A large component of a branding is developing your corporate identity. A corporate identity, or logo, weaves together your business name and a graphic element to create a memorable visual cue for your business. Used consistently, logos help customers remember you when they need your product or service.
Contrary to popular belief, your logo does not have to include an image of the product or service you offer. A logo is simply a visual representation of your business. While it can be tempting for a law firm to use the scales of justice, it doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t make for a very original logo if every other attorney in town uses the exact same imagery. The main goal of a logo is to differentiate your business from your competitors.
Entrepreneurs on a budget often decide to develop a logo on their own. Although this may seem like a smart option, it can cost you in the long run. Not only can it be time-consuming to develop a logo yourself, it can also make your business look amateur. Even if you have a great idea for a logo, you may not be able to execute it well on your own.
Professional graphic designers or marketing firms have the skills and expertise to create a logo that will last. They understand how to use color, fonts and imagery to create a logo that matches your brand message. A designer will also understand how to the use of your logo into consideration so it will look good no matter what the medium.
Hiring a professional designer does not have to cost a fortune. There are many freelance designers and marketing consultants who can create a professional, lasting logo for a lot less than traditional design firms.
Whether you decide to design your logo yourself or hire a professional, here are some things to keep in mind as you choose a logo for your business:
- Style. Choose a design that reflects the style and personality of your business. And, equally important, your logo should be appealing to the people you serve. For example, the logo design for a children’s clothing boutique would be vastly different from that of an accounting firm.
- Size. When choosing a logo, make sure it will look good no matter the size. Your logo needs to be something that can be reproduced on both a business card and billboard. Logos that have too much detail can be difficult to recognize when distilled to a thumbnail.
- Simplicity. Some of the most recognizable logos — Nike, Mercedes, Coca-Cola — all have very basic, iconic designs. Simple logos are often the most effective as they are easy to digest and can more quickly communicate the essence of your business.
- Originality. As mentioned throughout this series, your logo should represent YOU. Avoid using clip art, templates or other generic images. Your logo should be unique to you and your business.
Did you hire a designer to design your logo? Why or why not? What do you think is the most important aspect of creating a memorable logo?