Often, when I send a client a first round of a logo, they take one glance at the logos, and then email me back to say that none of the logos is "it". And, this is perfectly normal, and actually a part of my process – I don't try to present finalized, complete logos in the first round, because I think a logo design should be equal parts exploration and suggestion from both the designer and business owner.

But, how can a business owner then evaluate a page of logo design options?

I recommend:

  • Review the logos yourself first, eliminating any options that you really dislike.
  • Go back to your business's definition and pull out the important parts. Weigh the logo options against those pieces.
  • Keep in mind that this logo should be designed to both tell the story of your business and to appeal to and catch the attention of your target audience.
  • Put the sketches away for at least a couple of hours, or maybe a day or so, and then pull them back out and take another look.
  • Narrow them down to a few choices.

Then:

  • Talk to your designer about the meanings behind the symbols and logos that you've singled out. Find out their reasoning behind the designs and their thoughts for further refinement. Is a logo that's just a bit boring going to come to life with later stylization?
  • If a logo reminds you of another company's logo, first ask yourself why. Is it because you were just looking at this other logo? Are the two logos truly very similar, or just evocative of each other? Is the other company in your space? Widely known? Ask a few friends or colleagues what other logos your logo might look like, and see if they have the same reaction. Basically, try to determine if that similarity is just a thought that you'd have, or if other people have it as well.
  • If you’d like to run them by a “focus group” of your own, take a few choices to a group of clients. I recommend that if you choose to go this route at this early point in the process, you should be sure to choose people who are in your target market. If you’re selling to male CEOs, but your mother doesn’t like your logo, that might not be a bad thing. And, tell them a bit about your company – simply asking "which logo do you like" instead of "which logo best represents my company" leaves the question too open for personal tastes and interpretations.

This process should leave you with an educated, well-informed choice of logos to take your next steps with.