Monday, May 26

Tips for Logo Design 

A logo serves as an organization’s personality and opening statement to the public. Logos can be seen on business cards, billboards, in print, online and everywhere in between. Many well-known organizations have memorable logos -- think of Target’s bull’s-eye, the Nike swoosh and Apple Computer’s apple. All are memorable symbols of the companies they represent. With just a symbol and without ever seeing a written description or company name we can recall a company and a brand promise.

It is important to realize the power of a unique and effective logo and what it can accomplish for an organization’s identity. No matter the size of the business, a logo is its symbol, and an effective logo is a visual icon that reinforces a company’s mission and identity. The following tips will explain how to design a logo that will remain constant on the minds of its viewers.

Express Your Organization’s Personality
Your logo cannot sing and dance, but it can express the personality, purpose and promise of your organization. In fact, it is vital for a potential customer to learn something about your organization just by looking at your logo. It can also provide a clear and consistent image of the company. Believe it or not, the colors that make up your logo are an important component in helping to accomplish this goal. Consider implementing blue into your color scheme, as blue communicates trust. Black communicates authority. Red communicates passion and excitement. And, of course, green is the color of money.

Pop Goes the Logo!
The most effective logos are ones that come alive and jump off the pages or wherever they are displayed. Make sure your logo is bold, and memorable and that it pops. Ensure that your logo design makes sense for your business, and don’t be afraid to test it with existing and/or potential customers for feedback. What you think works might not resonate with your customers.

Keep it Simple
Don’t over-think your logo design; keep it simple and clean. Attempting to do too much with your logo will only confuse your target audience and blur your message. A confusing logo is forgettable and useless. Sometimes, less is more.

Make Sure Your Logo is Flexible
A logo must work well across all media so you can use it in numerous places online and in print. Legibility is imperative, and your logo should be able to work in both black-and-white and color, as it may be on documents that will be faxed or photocopied. A logo that cannot be viewed clearly is not effective. Keep in mind that your logo may be viewed on a small object like a business card or on a larger item such as a promotional flier.

Make a Statement
Many logos also include a tagline, which is a statement of the products or services you provide and separates your organization from your competitors. Some well-known tag lines include Subway’s "Eat Fresh" or Nike’s "Just Do It." As in the design of the logo, a tagline should be short, to-the-point and memorable. Incorporating a tagline can be an effective marketing tool, and it is one best developed in conjunction with logo development.

Research Your Logo
While your logo might symbolize something positive in the United States, it might stand for something entirely different in other cultures. Research the meaning behind your logo before you finalize it so it does not convey a negative message to those people from other cultures. And, of course, make sure another organization is not using the same or a similar logo design especially if they are a competitor.

Use it!
Now that you have a logo, it is time to use it everywhere you use your business name. Put it on all of your marketing materials including business cards, letterhead and envelopes. Include it in your e-mail signature, on your Web site and in all correspondence to reinforce your company image and encourage repeat customers and referrals. Once you have a solid logo that makes an impact, it should be synonymous with your company name.

Protect Your Logo
Give clear, specific guidelines to anyone who will be working with your logo including printers and ad designers. Let them know not to distort the mark and ensure they use enough clear space. If it is used incorrectly, fix it immediately. Your logo is the symbol of your company, and it needs to be consistent.

Be Consistent
A logo is not something that should change regularly. It takes a lot of work to come up with a logo, and it takes an even greater amount of time for customers and prospects to remember it and associate it with your brand. Changing an outdated logo that does not reflect your company’s attitude and identity anymore is wise; regularly changing your logo will confuse your target market and cause more harm than good. Spend the time to develop a stellar logo and tagline now to reap the benefits in the future.

No matter your budget, design resources or the size of your business, the above tips will enable you to create a logo that will represent your organization proudly and effectively and help grow your business.

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