Without a doubt, the age old saying ‘first impressions are lasting impressions’ is an expression that rings true when a company is looking for some inspiration to pick their logo. However, the fact of the matter remains, coming up with a unique business logo is not a walk in the park, because a lot goes into the thought process before narrowing down what could potentially be the make or break of your company image.
Designs belonging to renowned brands stand out from market competitors simply because their company logo ideas proved to be nothing short of genius and thus, have stood the test of time. Target hits the bullseye, Nike goes swoosh and Apple catches the eye; and most importantly, all three company logos are as memorable as they are unique. Perhaps the quintessential ingredient in their recipe for success is the fact that they instantly and consistently do what a powerful logo ought to do: Identify a brand, make it noticeable and, preferably, drive customer interest and sales.
Sure, a logo should lure and attract the target market in question, because ultimately it represents the company image and the overall concept of what the company stands for, but how easy is it to create? Be it concept to colour to rollout, there’s a lot to consider when selecting that one single emblem which represents your brand.
Here’s a list of 10 tips and tricks to keep in mind while conceptualizing business logo ideas:
1. There are different types of logos:
These could be pigeonholed into 4 main categories:
• Wordmarks are freestanding word or multi-letter abbreviation groupings comprising a logo, a.k.a. logotypes. Companies with wordmark logos include eBay, IBM, CNN, Google, Kleenex, Saks.
• Letterform logos are made up of a single letter. Consider Honda, Uber, Unilever, Beats and McDonald’s.
• Pictorial logos are illustrated icons of identifiable things. Examples include: Starbucks, Twitter and Playboy.
• Abstract such logos don’t represent anything particularly recognizable, think of it like abstract art. Probably the most renowned brand to effectively pull such a logo type off is Nike.
2. Will the type of logo suit my company?
This is tricky one, because what works for one company might not for another. The logo type really depends on your company name, what you want it to convey and the actual product/service you offer.
For instance, a short company name like eBay, uses a wordmark logotype and it works well. Such logos generally give your logo more of the memorability factor than abstract ones do. On the other hand, if you’re feeling adventurous and decide to opt for an abstract pictogram, make sure it’s straightforward and echoes the nature of your brand.
3. Are there key elements about my business that my logo should convey?
Definitely. Whether it’s the colour or shape, the logo is there to deliver an instant sense of what your company signifies. When potential customers look at your logo, they need to see that you’re different from your competitors. This in turn exudes a feeling of professionalism and that you’re a real business – a force to be reckoned with. For example, Toyota’s imaginative logo was created with intent: the three ellipses seen in the design represent three hearts: the heart of the customer, the heart of the product, and the heart of progress in the field of technology.
4. What are the best logo colours?
It is extremely important not to underestimate the significance of colour. To distinguish yourself from your competitors, it’s crucial to choose a colour your biggest competitors do not use in their logos. Moreover, different colours communicate different emotions.
Have you ever wondered why NBC’s peacock has so many colours? It’s because in the 50s, NBC’s owner, RCA had just begun to manufacture colour televisions. So RCA wanted people who didn’t have colour TVs to know what they were missing out on, therefore they aptly decided to create their colorful logo. If you want your company to express its activity and intensity, opt for red. Yellow, on the other hand, often gives off happy, energetic and fresh vibes and is conceivably a wise choice for a company that focuses on health and well-being. Meanwhile, blue – the colour Ford and Samsung chose as part of their logo, projects confidence, tranquility and reliability.
5. What about fonts?
Just like colours, fonts express and stimulate several feelings and the choice really depends on the type of business.
Case in point, a legal firm – which should denote honorability, power and integrity, might best be represented in a bold, straightforward and sophisticated-looking font – without anything fancy. Whilst if the company is a toy shop, it usually opts for a whimsical font that communicates excitement, happiness and fun.
6. Should I design the logo myself or seek an expert’s advice?
The process of designing your logo should always be left in the hands of a trained graphic designer.
This applies even to those who have a creative side and/or might feel they need to cut costs where possible. A skilled graphic designer can understand what a good logo is. S/he will also be able to tell how it needs to scale and function across different media and marketing channels such as your website, within an app or on a storefront sign. These are all key factors that shouldn’t be taken lightly because hiring a good professional will be an investment in the long run. Nevertheless, you should still communicate your preferences to him or her before any samples are sketched.
7. What’s the damage?
Granted, professional design firms do not come cheap and might not be a viable option if the price-tag might not fit within the budget for startups and small businesses. Alternatively, a more affordable option could be contracting a freelance designer who charges a rate per hour, which depends on his or her level of skill and expertise. But don’t be duped into choosing a supposed professional for their attractive price, only to end up with sub-standard quality results, so choose carefully and wisely.
There are also several web-based professional logo design providers that provide logo concepts, design and revisions packages at reasonable prices, depending on the number of logo designs delivered.
8. Where should I display my logo?
Put simply: everywhere and anywhere. When it comes to online marketing and advertising, integrate your logo into your website, digital ad campaigns and on social-media forums where you have company accounts, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. As for the offline promotion, you could put your logo on your front door, business cards, product packaging, uniforms, company stationery and contracts.
9. Are there any definite No Nos?
Possibly the biggest blunder is selecting a logo without serious consideration of your key competitors’ logos. Imagine if your logo ends up similar to theirs, even in the slightest? The result could be catastrophic: customers might not be able to tell you apart and you could lose business.
Another gaffe is, using your logo on a mere piece of paper, as opposed to visualizing it across numerous varied marketing places and spaces, like as an app icon, on a website, a billboard, or on a T-shirt or the side of a vehicle.
10. How should my company logo look in the years to come?
Just like with any product, a logo needs some fine tuning every so often. It’s rather normal that some logos undergo some tweaks and touch ups after a decade or so, to avoid decaying. A good strategy is to get it right from the first time, then perfect it as needed over time.