We’ve all done it: right click on an image, then copy and paste it. This may work for a small graphic to break up some text on a page, but will not suffice for a logo.
Your logo is your branding cornerstone
Branding is your personality–what you stand for–what you are known for. Your brand creates an image in your target audience’s mind. Your logo communicates your branding in a glance. It is a springboard for all marketing pieces. Your logo determines your color palette and the look and feel of all collateral.
Logos should be very simple. A logo must visually register in a second–think Target, Facebook, McDonald's, Pepsi, FedEx. A logo can simply be an image, type only or a combination of image and type. A logo does not show all the products or services of a company. A product listing belongs in a brochure or website.
The types of lines, the colors and the fonts that the logo uses will communicate messages and impressions about your business and should be considered carefully.
- Straight lines may work for a general contractor while curved lines would be appropriate for massage.
- The psychology of color plays a role. I would use a strong red for an Italian restaurant but not for a bakery. Successful logos use few colors–one to three. Many colors can add complexity and visual confusion.
- A serif type could be used to portray the traditional and formal–maybe a classic antique dealer. A clean, modern, stylized san serif font could work for a cutting edge software firm.
“Why is my logo pixilated?”
Files taken off the internet are comprised of small dots – 72 dots per inch. Print quality is 300 dots per inch. The more dots, the denser the ink coverage, the clearer the image. Images taken off the internet for the most part, will not print well. If you enlarge a 72 dpi image taken off the internet it will have a jagged appearance because the dots get bigger. The image may look fine on a business card, but it will not hold up when you enlarge the logo for a sign.
A professional designer works with software that creates images that have no dot structure. This is a vector file. It is a continuous tone and can be enlarged to cover a sky scraper and the edges will remain clean and crisp.
The quality of your logo and collateral pieces matters. If the quality is high and the pieces have a professional appearance it reflects your branding–your company’s personality and what you stand for. People trust professional, well represented businesses. Your marketing pieces are a reflection of how you conduct business.
Application–it is all about how you use it
Include your logo in every form of communication to help develop brand recognition. Consistency is important when building identity.
A springboard for all collateral
Your logo sets the stage for the rest of your marketing pieces. The colors of the logo should be the dominant colors in all of your collateral. The lines and overall feel of your logo should complement and influence the design of your collateral.
Among one of my favorites these days are the ads for Progressive Insurance. In all of the ads, Flo and the entire store/set are completely branded–from her blue headband to the boxes on the shelves. All of the ads–whether print, web or TV–scream Progressive. The center of the design identity originates from the blue Progressive logo.
Where do I get a logo and how much?
Find yourself a good professional designer. Ask to see a few samples of logos that he or she has designed and request an estimate. It’s great if you can work by the hour rather than paying a logo fee. Large design studios and advertising agencies tend to have a flat rate for logo design, which can be $1,000 and up. An average creation of a logo requires six to eight hours of design time. This includes three initial designs, a couple rounds of revisions and all production files.
It’s to your benefit
The benefits of hiring a professional designer are many:
- You will have a strong logo that will represent your business and make you look good.
- Saves you time and lets you do the work that makes you money. You know your job and the logo designer knows his or her job
- The designer will help you be objective and provide fresh perspective.
- You will have high quality files that will reproduce well in all situations.