According to MIT Graphic Identity a logo is “Part of a graphic identity system, a logo is a symbol that embodies elements of an organization such as values, goals, mission, and culture.” It usually consists of a striking typeface, shape, orientation and/or graphic image that is distinctive to that company.
Unless your company manages to become the next Nike, you will most likely need to keep your business name in your logo. Rarely will someone see your logo out of context, so don’t worry about saying everything there is to say about your business in your logo. That said, you do want the typeface and any graphic element, to appear stable and trustworthy. Perhaps you also want it to look modern, fun, or hip. You don’t need to use a literal representation of your product or service. Consider that McDonald’s iconic golden arches are at least as effective as Sherwin William’s paint can logo. While you wouldn’t want to change your logo on a regular basis, some of the most famous have evolved over the years.
Keep in mind that a logo cannot be a photograph (read on about simplicity) or clip art. Even royalty-free clip art is usually not licensed for logo use. Also, consider that thousands of people have access to this same image. Make your logo unique! It must be in vector format which means it can be sized up or down without losing image quality.
Keep your logo to just one or two elements and your fonts to one or two. Save drop shadows and gradients for later. You can always add those in for select applications.
This (fictional) logo illustrates some of the worst in bad logo design. The image was found in Microsoft’s Clip Art Gallery. The font is difficult to read and uses a blurry drop shadow. The Logo depends on the black background for the graphic and white or transparent for the text and the original graphic was a .bmp file, which means that resizing it will be a nightmare!
Make sure your logo will work in black and white and on any background color. Make sure that vibrant color is not the only interesting element to your logo. Keeping the design simple will save you money in printing, as well.
When thinking about a logo for your business, consider:
- What kind of font would be best – simple, modern, strong, artistic? Should it be capitalized, all caps or all lowercase?
- What image do you want to present – classy, upscale, dependable, friendly, affordable, artsy?
- Who is your target audience?
Do-It-Yourself logo creation sites abound. If you truly have no budget for a professionally designed logo, you might be tempted to try one. Just keep in mind how easy it is. That means anyone can do it. Which also means that your logo is not going to be unique.
It’s important for your logo designer to get to know your business and what ideas you may already have before beginning the design process. Expect a lot of back and forth with sketches, options and revisions to get just the right look. If you have sketches, by all means, share them with your designer, but be open to feedback and suggestions. Expect a good logo to take some time from concept to completion. I try to get mine done within 10 business days, but a lot depends on the quality of communication with the customer. Try to set aside some time to see the project through.
How much do logos cost?
That is a tough question, similar to “how much do websites cost”! The answer is that it depends on many factors, but the logos I design usually run around $300. You’ll get all the files you could ever need to use your logo online and in print.
Ready to talk about your logo design? Call 830.822.6589 or use my contact form. I look forward to working with you!