You may be a great graphic designer. You may have designed dozens of logos. When it comes to your own, however, get a fresh mind involved. And if you’re not a designer, it’s even more important to get a professional involved.
I am not a graphic designer. I design page lay-outs and can play with already-created images, but what takes a graphic designer 20 minutes to draw from scratch takes me two hours. To save money and time, I bought a stock image of a quill from istockphoto.com and created a logo-esque design for my company from there. I consider that a rookie mistake, and it’s one that a lot of entrepreneurs make.
Tempting as it may be, do not use clipart or a stock image as the graphical element of your logo. You — and more importantly, your company — deserve better. Your logo should be as unique as you company and should last just as long. When deciding on a logo, you want to imagine your business 10 years from now. Will that logo still be impactful? If not, ditch the logo idea. Keep tweaking a concept until it is just right. As you invest in building a brand for yourself, you don’t want to sabatoge that brand by having a second-rate logo that you’re going to have to change down the road. Because as all the blue-chip megacompanies out there can attest, even as you change your logo, you only do so subtly over long periods of time. That way, you keep your logo (and your brand) fresh and timely without compromising your image.
And so, in my mission to follow my own marketing advice, I’m currently working with my graphic designers to develop a new logo for The Write People LLC. A few things to keep in mind when deciding on a logo that represents your company:
- Color. Psychologists and designers know that different colors evoke different emotional reactions in people. So choose the colors carefully. You can learn about the meaning of colors with some brief research. Here, a quick guide:
- Red: Energy, power, passion.
- Orange: Youthfulness, fun, warmth.
- Yellow: Cheer and energy. A word of caution, however: While a bright yellow evokes a happy, positive feeling, darker yellows can evoke associations with filth and grime.
- Green: Growth, health, wealth.
- Blue: Wisdom, loyalty. A very calming color. Warning: Blue suppresses appetite, so this is not a good color for a company involved in food services at any level!
- Purple: Luxury, power, royalty.
- Black: Elegance, class.
- White: Purity, cleanliness.
- Font. It says a lot about your company. If you want a clean look, go for a sans seriff. If you’re wanting a more corporate look, go with a seriff. And for a more fun look, well, the options are limitless, but make sure you choose something readable and well spaced. Remember, your logo needs to be adaptable, as it will be displayed on everything from your website to your business card. You need a font that will look just as good at 8-point as it does at 36-point.
- Graphical element. Remember that not every logo requires a graphical element. Sometimes just the name of your company in a font and color that conveys the image that you want associated with your brand is perfectly sufficient. Others need a graphical element to really make it stand out. Choose what works for you, but heed my earlier warning about investing in a unqiue image that you can trademark: a clipart or stock image won’t cut it. And even if you are a designer yourself, sometimes it’s tough to see the forest through the trees with your baby. An outside professional will give you priceless unbiased perspective.
There are thousands of logo designers out there. Regardless of your budget, there is a designer that is a good fit for your needs. There are a few designers out there willing to work for $50 per logo, and there are a few designers that charge $1,000 per logo. For those looking to find something in the middle of the cost spectrum, expect to pay between $200 and $500 for a professional logo. You should have full rights to your logo — it does not belong to the designer. And you should have high-resolution images in multiple formats to maximize versatility. Anything less is unprofessional and not worthy of your business.
Do you have a story about your own logo experience? Share it; don’t be shy!
Looking forward to your success story,
Have an issue you want addressed? Leave me a comment with your suggestion, and I’ll tackle it on my next blog entry!