We started designing our logo late in the building process, once all the construction work had been planned. Our original reason for the delaying the logo design was that so much of the startup loan was already budgeted for other things. Should we have left the logo for last? Designing the logo first made us reflect on what to talk about with our interior designer. In hindsight, it might have been easier to design the clinic first and base the logo on the colors we chose. The criteria we used in choosing our logo designer were simple: we wanted to experiment with a variety of ideas, for a fixed price and to be relatively sure of producing an attractive design. We researched local graphic designers and their quotes varied between $40 and $60 per hour. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a designer who offered a flat rate. Normally, this wouldn’t be such a big deal: after all, if it takes 3 hours to design the logo, the total cost is still low. The problem was that we didn’t know if it would take 3 hours or 30 hours to complete the design.

In the end, we decided on what we thought was a compromise, choosing to do an online contest. Our hope was that having access to more designers would generate more (and better) ideas, while at the same time guaranteeing that we stayed within our budget. To an extent, we were right: we received an overwhelming 281 design variants.

The downside, as you can see below, was that the design quality varied greatly between one submission and the next. We could only interact with the designers through a forum-style conversation or through private messages, and we had to extend the contest because some designers didn’t submit their best work until minutes before the deadline.

All things considered, we had a good experience. We managed to stay within budget, and our logo was finished within the required time. However, this is certainly not the only way to go, and we would be interested in hearing suggestions from logo designers with the Durham and Clarington regions on better ways to go about the best practices of logo design.

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