Thoughts from Ciana

  • 06:06:52 pm on March 12, 2009 | 0

    SOCIAL MEDIA AIDS LOGO DESIGN

    Several friends and colleagues have asked us who designed our Ciana Associates logo, so we thought we’d share this information!

    As a startup business with a limited budget, Cindee and I wanted to get up and running quickly with a new logo. We wanted our logo to convey our brand — our key values, core attributes, how we’re different, etc. And we wanted a design that was smart, crisp, and assertive with creative flair.  We knew we’d get more comprehensive services with a professional design firm and considered several  (who were well qualified and came with great references), but we wanted to try an open  approach  and crowdsource the design to benefit from the diverse perspectives of many designers from around the world and engage in an interactive, open process.  Also, we liked the quickness of this process.  Since most of the design contests are open for 7 days, we knew we’d have a logo in days, not weeks or months!

    We ran a logo design contest through 99designs.com. (99designs.com charges $39 to run a contest). We began by posting a creative brief and offered $225 prize money for the winner. The contest lasted for 8 days and we got creative interpretations from more than 25 talented designers — as opposed to a single designer — with more than 70 designs to choose from.  We liked this diversity in creative approaches, which is one of the benefits of an open model.  Check out our contest (brief, submissions, comments and winner).

    Ciana Associates Logo

    Ciana Associates Logo

    This approach was open, not only from a design perspective, but also in that it enabled us to get feedback from others on the design concepts. Cindee and I used Facebook (we weren’t tweeting at the time) to let our friends and colleagues know about the contest and to encourage feedback on the entries.  We especially valued feedback from those friends and colleagues who are in our target market.

    This process combined the best practices of traditional design with an open design and feedback process:  Crowdsourcing a design can be risky for a variety of reasons (difficulty communicating with designer due to language barriers, lack of personal engagements, risk of not reaching an acceptable conclusion or results) , but fortunately we did not experience these issues.

    Why did this work for us?  We started with a creative brief (which communicated our brand) to guide the designers.  Designers that mapped to the concepts described in our creative brief got positive feedback from us.  Designers that ignored the creative brief did not rate very highly.  We gave public feedback to designers to help them iterate their designs.  Since all designers can see the feedback, they all benefited from the open feedback to modify their submissions appropriately.

    This experience was positive for us as clients (open process, many perspectives), and positive for the designer selected (as we engaged with the designer for follow on business). For those that want to try this model, do your homework first — understand the core elements that define your brand (creative brief) so that you end up with a logo that is a visual representation of what your business stands for.  It’s fun looking at the process of others (several of our colleagues have since used this to select their logo designs)!  Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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