Developing a business logo
You will learn
- The different types of logo you can create
- Ideas for designing a memorable logo
- Hints for where to use your logo once it's made
Your logo is a visual representation of your business and all the things you stand for. A great logo can have a massive influence on the way in which a customer interacts with your business and help you build loyalty, establish your brand identity, and make you easily recognisable to your customers. Here's what you need to know about developing a business logo.
Types of logos
There are essentially three types of logo that you can choose for your business. The first is a font-based logo – think about Sony or Microsoft as examples here. A distinct brand font with the brand colouring is used to write out their business name which then becomes their logo.
The second kind of logo you’ll encounter is image-based, a graphic representation of what your business does. If you offer a cleaning service, for example, your image-based logo could be of a mop and bucket. These are great for start-up businesses, as they can immediately tell a potential customer what your business does to help them decide whether or not to interact with you.
The third logo type you could use in your business is the abstract symbol – like Nike’s tick or Pepsi’s red, blue and white circle. These images are meaningless without the association of the brand behind them, so if you’re going to invest in this kind of abstract logo, you’ll need to think even more carefully about developing and maintaining a consistent brand.
Designing your logo
Now that you’ve decided what type of logo you’re going to have for your business, you can start designing. Consider what your brand colours are going to be, as well as font and tone in these early stages of design so that you can make sure they stay consistent throughout your entire business brand. Are you going for something clean and professional looking, or does your brand suit something a little brighter with a more abstract image?
With something this vital to your business, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional designer. Even if you’re planning on creating the logo yourself, it’s worth booking a session with an industry expert. They’ll know whether or not your logo concept will transfer easily in print or onto signs and other promotional materials.
If you do choose to hire a professional designer to help you create your logo, make sure you do your research. Find out what other logos they’ve created, research their prices and see how familiar they are with your particular market. They have invaluable expertise that you can tap into to help design a logo to support a brand customers really identify with.
When designing, always keep your business in mind. Think about your values and goals as a business, and always remember the message and emotions you want your customers to get when they interact with your brand. If you don’t have the customer experience in mind at all times, you won’t be able to develop a recognisable and attractive brand for your business. Think about your target audience and base your logo against their likes and dislikes.
You should always try and keep your logo clean and simple. Not only will it help your customers to understand what your business does, it also makes it much more practical. A great logo needs to be scalable: would it work on the side of a van as well as it works on the side of a pen? If you can’t easily reproduce your logo in different sizes, you should head back to the drawing board to create something memorable and functional.
Always, always get a second…third…fourth option on your logo design. A fresh set of eyes on a logo design can often highlight cultural misunderstandings, innuendos, or hidden words or meanings.
Wherever possible, avoid clichés in your design like light bulbs for ideas or a globe to show international work. They’re clichés for a reason, and you can’t expect your brand to stand out with an image that has been over used.
Use the power of colour to your advantage. Different colours suggest different emotions or ideas and it’s worth researching the effects they have on people. However, when you’re designing your logo, it’s also worth consider what it looks like without bright colours, as often you’ll find the need for a simple black and white version.
Using your logo
When you’ve got your business logo designed and you’re happy with the final product, use it everywhere you can. This will help you build your brand image, encourage people to interact and identify with your brand, and hopefully bring in more sales. Some key places you’ll want to use your logo are:
- On business cards and stationary
- Signs outside your business premises (if you have one)
- Vehicles – your business vehicles should all stand out to grab attention on the move so make sure your name, logo and website are all clearly visible
- Staff uniforms – your staff are brand ambassadors for your business so make sure they display your logo or brand colouring
- On your website – you website should sell your brand identity as much as it sells your product or service so make sure you use your logo a brand styles across the site
- On your social media – use your logo on your social sites and use them to interact with your customers
Once you’re happy with the design you have for your logo, you’ll need to think about getting a trademark. Trademarks ensure that if another business uses your design without your permission you’ll be able to take action against them. Your logo is a big part of your business identity and it’s important that you protect it. You can find out more about trademarking on Government’s website.
Developing a great logo for your business will require lots of though probably expert advice to make sure you create something appealing and functional. Your logo is going to be one of the first interactions your customers have with your business, and should easily come into their minds when someone mentions your business name. Make sure it represents the brand you want to create for your business and use it across all your marketing and communications with your customers.