Summer will soon be in full swing, and for many businesses, that means a slower pace and a good time to implement changes there had been little time to tackle before. For some firms, that could mean a new or re-designed logo. Before you start the process of having a logo designed, here are seven things you should know:
- What will your logo say?
Not literally, but what is the message you’re trying to convey? A logo is the visual identity of your company, so knowing how to articulate who you are before deciding on how to represent your business visually is a must.
- Clip art is NOT a logo.
A piece of art that anyone and everyone can use for their own purposes simply won’t represent your business in a positive light. Plus, clipart used for a logo infringes upon the creating artist’s copyright. Don’t believe it? Read the fine print on the agreement you accept when you download clip art. You will never be able to develop or enforce rights for a logo that uses a royalty-free image, and you put yourself at risk for being asked to cease-and-desist or being sued.
- It’s not (much) about what you, your sales team, or your spouse likes.
Your logo represents your business in order to meet your company’s goals. It’s not about your favorite color or font or any other personal preferences. That’s what choosing your favorite paint color for your bedroom is for. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t love your logo, and that’s OK. Nothing effective has ever come from design by committee.
- You need to be able to explain your logo to anyone.
If you can’t, return to #1. Your logo HAS to mean something about your business and value. It’s a non-verbal elevator pitch for your company.
- You need to choose one.
Logo design is an iterative process that starts with a few choices that get narrowed down…a few color combinations that get narrowed down. If you feel the need for more and more choices, then go back to #1, because at that point you’re choosing between preferences, not meeting goals.
- It’s not always going to be used big and colorfully.
Your logo is going to be used in a variety of ways and sizes, from a billboard to a business card. Always keep that in mind during the design process.
- Don’t have a “me, too” logo.
How many swishes, globes and green leaves have you seen in logos? (Answer: A lot.) It’s impossible to know about every logo in existence, but avoiding clichés and stereotypes will go a long way toward designing a unique visual identity for you.
Logo design is not an art project or a pretty picture – it takes a lot of thought, planning, discovery, and time.Your logo will be the visual representation for your business for many years to come – what do you want your logo to say about yours?
I want to thank Carol Lynn Rivera of web.search.social, The Marketing Magazine for Smart Businesses for the inspiration for this post.