99designs: Designing a Logo - Knowing What You Want

"Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to Alice: I don't much care where. The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go." -Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Its all about knowing what you want. Its really simple, with no direction you have no direction.

I recently posted a logo design project on 99designs.com.  The premise is simple: write up the purpose of the logo and designate a cash reward.  Designers will then submit their logo ideas, I choose my favorite, and the winner gets the prize.

One problem: what type of logo do I want?

The contest began a little over a week ago, and at first I had 10 designs.  At this point, the designers yelled at me.  What do you like? What should we change?  I had no idea.

Then 30 designs.  Finally 90+ designs.  I was overwhelmed.  Each designer is sensitive, they want feedback, they want support.   I was the leader and I needed to give direction.

Fortunately two things happened:

  1. I found some similar websites of logos I really liked.  This helped clarify what I wanted.
  2. My friend Kalyn, who is a talented graphic designer, helped me dig through, find the best ideas, and give the designers further direction.

In the end, we collectively created some great logos.  I highly recommend using 99designs.com or the similar site crowdspring.com.  Use these sites to your advantage, they can bring great results.

In the end, the biggest lesson: make it easy, know what you want.