Logo Design 101ish

From Joe Hammer’s  “Brand Bullshit – Beyond the Logo”

 A logo is a graphic rendition of your company’s identity. It should be comprised of a unique font style (no standard issue fonts), signature color palette, and often an icon or symbol. Some logos are known only by their symbol (e.g.: the Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s Golden Arches).  A good logo makes not only a powerful first impression, but a lasting one as well.

A professionally conceptualized and executed logo can assist in building a powerful brand while providing the company a polished and professional look in a competitive marketplace.
– Joe Hammer – “That Small Business Guy”

If graphics or images are part of your logo, they must be simple as your logo will be used in many different mediums. Often fancy full color logos on a website become a poor representation of the company when reduced to business cards or black and white newspaper ads. This is the primary reason you should work with a business identity specialist over a graphic artist/logo designer.

Fortunately, I have a solid background in both. (Shameless plug).  🙂

Seriously, with so much at stake, the design of your company’s identity should be entrusted to an experienced, respected identity design professional.

Your company’s logo is the visual impression most often responsible for positioning how the public relates to your brand. It powerfully states who you are and what your company stands for.

A well-tailored logo should reflect the company’s desired identity, attract attention and leave a professional impression. It should promote a feeling of authenticity and professionalism, while being unique and distinguishable from the company’s competition.

It will provide consistency throughout all your marketing efforts. It must be effective in all forms of media – both print and digital. Color will offer visual and emotional impact, but the design must carry the weight when color cannot be used.

The logo is an integral part of the company’s identity, the defined system of graphic elements that represents the company. It should be integrated into each and every client-exposed aspect of your business. Effective logos can be a huge asset for any business.

A powerful identity program with an effective logo will set a solid presence of your company in the marketplace, assisting in establishing brand equity and avoiding the “generic” position held by many less-educated entrepreneurs without the privilege of exercising effective identity programs.

An identity system ensures consistency and should appeal to all senses of your company’s prospective clients. A distinctive identity stands out in the consumer’s mind and is much easier to remember than only the company name. It adds visual impact and appeal to your company’s marketing pieces.

New to Business?

New entrepreneurs are so eager to launch their business that they often give little thought to their company’s identity. During the start-up phase, assembling an identity package is often far from their mind. This oversight often proves to be a marketing train wreck in the long run.

If you are new to business and have an awareness of a professional identity design, you’re in a prime position to launch it effectively. Doing so will prevent confusion in the marketplace and strengthen your competitive advantage. A new business must compete with those already established in their marketplace. A well-assembled, professional identity is one of the simplest ways to lock in credibility and professionalism at your company’s launch; and that’s when you need it most!

If you are already in business with a poorly executed identity, there’s no better time to clean it up than NOW. The time and money it takes to assemble an effective identity is well spent as it will insure consistency throughout all your marketing efforts

The logo aspect of your company’s identity package is one of the most important pieces and must be aesthetically appealing; it must be memorable as it brands your business and often responsible for making an important first impression.

Your logo is a branding tool your company will experience for a long time. The design must be timeless. An effective identity, however, can be updated over time.

A professionally designed company identity package is a one-time expense that will provide benefits for your business for years to come. Image is everything. Perception is reality.

It’s most often the first impression of your company. It is always working for you, so it’s important to be absolutely certain it is “saying” the right things about your company, its products and services.

Check out the competition’s identity. What image are they projecting? Bold? Conservative?  What can you do to better position your company, distancing it ahead of the competition? Do you desire to project an identity around speed? Price? Personalized service? Trust?

Lifetime Value

Think of your company’s future. Will you be expanding into other product or services? Also avoid being too trendy, that will be a problem when the trend diminishes.

Surveys have proven that effective identity materials are more important to conveying a company’s image than how long it has been in business, the location of its headquarters, its charitable activities, or the number of staff members it has. That’s pretty powerful.

In working with you in developing your company’s identity, research is the important starting point. You must advise me what your company (or its product/service) “stands for” in the marketplace. I must clearly know your company’s objectives and marketing/advertising strategies.

Not a Place to Skimp

Trying to create a logo on your own may seem like the best way to avoid the high costs of a professional identity design specialist, however, be advised there are thousands of designers who may be good “artists,” but have little to no knowledge of the marketing elements necessary in a professionally designed and executed identity package.

Remember, a professionally conceptualized identity should last your company at least 10 years. If you amortize the cost of the identity of that cost over a 10 year period, it’s one of the least expensive marketing elements you can invest in.

Finally, once a business has settled on a logo as art of the bigger identity package, it’s important to trademark it and protect it from being hijacked and used by other companies.

Contact me and let’s get your company identity sharpened, focused and working hard for you!

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