How to create the perfect logo for your business

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Brilliant! You’ve got a new business idea, but what next? I’d like to bet that you are either sketching some logo ideas on your iPad or at least thinking about it.

A new logo, or Branding as you should be calling it, is one of the exciting parts of bringing your new business idea to life. Mainly because once you have your Branding nailed you can crack on with the website, banners on social media, email signatures and so on. It also gives you a huge sense of fulfilment, to be able to see your business come to life in its digital form.

And that is the point I wanted to highlight first, if you can see it, then once all of your Marketing activities kick in, everyone else will see it too! So… it’s important that you get it right from the outset (because there’s nothing worse than having to rebrand your business before a rebrand is due, it can be very time consuming and not to mention costly!)

Here a few areas I have highlighted for you to consider:

Colour and font psychology
The psychology of colour is vital. You may be tempted to immediately slather your Branding in your favourite colour but decades of Marketing colour and font psychology science asks you to just pause a second and think about this before you proceed. 

During your ponder address these questions, what is it that you offer, who are you appealing to and how do you want them to feel when using your product or service? This is important.

I’ll give you an example, let’s say you are producing a bottle of delicious water with health benefits, the last thing you should do is have a logo with browns and dirty greens in it that are likened to swamp water! Similarly, if you were a bank or financial establishment you literally would not be using a Comic Sans looking font in your logo (or any font that hasn’t been purchased or created under a commercial license agreement). No disrespect to Comic Sans of course, whether you love it or hate it, it is associated with flyers created using clip art or other such homemade materials. Sorry Comic Sans. Ok, so they are extreme examples, yes, but you get the idea!

Your new Branding must be a good ambassador for your product or service. Does it represent you correctly, does it appeal to your target audience and how you want them to feel. You’re probably thinking like what? How they feel? Yes, and here is what I mean –

Red – Definitely an attention grabber, often associated with danger or a warning sign. Also associated with strong emotions, excitement, do it now ‘action’, fun, happy! No surprise this colour is overused in the fast food market and the chosen go-to colour for brands like Coca-Cola and Monopoly (remember that game!)

Orange – Less extreme, but still very striking, this colour is notoriously documented as the cheerful, optimistic, a happy feeling, not to mention friendly and sociable. 

Yellow – Yellow for creativity, optimism and still very much on the cheerful side! I can see why McDonald’s combined this with Red to create a winning combination! An attention grabbing happy Big Mac – yes please! 

Green – Oh so earthy, natural, soothing and peaceful like the forest. This makes it the perfect colour for natural products and those that wish to sooth – like a good night sleep at the Holiday Inn – did you see what they did there? Very clever.

Blue – Blue is so associated with Trust and Dependability, so much so that you wouldn’t bank anywhere else, or choose any other pc software for that matter! Very corporate, very trustworthy, very stable. Its easy to see how you may wish to choose blue to show you are trustworthy, who wouldn’t? But you have to think, is that the overriding feeling that you want you customers to feel? For example, if you are a theme park – of course you want to be trustworthy and safe, but the overriding feeling you want to incite is fun. Fun wins hands down. Or hands up if you’re on a roller coaster. 

Purple – Creative, oh yes. Not to mention Regal, luxurious, imaginative, magical and wise. Great if you are going for the high-end market and also a winner for beauty products.

Black – When applied to a logo correctly, Black can look amazing. Its dramatic, its powerful, classy and elegant, it is intelligent. So no wonder there are many businesses in media opting for colour block black logos.

There are of course other shades in between but this will give you a good idea of what colour you see your logo to be now.

 

Less is More
If you are designing your own logo using design software it is easy to get carried away with effects. Bevel, texture, drop shadows. All of these look amazing in the right habitat, but when it comes to a logo and your branding, less is definitely more.  I will explain an unwritten rule in the design world, that less is more; If a logo is clever and effective in its own right it does not need layers of effects to make it good.  In other words, lots of effects is seen to be making up for a lack of creative design or flair. You get me?

Major effect overload however does have a place on a logo if you are in the virtual reality or gaming environment. But again this depends on what you are offering, if you aren’t selling games or gaming then revert back to the above.

Where it will fit?
Logos must be neat. Once you have created a logo, imagine it fitting into a perfect circle and still being readable or a horizontal rectangle. The reason I mention this is because your new logo will need to fit onto letterhead and still be readable, it will need to fit onto the header of your website and still be readable. So, if it is taller than it is wide, it isn’t going to look too great. Take a look around at websites and see how their logos sit onto the header. More often than not they would fit into a horizonal rectangle shape – therefore it will fit nicely on the header of a website.

Copyright
Being copied is not the biggest form of flattery, it is the recipe for a nasty lawsuit. Copyright is a BIG BIG consideration. Do not under underestimate the lengths people will go to in order to protect their business identity. With that in mind do not under any circumstances be tempted to ‘recreate’ someone else’s logo with some minor ‘tweaks’ of your own. This will get you into trouble – and I mean with the law kind of trouble. The same goes for your company name. Always choose an original name, if you are stuck with that you can visit the Companies House website to see if your preferred name has already been taken.

Something Clever
I love this bit. Clever logos are awesome and if you are a business owner that has a clever logo you should never get sick of looking at it. I was going to say you’d never get sick of telling people about it BUT if you have to explain it to people then it isn’t clever!!

Here are some great examples of clever logos. Well…. Amazon has to be the most famous with an arrow pointing from A to Z symbolising they offer everything from A to Z. Genius. Fed Ex has a hidden arrow in between the E and the X. Look closely….. The Tour de France logo uses the letters to depict a cyclist, I could go on!!

Practical Technicalities
If you are creating your branding yourself, remember to create it as a high-resolution file, you never know when you may need to increase it to billboard size! Another tip is to please keep the original file and keep it in a safe place. I have lost count of the number clients that have lost the original and have had to recreate it – and they never feel the same way about them even though they are an exact replica!

As you can see, getting your branding correct from the outset is vital in appealing to your audience, create the desired feeling, be creative, practical, within the boundary of the law and if you’re feeling adventurous possibly have a hidden message!

Have fun!