Logo design – everyone knows that swoosh is synonymous with high-end sports performance and men’s and women’s athletic shoes and apparel – Nike. When we see the bitten apple, we think of the iPhone, the iPad and the Mac. While driving along the freeway and we see the golden arches of McDonald’s, what comes to mind? A Big Mac? Chicken McNuggets? Perhaps French fries and Cheeseburger?
How about the green Siren? Our sense are suddenly piqued by the strong aroma of coffee, bagels and croissants of Starbucks. And the scallop shell? It kind of reminds us to top off our gas tank before we take the next exit.
These logos are powerful symbols of the brand, product or service they represent.
A HEAD WITHOUT A FACE
A logo design is to a business as your face is to you.
Imagine waking up one morning and you find out that you don’t have your face anymore except your eyes. You step out of your house only to get shocked that everyone else lost their faces except their eyes, just like you. You struggle to identify your family and friends without their faces. And they struggle to identify you as well.
Now imagine buying some grocery from your favourite supermarket. You proceed to the canned goods isle to get yourself some sardines, meatloaf and corned beef. To your dismay, none of the items on the shelves have any logo. You have no idea how many brands of each item are there on the shelves. You’re confused because you are not sure which one to pick. It can be frustrating to have 3 of the same items with generic labels not knowing the quality of each item.
This is the difficulty we can encounter when products don’t have a logo to represent their brands. You cannot identify with the product.
This is one reason why we need logos to represent brands of products and services. It helps us, as consumers, to choose what we want and what we need.
YOU CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO HAVE A LOGO
Launching a business without a logo can sabotage you. It’s like preparing for months to run the Boston Marathon and running and finishing the race only to get disqualified at the end because you forgot to wear your runner’s bib.
Having a logo or branding is one of the most powerful marketing tools. It’s one way to get recognized. It reflects your personality, or in case of your business, your values and principles.
There are several reasons why your business will not last long without branding.
- YOUR BUSINESS WILL NOT LOOK STABLE. Clients will not have confidence in doing business with you. Your business will appear to be more likely to fold or fail.
- YOU WILL LOOK LIKE A VERY SMALL BUSINESS. Large, successful businesses would never consider doing business without professional, originally designed marketing materials. Using materials that are not professionally designed make your business appears even smaller and can possibly indicate that you cannot perform to meet the standards required.
- YOU WILL LOOK UNPOLISHED AND ROUGH. Not having a professional look and feel can make it appear as though your business doesn’t matter to you. Customers may get the impression that you do not care about the way your business presents itself, which might indicate that you would not care about the quality of your work or the way your work reflects upon their business.
- YOU WILL LOOK UNFOCUSED.
HAVING A LOGO IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR BRAND’S SUCCESS
If you want your business to prosper and to attract customers, then you should consider having a business logo. Below are some reasons why having a logo is important to any business.
1. LOGOS ARE VISUAL IDENTIFIERS
Logos are intended to be the face of the company. The logo is the brand.
“They are graphical displays of a company’s unique identity, and through the colours and fonts and images they provide essential information about a company that allows customers to identify with the company’s core brand.”
The world needs to know that your business exists and having a logo will help customers identify you and your business. It’s about giving your brand the attention it deserves.
A logo is a simple and functional signpost to help people find and identify your business.
Customers buy products and avail services that they are aware of. Consider someone running for public office. Unless the people know that he is running for office and they know what he looks like, he wouldn’t receive a single vote from the people.
2. LOGOS CAN HELP ATTRACT AND RETAIN CUSTOMERS
Through your logo, you are informing the people that you have something they need. It helps you relate your business with the people and their needs.
By sending the right message to potential customers, your logo helps them choose you over the competition.
“As consumers grow to know, like and trust a specific brand, they are more likely to respond positively to successive encounters with a logo – potentially leading to increased sales or improved mind share within the target market. In addition, a well-designed logo implies a degree of professionalism and competence that could help steer potential new clients towards selecting the business rather than a competitor with no or substandard logos.”
3. YOUR LOGO IS YOUR MOST POWERFUL MARKETING TOOL
“With careful marketing, a Logo can become the main reason for sale of a company’s product. For instance, the brand Nike has a tremendous loyalty. It has become a status symbol of sorts, cashing on the image “the best money can buy”. Nike’s marketing strategy has been to associate popular and successful sport persons with the brand, establishing the company as makers of top quality professional sports gear.”
Your logo simply serves as a connection point between your company and its customers. Advertising with logos is necessary to enhance the exposure of your brand on a national and international level.
4. YOUR LOGO ESTABLISHES OWNERWHIP
A logo is like a signature. It proves your legal ownership and is a legal safe guard against fakes and forgeries. Cheap forgeries of branded product are flooding the markets in the third world countries. For instance, you can get a cheap sneaker with a logo somewhat similar to Nike’s logo, which can boost the sale of that fake. However, if a company reproduces your logo to the tee, you can sue the company in consumer court.
FIVE ESSENTIAL RULES OF LOGO DESIGN
Here are five quick and easy tips for you to follow when designing your logo.
1.) YOUR LOGO SHOULD BE EASY TO MEMORIZE AND UNDERSTAND
Refer to the colour of psychology to determine the perfect colour or colour combination for your brand. For the shape, keep it as simple as possible. Complicated shapes can cause confusion and turn people off.
Remember that creating a logo with a lasting first impression is essential.
2.) YOUR LOGO SHOULD BE VERSATILE
An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications including in print, on websites, banners and business cards. For example, Nike’s swoosh logo looks the same on all means of media.
3.) YOUR LOGO SHOULD BE TIMELESS
A good logo should endure the test of time. It should still be effective in 10, 20, 50+ years time. For example, the ABC logo was designed by Paul Rand in 1962 and it has never been modified.
4.) YOUR LOGO SHOULD BE UNIQUE
It is important to create a logo design that is original yet industry-specific. Don’t fall into the trap of making your logo look like your competitor’s logos.
Remember that your logo should appeal more to your customers, not your competitors.
5.) YOUR LOGO SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE DISPLAYED IN BLACK AND WIDE
Some of the most iconic logos can be easily sketched in pen and don’t need the help of Photoshop for special effects or shadows. This is important to remember as there will be instances where your logo will be displayed in black and white e.g. faxing and photocopying.
To quote graphic designer and author, the late Paul Rand:
“A logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.
Logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like.”