So, you’ve got your product and your business plan. What you need now is to get yourself noticed and remembered. You want something that will draw prospective customers’ eyes, and something that will make returning customers know that they have come to the right place. It’s all about creating brand awareness, and one important element of that is to have a good logo.
Why Have a Logo?
Top businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right logo, so it must be important. Visual images speak to a different part of the brain from verbal messages. They can communicate in an instant (and usually without the observer having to think about it) the style and values of your business.
That is why, before you work on a logo, you need to be clear about that style and those values. You also need to be clear who your customers are, and to take a little time to discover which visual clues ring a bell with what sort of customers.
The most important thing about a logo is that it should make an impact. You want something that will really fix itself in the back of your customers’ minds so that once they have seen it they will forever associate it with the quality of your product.
This doesn’t mean you have to enter into an arms race for garish colors. Subtlety matters, and choosing the right color is essential, as is knowing which colors convey which messages to your market. Reds, for instance, speak of energy and forcefulness, while blues are all about calm confidence.
What matters most is that your logo speaks of you and you alone. It pays to study the really great logos that have stood the test of time, but the more time you spend contemplating your business’s uniqueness and the values that you hope will make it stand out, the more likely you are to end up with a logo that is distinctive.
It is important to know your competitors’ logos. Once you have got a basic idea of what you want, have a look around the market and make sure that it cannot possibly be confused with a rival company’s image.
With logos, less is definitely more. You want your logo to register in a split second, and that will not happen if people have to analyze it. Having said that, it doesn’t do any harm to have one or two small details that people will only notice on a second look. Amazon’s smile/arrow is a good example of this.
Getting the right sort of simplicity is an art form, and if you are going to invest time in a good logo, then you might as well invest money if you can afford it. Whether or not you use a professional designer, it would be wise to start by experimenting with your own designs using an online logo creator. You might come up with a great logo, and it will give you some ideas to work with.
Don’t settle for a logo that looks good on paper or screen. It wants to work in every conceivable situation: printed small on the edge of your notepaper; twenty feet high on a billboard; as a watermark; on your packaging. Try it out against a variety of backgrounds, to be sure that it is still clear and unmistakable.
What about the Words?
The point of the logo is to use a visual clue to fix your business in your customers’ minds, so it is no surprise that most logos incorporate the name of the business—though some very successful ones are purely pictorial or abstract like Nike’s tick. It is important not to have too many words on the logo, but if you have a very succinct and clever tagline you might want to use it.
The choice of type font is as important as the choice of color when it comes to conveying the spirit of your business. The older or more traditional your customers, the more they will relate to a traditional font. If you are aiming for a younger, more flamboyant customer, you can be more creative.
Great Logo, Great Business
Investing time and money in creating a great logo is evidence of your belief in your business, and will help you to build and proclaim your own confidence in what you are doing. With good judgment (and a little luck) you will come up with a design that will cement your place in the market for many years to come.