Building Your Brand: How to Create a Lasting Logo

The most important component of a solid brand is your corporate identity, or logo. It’s the cornerstone of your visual communications and brings together your business name and sometimes a graphic element to establish your business identity. Used consistently, logos help customers remember you when they need your product or service.

A common mistake business owners make is it to think that their logo has to include an image of the product or service they offer. A logo is simply a visual representation of your business. While it can be tempting for a financial planner to use a dollar sign, it doesn’t make for a very original logo. If every other financial planner in town uses the same imagery then your target market can’t tell you apart. The main goal of a logo is to connect with your target market and it can’t do that if it doesn’t differentiate your business from your competitors.

Entrepreneurs on a budget often decide to design a logo themselves. Although this may seem like a smart option, it can cost you in the long run. Not only can it be time-consuming to develop a logo yourself, it can also make your business look amateur. Even if you have a great idea for a logo, you may not be able to execute it properly.

Professional graphic designers have the skills and expertise to create a logo that will last. They understand how to use color, fonts and imagery to create a logo that matches your brand message. A professional designer will also keep into consideration the various uses of your logo and make sure it will look good no matter what the medium, from a business card to a billboard.

Hiring a professional designer does not have to break the bank. There are many talented freelance or boutique firms who can create a professional, lasting logo for a lot less than the large design firms.

Whether you decide to design your logo yourself or hire a professional, here are some things to keep in mind as you choose a logo for your business:

Design: Choose a design that reflects the style and personality of your business. And, almost more important, your logo should be appealing to the people your target market. For example, the logo design for a children’s clothing boutique would be vastly different from that of an accounting firm.

Scalability: When choosing a logo, make sure it will look good no matter the size. Your logo needs to be something that can be reproduced on both a business card and billboard. Logos that have too much detail can be difficult to recognize when distilled to a thumbnail.

Less is more: Some of the most recognizable logos, Nike, Mercedes, Coca-Cola and all have very basic, iconic designs. Simple logos are often the most effective as they are easy to digest and can more quickly communicate the essence of your business. They are also easier to reproduce in a variety of mediums like apparel or promotional items.

Uniqueness: As mentioned throughout this series, your logo should represent YOUR BUSINESS. Avoid using clip art, templates or other generic images.

I would love to get your comments…

Did you hire a designer to design your logo? Why or why not?


5 responses to “Building Your Brand: How to Create a Lasting Logo

  1. Great post! There are so many poor DIY logos out there, especially in my industry. In fact, I was so stumped, I just opted for a text logo to get started. A professionally designed logo for both brands of my business is on my 2011 planning wishlist!

    • Thanks for your comments Marnie. I think it’s tough sometimes to be different in certain industries. Realtors for instance always feel compelled to use their photo because everyone else does. I think that your industry is one that texted based logos or signatures are the most common. When it’s time for you to rebrand I’m confident you’ll stand out from the crowd.

  2. Nice post. When I got my domain name for my aviation website, I hastily made a wordmark, thinking it would just be temporary. 10 years ago, it’s still there. I wish it looked more “aviation-like”…

    • Many of my clients are just like you and eventually decide they need to rebrand. Those are the clients I love working with because they they have been in business long enough to “get it.”

  3. 10 years ago? I meant 10 years later! 😉

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