This is a guest post by James Gorski, editor at designrfix.
The logo you choose for your company is very important. A good logo makes your brand instantly recognizable by the public and triggers positive feelings and memories about your brand, business, or organization. It should resonate with your target audience, create your company's visual identity, and tell the story of your company's name mission, principles, and products.
A great logo can impact the brand perception, overall attitude, and purchasing decisions of consumers. It should be clear, simple, unique, evocative, and easy to remember even for a five-year-old.
Creating the right logo for your company takes research, thought and an understanding of the elements that go into making a logo effective. The best and most memorable logos are distinctive, easy to recognize, and uncomplicated; contain three or fewer colors; and work well on a wide array of marketing mediums.
Some business owners are inspired, creative, and knowledgeable enough about marketing and talented enough to create their own logos. However, the majority of companies can benefit from the services of a professional who understands the psychology behind the interplay of color, image, text, and design.
Here are some of my tips as you approach the design of your first logo for your small business, or perhaps as you explore refreshing a logo you created or inherited long ago.
A Team Effort
Producing a good logo takes a team effort. Even if you hire a professional, you have to tell them what your brand represents, the image you are trying to portray, and the marketing medium in which the logo will be used. The input of your organization's important stakeholders will help to ensure the logo is truly representative of your brand or organization.
You should also get feedback from focus groups or others not directly involved in your organization about their impression of the logos you're considering.
Keep It Simple
Some organizations and businesses try so hard to differentiate their logo and make it interesting and attention-grabbing that they create one that's so abstract or it has no relevance to the products or services they offer.
Your logo should create a simple, powerful visual message. It shouldn't require and explanation in order to communicate its message. It should simply promote awareness of your brand or organization. The value of your organization will be determined by your products and services, and how you treat the people with whom you interact. Your logo simply reminds people who you are.
Beverly Hills real estate company Hilton & Hyland keeps it simple by utilizing their intials to create a dramatically understated logo that is both sleek and simple.
If you plan for your organization to become a global brand, make sure the logo you choose isn't perceived as being linked to a small, local region. Use colors, symbols and text that are inviting to a diverse audience and have mass appeal. They should be flexible enough to fit in well in a variety of different markets. Try to choose colors and symbols that can be universally recognized and embraced, and don't have negative connotations.
Harrisburg, PA-based SEO company WebpageFX has a logo that mimics popular social media company Facebook, keeping in line with the company’s niche of social media, marketing and SEO.
Easy To Remember
Studies show that in America, most five-year-olds can recognize the logos of over a dozen different brands. They remember those logos because they are simple and clear. One test you can do to determine if the logo you like is easy to remember is to let 10 strangers look at it for five seconds, and then let them attempt to draw it from memory. Should they be unable to draw something that's relatively closeto the original design, the logo is too complex or not memorable enough.
Baltimore-based company SocialToaster makes their logo memorable by playing up their namesake, making it a memorable and fun logo.
A Good Tattoo
A good logo should be attractive, strong, and have a smooth blend of shape and color, much like a tattoo. Ask yourself if the logo you are considering would make a good tattoo. If so, then the logo will likely also work well on your website, letterhead, company t-shirts, promotional items and other marketing materials.
A Unique Image
Your logo should help distinguish your company from its competitors. It's important to choose a unique image that stands out and won't be confused with that of any other company. A talented and creative graphic designer can show you how to create a distinctive, aesthetically pleasing and memorable logo that's different from anything in the marketplace using images and text associated with your company.
Be willing to think outside-the-box while working with your brand's unique attributes, ideology, and overarching personality to create a logo that's a compelling symbol of your company.
Local mom-and-pop seafood restaurant Big Mike’s Crabhouse & Grill has both a unique and fun logo that doesn’t shy away from its hometown feel with a big personality and playful sense of humor.
A Logo with Meaning
Logos with meaning can be very effective. Create one that symbolizes your company's goal or role. You can consider one with an added twist like Apple's missing "byte" or the unfinished globe and puzzle pieces that represent Wikipedia. With a little thought, collaboration, and creativity, you can create a simple, meaningful logo that symbolizes your brand -- a visual keystone that concisely expresses its personality.
Attorney Jared I. Loucel’s logo is a near-perfect combination of color, meaning, and textography that succinctly illustrates the legal services his office provides.
The Type and Amount of Color
The colors in your logo can play an important role. Certain color combinations can be attention-grabbing, exude sophistication, or send the wrong message. Study the psychological impact of specific colors before deciding which ones to use in your logo.
Consider also that using more than two colors can make your marketing materials much more expensive.
Most logos include a symbol and a wordmark. I recommend starting there. With some research, creativity, and professional help, you can create the ideal logo for your company.
About James Gorski
James Gorski the editor at designrfix where he writes about tech, web design, and graphic design, among other subjects. When he's not running his website, he loves to unplug and be outdoors, mainly to hike and enjoy nature. If you can’t reach him, it’s probably because he's somewhere without cell phone reception!