Ever since I was old enough to understand design programs for a computer, I was creating packaging. Print out a logo, stick it under some saran-wrap, and wrap it around some free hotel shampoo. I thought I had created my own line of bath products.
As a company, you may have a slightly higher expectation for your branding, but the story does prove something to us- we understand the concept of labeling and association from a young age. It’s something that is ingrained into us from the time we can speak, and it’s what makes advertising, logos, and branding so effective.
We as people are more visual than anything else, so having a physical representation of your brand makes you much more memorable than a radio advertisement or newspaper article. The food industry has this a little easier, since our sense of hunger can drive us to make purchasing decisions. But when your business model is not to sell mouthwatering steaks at dangerously low prices, that can get kind of tricky.
So what steps should you take to create a successful and effective logo?
Find inspiration. Look at the company logos of businesses you find impressive or have a good reputation, and make note of the characteristics of their logos, color schemes, and fonts. What do you like? What do you not like?
Sketch out ideas. Put down as many ideas as you possibly can, whether it be 10, or 100. If you’re a font junkie like me, and you’re on a low design budget, it’s good to design around fonts that you know are already in existence.
Think ahead. If you need to mass print, can you print that logo in one color to save ink? Does it still speak the same message? If the image has to be smaller, larger, or rotated, is the message still clear?
Research other businesses. Look at the logos of your competitors. Is there a rival company or organization? If there is, you want to make sure your logo isn’t close to theirs. There’s nothing worse than being mistaken for the competition, especially when you’ve gone to great lengths to differentiate yourself.
Think about longevity. You don’t want your logo to be too trendy, because you want it to last for years. Think about using more classic styles of art or text, and you’re more likely to last.
Consider the “feel” of your logo. Let others look at your logo. Ask them what they think your business is about. When a person (who is not your mother) can describe your business by looking at just the logo, you’ve found a good fit.