So you’re thinking about creating a new logo. Maybe you’re a startup or maybe you’re a long-standing company needing to freshen the place up! The task of creating your identity is of massive importance and one of the absolute most critical things you will do in establishing who you are.
Here is a list of things to make sure you consider when taking on a task like this.
#1. To Hire or Not to Hire? – As one of my sons used to say when he was younger, “Are you a good “draw-er”?” If you have a knack for design and an ability to put it to paper, then you could possibly design your own logo. However, if your idea of design involves stick figures and crayons, you should probably seek the assistance of a professional. These services are not cheap, but well worth it if you’ve never done something like this before.
#2. A Great Idea – When you begin to think of ideas for a logo, don’t just stop with the first one you have. Think of at least three completely different concepts and then kick them around. Seek the input of those you trust.
#3. Kicking Them Around (A step further). Show what you have created to everyone who will take a minute to listen. Go to a coffee shop and sit in the area where people stand while waiting for their drinks. They have nothing else to do, so occupy their time by asking “I am trying to decide which logo to go with, can I get your opinion?” It’s 2018! People love giving their opinion! You could even offer it up on social media and get the thoughts of those you are connected with. The goal is to take notes. Find out what they like about each one and what they don’t. Fine tune your concept as you may very well find that your end result includes parts from several of your initial designs.
#4. Fine Tuning, and then Some – So now you’ve narrowed it down to the design you like, or even better you may have two designs you equally like. Now you need to fine tune every little detail. Think about what your design will look like printed on business cards, letterhead, envelopes and promotional products like pens, water bottles and t-shirts. How will it look embroidered? It may look really good at an 8″ X 8″ size or on the side of your vehicle wrap, but you will eventually have a need to print it on small items and like it or not, fine details tend to get lost when you shrink things down.
Think long term, Once you know you’re pleased with the design efforts, now it’s time to consider the formats you will need.
#5. Vector Art – If you haven’t already, now is the time to seek a professional graphic designer to take your masterpiece(s) from the paper to the screen. The reason for doing this is that once your logo has been created to vector art, you can easily manipulate sizing and colors with a few clicks of the mouse. Just keep in mind, the more colors you have in your logo, the more cost involved in having your full-color logo printed on a very large majority of business necessities.
Lastly, here are a few additional things to take into consideration during your logo development which will help you avoid additional frustrations and costs when using your logo.
- If possible, avoid really thin lines. While easy to print on paper based products, not so easy when screen printing on a promotional product, of which there are over 750,000 to choose from, so we’re not just talking pens.
- Avoid gradients if you can. They may look cool on the screen, but they don’t look the same on paper or other products.
- Know your colors! I encounter a fair number of companies who don’t know the PMS colors of their own logo! If your brain is thinking “PMS?”, please take comfort in that this has nothing to do with that! This PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and you can learn more at www.pantone.com
- One more thing on colors, the more colors you have, the most cost involved in creating your full-color logo on products that are screen printed.
- If your logo is multiple colors, try to create a one color version as well so that you have a version you can use to keep your printing costs down in those times where it is needed.
- Develop your brand standards guide. This should contain everything you can and cannot do with your logo. It should include information on the spacing of text, the fonts that are acceptable to use as well as what your specific color are.
Taking these steps will ensure that your brand will stay consistent from one location to the next. Your brand is your identity, make sure you don’t sell yourself short during the critical development stages I have listed above. Good luck!
Chris Morrissey is the Owner of the nationally recognized Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and e-commerce solutions. To reach Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.bigdogbranding.com/.
* Image provided by istockphoto.com