Starting a new project with outsourced agencies or freelancers can be a lot like hiring a new employee. Making that commitment to research and seek out the right resource for your company means knowing that you’ll be spending a lot of time on the web and on the phone, and maybe not doing those day-to-day things that feel so productive.

But you know that it’s for the best, and will be worth it in the end if you put in the work now, during your discovery process. All of your effort is focused on one idea: "How can I get the best work at the best price?"

And if you know you want a new logo – and maybe even a nice brand style guide, too – you need to hire the right people that you can trust with your brand's visual identity.

But what do you need to ask potential designers to see if they're the right fit for your project?

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The beginning any new relationship is the chance to focus your attention and really learn all you can about the person on the other end. Budding friendships, dating, new hires, new prospects – all of these can be the start of something even greater. And to make sure you’re getting to know who the other person truly is, you have to ask the right questions.

Whenever we kick off a new branding project, we have a series of questions that we ask our new clients. These not only help us to learn more about our client, but also their customers, competitors, values and mission.

The answers to these questions help our design team to create a logo and brand identity that help define what the company does and who they serve, all while showing off the personality of the business. A branding project is a two-way street of collaboration. Designers can make some awesome graphics, but they need your help and background knowledge to develop a logo that hits the mark.

Check out the following list of questions to see if you have the answers you need to get a brand project started.

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Are you thinking about rebranding your business? If so, STOP.

Rebrands can be a fantastic way to propel your organization forward, but only if you're making that decision for the right reasons. So before you call together any focus groups or give your graphic designer their first assignment, take this simple, nine-question quiz to see if a rebrand is the right choice for you.

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If you’ve ever contemplated rebranding (or maybe even building a brand for the first time) you have probably been all over Google, trying to get the best advice on where to start. It makes you wonder: who’s right and who’s wrong? How do we spot the experts from the fakes?

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

Back in 2009, PepsiCo attempted to refresh the branding for Tropicana. Unfortunately consumers hated it and sales declined to the tune of 20 percent in two months. They were used to the iconic look of the bright orange and the striped straw poking out of it, and its removal from the design caused confusion. (Rather than looking like a carton of well-known Tropicana orange juice, it looked like an off-brand copycat.) Eventually, PepsiCo conceded and announced the original packaging would be reinstated.

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Finding great photos for the marketing content that your business puts up online can be hard.

While you might want to simply Google search and snag the first image that pops up in the results, that's not a good idea. Why? If the image you want to use isn't yours, you need to have the rights to use it. And that usually means spending a lot of time digging through stock photo sites.

But that's not even the real problem. Not only do we need images that we are allowed to use legally, we need great images that will capture our audience's attention and we aren't sure where or how to start looking.

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It can always be a little disconcerting when you walk into your favorite retail store, start searching for that one product you love (you know exactly where to find all of your favorite brands, of course), but you can't seem to find it.

But it's there. It's right in front of you, In fact, it never moved. But you didn't notice it at first, because the company changed the look of the packaging. Again!

It's frustrating, isn't it? The new product design isn't doing a good enough job representing the brand style that you were familiar with.

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Often when people discuss branding, they make it seem like it is only something marketing needs to worry about. After all, branding is essentially how a company – or individual – presents itself to, and is perceived by, the world.

There is a lot that goes into a business' brand – everthing from logos, colors and fonts, to the voice or tone a company uses to connect with their audience.

Yes, much of your brand will be more visible in the work your marketing department produces, but your company's brand goes beyond a set of rules.

Your brand is your business. It's how you want your audience to see you, and it's what sets you apart from your competitors.

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