Do you have any idea how important your company logo is? Well you should. It appears on everything from your corporate identity system, brochures to your website, reaching customers, prospects, vendors and the press. In other words, your logo gets to everyone and as they say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Present yourself clearly and dynamically, and you'll look like a professional, even if you are a small company.
We also recommend hiring a branding company to execute your logo. They can help you with positioning your company and creating the logo design. Here are some tips for effective logo design:
1. Your logo should reflect your company and it's positioning. If your logo contains a symbol--often called an "icon"--it should relate to your industry, your name, and a defining characteristic of your company or a competitive advantage you offer.
What's the overriding trait you want people to remember about your business? If it's quick delivery, consider objects that connote speed, like wings or a clock. Consider an abstract symbol to convey a progressive approach--abstracts are a great choice for high-tech companies. Or maybe you simply want an object that represents the product or service you're selling. Be clever, if you can, but not at the expense of being clear.
2. Avoid too much detail. Simple logos are recognized faster than complex ones. Strong lines and letters show up better than thin ones, and clean, simple logos reduce and enlarge much better than complicated ones.
But although your logo should be simple, it shouldn't be simplistic. Good logos feature something unexpected or unique without being overdrawn. Look at the pros: McDonald's, Nike, Prudential. Notice how their logos are simple yet compelling. Anyone who's traveled by a McDonald's with a hungry 4-year-old knows the power of a clean logo symbol.
3. Your logo should work well in black and white (one-color printing). If it doesn't look good in black and white, it won't look good at any color. Also keep in mind that printing costs for four-color logos are often greater than that for one-or two-color jobs.
4. Make sure your logo's scalable. It should be aesthetically pleasing in both small and large sizes, in a variety of mediums. A good rule of thumb is the "business card/billboard rule": Your logo should look good on both.
5. Your logo should be artistically balanced. The best way to explain this is that your logo should seem "balanced" to the eye--no one part should overpower the rest. Just as a painting would look odd if all the color and details were segregated in one corner, so do asymmetric logos. Color, line density and shape all affect a logo's balance.
Many logo gurus insist your logo should be designed to last for up to 10 or 15 years. But I've yet to meet a clairvoyant when it comes to design trends. The best way to ensure logo longevity, in addition to the rules I've listed above, is to make sure you love your logo. Don't ever settle for something half-baked.
And once you commit to your logo design, be sure you have it in all three of these essential file formats: EPS for printing, JPG and GIF for your website. Essentially, these file conversions render your logo as a single piece of art-so it's no longer a symbol with a typeface. Which brings us to the most important rule in logo design. . .
Never, ever re-draw or alter your logo! If you want to animate it for your website, fine. But don't change its essence. Reduce and enlarge it proportionally. And if you become tired of your logo, that's good. Because that's usually about the time it's starting to make an impression on everyone else!
To measure how strong your brand is copy and paste: (http://brandidentityguru.com/bightml/brandmasterpiece.html). Then click "Take the brand strength test". This is a short survey that measures the strength of any company's brand. It's a great tool to see where you are today.
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru (http://www.brandidentityguru.com), a leading brand consulting and market research firm located in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, near Boston. Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation.
Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.
Brand Identity Guru clients include: Sun Life Financial, Coca Cola, HP, Sun, Nordstrom, American Federal Mortgage, Simon (America's largest shopping mall manager) and many others, including numerous emerging growth companies.
Scott White is a very enthusiastic speaker and has the gift of being able to explain the principles of branding in a compelling and entertaining manner so that people at all levels can understand.