A logo carries great importance for a business, whether it is a start-up or an established business looking to re-brand. After all, the logo is probably the first thing you sketch out when the excitement of a new business idea starts to become a reality. And there’s a reason why it’s the first thing, because it’s your visual identity and the one thing you hope will be everywhere when the business becomes a success.
Ideally you want a logo to leave an impression, to offer some brand identity and to project an image of what your business is, and in a perfect world the logo will also represent your values. Designing a logo is only one element of building a brand, however, so it will definitely be a challenge to achieve everything you want in a simple logo, but it is the most visual aspect of your brand so it is important that you understand the value of a logo. So first let’s look at why logos are important.
Why is a logo important?
It is the visual face of your business; literally the first thing people see
It has the power to drive decision-making for consumers
It provides instant brand recognition with an image, which words cannot do
It helps you stand out from the competition
With digital design techniques and multiple media platforms it is very easy to share a logo and build a brand, but it is important that you use a professional designer to help you, to ensure the image is scalable in this way in a technical sense. But other important considerations include:
1) Understand your market
Fundamentally a logo needs to appeal to the type of people you are selling your product or service to. So what are they into? What do they expect to see on products they buy? Does your logo design connect with people searching for products like yours? If your logo doesn’t appeal to your target demographic then you are fighting a losing battle straight away.
2) Don’t try to be too trendy
Trends change, and that applies to logos too. A logo can quickly become outdated and naff, particularly if you are in a highly fashionable market. You always need to leave space for your brand to evolve and this also means your logo can be refined and updated, but if you are then trying to predict future trends then this can be a dangerous game to get into. Changing your logo too frequently can be damaging to the brand and confusing to customers, so choose a logo design with longevity and durability.
3) Design first, then colours
A logo needs to be a strong image first and foremost and something that carries some weight visually and has stand-alone qualities even in black and white. Which colours you use should be a secondary consideration, albeit this is a very important element as it can convey the mood and the nature of your business.
4) Can the logo be used on all platforms?
In today’s consumer market your logo needs to be scalable to product packaging, websites, social media, stationary, advertising and maybe even premises and merchandising. So does the logo design work on multiple platforms? Test it to see, and this is where you need a professional designer who can create something that is scalable to small and large formats. Think also about whether the logo is something people will want to see everywhere. Would the design work as a ubiquitous presence or might it be too much?
5) Be creative
In short, there are no rules. Your logo can be anything you want it to be and logo design is not an exact science by any means, as long as it ties into your brand goals and values anything is OK. However, in terms of creativity, the logo needs to be unique and memorable and ideally needs to carry your brand’s message. So experiment and be bold and brainstorm on the basis that nothing is off the table. You can be literal with your logo or abstract, as long as the logo stands out and is easy to associate with your product or service. However, it is important to avoid complexity in your design, as clutter can put people off and confuse the market. Too much detail may also be difficult to scale-up to different formats in terms of print quality, and elements could become lost. If you think about some of the most recognisable logos – Apple, Nike, VW – they couldn’t be more simple.
6) Take inspiration but don’t copy
It’s fine to survey the market and take ideas, but straight out copying or even modifying logo designs could be fatal to your brand and is easily identified. Look at other logos and take inspiration from what they were thinking, then take that idea in your own direction. Improve on it, make it new and innovative, but never try to copy it.
7)Test on the market
When you have two of three ideas, test them on your market. Arrange some focus groups of like-minded people or from your target market, even if these are just friends and family if you are a start-up, and get some feedback. What does the logo tell you? How does it compare to competitors? Is it enticing and appealing? Without knowing the product can you guess what this business sells? This is all useful feedback and can help you decide on a final design.
If you need any assistance with brand identity or logo design, whether it’s for websites, packaging, print or all of these mediums, then contact Rebus today and I will be happy to offer some expert advice and work with you to design the perfect logo for your business.