Graphic Designers. Sometimes it seems like they are a different species, doesn’t it? They roll their eyes. They sigh at your suggestions. They seem to possess a level of mysterious knowledge we mere mortals can’t understand. In fact, they actually do… Here’s our tips on what to do, and our illustrations of what NOT to do, with your company’s logo.
Graphic designers think visually. When a client tries to force that last one little change, they groan because they can see an instant picture of this train wreck in their minds. And they know, as sure as the sun will rise in the morning, they will have to spend hours laying out this change, just to prove, all printed out on a piece of paper, that it doesn’t work.
Brand managers and account executives can be just as guilty. They can look at a logo, and, based on their years of experience and knowledge of your segment, tell you whether your logo is saying the right thing to the right audience. They can shoot a perfectly beautiful logo down, too, on those grounds alone.
Is it any wonder that there are so few logos that we, as consumers, can actually recall? Here’s some tips you can use to steer your logo project onto the right track, illustrated by some no-nos from one of the funniest sites community sites ever, yourlogomakesmebarf.com.
1) Know your consumer.
Do you have a logo that is sending the wrong message to your customer? A stodgy looking logo, for instance, when you’re selling to the youth market? Or a very upscale, elegant logo when you are selling to the middle market in a recession? This logo, below, makes my back hurt…
2) Watch your color choices.
Mauve and Wedgewood Blue were huge in the 1980s, but today, they may be the quickest way possible to show you’re out of date. The colors you choose for your logo are hugely important. Think about the current color trends, and your customer, and choose a palatte that’s both forward thinking and easy to live with over the long term. Can your logo colors screen back? Can they translate well into a larger color palatte of complimentary choices? Your logo colors will form the basis of color for every piece of communications your company. Choose wisely.
3) Design a logo that looks good big and small.
How would this logo look on the side of a truck? How would it look on a business card?
4) Make a logo that’s flexible.
The best logos can be taken apart in pieces. You may have part of your logo that appears on a t-shirt, and another more comprehensive version that appears on your letterhead.
5) Beware delicate fonts.
Now I’m not saying every logo in the world should be in Cooper Black. But if you create a logo with frilly cursive or disappearing serifs, you’re asking for trouble. These fonts tend to pixelate badly when they’re blown up large, and become completely illegible when they are reduced to a small size.
6) Know your competition
What are other companies in your industry doing with their logos? You don’t want to look exactly like theirs. But you don’t want to look so radically different it makes your audience wonder what business you’re in. This is especially important for professional service and business-to-business companies.
7) Design a logo that illustrates what you do.
This is a tall order for a logo, but the best ones do it well. What is your point of difference? Knowledge? Service? Speed? Caring? Selection? Your logo should reflect this personality. If an accompanying illustration is appropriate, it is the perfect opportunity to make that statement. Otherwise, it can be communicated through your font choices, color choices and company name. OK, I think the logo below takes this tip a little too seriously. But you see what I mean.
8) Logos that do too much.
You don’t have to capsulize your entire mission statement and marketing plan in one logo. The poor things. They suffer when you ask them to do too much. Stick to your point of difference, and illustrate that.
So now that you know what NOT to do, it makes appreciating the good logos all the better, doesn’t it? And remember. Be nice to your designer…
Posted on March 7, 2011 by admin