Ideally, your company logo will enhance potential customers and partners’ first impression of your business. Your company’s name and logo will greatly shape how the public perceives your startup. So, before you select the final logo design, consider these nine questions carefully.
1. What do your colors say?
Color is one of the first things the brain will process without much thought. When designing your logo its important to think about what message your color choice is sending.
Below is a breakdown of common color associations in North America. If you plan to go international, I suggest researching color meanings in other countries as well.
- Blue: Trust and security, ideal for banks and corporate companies
- Red: Energy and urgency, ideal for sales and impulse purchases
- Yellow: Optimistic and youthful, ideal to grab attention and young audiences
- Green: Wealth and relaxation (e.g., this is the easiest color to process, ideal for upscale brands)
- Orange: Aggressive and energizing, ideal for call to action and fitness
- Pink: Romantic and feminine, ideal for female audience and beauty products
- Black: Powerful and sleek, ideal for luxury products
- Purple: Soothing and calm, ideal for beauty and anti-aging products
2. Where will it be used?
Where your company logo will be used will dictate the colors and size of the logo. If you plan on having your logo embroidered or printed the more colors used and the larger the logo and the more it will cost to have the logo printed.
If you are set on a logo with many colors or a large logo you may consider having a simpler version to use on certain items as needed. Also ensure to create a black and white version that is readable and effective when used in the media, for co-branded sponsorships, etc.
3. How does industry impact visuals?
Your industry is a big part of your message; if you’re a financial institution your message should be more serious and trustworthy. If you are selling baby clothing you have more room to have fun and be playful.
If you’re not sure which direction to go, think of your primary audience and how you interact with them. If it’s a casual interaction, have fun! If the majority of your customers have a professional relationship with you, keep your logo business professional.
4. Is it clear and legible?
This might be the most important question to ask. If your logo isn’t clear you’re really hurting your brand message. Be sure to choose a legible font and size, it doesn’t have to be Times New Roman just make sure it can easily be understood.
Also think of people that have never heard of your company. Will they know what you do within one minute? Having a quick (e.g. three words or less) description or an easily understood image will help potential customers understand what you do.
5. Is it memorable?
In today’s world there is a lot of clutter, so beware that if you go too plain your logo can be easily forgotten. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think: Would you look twice at the logo if you didn’t have any ties to it? Also think about the logos you can recall at a moments notice and then consider what makes them stick with you.
6. Does it resemble another logo?
This is important both legally and creatively. Legally, you can run into copyright and trademark infringements if your logo closely resembles another logo that is legally protected.
It is up to each company to defend their copyrights and trademarks so you may or may not run into a problem. But if you do, you will be responsible for changing your logo everywhere it is being used which can quickly become costly. Creatively, it can create undue confusion to potential customers and cause you to loose business if they think you are connected with another company.
7. Is it ‘on brand’?
If you already have a brand in place or an idea of what you want your brand to be, put the logo next to it and see if they mesh well aesthetically. A vision board is ideal for this. Include a top-level look at everything from your logo, ads, videos, stationary and anything else with your company name; it should all be cohesive to strengthen the brand.
8. Will it survive the times?
Once you choose a logo ideally you should keep it. Once you have established a brand it’s challenging to revamp it unless you have the resources for a full re-branding campaign. Even then, it should only be done when there is a reason such as a big anniversary or new company focus.
Ask yourself, is your logo too trendy? A logo that focuses on your company and not what’s popular is more likely to last throughout the years.
9. Do you like it?
At the end of the day it is your logo. After asking yourself these questions ask yourself if you truly like the logo because that’s most important.
Logos are one of the most subjective visual components of a company’s brand and there is always going to be people who love a design and others who hate it. It’s great to get feedback from others, but ultimately it is your decision.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jessica Rule is the founder and CEO of SHK The Advertising Firm, a Midland based advertising firm dedicated to providing eye-catching items to market companies. At the age of 26 she is successfully transforming the advertising industry in her town by providing creative, out of the box campaigns for her clients. She is also highly involved in her community she sits on several boards and is an emcee for local events. Connect with @jessicalrule on Twitter.
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