WHAT IS A LOGO?
Logo is used to identify you, your company, organization or your product. It is your visual ID. A commercial brand. Your avatar so to speak. It is a single most important element when designing your corporate identity.
Not to mention it is a starting point of all your future visuals (stationary design- letterhead, envelopes, business card, brochures, flayers, etc., your web site, labels, product packaging, store sign, restaurant menu and more).
The easiest way to spot a company and distinguish it from the others is by its logo. That is why you want to make sure you invest in your image.
- Helps gain trust in your little enterprise. Why? Well, if you are truly serious about your business, that shows in your logo.
- Establishes loyalty with your potential clients, your business partners, even with your competition
- Is SIMPLE in form! No photos, no never-ending tales, no 16 different colors. ' Good design is as little design as possible.' - David Airey, graphic designer and design author.
- Is in vector (meaning it can be scaled to any size without losing a quality). No pixels please.
- Is timeless (i.e. Coca-Cola, Nike..).
- Is memorable
- Is custom (meaning created from scratch, for only your company in mind)
- Is eye catching. It strikes you right away and you think, wow, how come I didn't think of that!
- Is done by professionals and is never found in stock images, free logo Google search or in $45 logo package (unless stumbled upon some sort of miracle)
- Looks easy to make (what, a small graphic like that, no problem, right?!), trust me, it's not. Simply knowing your way around Photoshop is not enough
- Looks good if tiny or large as a billboard
- Reflects the time and thought put into designing it
- 95% of them are not self-explanatory. Take a look at the top 50 companies/brands in the world. None of the logos describe what does the company do (i.e. Apple, IBM, Mercedes Benz, Google, MTV, Starbucks...). A logo is there to identify the company, not vice versa. Let's not get too literal, as we don't want tacky.
- Is planned to the last detail
- Communicates the wrong message >>see how it can easily go wrong
- Is expensive to fix (not talking in green dollars, but damage done to your business from the very start)
- Is created in Microsoft Word and alike software
- Looks good only in color(s) and gradients (@#!*)
- Has hard to read font and/or too many fonts used
- Is a stolen logo
- Is too complicated (has too many design elements)
- Has a reputable portfolio/ testimonials. Make sure you check what previous clients had to say about the particular designer/design company.
- Will ask you questions before the design process
- Will research your competition and industry standards
- Will think trough the process of designing. Most likely a good designer will go through the process of several stages when it comes to a single logo suggestion. Yet, sometimes a great logo is born in a moment of inspiration and that does not mean the logo is lacking in quality since it took less to produce. Creative process outcome cannot be measured in time.
- Will wisely chose the color(s). Good designer understands the color and the impact a color can have. For example, a pale blue can be interpreted in one way if next to the green and will have a different effect if adjacent to red.
- Will make a good use of font(s). No trendy fonts please, chances are, you will have to redo your logo in one or two years.
- Will make suggestions to what is best and will explain you why. Please allow some space for design professionals. A skilled designer does not create to suit their style, but designs to achieve your goal using the skill (talent) and knowledge. Good designers are not looking for a shortcut, rather they are there to give advice based on experience and design principle -balance, harmony, proportion, etc. After all, it will affect their portfolio as well.
- 'A friend or relative who claims to know a little about graphic design does it as a favor' >> Smashing magazine article read more here>>
- Does not have his/her own opinion
- Agrees to copy someone else's design
- Is someone who states to save you the money by offering a logo for a fraction of the cost
- Will sell an instant/already prepared logo - a leftover from the previous project (ouch!)
MORAL OF THE STORY
Relax, chances are, if you got to the end of this article, you will get yourself a good logo as now you know what to look for.