What makes you think about a business and and how you think about it more completely, reading it’s name or seeing it’s logo? People are very visual creatures, and pictures speak louder than words. Thus, the more memorable and authentically Your Business it is, the more likely the logo is to be effective and supportive of getting your business to stick in people’s minds.
Descriptively there are three kinds of logos:
Wordmark – the name of the business spelled out. These tend to be rectangular in shape.
Shapemark – a graphic design, icon or initials, with or without meaning.
Combination – a graphic mark accompanying the name or initials of the business.
Here are a few thoughts about logos—strategy, design and the designer.
Square-shaped logos, or those with a strong design element that fits well in a square are more versatile when placed in a layout. You have a ready-made candidate for a favicon (the little graphic up next to the URL).
A logo that is just typed out from a word processors not going to be a good representative of your business. The subconscious message it sends is that you are not a professional. Some of the decorative fonts often chosen for this have become cliche in design circles. Please, just say “no.”
Always make sure that the files for your logo include the original layered file and/or, at the very least, a file that is formatted to be vector, resizable for different applications. Without at least one of these you will probably have extra challenges and expenses later when you want to add to or change your marketing.
Make sure your logo looks good in both color and black & white. Sometimes adjustments need to be made for the black & white version to be most effective. Don’t depend on just printing it out as-is when a few tweaks could make it “pop.”
A good logo is readable and effective at 1”, 3” and 5”, if not larger still. If it is designed large and not checked for being reduced for a business card (or smaller) small details could disappear.
If you decide you want to hire someone to design your logo, don’t insult them by offering to pay $25. You might be able to pay this to recreate a design in a scalable format, but expect to pay a minimum of $200. Yes, there are places online where you can hire someone in the Phillipines to do it for this much. A good memorable logo can take many concepts and sketches to become worthy of showing to a client. Considering this logo may symbolize your business for it’s lifetime, that is a small price to pay. Graphic designers go through extensive training and have bills to pay too!
To your business success!
When you think about any really well known company, the logo is more like the tip of an iceberg. The shapemarks and textmarks that make up well designed logos become subconsciously linked to the whole experience of the business it stands for. Supporting it are carefully chosen colors, specific fonts, the company values, how they treat their customers, the quality of their products… all contributing to the overall perception of the brand.
When people see MacDonald’s Golden Arches logo it can trigger thoughts of the taste and smell of the food. Brown and yellow UPS logo? Reliable package delivery. The red and blue Petco cat and dog? Even if they aren’t a household name, those who see the logo remember it because of the cute cat and dog, and are more likely to want to purchase from them if they see the logo among others when they are browsing online.
This is why cutting corners on branding for your company can cost you in the long run. There is a restaurant I pass in my neighborhood that has a sign with their name typed out in a decorative font called Comic Sans. This is a free font that comes in any word processing software. No investment and mediocre results. This sign is broadcasting to the world that they were cheap and didn’t believe their business was important enough to invest in it—and that’s the point. This detracts from the quality of their food and service.
Branding is an investment in the future success of your business. The logo for Portland State University took a year to design. Granted, the number of stakeholders who had a voice in the process would have complicated things. The point is that a well designed logo takes both thought and skill. It often takes hundreds of sketches to come up with a concept that is worth developing to completion. Those who think they can get one for $20 would do well to take this to heart.
To your business success!