Last week’s post on creating the perfect identity for your brand focused on doing market research and planning as a first step. Researching your potential consumers and your competition is a sure way for you to make the necessary tweaks and adjustments to your product or service, but also paves the way for you to build on the unique tone and feel of your brand’s business collateral (that is, the type of language used; the design aesthetic, from the logo and the package design to the choice in standard fonts to be used; etc.).
And that’s where Step 2 comes in… the fun stuff! Designing your logo! This is where you’ll make a big decision that outwardly affect the consumers and clients looking to purchase the products and services that you have to offer. While your design concepts allude to the package design, the fonts, the all-important logo, and anything else a consumer sees regarding your brand, your brand identity guidelines – which will be another step in the coming week’s posts – are the invisible glue that holds all of that marketing and advertising design work together, helping your brand to stand out (or fall below) the others. (And though the latter may sound more boring than the former, it’s actually an exciting process that can keep you looking professional and sleek amidst the masses of underachievers out their trying to peddle their own wares.)
DESIGNING YOUR LOGO
Ahh, the logo. Typically the first thing consumers notice about your company, the logo is a piece of your business identity that can help to make or break you, depending on whether or not you’ve done your research. Looking back over the last 100 years with a simple Google search, you can see numerous logos designed by companies to tout their commodities. Unsurprisingly, the companies that have been around the longest usually have the either 1) most straight forward and simple logos or 2) well-designed logos that offer up some type of intrigue to the consumer via use of interesting design elements or a flair of color.
While some companies opt for a logotype as their main signifier (which is typically the textual name of their company designed with a distinct or unique font and/or color), others – like Apple or Firefox – choose to go with a memorable image that helps to set them apart from the others. And some may use a combination of the two styles! Whether you choose any of the three options, it’s important to take a look at your products and services to see if your business model or product line may develop and expand in the near future. For example, if you’re selling homemade jams and don’t have any intention of branching out to other goods and products any time soon, a stylized font atop an illustrated logo of a jam bottle may not be such a bad idea. But if you’re starting a company that creates, say, custom backpacks for small dogs, you may want to hold off on being so specific and throwing your company’s name onto a designed backpack logo…. Who knows? Business may be a’boomin’ right out of the gate and you may decide to provide a slew of other puppy-based products not having to do with backpacks at all.
In cases like the doggy backpack company, you may want to opt for a design that either is vague (but still enticing!) in the message it relays, like Firefox’s logo.
Looking at that, you wouldn’t guess that Mozilla’s Firefox was a free Web browser, but the sleek design, the energetic use of color, and the design’s play on words (why’s that fox’s tail on fire anyway?!) make it known, probably subconsciously, to the consumer that it was well thought out and probably warrants a click.
When designing your logo, keep in mind that usually – as with all design – less is more. You don’t have to show/tell your consumers everything about your company immediately through your logo, though you’d be surprised how many amateur logo designers may try to do just that. Look at what your competitors are doing, look at your product and/or service, and, most importantly, look at the message you want to convey to your specific consumer base.
Here at Elevate Creative we take a look at the planning and research that’s gone on regarding your brand and design logos that best fit your company’s unique product or service with both your thoughts and your consumer’s in mind. Other websites, such as Elance and 99Designs, offer logo design alternatives as well.
If you already have a logo and need to spruce up its outdated and bland look, check out our blog post on 5 Easy Ways to Refresh Your Old Logo.