Your logo is like a visual, mental shortcut to your company. It can be a crucial factor in establishing the identity associated with your brand. It can also be an important aspect of your business development.
Your logo should be simple and distinct, yet unique and memorable – setting you apart from the competition.
Ideally your logo is capturing the essence of your business in an icon or symbol. It properly represents your company ensuring you’re consistent and recognizable across all media outlets.
When you consider over time the spectrum of materials your logo may appear on — business cards, brochures, website, apps, signage, packaging and even your invoices to name a few, you realize that a professionally designed logo is a worthy investment as part of your business development. With these factors in mind, the investment required to develop your business identity should indeed cost more than a latte!
It should cost more than your morning joe
The sad, the truth is, you’re likely willing to spend more on a morning coffee fix than invest in building your biz identity. Sorry folks, $5 isn’t going to cut it. Heck, your morning cup of joe costs more than that!
While you may say “I don’t have the budget for a logo”, chances are you do, you would just prefer to spend it on something else.
People have money for what they want to have money for.
Circling the globe for the cheapest option
When you need a plumber or say an accountant, you look close to home – for someone reputable. However, when it comes to design, folks will literally comb the planet to find the cheapest option available. It’s both sad and comical. Yes, the internet has made it possible to connect far and wide. And perhaps you’ve seen a particular style of a logo designer that you like. However, that’s not often the case. Instead of connecting with a local designer (or even one on the same continent), they rather save a buck by hiring one on the other side of the world.
This is not to say that the person is not a capable creative. But they may not be very well versed in the English language. Furthermore, it’s unlikely they know anything about your business, target audience and or goals for that matter. So if you’re doing the “crowdsourcing” or “outsourcing” thing to another country, how is this helping the local economy?
Keep in mind, local designers are business owners just like you. And they’ll likely have a much better handle on your needs without time zone conflicts or language barriers. Heck, you may even get to meet with them face to face! Chances are, what you need is closer than you think.
Just because your nephew has the software doesn’t mean they’re the right one for the job
Your 15 yr old cousin, nephew or the like may have Photoshop or Illustrator, but do they have any clue about your business? Who your market is? Or who your competition is for that matter? Utilizing them to create your logo may seem like another “cheap” option, but it could cost you more in the end.
Why does this matter? Say your logo was initially designed by your 14 year old daughter. That may have been great when the business was getting started. It probably cost you next to nothing to have it created. However, now it presents itself as juvenile. You’re now competing for large government contracts and keep losing bids. Perhaps your current brand image may not be taken seriously and is working against you?
There are details in creating a logo that transcend understanding a client’s vision, company and target market which is why you want someone qualified in their field. One who understands which fonts to use and why — colors, effects and more. Otherwise your logo may wind up looking like crap and be problematic. It’s more than just aesthetics.
A “cutesy” or juvenile looking logo and font may be great if it’s for a children’s or doggie day care center. But if you’re competing for hi-tech clients, then not so much!
Sometimes you need to let go…
Like websites, many logos can only stand the test of time for so long. Even Verizon and Dominoe’s recently underwent logo design changes – albeit some scrutiny.
Change can be tricky and not always well received. People tend to like to hold onto an identifiable image even if it’s outdated. A little separation anxiety if you will. However if your brand and business model has shifted, well then maybe it’s time for a logo update – one that more closely reflects your new ideas and direction.
Look at some of the logo evolutions below. You’ll see how they’ve changed over the years. Not to mention how much more simplified they have become. Apple’s original logo is particularly interesting. It certainly would not serve them well today!!
Keeping it simple and other important aspects
Notice the logos below – how simple and clean they are and yet so recognizable. Even without their actual brand names included, you immediately identify with who they are.
“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” ~Leonardo da Vinci
As noted in the quote above regarding simplicity, all too often folks want to cram too many elements into a logo. Leonardo had it goin’ on so take a que from him and keep the following in mind…
• Simplicity WILL serve you better! Think of some of the major brands and their logos: FedEx, Apple, Virgin — how simple, clean and recognizable they are. It also allows them to translate well across all of the media spectrums.
• Your logo should be created in a “vector-based” application such as Adobe Illustrator. A vector-based logo means it will be scalable to any size without losing quality or resolution. This is INCREDIBLY important!
• Be open to the possibilities: While you may have something specific in mind, you just never know how your logo may evolve till it begins to unfold. This happens all the time and you will likely find yourself pleasantly surprised at its outcome.
• Digital appearance (on a screen) vs. printed materials: Screen color appearance of logos (or any materials) WILL differ then how they look printed. Monitors & screens occupy a different color space so colors tend to be much brighter.
• Turnaround time: No a logo is not created in a few minutes! Development of your business identity takes time. Generally speaking, it can take a few weeks. However, depending on a variety of factors it can take far longer.
• Don’t outsource – or worse crowdsource! Do a little research and support your creative community. Work with a designer who you can actually communicate with vs. a cheap foreign studio.
• It’s an investment: A logo is part of your business development. And it should be viewed as an investment. That being said, considering what it takes to create/develop a logo, you should expect it to cost more than a slice of pizza!!
A logo alone does not sell a brand…
While a logo alone does not sell a brand — the business/company and its reputation are responsible for the sale of both the brand and its logo. It is however, part of a business strategy – one that can help define your business to the outside world.
Things to keep in mind:
Ideally your logo should be distinct and memorable. You want a design that’s unique to you and your business. One that properly represents your company ensuring that you’re consistent and recognizable across all media.
It may help to start with your marketing message and then a design can be formed that brings it to life. You have to know what you want to say first before anything else – then everything comes second.
Picking a business name before your logo is created also needs to be considered. Think: “What may inspire the customer?” instead of simply what resonates with you.
A logo needs to initially be created as a “vector” NOT a jpg or tiff. A vector based logo or graphic is scalable to any size while allowing it to retain it’s quality. And considering the various sizes you’ll need your logo to appear on: print media, banners the web and more, you want it done right from the get go.
When it’s time to up your game…
When you’re ready to stop circling the globe in search of the cheapest option, or think that someone’s nephew should create your logo is a good idea, your ready to up your game. Know that your business logo IS an investment. And it SHOULD cost more than a latte to be created!
Written by Barbara Rogers of Future Primitive Graphics. Helping businesses grow through better design and search visibility solutions. Creatively collaborating with those who genuinely want to make the world a better place with their products or services.