All it takes is the blink of eye to be able to recognize a fantastically designed logo. Great logos make an impression that last forever. Apple, Nike, Target. They are recognizable instantly. These iconic logos are memorable, unique and will forever stand the test of time. They consistently and immediately do exactly what a powerful logo should do: identify its brand, make it stand out in a crowd and, ultimately, drive consumer interest and sales.
So, we know fantastic logos, but we don't know that these great logos are not a snap to create. From the concept to the color to the actual rollout, there is a lot that goes into the design and execution of a brand's logo. Think about it: there is little space and time to tell a story. You have a small emblem that needs to tell consumers virtually everything about your company -- it's essentially lightning speed communication. Also, it is critical that you get it right the very first time.
With that being said, here are 10 important questions that you must ask when you are creating your company's very first logo:
Question #1: What are the different types of logos?
Basically, there are four categories of logos:
- Wordmarks – These are freestanding word or letter abbreviations that create a logo, such as Google, eBay, CNN, IBM, etc.
- Letterform – These are when the logo consists of just a single letter, such as M for McDonald's, H for Honda, b for Beats, etc.
- Pictorial – These are when the logo consists of a recognizable picture, such as Twitter, Starbucks, Playboy, etc.
- Abstract – These are when the logo doesn't consist of anything that is specifically recognizable. The most famous brand that has an abstract logo is none other than Nike.
Question #2: What type of logo is best for my company?
This is not a one-size-fits-all question and answer. It all comes down to your company name and your product/service. If your company name is short and sweet, then a wordmark logo may work really well for you. This type of logo is great for helping consumers remember your company and brand as opposed to abstract logos. If you want to go with an abstract logo, though, you need to ensure that it is straightforward, memorable and mirrors your brand's personality.
Question #3: What key points of my business need to be conveyed in my logo?
From color to shape, your logo needs to represent what your company and brand is about. When people look at your logo, they need to get a feeling for your brand's personality and your company's point of view. They need to be able to see why you're different from others in the same industry. They need to see that you are a professional, confident and successful company.
Take Amazon's logo as an example. It utilizes the company name and it has an arrow that points from the "a" to the "z". This arrow represents that Amazon takes care of its customers by offering everything that they need, from products to friendly customer service.
Question #4: What colors are best used for logos?
When it comes to logos, the colors that you use are very important. To set yourself apart from everyone else, you need to choose colors that your competitors are not using in their logos. Also, it is important that you consider the psychological effect that certain colors have. For example, red, which is in Red Bull's logo, is intense, active and can be alarming. Yellow is fresh, energetic and happy, which would be great if you're a health and wellness company. Blue, which is used in both Samsung and Ford logos, shows reliability, calmness and confidence.
Question #5: What about fonts?
Similar to colors, fonts have the ability to inspire and convey different emotions and they can work differently for different businesses. For example, a law firm would want to convey strength, honorability and justice, so they need a no-frills font that is straightforward and bold. However, a bakery would prefer a frilly, whimsical font that evokes fun, sweetness and youth.
Question #6: Can I design my own logo or hire a professional to do it?
While you may be strapped for cash and be may be a pretty good drawer, it is probably a good idea to leave your logo design to a professional graphic designer. They know exactly what it takes to make a quality logo and understand the functions and scales for various marketing and media channels. Plus, this is your logo, which is going to be seen by everyone. However, this doesn't mean that you can't communicate what you like and don't like with your graphic designer.
Question #7: How much will a logo design cost me?
Professional graphic design firms could charge you thousands of dollars for a single logo design -- $4,000 to $15,000. For new and small businesses, this is most likely not in your budget. However, a more affordable alternative is to a hire a freelance designer that will charge between $30 and $150 per hour, depending on the designer's level of design experience. Just make sure that you hire a designer based on their experience with your competition and your industry instead of the amount that they are willing to charge you. Another option is to look at professional web-based logo design providers that offer design and revision packages for a few hundred dollars. You can often get several designs in these packages rather than just one.
Question #8: Where does my logo need to be displayed?
Rather than asking where you need to display your logo, you should ask where you don't need to display it. The reason for this is because you are going to want to place your logo anywhere and everywhere that you can. You will want to get your logo on your website, social media networks, digital ad campaigns, etc. You will also want to put it on your business cards, uniform, front door, product packaging, company contracts and company stationary.
Question #9: Are there any mistakes I need to avoid?
The most important mistake is to decide on a logo prior to looking at the logos of your key competitors. All it takes is a small similarity between your logo and theirs and customers may have difficulty telling you and them apart, which could lead to lost business.
It's also a good idea to size your logo on more than a piece of standard paper. Take the time to envision it elsewhere, such as on a website, as an icon for an app, on a billboard, on the side of a truck, on a T-shirt, etc.
Question #10: Is it ever too soon to imagine how the logo will look in a decade?
Over time, your logo is going to need an update, even if it is just a slight one. Your sole focus right now needs to be getting the logo right so that you only need to make minor changes in the future. Take the Michelin Man as an example. He is still the same guy that he was 100 years, but he has gone through a few surgeries and has had some Botox done over the years. However, eh hasn't changed enough that you don't know who he is. This core concept needs to be the same with your logo as well.
For more information about a logo design for your company, feel free to reach out to us here at WebDetail. We can go in more detail on the above information or provide a quote.