by Rob Marsh
Over the past few years, we’ve given a lot of advice about logo design. Things to do. Things to avoid. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind as you create the most important part of your company’s identity:
1. Use Your Company or Product Name
It never ceases to amaze us how many small business owners contact us asking for a logo like Nike’s swoosh. No name, just the swoosh. They want a simple icon that is easily recognized. The thing they forget is that Nike didn’t start with a swoosh. Their first logo included their name. It wasn’t until after many years and billions of dollars in advertising that their logo was recognizable enough to drop the name. Unless you have billions to spend on marketing your symbol logo, create a logo that includes your company name.
2. Make Sure Customers Can Read Your Logo
We’ve seen a few logos that look pretty cool, but for the life of us we couldn’t read what they say. You’ve probably seen something similar. Now imagine that logo on a sign. Will customers be able to read it in 3-4 seconds as they drive by? Similarly, when you design your logo, make sure it can be read when printed on a business card. Or silk-screened on a T-shirt. Or at the top of your website. A logo that customers can’t easily read is a waste of your money.
3. Keep It Professional
You don’t need a logo with a complex icon, lots of colors, or several fonts. Keep the design simple and professional. Remember, you are trying to attract customers, not turn them off. Unless your primary customer (the ones with the money) are children, avoid rainbow colors and comic-style fonts. You don’t need more than one icon, even if your business has more than one product. And you don’t need to include addresses, websites, phone numbers, tag lines, or legal descriptors like Inc. or Co. Here’s a suggestion, before you include any of these things, check the logos of five large companies that you admire. If they don’t need them, neither do you.
4. Don’t Expect Your Logo to Sell Your Product or Tell Your Story
Let’s be honest here, we’re a logo company. We would love to be able to tell you that your logo will increase your sales by 20%. That it will instantly communicate with your customers how you are different, or that you can save them money. But the truth is, that’s just too much for a logo to do. (And if someone else tells you otherwise, don’t believe them.) Think of your logo like a signature at the end of a letter. It simply identifies who you are. The letter (or in this case your marketing and customer experience) builds trust, tells your story, and sells your product. Not your logo.
5. You Don’t Need a Focus Group to See If Your Logo Is Any Good
While it’s always a good idea to get a sense from your customers how they respond to your logo, the fact of the matter is that your logo eventually represents the whole customer experience you create. In other words, by all means, create a logo that appeals to your customers, but don’t spend money on market research to validate that it’s the right logo design for your business. A focus group is no more reliable than your good judgement. In fact, they’re probably worse.
6. Once You Have Your Logo, Don’t Mess With It
Unless you’re Google, you shouldn’t change, update, or tweak your logo design. Minimal changes won’t make any difference to your customers. Honestly, they won’t notice. And big changes may confuse them. As your customers see your logo more and more, they’ll come to recognize and remember what you do and what your business stands for. Good branding is all about do things consistently.
7. Don’t Spend a Lot of Money on Your Logo
You expect to hear this from us—the home of the free web logo. But even if you don’t want to design your own logo, there are good options for finding a logo designer that won’t cost more than a few hundred dollars. Before you spend anything, try our logo design tool. If you don’t like what you can do with it, then by all means, reach out to a professional designer to create something unique for your business. Need a recommendation? We think highly of these guys.
When it comes right down to it, you have more important things to do with your new business than worry about designing a logo. Things like creating a product and finding customers are hard. Getting a logo design for your business is easy. Or, it will be, if you keep these seven tips in mind.
Photo credit: Dey via photopin cc