This post is for entrepreneurs, startup founders, small business owners, graphic designers, and everyone involved in the process of researching, creating, and approving a logo.
When a new business is opened, it needs the best available tools to help it reach success. A logo is, certainly, one of them. A bad logo can make the company or product look amateurish, cheap, unskilled, and unreliable. Not the best way to start, eh?
If a new business can’t afford to invest in a logo, it probably shouldn’t be opening at this point.
Think about it. Your logo is the foundation of your brand. Would you insist on building a house even though its foundation is compromised? Now if you are reading this, you care about your logo, or you are a qualified professional researching about the 7 steps to ensure the perfect one. So let’s get to them:
1) Hire a professional
When you start a business, there are so many things to take into consideration and a lot of expenses. Unfortunately, some people try to “save money” by choosing not to hire a professional to design a brand identity until the first clients come along or (sometimes even worse) create the logo themselves, possibly with the help of an inexperienced friend.
Not investing in your logo is one of the worst things you can do for your new business as this action can result in your business failure.
2) Make sure the concept is well defined
What is the company’s service? The line of business? The target audience? When both contractor and graphic designer know who the company is and its profile, it becomes easier to define the image that is being created. This step is related to the branding (you can read more about it here) and sometimes it can be so tricky and time is short and you just want to skip the concept part. Well, you can’t. The logo will reflect the experience customers will have when buying or consuming this product or service, so this need to be absolutely clear before designing the logo. Always do it right the first time.
3) Balance, size, and functionality
It is important that the logo is balanced, keeping the ‘weight’ of graphics, colors, and symmetry. There are techniques to ensure that. Size is also a strategic point because the logo should be visually pleasing and readable in multiple dimensions. Functionality is essential. The logo should work in high-resolution and low-resolution, both horizontally and vertically, with or without a box around it, printed, screened, embroidered on a shirt…possibilities are endless, so versatility is key.
4) The choice of color
The ideal is to use palettes that match the field of business, avoiding bright and dazzling colors. Understanding the colors and their effect on people it’s also an asset. It’s definitely possible to influence a customer with the right combination.
Regardless the palette choice, the logo has to be adaptable to black and white, grayscale, and two colors.
5) A current style
The market is constantly changing. Maybe there’s a trend in the industry or in design? It is important to be easily identified by the public as a new option. You want to stand out but not by being so different that people can’t understand what or who you are. The logo cannot look obsolete. In fact it needs to look timeless, even though at one point it will have adjustments, maybe every decade, which is perfectly normal.
This is also related to style as some areas are more limited in the typography and don’t allow too much adventures. As much as possible, designer and contractor should try font options as serif, sans serif, bold, script, italic, or customized. Of course, the designer should only present the options that fit well with the figure. Whatever you choose, just make sure your text is readable in big and small sizes.
The last step is where the magic happens. A successful logo is one that is easily recognized by the public. It means that it’s memorable, which is a big deal in a market full of competitors. Also, the more it gets recognized the bigger is the emotional bond created between the brand and the customer. This link strengthens customer loyalty.
Well, I hope this helps you in this exciting process of creating a logo and a brand. To the contractor: trust the professional that was hired, but use this post to acknowledge what you need and make it very clear at the briefing process. To the graphic designer: as any process of creation, there is no strict rule, so also trust your artistic instincts and happy designing!
Daniela Torres is the founder and Creative Director of KIAI. With over 12 years of experience working as a journalist, press officer and graphic designer, Daniela is a brand strategist that has been leading design and marketing projects for multiple industries. She’s also the author of the book “Build Your Brand – The 10 essential steps before launching your business”.