Creating a logo to represent your business and brand image can be an important aspect of your overall business plan, and as such, a great deal of consideration should go into selecting the best graphical interpretation of your brand’s value and promise. Following are five of the most important factors to consider when choosing your brand’s logo.
If you develop your brand effectively, over time, your logo will become the most recognizable icon of your business and product. It’s important to choose a graphic that appropriately demonstrates your brand’s image and values. Make sure no part of your logo could be considered offensive, and if your company is global or could become global in the future, make sure it’s not offensive in other countries. Try not to be too trendy. Select a design that can be timeless. Creating a new logo in a few years can be expensive and requires a rebranding investment that you may not be able to take on in the near future.
The colors used in your logo are important not only in terms of production (see “Printability” below), but also in terms of how logos are perceived psychologically. Do some research about the meanings behind colors, and take a close look at your competitors’ logos. You want your logo to be appealing aesthetically, and you want it to help differentiate you from the competition.
So many companies choose logos on aesthetics alone without taking production issues into consideration. For example, printing halftones on promotional items like coffee mugs and t-shirts can often be a problem. What if your budget doesn’t allow you to print all of your marketing materials like brochures, advertisements, direct mail, etc. in full color? You may have to print in 1-color or 2-colors to meet your budget restrictions. Make sure your logo will translate well to black and white and 2-colors. Additionally, stick with colors from the most common print production color palette, Pantone, rather than custom colors. The size of your logo can also affect it’s production quality, so make sure your logo works in small and large formats (e.g., business cards and banners or billboards).
Once you’ve chosen your logo design, make sure you use it everywhere to represent your brand, and make sure it is always used consistently. That means it should always look the same. Everyone in your company, your business partners, and anyone else who may print or use your logo, needs to understand how the logo is to be used, which brings us to #5 – “Guidelines.”
To ensure your logo is used correctly and consistently at all times, it’s important to develop some basic guidelines for logo usage. For example, you need to define the colors used in the logo for consistent printing. If you selected any, you need to define preferred secondary and tertiary colors that can be used in printed materials. You need to define the background colors that the logo may or may not be printed on. You need to define the amount of required white space surrounding the logo. I could go on and on about different guidelines you may want to consider, but these are some of the most important.
Bottomline, your logo is another extension of your brand’s message, image and promise. You need to communicate your message and promise in every aspect of your business to fully develop your brand, and your logo is no exception to that rule. If that consistency in your brand message doesn’t carry over to your logo, then your logo is just a useless piece of clipart.
Do you have any important “Do’s” to add to this list?