A logo is an essential part of your company brand. It works together with elements such as your website, collateral, brand promise, and marketing efforts to set the tone for your company as a whole in the public arena. And while this sounds simple enough, many logos tend to overshoot or fall short.
1. Start with your brand
When deciding on a logo consider your brand first. Ask tough questions. Know who your clients are and what they want from you. Know what you want from your clients. Do research and think hard about your company’s mission statement.
Remember to ask the right questions internally. If you ask ten people if they prefer blue or green, you won’t get anywhere. But if you ask, “Is it more important that we look technical (blue) or trendy (green)?” then you’re moving in the right direction. If you start out by showing logo concepts and asking what people like, you’ve already lost. Once you’ve more clearly defined your brand then you can ensure your logo effectively represents that brand.
The more lines, shapes, stories, colors, and fonts you have in your logo, the more provincial you look. If being provincial is part of your brand then feel free to break this rule. Otherwise less is more. Remember your logo isn’t the whole story, it’s a single unifying thought.
Try to limit your logo to a single font. Two is fine if your tagline is part of your logo. Three is just wrong regardless of your size. Go for solid colors over gradients. Gradients never print well and almost always look amateur.
3. Shoot for ten times your size
If you’re a million-dollar-a-year company, your logo should be as strong, or stronger, than your ten-million-dollar-a-year competitor.
Don’t worry about what the other million-dollar-a-year companies are doing in your space. Follow the advice of dressing for the job you want, choose your logo for the multi-billion dollar capitalist success story you know you are.
4. Know that someone will hate it
Let’s face it, someone isn’t going to be happy with your choice. Any major branding changes, such as logos, should be combined with an internal public relations campaign to make sure that people understand why you’ve made the choices you made.
Make sure anyone that can derail your design has their voice heard. The only thing worse than getting two dozen opinionated, smart, dedicated people to agree on one color is having five people pick the color and annoying the other nineteen.