A business lives or dies on sales. Sales come from marketing. Marketing relies on brand. At the heart of your brand is the logo. Simplistic? Maybe, but it’s true – and that’s why having the right logo is of such importance for businesses, however small or new they might be. After all, as soon as you open the store doors, launch the website, or set up the Facebook page, you’re officially open for business and customers start forming their first impressions.
If your logo isn’t there to serve as the symbol of all your business stands for then you’re only creating barriers to be surmounted later when you do introduce a logo into your brand. Early customers (potentially your most loyal) will be left wondering: Is this the same business? Has the management or ownership changed? Will the service be the same?
As a guideline, your logo should appear on everything from website to letterheads to business cards to flyers around town. The benefits of having an identifiable and unique well-designed logo on all your marketing materials are as follows:
Your business appears ‘established’ and stable.
By clearly caring about how you present yourself, you create an impression of professionalism and high standards in the mind of the customer, which encourages sales and trust.
You appear unified, a single organization. Whoever the customer deals with, if they deal with someone under the same banner, they are reassured that the service will be consistent.
Of course, all this argues in favor of having your logo designed professionally (unless you are a graphic designer yourself) and for the sake of the above advantages, this is usually seen as a worthwhile start-up investment. That said, it’s your business and you should certainly have input into the design (and sign-off!) so it’s worth being aware of what makes a good logo. Ideally, your logo should be distinct from others (especially the competition), instantly recognizable, and legible/identifiable at any size from business card to billboard. The following are the key logo design criteria and guidelines for any new start-up…
Shape, wording (if any) and color should all be one of a kind. Any symbol or image should be linked to an aspect of your brand or product/service. Be careful not to be too clever, it must be clear to everyone what the logo represents. Try jotting down a few words that represent your business vision or mission statement and then ask yourself what visual images do those words bring to mind.
Not too wordy and not too much detail. Remember, the smaller it is – for example on the screen of a smartphone – the less the detail will show up. Clear strong lines and text are best because they cope with size changes best. What’s more, simple is memorable which is the whole point.
Not that your logo has to be black and white but it has to look good in that color scheme (or lack of one). First, that keeps printing costs down, and second, most people when printing out your business documents (flyers, coupons, location maps, etc.) will do so in black and white and you want your logo to retain its power.
Asymmetrical logos are difficult to pull off. The human eye responds more favorably to
balance, to a design with similar amounts of detail and color on each side.
Finally, once you have your design (and hopefully it’s a design you love) you need it in a variety of electronic formats – EPS, JPG, GIF – so that it can be smoothly incorporated into any and all marketing materials.