The following post is a Guest Post by a featured contributor to the Small Business Sense blog. Melissa Lang is a writer and author for Repeat Logo, a professional logo design company based in the UK.
Take it away Melissa.
“Logos are a graphic extension of the internal realities of a company” Saul Bass, branding expert says it all in this concise quote.
This is the man who is responsible for some of the world’s most famous logos, including the United Airlines design and his description of a logo is spot on.
A logo is designed to connect with your audience in an instant, and communicate your brand message to them without confusion.
If you want to create your own logo, a well-designed logo has the ability to evoke emotion in the person who views it and begins a dialogue with the audience.
When we look at a great logo, we see more than a shape or a “swoosh”; we see a lifestyle we want to engage with. People do not wear the Nike logo because they simply love ticks.
So, how can your small business ensure you create a great logo that acts as an extension of your internal brand message?
Do I even need a logo?
Your logo acts a visual representation of your brand and without this consumers have no way of bringing you to their mind’s eye.
This is extremely important because we humans are very visual creatures; in fact we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. If you decide to create your own logo and fail to create a visually stimulating design you are alienating your brand from potential customers.
Professional company logo design doesn’t just make your company instantly recognisable but it positions you as trustworthy and reputable.
A recognizable logo is like a familiar face on the street, you’re encouraged to smile and interact with them. A faceless brand, however, discourages any type of engagement.
Want to Create your Own Logo Design? Here’s Why it Might Not Be a Idea
One of the biggest mistakes you could make in marketing would be to create your own logo design.
In many cases a business owners become too emotionally attached to their design and may not see aspects of it that may need changed.
Having a professional look at your logo design systematically will showcase where you are going right…or wrong.
Often it’s hard to remember that the logo you’re designing is for a demographic other than yourself. Try to avoid edging in your personal tastes because this could leave your target audience confused with your message.
- Is your audience male or female?
- Fun loving or serious?
You may love orange, but did you know it evokes cheapness? Avoid this color if you’re marketing a luxury brand.
What color should my logo be?
We respond differently to different colours, so it’s important to question what your logos intention is during the design.
If you ignore colour psychology you might miss out on your key demographic interacting with the logo in the desired way. In a study by ColorCom it was discovered that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
- Red is passionate, high energy and makes the viewer want to jump to action. 38% of Forbes most valuable brands of 2015 used red in their logo including the action packed Red Bull and Virgin.
- Blue evokes trust and stability. Have you noticed that banks and technology companies all use this colour?
- Yellow acts as a stimulant and makes the viewer happy; what’s more it’s also the most recognisable colour from a distance, with information like this it’s no wonder IKEAs logo is always displayed high above the skyline.
- Green makes the audience think of compassion and nature. Green has long been associated with recycling and organic food.
- Purple is a colour used less often in branding but is linked with luxury, one brand who uses this colour well is confectionary giants Cadbury, and there’s nothing more luxurious than indulging in a chocolate bar.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Black and White
Don’t get me wrong; colour is highly important on logo design, but your logo should also be effective in black and white.
Your logo will most likely be used online, but if it’s being applied in the physical world it will cost less to print in black and white.
Consulting with a professional will allow you to see if your logo relies on colour for its success, if this is the case it may need reworked to be more versatile.
Your logo may benefit from being printed in black and white on:
- Receipts – If you sell your brand in a retail space your logo could be scaled down and printed in grey scale as another branding opportunity.
- Promotional products – Your business may need a bulk order of specialist products with your logo on it, keep costs down by using the black and white version of your design.
- Frosted glass – your business may be small now, but who knows where it could be in 10 years? Perhaps your logo will be emblazoned on double doors.
If You Decide to Create Your Own Logo, Does Text Matter?
Your logo is being used as a vehicle to engage your audience, so ensure the font chosen represents the brand’s image.
A great example of font being used well is in Google’s recent rebrand last September. The company now adopts a sans-serif font that represents their growing synonymy with playfulness.
Coupled with the primary and secondary colours of the font we immediately recognise the logo as representing a business that doesn’t take life too seriously.
Of course, the most important aspect of typography is that it’s legible.
Today, your logo isn’t only going to be displayed above a storefront, but must transcend mediums and be legible across all.
When scaled, does your text become distorted?
This is especially true thanks to the infiltration of mobile devices, with over two thirds of us engaging with smart phones for over two hours a day these small screens have become our go-to method of engaging with brands.
If the logo can’t be understood, the meaning is lost.
Why a Logo Needs to be Versatile Today!
Today there are many more opportunities for branding than previous years; your logo will appear on:
- Business cards
- Social media
- Web design
Creating a successful logo is a difficult task, which is why SME’s should not attempt to do this without consulting a professional, this is especially true if re-branding.
Just look to Gaps logo fail of 2010. The blunder cost them an estimated $100million, not to mention their pride.
By consulting a professional designer you will be able navigate the murky waters of logo design and successfully engage your audience whilst, most importantly, driving sales.