I’ve worked on creating new logos for start-up companies as well as updating or relaunching brands for existing companies and I’ve learned some helpful tips in the process. Your logo is one of the key the images you want your customers to remember and it needs to embody what your brand represents.
1. Simplicity – Try to keep the logo simple but unique. Simple logos are easier for people to remember. Overly complex shapes with small details may also be difficult to reproduce in small applications or incur significant costs to do so. Simple and clean logos give you flexibility to always provide a scaled and accurate representation of your brand.
2. Colors – Keep your logo to a minimal number of colors. Logos with lots of different colors can look really incredible but always remember there will be applications of the logo where there is a cost or it makes it difficult. Make sure you can have a version of the logo that works as a single color. Gradients can be difficult to reproduce in some applications. For example, screening or embroidering a logo on a shirt can result in additional charges per color. One company created a great looking logo with multiple colors and gradients that gave the image a 3D look. However, when they went to apply it uniform shirts, they had to significantly simplify and change the logo in order to make them reasonable in cost and technically possible to make.
3. Files – Always make sure you get the designers source files for all versions of your logo. It takes time and money to have to recreate them if you lose touch with the original designer or if you need to modify it in future. Make sure you get scalable vector files as well as those “user ready” for web, presentation and print applications. Also make sure you get the CMYK/RGB/PMS color codes for all versions of your logos. This enables others to color match your actual brand colors so that you are consistent every time.
4. Symbol – Whenever possible use a symbol as part of your logo. Symbols are more likely to be unique than word names so it helps people to differentiate companies with similar names and also to remember them. If you go international, in other languages, a word logo may not translate or makes sense. If you have a universal symbol in your logo along with the text, it allows people to know who you are, even if they can’t read your name.
5. Brand Standards – Once you have a great logo and your business starts to take off you should consider a brand standards manual. This captures all of your logo usage and or brand elements in applicable uses. This allows you to be consistent in your use of your brand elements, which supports the effectiveness of your company’s marketing effort. It also makes it easy to provide designers, sign-makers, printers with all the details they need in order to use your logo the right way. Don’t reinvent the wheel for every application and end up with an inconsistent brand.
Thinking about the practical applications and future uses of your logo will help you save money and be a more effective brand marketer in the long run. A simple memorable logo can effectively help you to stand out among the crowd and support the growth of your business.
One additional note. I’ve been learning that many school systems have moved away from teaching the students to write cursive. Instead they focus on typed text on their tablets or laptops to communicate. I’ve found that as a result some kids can’t really read or write cursive. Iconic brands like Coca Cola or the Ford Motor Company use cursive in their logos, and are recognized by everyone the world over, but how will a lack of cursive impact the development of new brands and logos? Would it be wise to create a logo using cursive elements when increasing proportions of the population may not be able to easily read them? Let me know your thoughts on this. I’d appreciate your feedback.
Hope note helps and let me know if you have any questions. Keep your marketing smart.
Kevin McCarthy – Managing Director – Bio-Atomic Scientific Marketing