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You have the location, you have the web domain, you know precisely what you want your business to do and your business plan has been written up – so what’s next?
It’s easy to consider your business’ logo as being a lesser priority during the formative days of your building up your brand. Still, it is crucial to your company’s identity and one you certainly shouldn’t skimp on in either money or time.
Why are logos important?
Coca-cola, Atari, Apple, Nike, even the Commonwealth Bank of Australia – the logo of a business is the one thing that can stick with you at a single glance. It’s a visual prompt that can keep your brand name in your customers’ memory, helping it stay clear in their minds where businesses with no logo may be forgotten.
Aside from sticking to the memories of your current customers, a brand can also help you stand out on the high street and lure in new customers. A logo can help transmit your brand’s offering and should appeal to your target audience most of all. A children’s shop, for example, usually features bold colours and shapes in their signage. A bar may feature sophisticated filigree or just appetite-encouraging fruits or foods. Luxury brands are usually personified by elegant fonts and clean, simple logos and branding that suggests their products do the talking.
Whatever your business and whoever you are trying to target, you need a logo that connects seamlessly with both.
How much does a logo cost to design?
That’s up to you! You can hire a professional designer to help you, use online generators (many are free) or just try your own hand at getting creative. Whatever you decide, you need to make sure your logo isn’t infringing any other brand’s design – this is where getting feedback is essential and can be as simple as posting on a public forum.
If you have a sizable budget, you can even approach dedicated design agencies who can help you create your company’s branding. Logos aren’t always easy to design and to successfully marry your vision with a design that speaks to the current market, having an expert on board is a good bet.
If you’re taking the challenge on yourself, you should also bear in mind that many images and fonts available online (or even pre-loaded into your design software) will not be licensed for commercial use, at least not for free. So don’t get into hot water when it comes to the legal side of things and make sure you have images and fonts with the correct licenses in your design.
Things to consider when designing a logo
Font: The font you use for your brand needs to be one that can be consistent across your business. An elaborately designed font may look fantastic on your shop front, but it may not transfer well into a business card, website or menu. Similarly, you need your fonts to be complimentary. A flowing script may be a great match for your logo, but may not work as the font of choice for your website content, and vice versa. Basically, the tone you set with your logo font is the one you must maintain for all your marketing.
Formats: Your logo is going to appear on a lot of things, from your shop front to your emails, receipts and materials like staff uniforms or lanyards. Is your design versatile enough to look as professional and engaging in a rectangular social media image as it does on the limited space of a business card?
Resolution: This is one of the most important aspects on the technical side of things. Design your logo in a resolution that won’t warp or blur when you’ve blown it up to the several metres needed to cover your shop front, or scaled it down to fit a staff badge. If you’re not too savvy on image editing and formats, this may be where you’d like to get a professional involved.
Step-by-step process to design a business logo
Logo is not just art but it represents a brand and its business objectives. This is the time for designers to understand all aspects the brand aims to deliver and create a logo that will stand the test of time. This could also be the time for business owners to understand your own brand and shape your brand identity.
Start with running through all the details in the brand strategy framework before jumping into the design work.
This is the research phase to generate logo design ideas and create moodboards by looking at style, colour, font that could convey the brand persona. Different colours or fonts could bring out different messages and achieve different emotional responses from your audience.
After researching for visual representation, have a deep dive into the logos and the entire visual system of your direct competitors, high-performing companies within your target market and outside the industry. By observing what they are doing well and not well in their creative work, you could have more inspiration for your brand identity.
Let’s bring all your findings in the previous steps together and start sketching some logo designs. This step plays a huge role in bringing the idea into reality, therefore, is expected to be time consuming.
It’s recommended to have at least two or three logos to evaluate and choose from in the next step.
It’s time to narrow down the options and finalise the design. A great logo design should be simple, memorable and evocative.
The final logo design should meet all the mock up requirements across various mediums and digital applications.