Your firm’s logo is just as important as its name. The logo is considered the most powerful and visible symbol of your company’s brand. Yes, your firm is a brand and your firm will trigger brand perception. If you don’t have a logo, you should consider having one designed.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to design the perfect logo. Believe it or not, some of the top brands in today’s business world paid very little for their logo design. Twitter only paid $15 for its iconic logo. Nike paid $35 for the “swoosh”. On the other end of the spectrum, Pepsi paid $1 million to redesign its logo in 2008.
While it may not cost you much in money, you definitely want to spend time and energy considering what you want your logo to say about your firm. At its best, a logo should establish an emotional connection, as well as a personality.
From choice of color to font size, your logo will say a lot about your company, so choose wisely. You also want to make sure the logo reproduces well in various sizes and media, reflects the sensibilities of your target audience, and is easily and uniquely recognizable.
What makes a logo great? Milton Glaser, the legendary graphic designer best known for the “I Love New York” logo, says it has to do with simplicity. “You want to move the viewer in a perception, so that when they first look at [the logo]…they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical,” he told the graphic design blog Design Informer.
Inc. expanded Glaser’s point and compiled a list of four characteristics it believes distinguish great logos from the not-so-great:
Make it Unique. Your logo should stand out and be recognized amongst the slew of others in the same market space. Matt Mickiewicz, co-founder of Sitepoint.com, suggests staying away from overly used icons, like globes and arrows. According to graphic designer David Airey, you should consider that a logo doesn’t have to say what a company does. “The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer,” he writes in Logo Design Love, a popular logo design site.
Make it Adaptable. Strong logos translate well across different mediums. Will your logo evoke the same meaning on a business card as it will on a billboard? “Keeping the design simple allows for flexibility in size,” writes Airey. “Ideally, your design should work at a minimum of around one inch, without loss of detail.” Mickiewicz adds that when a logo does not reproduce well on a small scale it causes problems for a brand’s clarity and value. Also worth keeping in mind is that it should reproduce well in black and white – the fax machine isn’t going away any time soon.
Make it Timeless. Glaser created the iconic “I Love New York” logo in 1975. Forty years later, shirts and tchotchkes bearing that ubiquitous emblem still line the walls of gift shops around the world. “I did the thing in 1975, and I thought it would last a couple of months as a promotion and disappear,” said Glaser in a 2009 interview for Big Think. Eddie Opara, a New York-based partner with the international design firm Pentagram, says that it’s the neutrality of a design that makes a logo timeless, citing the NBC Universal logo as an example. “You look at the clean lines, the symmetry, the modernist structure, the neutrality behind it…and it really exposes the timeless quality,” he says. Even though it’s been changed over the years, the timeless elements remain.
Make it Appropriate. Before embarking on any sort of marketing campaign, you must first nail down your target audience. A logo needs to accurately reflect a company’s culture and values: the company’s essence. Doing some market research is critical, too. Mickiewicz warns color is a major attribute in determining the appropriateness of a logo design. “Different colors are associated with different meanings in different cultures. It’s important to think about how the colors in your logo reflect your brand values and the services or products you sell,” he says.
Summit Brokerage Services is a member of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
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