Killer Logo Design — 7 Tips to Ensure You Get the Logo Your Business Needs
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Your logo is arguably the most important piece of marketing you will ever create.
It defines your business and tells the world who you are.
It goes on every piece of advertising and marketing communication you’ll ever create.
It’s essential for brand recognition, for forming a bond between yourself and your customer.
It becomes, well, YOU!
Why on Earth would you pay for an expensive design with all of these cheap options?
And, when it comes to logo design, tips on the internet abound (and are often misleading or wrong) — a lot of sites are simply trying to funnel you into buying one of their unreasonably cheap logo packages. These logo farms are notorious for pumping out low-quality logos.
As a graphic designer, identity design is one of the most difficult sales to make because of all these cheap options. If you search logo design on Google you will be flooded with options for DIY design, fifty dollar specials and free logo generators.
Why on Earth would you pay for an expensive design with all of these cheap options?
The answer is simple: Quality design is difficult, and it takes years of practice to master.
It’s also not cheap.
Follow These Logo Design Tips for a Brand Identity That Supports Your Business
I’m going to assume that if you’re on the Blue Steele Solutions website that you already see the value in great design and you don’t need any more convincing that it’s worth the investment.
Quality design is difficult, and it takes years of practice to master
So, here are a few tips on how to work with your designer to develop a truly great logo for your business.
- Define yourself
- Define your audience
- Make your logo design original
- Make your logo design unique
- Make your logo design flexible
- Make your logo design scalable
- Include color options
Step #1 — Define Yourself
This may sound obvious as you know who you are and what services you offer, but ask yourself this — what do you want to convey to the world from the moment they first set eyes on the logo for your business?
Are you a high end salon in uptown Dallas? A family company who sells all-natural products? Maybe you’re a utility construction company based in Denton, Texas.
It’s important to clearly define your business for the designer you decide to work with — if you haven’t clearly defined your brand, you might want to check out Blue Steele’s free Brand Persona Template.
From the moment your potential customers set eyes on your logo, they need to feel the core of your business’ character
The template goes really in-depth, but the premise of it is simple — defining the purpose and essence of your business by making a list of your values as a company, what makes you the best at what you do, what you have to offer, and a few other key concepts, helps the person handling your logo design to convey all of those things visually.
From the moment your potential customers set eyes on your logo, they need to feel the core of your business’ character — a talented graphic designer can help you do just that.
Step #2 — Define Your Audience
Defining who you are speaking to is just as important as stating who you are.
Do you make products for college students in their twenties? Maybe you want to target male sports fans, or single mothers.
Add this to the list you started earlier. The more information you provide your designer, the better!
Attracting the right people to your business is important, and this information will help with the development of your identity design.
(As you probably guessed, Blue Steele Solutions has a free template for defining your audience too — get it here.)
Step #3 — Make Your Logo Design Original
This is another seemingly obvious tip, but not all logos are designed with original elements.
Most cheap logo designs start with clipart. If you’re lucky, it will be altered in some way to make it slightly less generic, but you’re still getting artwork that has been used countless times before. This approach costs less, but your logo isn’t exactly a place where you want to portray low quality.
Be sure to ask your designer if the design will be 100% original or not. A low price often reflects the use of pre-designed elements.
Step #4 — Make Your Logo Design Unique
While it’s important for your logo design to be appropriate for your business, you shouldn’t set out to fit in with all of your competitors. Your business is as unique as you are, and you want to stand out as a leader in your field.
Certain industries are notorious for generic logo design. If you do a quick Google Image search for dentist logo design, you’ll be flooded with blue drawings of teeth. Usually a name worked into or under the tooth, but blue — lot’s of blue!
Now try a search for real estate logo design. You’ll see rooftops — lots and lots of rooftop illustrations.
Instead of redesigning the standard logo for your field, try focusing on some of your values as a company
Coffee shops? You guessed it, coffee cups!
You get the idea.
Instead of redesigning the standard logo for your field, try focusing on some of your values as a company. Do you want to convey a corporate, professional message? A quirky, laid back vibe? Concentrate on these qualities instead of more literal representations of your product, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.
Step #5 — Make Your Logo Design Flexible
A short-sighted approach to logo design is having a single design that cannot be altered in any way. A design may look great on a white sheet of paper without any competing elements, but what happens to it when the format changes?
Great logo design is flexible and can be applied in virtually any situation your business requires. Websites, print advertising, business cards, social media posts, clothing, vehicle wraps, brochures — the list of potential uses is practically endless.
The trick is to have several layouts of your logo designed and approved for use — a style guide can be helpful to keep track of the different options.
The variations should include horizontal, vertical, and square options — nothing is worse than trying to fit a horizontal design into a vertical space, so if you don’t have that option available and thought out from the beginning, you’ll inevitably suffer from problems down the road.
These are the perils of getting a cheap logo design for your business — just like buying a cheap used car, you save money up front, but you end up spending more down the road as problems arise.
Developing an icon and name treatment that can work independently of each other is ideal for flexibility, like this design we did for ANA Site Construction.
A good designer will show you how your logo will work in different situations during the proofing process. If they don’t offer that upfront, just ask for a few visuals to help you make your final decision.
Step #6 — Make Your Logo Design Scalable
It’s one thing to design a logo that looks good on a large piece of paper, but how does it look when you shrink it down to business card size? Would it be readable if it were embroidered on a shirt?
If a logo can be scaled down to half-an-inch wide and still be readable, you’re good to go!
You may not be planning on printing t-shirts or developing other marketing materials today, but you never know what your logo will be used for in the future. Planning for the unexpected is the best approach, and redesigning your business identity due to poor design is a huge hassle that will cost you money in the end.
I like to follow the half-inch rule. If a logo can be scaled down to half-an-inch wide and still be readable, you’re good to go! Printers generally don’t like text to be under 8 point, so that’s a good font size to aim for.
A good example of a scalable logo is this one we designed for Hannah Banana Breads. A larger font was utilized and has been used on various marketing collateral, from product stickers to table banners and social media posts.
Step #7 — Include Color Options
In addition to flexibility with size and layout, your logomark needs to work in different color formats — that includes black and white.
Computer screens take one type of color profile — RGB — while printing presses use another: CMYK. It’s important to get both versions from your designer along with a black and white version.
Remember, you can’t always assume that you’ll be working with the same graphic designer, the same marketing company, or the same website company down the road — you may need to work with someone new, and if you don’t have your logo available in a variety of formats, you either get to pay someone to recreate it for you, or you end up with a low-quality logo on your new marketing materials.
Neither option sounds like much fun to me…
Most of the people who end up working with your logo will be able to convert the color profile for you, but you can’t rely on each of them to do it consistently. People use different programs and have different levels of experience, so the colors in your logo will vary each time someone touches it — that’s a huge problem.
Another color profile that’s useful to have is Pantone, or PMS colors. This color system is more precise than traditional CMYK printing and will be a good reference to use any time your logo is reproduced. It’s more costly to print PMS colors, and you may never do so, but a good designer will provide every possible option.
When It Comes to Logo Design, Tips Can Only Take You So Far
At the end of the day, you probably need a designer.
That being said, most businesses need a lot more graphic design work beyond their logo — there are many moving pieces in a brand’s design, and the logo, while powerful and important and central, is only one piece.
That’s why you need a style guide, a document to keep your logo, your colors, your fonts, and other critical graphic design elements, all in one place.
And it just so happens that Blue Steele Solutions has a free Style Guide Template.
Just click the button to grab it now.
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