Preparing to Design a Logo
When developing a symbol that people will associate with your services and overall experience, it is worth taking the time to do it right. Below are a few points to address in the pre-design phase of your new logo.
Basic research. Start by reviewing logos from companies in your industry. If you’re a small business, check out select companies that you will likely be in direct competition with; analyze if they use solid, conservative images, or flashy graphics and type.
Your audience and demographics are also important. What is common about your demographics? Characteristics such as taste, traits, age and lifestyle are all variables that should be considered. This data should be utilized when developing your logo. After all, it doesn’t really matter how much you like your logo if your customers and prospects can’t relate to it.
The message. What separates your company from the competition? This should be the message you develop into your brand image. Developing this brand image normally starts with your logo (assuming you develop it before you are known in your market). Your logo should be the foundation for all company branding. Resources such as company slogans, graphic elements, text content, promo materials and advertising campaigns should all flow from your logo. Therefore, a logo shouldn’t be completed by jumping online and selecting your favorite font and clip art; it should be something that communicates your desired brand image. Here’s an example:
The “good hands” symbol in the logo instantaneously generates a warm feeling for the company while simultaneously communicating their brand message of “you’re in good hands”.
Eventually, if not already, your business will have a brand image- good, bad or otherwise. Hopefully people will associate your brand with qualityproducts and services. If they do, it’s based on how you run your business- not how you design your logo. Let me explain as we take a second to better understand what branding is as it relates to business:
Brand = your unique company’s service or product
Branding = the action part of developing the brand image
Brand Message = the message you want to communicate to your audience
Brand Image = how your company (brand) is perceived by potential customers
Your logo should match the brand message that people associate with your brand image.
Keep it clean and functional. Your logo should be memorable and distinctive, but for all the right reasons. However, while there’s nothing worse than a forgettable logo, it may be better to have a bad logo that is distinctive than a “good” logo that is unmemorable.
To help keep the message of the logo concise, it’s better to use icons instead of photographs. Photographs are hard to work with across the board. They are affected by size, the elements they are placed on, background color, etc. Speaking of color, you want to make sure that your logo can be used in black and white as well as color. You also want to make sure the logo can be faxed, photocopied, or used in a black-and-white ad as effectively as in a color ad. Additionally, your logo should look good on a business card, truck, or online.
Your logo should have multiple functions. Since all marketing collateral should include your logo it should have versatile functionalities. Here is an example using the Wired Frame company logo:
We can see that the company logo (the switch) is being used in a tag line: “flip the switch”. It’s also used to illustrate going from dark to light. The logo is simple yet the functionalities and taglines are endless.
Be careful with your colors. Consider future printing cost when selecting colors for your logo. An eye-popping five color logo may be breathtaking, but it might be a whole different kind of breathtaking when you see the bill for your new company shirts. When printing a five colored logo on company collateral (i.e. stationary, apparel and other materials) you can expect to pay three times as much. Additionally, there are print mediums that only allow one or two colors maximum. With all of this considered, try and keep your logo designs under three colors – two colors may be ideal.
You may want to do a color study and look at your logo in one, two and three-color versions before finalizing.
Hire a professional. Once you have done your basic research and brainstorming, find a designer or team that can assist in bringing your concept to life. Trying to create your own logo is likely a bad idea.
When you hire a designer you get someone with the experience to deliver something eye pleasing, but they may lack marketing experience. Wired Frame is a small team of marketing oriented individuals; this means we will understand your business model, audience, demographics and future marketing efforts before developing your concept. This allows us to help you develop and define your brand message through your logo.
If you’re a small business, chances are you can’t afford to hire a large marketing firm to bring your concept into reality. Many large firms charge anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 for a logo design; Wired Frame was created to fill the gap for entrepreneurs who can’t afford large marketing firms but don’t want to work with freelancers for all their design and marketing needs.
We can assist in developing a logo for you at a reasonable price, while keeping your future branding and marketing efforts in mind.