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The Beginner’s Guide to Logo Design.

Part One

Do you really need a logo?

You probably didn’t expect that question. After all, we’re a logo design company. We don’t make any money when our customers don’t buy logos. So you probably expect us to say, “Of course you need a logo!”

But the truth is, you might not.

We want to make sure you really need a logo and you’re not throwing away your money. So here are a few things to consider first:

What a logo does.

The most important thing your logo design does is help your customers recognize and remember your business and products.

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If you want to see this in action, have a friend pour you a glass of Coca-Cola and a second glass of Pepsi Cola. Then hide the bottles.

Can you tell which cola is which just by looking at the brown fizzy liquid in a glass?

Neither can anyone else.

In fact, a lot of people can’t tell the difference when they taste the two drinks!
But if the glass or bottle has a logo, you immediately know which cola you prefer. And just as likely, which one you don’t like.

Your logo works the same way. It helps customers remember feelings and experiences associated with your business. If those interactions are positive, clients are likely to return when they need your service again.

Do you have a product (like cola) that is easy to confuse with a competitor’s product or service? Do competitors offer something similar? Then you need a logo.

What a logo doesn’t do.

Now consider a second type of business.

John just started a pet-sitting company. When he launched his business, John created several hundred flyers that he delivered to his neighbors. But he didn’t just drop them in their mailboxes. Rather, he stopped and talked with each of the pet owners he met and chatted about how he could help them. Several hired him.

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John has something else going for him—there’s no one else in the neighborhood offering a similar service.

Does John need a logo? Maybe not.

While an amazing logo design could help him appear to be more professional, a logo can’t create the kind of positive experiences for potential customers like John did as he visited with his neighbors. And it can’t tell your story.

But a logo can represent positive experiences and your story after a customer gets to know you. John might decide not to spend money on a logo yet, as he is just launching his new business and finds it easy to meet new potential customers.

Later on, as his business grows, John may decide to get that logo after all.

You need a logo if you…

  • want to look more professional.
  • have one or more competitors offering a similar product or service.
  • use business cards, a website or other marketing materials and want to demonstrate that you are qualified and competent.
  • need to raise money from investors or sell your business some day.
  • want to grow your “brand” and sell additional products and services, or franchise.
  • would like customers to remember you.

Once you’ve thought about the concepts above, you should have a better idea of whether you really need a logo or not.

Now, let’s take a look at a few of the things a great logo can do for your business.