A logo is the ‘face’ of your business in the world. From the colours chosen to the design elements to the words you choose to use, each part has the potential to be memorable. And memorable is good. If you pair a memorable logo with good advertising then you are more likely to get an inbound inquiry or sale than a comparable business with a less eye-catching logo.
And if you pair a good logo with a great product, service or customer experience, then you are on your way to establishing a strong customer brand.
Unfortunately, for many small and medium sized businesses, their logos let them down. They are forgettable, or badly designed, or have obvious flaws (like appearing blurry or pixelated on screens). There are plenty of reasons for that – SME’s don’t have huge budgets to spend on designers and logos, and often, they don’t even know how they could improve their current branding.
This article is here to help with that with some simple, practical ways to create a better, more memorable logo.
Many small businesses use logos that were created on an office program like Word or PowerPoint. That might be fine for use on an invoice. But when that logo appears on a web search when a customer searches for you, you have to remember what that logo will appear alongside. That ‘DIY’ logo will appear alongside professionally designed app logos on home screens, and other global brands in ads. Your company obviously won’t be competing with these sorts of brands.
But when your logo appears on a phone screen, a potential customer will make a subconscious assessment of your business, professionalism and even quality based on that ‘first impression’. It might be true that we shouldn’t judge books (or businesses) by their covers (or logos) but all the evidence suggests that is exactly what we do.
Some of the best logos in the world are perfectly simple. The Apple logo is a stylised apple. The Nike logo is the iconic ‘swoosh’. The Coca Cola logo is simply the name of the product. All of these examples prove one point: you don’t have to be fancy to get your message across.
It’s also proof that your logo doesn’t have to be literal. There is no obvious association between the Nike ‘swoosh’ and their products. Similarly, a two-toned diamond shape doesn’t automatically make you think ‘bank’ (Commonwealth Bank) and a mermaid doesn’t make you think of coffee (Starbucks).
The following short list of ‘quick wins’ you can have when it comes to logo design. We could go into a long explanation about each, but you’re busy and a short, sharp list of options is always useful:
- Limit yourself to four words or 30 characters (ideally less)
- Use three colours of fewer
- Don’t use too many ‘design tricks’ (less is more)
- Avoid thin text or design elements (think how it will appear on a phone screen)
- Research competitors (to avoid overlap and confusion)
- Do not use clip art / word art (it’s obvious and damages your credibility)
- Ask for the design files (if you use a graphic designer to help create a logo)
- Don’t overpay (designing a logo should not be a hugely expensive job. Don’t believe anyone who says it costs thousands. Many freelancers and graphic design students can provide an excellent product for a fraction of the cost of a ‘traditional’ company).