Your company’s logo should represent everything that it stands for. Not only does a strong logo help your company make a good first impression on customers, but it helps your company establish the strong brand identity that can distinguish your products in the increasingly crowded consumer marketplace. A polished, professional logo makes your company appear established and trustworthy, and can help cement your customers’ loyalty.
While it’s important that you sit down and brainstorm some ideas for your company logo, you shouldn't go it alone when it comes to logo design. You should enlist the help of a design professional to create a company logo that really stands out. You need a logo that resonates emotionally for your customers, inspiring your care and trust, but it should also be a versatile logo that works well in a variety of formats. Whether it’s on your company letterhead, your business cards or your custom promotional pens, your company logo should never look out of place.
Your Logo Should Represent What Your Company Does
Of course, if you look at some of the most iconic company logos, you’ll see that many of them don’t clearly illustrate what the company does. The Nike swoosh is one such logo. In this case, it’s not the logo itself that’s valuable, but the millions of dollars of marketing efforts that have gone into associating this image with the athletic lifestyle Nike wants to sell its customers.
Chances are, however, that you don’t have that kind of marketing budget. For the small entrepreneur, it’s best to stick with a logo that illustrates your products or services. A house painter, for example, may incorporate a paint brush into his or her business logo; a gardener may incorporate some type of garden tool. Whatever it is, it should be distinctive. Look to your competitors’ logos and think about how you want yours to stand out.
Since your logo should clearly and effectively communicate your company’s advertising message, you should think about a mission statement at this juncture. Putting your message into words can help you solidify your thoughts, and it’ll also be helpful when you take your ideas to the designer. Your mission statement doesn't have to be long — a sentence is enough.
Your Logo Should Be Crisp and Versatile
The best company logos are scalable — they look just as good when blown up and put on the side of a truck as they do when shrunken and printed on custom Bic pens. Icons are best for this purpose, since they remain legible no matter how big or small you make them.
The color or colors you choose for your logo are important, too. Different colors can inspire different emotions in your customers, so that’s something to consider when choosing colors for your logo. However, you should also think about your company and the products and services you offer, and whether or not the color of your logo might have a negative connotation for your potential customers. Green, for example, is a great logo color for a garden supply shop; it suggests growth, nature and health. Blue, however, may not be a great color for a coffee shop logo, since for most people it has a calming, sedative connotation.
When it comes to choosing colors, take it easy. A colorful logo might seem exciting at first, but not when you find out how much it costs to print. Your logo should have no more than three colors, but one or two is ideal. You also want to make sure that you can reproduce your logo in black and white without losing any of its meaning in the process.
Get Professional Help
While it might be tempting to save the money you’d spend on a professional graphic designer and create your own logo from scratch, that’s not generally the best way to go. A professional designer’s fees might be expensive, but look at it this way — your company will be using the same logo for 10 years or longer, so it will pay for itself over time. In fact, you really don’t want to ever have to redesign your logo; that could confuse and alienate your customer base. If, many years from now, you do end up needing a logo makeover, stick to making a series of small changes over time instead of altering the whole logo at once.
If you’re on a budget, you can save money on logo design by hiring a freelance designer. Depending on experience, freelance designers charge anywhere from $15 to $150 an hour. But don’t skimp out; hire the best designer you can afford, one who has some experience working with companies in your industry, and, ideally, one who has even worked with your competition.
The right logo can make or break your company. Make sure your logo represents your company and is versatile enough to appear anywhere you need it too. Hire a professional designer to get everything just right. Then you can move on to the hard part — spreading your brand awareness and growing your business.