How do you design a professional logo?

One of the key aspects of any branding strategy for your company is the creation of your brand logo. It may be small and seem relatively inconsequential, but it will be asked to do a lot of work on behalf of your business marketing, perhaps for years to come.

Because it’s so vital, it’s important to spend some time considering what kind of logo you require. As with any branding exercise, logo creation should be rooted in your brand values and your overarching plans for your business.

What exactly is a logo?

It might seem obvious, but there is more to designing a logo than merely placing your company name in a shape or a symbol. A logo is a symbol or design that’s used to identify a company and its products, services and employees. It can be simple, or more complex, but either way it needs to reflect what your business is all about.

Why are logos so important?

If first impressions count then your business logo will need to do some work. Your logo is how you will quickly and easily communicate your brand to your potential customers.  It’s a simple visual way to effectively communicate the values that inspire your brand to a wider audience, and in doing so hopefully pique their interest. It will help to form their initial perceptions of your business. It’s the first step when it comes to visual branding for your business. As a key component of that visual branding, it will also help to inform and support some of your other business choices.

As with other types of branding, business owners are often in a hurry to get to the creative stage. As a result, they miss an opportunity to think more deeply about their brand and what they hope to achieve through it.

Attract, engage and inspire

Your logo needs to be able to compete in a competitive market. It needs to stand out from your competitors and should attract, engage and inspire. In a world that’s full of memorable logos and endless visual stimuli how do you go about making an impact?

An easy way to identify your brand

A common misunderstanding is to think that somehow or other your logo is your brand identity. This is not the case. It’s a means by which to communicate your brand identity, but it isn’t your brand. Your brand is, to a large degree, intangible. It’s your company reputation, or the reputation you hope to build. It’s what people think when they hear your company name and what they communicate about your company to other people. Your brand is built on multiple touch points with your customers. Your logo will become associated with your brand and help to communicate that brand to existing and potential customers.

With that in mind your logo needs to broadly reflect your brand identity and values. Is your business fun and young, or traditional and established? Are you striving to be ethical? Don’t create a logo that’s at odds with those core brand values.

Logos are key but they’re not your entire visual identity

Your logo is a key means by which you’ll communicate your brand identity, but they are not the only part of your company’s visual identity. They’re a main component of a much broader picture that will include colour palette, layout, photography, typography and other visual elements. Therefore, you need to ask how your logo fits into the broader visual identity of your business.

Check your competition

How do your competitors present themselves? Is there a particular style or flavour of design that’s common to businesses operating in your field. If so, do you want to reflect that common design approach or challenge it? If you do decide to challenge it, how will you do so without confusing your potential customers? Will it still be clear exactly what you’re offering?

Spending some time looking at the design and logo choices of your competition should give you some ideas. It will also allow you to consider what does and doesn’t work.

Make sure your logo ties in with the rest of your marketing materials

Your logo will need to complement any existing marketing materials. If you’ve already chosen a particular colour scheme, and font and design approach across your marketing materials, then your logo should blend with it. If it doesn’t this will appear confusing to your potential customers. They may not even associate your logo with your company.

If you decide that a new logo using a different design approach is more appropriate for your brand than what you had already, then are you willing to invest in new marketing materials that reflect this? Brand consistency is key to the success of your marketing efforts, so ensuring that your logo is working with the rest of your materials is vital.

Don’t go for half-measures

It’s never been easier to create a business logo, or to find someone who will do it for you with a very basic brief and at a knock down price. Needless to say, the end results rarely come up to scratch. While you may end up with a functional and, in all likelihood, bland generic logo, it’s unlikely to have much of an impact on your would-be customers. If you’re creating a logo make sure you invest as much time and resources into the project as you can.

At Dawn Creative we understand branding. We help you think creatively about your business, what it stands for and what you hope to achieve. We can help you create the perfect logo for your business as part of your overall branding strategy. If you’re currently thinking about creating a logo we’d love to hear from you. Don’t sleep on it, contact Dawn Creative today.