So, you’re starting a new business…that’s awesome. The first thing people do when they start a new business is deliberate on the perfect name and then set out to create the perfect logo.
A logo is a crucial part of your brand identity. It works as a communication tool with your customers, so they can easily identify your brand and your brand values.
Creating a unique and memorable logo isn’t as cut and dry as one would expect, it takes a lot of consideration when it’s the foundation you will start building your brand. Here are 5 things to consider when designing your logo to set your brand on the right path.
Keep it Simple
The reality is that most viewers will only see your logo for a couple of seconds at best. Your logo needs to convey a lot in that time, as well as imprint in the viewer’s mind. The simpler the logo, the easier it is for the mind to grasp the meaning and take that mental snapshot.
- Use simple and consistent fonts so that your business name is easy to read and doesn’t create typographical chaos in the eye of the beholder.
- Avoid complex, detailed logos as they aren’t easy to memorize. Additionally, the more complex a logo is, the more likely it can’t be transferred to other printed mediums, such as logoed apparel, hats, pens, promotional items, etc.
- Limit the text included in your logo. There is no need to distinguish yourself as an LLC or include an established date. This is one of our biggest pet peeves when we are trying to convert a logo or image to wearable branding (t-shirts, uniforms, hats, etc.). Remember, a logo is not necessarily the name of your company, it's just a branding tool, so there is no legal need to include this text in your logo. Additionally, an Est. date is generally used to denote the longevity of a company. With that said, if your company is 1 year old, you’re not doing it any favors by adding when it came into being. Remember, the more words, the more complicated your logo is and the more likely people will begin to tone out all that detail you put so much effort into.
- Don’t rely too much on color, shading, or special effects to make your logo pop. Logos should be able to be scaled larger and smaller, or even change the color while making the same impression on the viewer. A simple way to start your logo and test its usability is to start designing your logo in black and white. If your logo can’t be without color it’s time to rethink your design. The worst thing you can do is to oversaturate your logo. Once you have your logo baseline set, you can then add in color elements. Plan on 2-3 colors at most; generally, a base, accent, and neutral color.
Don’t use clipart
Let’s start with the basics. A logo is meant to set your brand apart in the eye of the customer. A piece of clipart is essentially public art, which means it can be used by anyone, for free or for a fee. Public art is the opposite of unique, to the point of being generic. This means someone else can also base their logo on it, maybe even in the same industry as you. At most, if you’re using clipart, use it as a starting point and alter it so that it clearly captures your brand and sets you apart from others.
Vector is key
Logos should always be created using a good graphics program. Building a logo on a free app sounds like an economical choice to get you started, but it’s probably not going to give you what you need for the long haul. Creating a logo on an app and then taking a screenshot is not going to be scalable if you need to make it bigger. It will not have a transparent background if you want to put it on marketing materials. And lastly, it will not be editable if you need to adjust later.
A vector graphic, made in a program like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, will give you a clean design that can be scaled to any size, so you can create marketing pamphlets, business cards, your business sign, or even a car or wall wrap for your business. A vector file is made from points, which can be reduced or enlarged to scale without causing distortion to the image. A raster file (JPEG, PNG, or GIF) is created using pixels, which means that at some point when scaling the image, the clarity will be lost and the pixels will be evident. You can have your logo in a raster file, however, remember that that logo can only be used in its saved dimensions to maintain the image’s integrity.
Design variations of your logo
Yup, that’s what we said. A logo should be versatile. You should be able to use your logo on any media, for any circumstance, and in any color. That is why you should make a square, circle, horizontal, and vertical versions. Think about Facebook for instance. When you create your company page, you have two main images to load, your logo icon and your banner. The banner is horizontal and the logo icon is a circle. If your logo is horizontal and there are no variations, your logo is going to be so small that it will be almost illegible in a circle format.
Imitation is not a form of flattery in this case
The purpose of a logo is to differentiate your brand from others. Use this scenario; you want to start a restaurant and see someone else with a cool restaurant logo, so you copy it, only changing minor details or colors. You open your business and start marketing. But the guy down the street is getting more business and you getting none. When you ask, the customer said they saw your ad, but when they looked you up, they found his restaurant instead because the logos were so similar. That can happen, or you can get a copyright infringement notice, have to go to court, pay fines, and/or pay to have your established company rebranded.
Take inspiration from others, follow marketing and logo trends, but be yourself and let your company shine through when creating your logo.
Needing a logo for your new small business?
Plain Insane Graphix can help you create a professional-looking logo to help build your new brand. We also specialize in commercial printing, including printed materials, swag, gifts, signs, and apparel. We can print just about anything you need for your small business. Call us at 559-924-6000 or visit our website to request a quote today!