As entrepreneurs, we have to fight it hard in our niche to get ahead of our competitors. We carefully plan marketing tactics to target our ideal clients/customers but, most importantly, we must have an outstanding logo to market ourselves with!
Not everyone can wrap their mind around that fact that a memorable logo design plays a KEY ROLE in branding a business. But guess what?! It’s the truth! But one other thing to remember … your logo is not your brand, it is a piece of your brand. And yes. In the world of graphic design, it is sometimes hard to separate personal taste from what will “fly” in the real world. But no matter what, the principles of design (aka. Usability, scalability, aesthetics, etc.) remain the same.
Not sure what those principles even are. Or just looking for some insight in order to help reduce your choices so that you can feel good about your final design?
Well, in this blog post, I’m going to dig into some majorly important questions that you should be asking yourself and be keeping in mind while deciding (or debating) on your logo.
Ready to find out they are? Then keep reading …
Is the design easy to understand?
With your new design, you want to be able to provide clear information in a logical way. You do not want your audience to feel confused or as though you’re talking down to them. This icon should be a reinforcement of your brand, not something to gossip about behind closed doors.
Is the design idea as to draw?
I bet you’re already wondering where I am going with this as it is not something people usually think of when designing their logo. They want something flashy with lots of character. But lots of character doesn’t need to mean as detailed as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
This process should start off with some rough sketches to build from. This will help wean out the bad ideas and leave room for formulating new ones. If your logo is easy to draw (by hand or digitally) then that means it has been simplified down to just the most important elements. Remember that saying, “keep it simple stupid”? That applies here because simple logos make long lasting impressions. They’re easier to memorize and not over run with extra “fluff”.
Will the design produce well in black and white?
Your logo design, actually every logo design, needs to work well on everything! If your design is too dependent on its colour palette or too detailed of an illustration, it is not going to survive every platform is needs to be on (e.g. printing special products, scanning, printed receipts, partnership collaborations, etc.).
What will end up happening is you will end up with a zillion versions of your logo poorly reproduced which will then take away from your branding. Perhaps even break it. Trust me, I’ve seen this happen many more times than I can count. Business is hard enough as it is so do not make it any more complicated than it needs to be.
Does the design scale gracefully in size?
This is a very important question to ask yourself and you may be wondering why. You must remember that your logo may be used on things as itsy bitsy as a favicon for your website up to as large as a billboard. It is more than likely also going to be placed (or printed) on a million other marketing materials. So, you need to look at your logo zoomed all the way out, all the way in and literally everything else in between. When viewing in different sizes you must consider thing like colours, negative space, line weight, shadows and yes, even fonts.
So, what I’m getting at here is … if it looks stunning as a favicon or even an app icon (size-wise) and as large as your screen will take you without the design pixelating, then it will more than likely look good on everything else. For the love of vector artwork! 🙂
Does the design suite the company style/voice?
Right to the point … your logo design style should reflect the brand itself as well as the people that work there. So, not only does the icon of your logo play a huge role but so do your typography choices. The typography sets a voice for your brand while the logo icon is considered the thread that ties everything together.
Defining your brand is a journey that every company will go through. This increases value and provides direction and motivation for clients, customers and team members (or employees). In order for your brand to be strong and consistent you need to define that voice with your logo design as it’s what communicates with the rest of the world. It is what sets you’re apart from the competitors, therefore choose it wisely.
Is the design unique enough to stand out? Timeless?
Most importantly – and I cannot stress this enough – your logo should not be a knockoff of a popular brand. Or a knockoff of any brand already out there for that matter. Quite frankly, that’s just inconsiderate to the original owner(s) and darn right lazy. Plus, it could open you up to a lawsuit then you can just kiss your business goodbye. So, don’t ask your graphic designer to create a “version” of something just because you “fell in love with online”. Or buy a cheap vector graphic and remove the watermark. BE ORIGINAL. Your business brand needs to stand out just as much as the ideas your stand for. You need to “bulletproof” your design and make sure that your brand truly is YOUR BRAND.
Why? Well the obvious … you want your clients, customers and prospects to see YOU when they see your brand. Not Apple or Starbucks or Adidas …!
Also, if you want to keep your logo “timeless” get rid of the concept of being “trendy” in your head. A trend is just that … something that lasts for just a little while. You want a brand that will stand the test of time and only be changed when you want it to, not when pink is out of style. Lastly, do your best (and I mean your very best) to avoid visual affects just because they “seem fun” in Photoshop – at the time – like lenses flares, bevels, pattern or texture overlays, drop shadows, embosses and so on. In most cases, logo designs that use any of those effects rarely last more than a few years before needing a complete facelift. Just because it looks fun doesn’t mean it’s right for you or beneficial for what you’re trying to achieve professionally. Not that your brand can’t be “fun” … but it also needs to have meaning.
“Logos are a graphic extension of the internal realities of a company.”
– Saul Bass, Award Winning Graphic Designer
Now that you know a bit more about the principles and what to ask yourself, this will help you know when you can colour outside the lines and intentionally break “the rules”.
If you found today’s blog post informative, I would be very grateful if you would help it spread by sharing it on social media or emailing it to a friend. You never know whose life you might change. Also, have any topics you’d like to hear more about on my blog? Feel free to drop me a line or post your comments on Virtually Untangled’s Facebook page. Thank you!