There is a lot involved in starting a new business. You need to narrow down the type of business you want, choose a business name, file for your DBA, develop a business plan and decide what you want your brand to be. One of the most important elements of your brand is your business logo.
A logo, according to dictionary.com, is a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition. In a more simple explanation it is how people are going to recognize and remember your business. It is important to work with a professional designer who understands the importance of a strong, unique logo and can create the graphical elements that will make your business stand out from your competition.
TYPES OF LOGOS
- Symbol or Icon
This type of logo is typically a simple graphical elements that represents the brand. There is no type or font involved, as the symbol is strong enough to be known on it’s own. Some good examples of this are Apple and Nike. When you see each of these symbols you know right away what they represent.
- Word Mark
This type of logo is represented by simple use of typography. The type or font choice is the focus of this type of logo. Two good examples of this are Sony and FedEx.
- Letter Mark
Logos that tend to have long complicated names are simplified with the use of initials. Specific font or type styles may be used to create a graphical element. Good examples of this are HP (Hewlett-Packard) and GE (General Electric).
Logos designed as emblems are typically more complicated and use both font or type styles, along with key graphical elements. What makes an emblem stand out is how everything is encased in a shape of some sort. Good examples of emblem logos are Harley-Davidson Motor Cycles and the National Football League (NFL).
- Combination Mark
These logos are the most commonly used because of the flexibility they provide. These logos have both graphical elements, as well as font and type styles. Each of which can stand on it’s own or they can be combined to represent the brand. Good examples of combination marks are McDonald’s and Domino’s.
Color is one of the most important elements of a logo. It appeals to our subconscious senses and influences our decisions. Working with a designer who understands colors and what they represent can make a huge difference with the success of your logo. There has been a lot of research done by the biggest brands in the world to find out what colors mean to people. Clients or consumers will make quick decisions about your brand and one of the biggest influences is color.
Some quick examples of what colors represent follow:
Red – Excitement, Youthful, Bold (Coca-Cola)
Blue – Trust, Loyalty, Confidence (American Express)
Orange – Energy, Playful, Cheerful (Nickelodeon)
Grey – Balance, Respect, Formal (Apple)
There are just a few examples but it shows how the right color can provide a logo with stronger meaning.
FONTS AND TYPE STYLES
When choosing a font or type style for your logo, it is important to avoid the commonly used fonts such as Arial, Helvetica, Comic Sans and Times New Roman. There are so many choices that it is not necessary to fall into the trap of using common fonts. A good designer will be able to provide some unique fonts or type styles that fit your brands personality well. It is also important to be careful with script fonts as they can become very difficult to read, especially at small sizes. While a script may fit the brands personality well, it will be important to choose the right script or it may be a good idea to avoid script all together.
A logo is used to represent your brand and you want it to be memorable, as well as easily recognized. So one of the rules that designers like to use is K.I.S.S. This stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”It means simple is usually better. Logos that are busy, complex and over done can make a brand hard to remember or recognize. As stated earlier, clients or consumers make decisions quickly about a logo they see and if it’s hard to tell what it represents, you have already lost their interest.
One of the most important things a brand needs to do is keep it’s logo consistent. This means using the correct colors, fonts or type styles and proportions across all marketing materials. A designer can provide a logo that is more simplified, such as just one color, for use on specific marketing materials (ex. clothing) where a full color logo may not work as well. It is important that even as a single color, the logo is recognized easily and associates well with the full color version. Training staff on proper use and display of the logo will help with consistency. Being mindful of where and how the logo is used, will allow you to correct any issues that could cause brand confusion. Consistency breeds recognition.
Remember…Your logo is the first impression of your business! Working with a professional designer to create a strong, unique logo that stands out from your competition will help your business have the best first impression and create recognition.
You can view the slideshow used in a presentation and associated with this article at: http://www.slideshare.net/fullscreen/JakeVanNess/jake-vegaspresentation/10 (posted above as well)
This article has been provided by Jake Van Ness. For logo and print marketing design help, contact Jake Graphic Precision.