What is the most identifiable part of a business?
What comes to mind immediately when I mention Apple, Windows, Nike, or Twitter?
Probably an apple with a bite taken out, four colourful shapes, a swoosh, and a blue bird.
Although there are many parts associated with any brand, it's the logo that immediately identifies that brand.
In a competitive and internet-driven world, your logo needs to make a great first impression. It also has to establish your business as professional, credible and trustworthy as well as indicating who you are and what you do. Think about it this way. If you were going for a job interview, you’d likely dress smartly for the occasion, right? Why? Because you want to give the right first impression before you even shake hands with your interviewer. You want to show that you are serious about your ability to do the job. The same logic should be applied to your business. If the first thing a potential customer sees if your logo, it had better make a lasting positive impression right away.
So, is your logo really working for your business?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to figure it out…
1) Is the typography in your logo design effective?
Typography can make or break your logo design. While well thought out typography can be striking, a logo can be ruined with too many fonts/weights (don’t use more than two), fonts that are too light (can it be read at all sizes?), predictable fonts (it shouldn’t look like it was designed in Microsoft Word) and bad spacing.
2) Does your logo use the right kind of font?
The font in your logo might look nice, but does it reflect your brand? Different fonts vary in character and the emotion or feeling they present. It’s like they have their own personality, and that personality needs to reflect the personality of your business. If you’re a DJ for kids’ parties, then Times New Roman isn’t going to work – it’s too serious and traditional. A hand-drawn font wouldn’t be suitable for a corporate organisation, and Comic Sans isn’t appropriate ever.
3) Is your logo simple and versatile?
It’s important that your logo has a unique aspect to it – something that makes it memorable and recognisable as your business. Don’t be tempted to overdesign it - adding in all kinds of complex features will not achieve this goal!
Simplicity is best when it comes to memorable and distinctive design, and it’s important to keep versatility in mind as a key priority. Your logo should look great everywhere, whether it’s blown up on a billboard or shrunk down on a postage stamp.
4) Does your logo work in black and white?
Or does it rely on colour for effect? If it doesn’t work in black and white, it just doesn’t work.
Let me repeat that: if it doesn’t work in black and white then it Does. Not. Work!
The same goes for special effects. Glows, shadows, embossing etc aren’t necessary to a strong logo and they look awful in black and white.
5) Is your logo a vector?
Logos should be designed in vector graphics programs (I use Adobe Illustrator). This means that the logo can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This is important because your logo WILL need to be scaled to work across different media. A raster image made out of pixels (e.g. designed in Photoshop) will pixelate when it is scaled.
And that’s not pretty.
6) Is your logo timeless?
Or driven by trends? Trends come and go, but your logo should be timeless (that is, if you want to still be in business in five years’ time?). A logo that is trendy now will need to be redesigned in years to come which means investing in logo design a second time around.
7) Is your logo designed for your business?
Is your logo the best design to represent your business, or is it just something that you like? Your logo needs to connect with your ideal customer, so if it doesn’t speak to them, and their wants and needs, then it really doesn’t matter whether or not you like it yourself.
If you’ve answered ‘Yes!’ to all of these questions, then it sounds like you’ve got a pretty strong logo for your business and you’re making a great first impression on your customers.
On the other hand, if you’ve answered ‘No’ to several or all of the above, then it’s probably a good idea to think about reconsidering that logo. It might be worth giving it a lift, or perhaps even designing something brand new with the core message of your business in mind.
If you don’t yet have a logo for your business, then just be sure to avoid these common mistakes and you’ll be off to a great start! If you’re not confident in designing a stand-out logo yourself, reaching out to a professional designer is always worthwhile as they’ll be happy to get to know your business and give you a quote. Your logo is the most identifiable element of your brand and one of your most valuable assets, so it’s seriously worth investing in the skills of someone who knows what they’re doing.