferences. This is where having a mood board helps.

Bad example: This needs to “pop” more.

Good example: This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for “pop.” Here’s a link that shows what I was thinking.

DON’T leave things to chance. DO ask questions.

The earlier you ask your questions, the easier it will be for your designer to create your perfect logo. Rather than letting things slide until the last minute, ask your designer questions throughout the process. See something that you don’t understand? Question it now.

The Personal Brand Logo Checklist

Answer YES to these questions before calling your logo final:

  • Is the logo simple to remember?
  • Is your logo recognizable within 2 seconds?
  • Is your logo timeless? (It shouldn’t be trendy.)
  • Is your logo visually appealing to your target audience?
  • Is your logo unique so that it distinguishes you from others in your industry?
  • Is the logo versatile enough for all your needs — both digital & print? (Can you use it across all your digital platforms and offline media assets?)

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(Image sources: IBM, Twitter, Kelley Drye, Mountain Dew, Ryan Hanley, Lacoste, Starbucks, Alex In Wanderland)




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