When it comes to the success of your business, never underestimate the power of a great logo design.
To many, a good logo is one that can be easily recognisable, and this is true, but only part of what your branding is really about.
Many confuse ‘recognisable’ with ‘identifiable’, and it’s important to understand the difference.
Clearly define the core values of your business
Recognisable means it is easily recognised. Take for instance Apple, McDonalds, Commonwealth Bank, etc,
Identifiable, on the other hand, is about the logo ‘identifying’ with your business’s core principles, and truly representing what the business is about.
Going back to Apple’s icon logo, many will look at it as an Apple with a bite out of it, but it is actually much more than this…
The Apple logo has the bite for two reasons, one representing ‘recognisable’, and one representing ‘identifiable’.
The ‘bite’ was incorporated to the logo so that people would not confuse the shape as a cherry, giving it a recognisable look, and making it easier to trademark as a unique design. But it’s the ‘identifiable’ component of the design that is what makes the Apple logo so valuable.
Think back to Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, and how that first bite of the Apple changed everything. That small bite represents mans lust and thirst for knowledge. Everyone wants the iconic status of owning an Apple computer, an iPad, an iPhone, an iWatch. Apple products are the ‘lust products’ that we all want.
Is the logo ‘portable’
When it comes to creating a successful logo, usually less is more. A logo that too complex in design not only means that it may be harder to recognise from a distance, but it might also not be as ‘portable’. By this I mean, will it work on a small business card design, or reproduce easily on signage, in a greyscale press ad, on a uniform, on the header area of a website, etc?
Ensuring your logo can be easily reproduced across every medium is critical for brand consistency, as well as your budget. Take a logo such as Mercedes Benz. Simple, single colour design. For one of the world’s most prestigious brands, they also have one of the most cost effective and flexible brands. In the many years they have been in business, their logo would have saved them millions in printing costs as they chose a simple colour palette, and can be reproduced quickly across many mediums.
Testing the logo design across all mediums is critical before making the final decision.
Choosing the right logo designer
When starting out many businesses opt for ‘cheap’ over ‘quality’ to get their business up and running, without thinking through the long-term consequences. Some will opt to outsource their design offshore, others will use a contest-based website to get a multitude of options, and the educated business owners will choose a ‘local’ designer with a proven track record and trusted reputation.
The choice can make a huge difference for your business. For example, if you outsourced the logo design, you may find they only give you a certain selection of file types, often that can’t be edited. So when you go to reproduce the logo, say on vehicle signage, and require the logo in a different format for output, you can’t provide it. You then go looking for the designer that created it, but he has since moved on. Many outsourcing designers and contest-based designers don’t archive files, so you may find yourself paying someone else to redo your own logo again, costing you more unexpectedly. You also have no idea how they came up with the logo design. It could be partly clip-art design, and you may not actually own the elements of the design. When you go to trademark it, which is recommended for every logo design, you may find someone already ‘owns’ the design or something very similar using the same elements. You would then need to have your logo re-designed or face a possible legal battle.
Many contest-based designers are also more concerned about winning rather than creating a logo that represents the essence of the business, so you’ll end up with a literally meaningless design.
When you choose a local logo designer, you will probably pay more, but you will get more value, more protection, your brand will be archived and usually accessible more easily, actually saving you in the long run.
Ask your Logo Designer for a Design Brief
Any good designer will work through a design brief with their client first before starting any design work. The design brief is usually a few simple questions that asks you to identify your core business qualities, who your target audience is, what styles and colours will resonate with your audience, and how that logo will be utilised. This helps ensure that as your business grows your logo will continue to fit the brand. Going back to Apple, while they have had a few colour changes along the way, their core design still remains the same, as does their core business values, and combined, part of the reason they are one of the world’s largest companies in history.
So before rushing out to find a designer for your new business logo, put your heart before your wallet, and consider the real factors involved in choosing the right logo designer. The initial cost may be a factor, but first think about the long term effects that your logo choice will have on your business.
Your logo is the core element and business identity, and it needs to be done correctly, the first time.