Thursday, February 7, 2013

Logo Love!

Part 1 of a 2-part series explaining the how, when and why
of logo design and redesign for business.

I'm starting a new business and I need a logo...

Just like your business name, your logo should reflect your business identity. It is the visual representation of all that your business encompasses, creating the first impression of how consumers perceive your products and/or services. When your business logo correctly reflects your business identity, it will succeed in showing your potential clients how your products/services will most benefit them... and will lead towards creating brand trust and building client loyalty.  

Generally, logos fall into 3 categories. The logotype is a completely type/font-based design created with some element of distinction. Sony, Coca-Cola and FedEx are all examples of the logotype. There are graphic logos that visually exhibit what the business (or entity) does, such as the Major League Baseball (MLB) logo. Lastly, the icon is a symbol that is used to represent the business and it's brand. Using an icon to represent your business and brand is very tricky when first establishing a business, and it takes a lot of time and money to establish the connection of the business and brand to the icon. The Nike Swoosh is a classic, extremely successful example of the business icon.

Before you decide which type of logo (logotype, graphic logo, icon) would best represent your business, think about the message you want this logo to convey. Your logo needs to make sense, have a connection to your business identity, and be memorable. Differentiate your business logo from that of your competitors, and focus on your business' strengths and benefits. Take into consideration your business name and how that will influence the design of your logo.

Your business logo should be clean, functional, and easy to reproduce. Use color theory to develop the best color palette, and keep it simple. Be mindful of all media applications the logo will be used in, and understand that more colors sometimes equals more in production costs. Also, a logo needs to work, and work well, before it can work in color. Start the design process in black and white.

Steer clear of trends if you want to establish longevity for your business logo. You want your business logo to be unique, original and highly professional, so avoid using clip art at all costs.

Most importantly, hire a professional to create your business logo. Make sure that the person that you hire has the experience and industry knowledge to get the job done. Keep in mind that your business logo should be treated as an investment, and hiring a professional to create your business logo will prove to be one of the best business decisions you could ever make. 

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