Logo Design: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide
By: Charles T.
Many startups make the mistake of neglecting logo design. They fail to realize how important it is to work on their brand and set it apart from their competitors. Some may go about getting themselves a logo because other companies have one and it seems the thing to do. They may try to design a logo themselves or hire an amateur to design one for a few dollars.
They may as well not have bothered. The results are likely to look cheap, and worse, meaningless. A logo is more than just a pretty image. It’s a visual representation of the brand.
While it’s important to curb start-up costs, logo design is not an area where this applies. A well-designed logo will always reap a good ROI and generate sales. As a business you might question the wisdom of spending $1000 or more on a button-sized image, but the returns are always worth the initial cost. Nowhere is it truer that you get what you pay for than with logo design.
Company Logo Design – The Benefits
First, let’s take a look at why having the right logo is so important for your business. Stripped down to its essence, a logo is a visual icon which encapsulates a company’s unique brand identity. It’s the face of your company. It’s the ‘everything plus the kitchen sink’ of your company distilled into a nutshell. Here are nine darn good reasons for having a well-designed logo:
- A logo has instant recall value. Customers will immediately recognize your logo and identify it with your core values and the service you provide.
- An awesome logo boosts your social media presence. It will be seen by people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, et al who will share it with their followers. This in turn increases your company’s following.
- A clever, inventive logo separates your brand from those of your competitors. If there’s little to choose between two companies, a consumer is more likely to buy from the one whose logo most closely reflects their own values. Or they may discard those companies which use a bland logo, or have no logo at all.
- Logos keep customers happy. They’re bright, colorful, and often they’re fun. Why shouldn’t the buying experience be a joy?
- Logos build consumer trust and company prestige. A logo is a vow of quality, instantly recognizable. They promise a good buyer experience.
- Logos can turn your business into a global brand. Because they’re visual, they communicate a core message that crosses language and culture barriers.
- Logos help create a story around your brand. Everyone loves a story. They’re far more interesting and memorable than bland facts and statistics.
- Logos help draw attention to your products. They boost sales, attract new customers and generate a high ROI. There’s no economic reason why your business shouldn’t have one.
- As intellectual property, a logo can increase the value of your company. Some logos are so cool and awesome people wear them on T-shirts, shoes and other clothing. If designed well, they can become a separate revenue stream in themselves.
Company Logo Design – Leave It To The Professionals
I hope you now agree that having a logo for your business is as important as a country having a flag. But don’t fall into the trap of hashing up any old design yourself, or thinking you can get your old buddy from college to drum up one in his coffee break.
A well-designed logo can make a company, but a poorly designed one will just as surely break one. Your logo reflects the values of your company. It encapsulates the unique identity of your brand. This can include selling points, quality of service and a host of other aspects. Get it wrong and you can send up red flags about your company for all kinds of reasons.
The task of designing a professional company logo should not be taken lightly. It requires someone who understands the way colors, shapes and forms combine to create a compelling icon that will stick in people’s minds. These design elements play on the subconscious in different ways, often applying hidden meanings. A good professional designer will understand the tick and tock of psychology behind the graphic design. They will know what works for your company and the context of its personality. Every brand is unique, and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. A logo designer should research your company well and understand its culture and values, its market, customer base and core values. Only by knowing your company from the inside out can a designer select the right design elements for your brand. That research takes time, as does creating a design which grips the customer, imbues trust and compels him to buy your products over and over again.
An amateurish or poor logo design will reflect badly on your company. You may not have paid much for it or even anything, but you can still lose plenty of business from a trashy design. If the logo looks cheap, shabby or badly rendered, anyone who sees it will also think that of your products. Rather than generate a lucrative ROI, your logo will become a drag on your bottom line. You don’t need to spend a small fortune on your logo design, but think of it as a worthwhile investment. If you take care to choose a reputable design team, you won’t regret the money you spend.
Logo Design Ideas, Elements & Formats
The shapes, colors and forms you use for your logo can subtly alter the perception of your brand. Any reputable design team will understand the nuance of using the right graphic elements to fit your brand.
Here are a few examples of what I mean. Smooth lines and edges to the logo icon represent quality. Straight lines are more masculine; curves more feminine. Squares represent stability; circles, harmony. And using the clean, thin strokes of line art is an effective way of making a logo more attractive to the consumer.
Colors too are important. Red can symbolize relevance or hunger (think McDonald’s). Orange and yellow symbolize happiness (again, think McDonald’s). Blue can mean coolness or water. Green means growth or nature. Purple can mean elegance; while black shows sophistication.
Logo design has moved on from the lithographic printing techniques of the advertising posters which emerged in the 1920’s. While these were the forerunners of mass advertising, today there is a wider choice of formats to display corporate logos. One consequence of this is that it’s crucial to choose a logo design which looks awesome across the range of formats. This is why flat logos sometimes work better than embossed or shadowed ones. Your brand should appear consistent or customers will start to lose trust in it. Once you have a logo design you love, stick with it. Look at these few examples:
Producing a logo in printed form is still very popular. Today, logos are printed on business cards, T-shirts, caps, pens, flyers, pop-up banners, vehicle wraps and, of course, posters. High-resolution color printing means that the final results are crisper and brighter than ever. Try printing in black and white to add an air of prestige.
User Experience and User Interface are specializations of web design which deal with how online users interact with a website. Here is a field ripe with opportunity for company logos, but also one that has thrown up a few challenges. Logos, which were once large enough to hang above a retail store, now must be shrunk to fit the app buttons on a smartphone without distortion. Again, here is where a flat design trumps an embossed one, not least because they load faster. Google was one of the first brands to change to a flat logo. There’s no doubt that improving UX/UI increases sales, so design your logo with minimalism in mind.
A powerful new marketing tool introduced only a few years ago, motion graphics are here to stay. Animating a company logo can electrify a website. Applying motion design to a logo gives it a sense of time and narrative, while engaging the user’s key sense: their sense of vision. The more engaged a user is the more likely they are to buy your product. Logos can be made to rotate, bounce, fold, spin, expand, warp, transform and more. Motion design is still a relatively new and untapped field. Expect to see far more animated logos in the future.
Logo design has come on in spades since the days of store signs and posters. A well-designed and researched business logo is the essential face of your company. It makes your brand identity stand out from the others, builds your customer base and impacts your business in many other ways. A good professional design company will design a captivating logo to reflect the quality of your product or service. They will charge a fee for this, of course, but even investing hundreds of dollars in your logo will reap a far higher return in sales.
Professional logo design is a no-brainier. Your logo is your guiding light. Without one, your company is like a ship sailing blind through fog.