Starting up on your own is a dream not everybody is able to pursue. But you have taken the leap and started up on your own. After naming your company you are now faced with finding a good logo for your company.
There are a lot of free logo design options available online and you might be tempted to opt for one of those, but before you do so, it is necessary to understand what you can expect to get as output.
Free logo designs – a good deal?
The online logo designing websites provide fixed logo design templates that you can use to design your logo. There are hundreds of logos already created using these templates. The user is offered only a few controls which he can use to make minor edits in the template.
How different a logo can one create from a fixed logo design template that has already been used numerous times? The logo of any company acts as its face and identifier and hence having a custom logo design that stands out can give you an edge over others.
Using logo templates is not a good idea
Secondly, if you did come across a free logo design template that looked unique enough, there is very little you can control in these templates. Not much can be edited and hence you have very little control over your own company logo.
Now that you know that it is advisable to hire services of professional logo designers, it becomes necessary to understand why they are quoting a specific price when there are even free design options available.
What are you paying for?
It is best to understand the services the logo designer is providing to you. To give you the best logo for your company, some of the best business logo designers work to understand your business first. They consider the purpose of the logo and target audience. They provide you not just with a final design but keep you involved in the process and are ready to provide you multiple iterations until the design meets your expectations.
Of course, the higher the number of iterations a professional designer is willing to make, the higher would be their charges.
Professional company logo makers also keep in mind the competitors and how their logos are designed and positioned. A lot of research goes into creating a custom logo design for your business, and all of it is done within the committed time. Professional logo designers charge for the research and timely services along with the design itself and hence finding a company that can do this for you in your budget can be a good deal.
Understanding the logo design process
Your logo design company will be interested in understanding what your company aspires to do, what are its vision and mission. Share every bit of information with them so that your logo can represent it in the best way possible. Discussing your clients can also provide a clearer picture of your target audience to your logo designer.
If there is anything very specific, any trend or design you are keen on, it is good to share it upfront so that your designer is aware of it right from the beginning. Also remember that your logo designer is restricted only to logo and is not going to work on entire branding, so limit yourself to make the process faster. You can also share some logos of existing brands that you like so that they know what you are looking for.
Once the logo designers have all information with them, they begin conceptualizing and creating a few ideas that they will sketch. Your logo designers might not share all these sketches with you, but be patient and give them time.
Most professional business logo designers also try to reach out to third parties for their opinion to understand the reaction of target audience to their sketches. While designing a logo, company logo makers think of their usage in all perspectives – from using on websites to business cards, letterheads and even on social media.
To get all the information from you, your logo designer might also share with you a logo questionnaire which will have questions about your company, its history, vision, aspirations etc., logos that you find attractive, your target audience, existing customer, colors and typographies you are looking for, type of logo you want etc.
Working through this questionnaire will save the research time both for you and the designer and help you save money if you are paying them on hourly basis.
Types of logos
While your logo designer does all the work, you must be aware of exactly what you are looking for to avoid re-work for the designer and additional costs for your own self.
You will be in better control of your logo design by knowing what options are available to you. That is one of the main reasons you hired a professional after all!
There are three types of logos –
- Wordmark Logos – These are logos that have the name of the brand written on them, for example NetFlix, FedEx, Coca Cola etc. They are simple and do not have to deal with issues recall values since the name of the brand is right there.
- Pictorial Logos – Pictorial logos, as the name suggests have a picture that represents the brand name. These logos also have high recall value since the picture is the brand name. Examples for these are Apple, Target etc. Pictorial logos can also be indirect but they do convey the brand name.
- Abstract Logos – The most sought after logos are the abstract ones like Nike, Pepsi etc. where the logo does not represent much on its own but the way meaning is derived from it can make it stand out.
- There is also a combination of all the three logos that is referred to as the logo system. Best example of it is Google which is word mark but it has pictorial representations and doodles added to customize to each occasion.
Understanding Logos – Do’s and Don’ts
It is very important to understand that logos are no magic but they can be used to create one over time. Logos are just shapes but they derive their value from what those shapes have come to represent in the minds of people.It is not about the fancy buzz a logo can create when it is launched but the meaning it can communicate over time in the long run. As Michael Bierut put it, logos are empty vessels and what they become depends on what you put into it. Hence do not look for logos that can be over complicated. Look for simple designs that can be easily understood, recalled and associated with more meaningful things.
The logo you choose should have important letters stand out. These could even be the initials of your company. Try to see that the logo you choose should have a personality. It should convey what your company stands for. You can look at the competitors as well to know what might suit or might not suit your industry. As much as you might like the logo of some other company, be very careful to not copy it. It is also good to avoid designs that are sketches because such logos do not look very good when enlarged. When using text, try to avoid selecting a logo with a font that’s too fancy and tough to read. Also if your logo has a picture and text, consider the positioning of the text in terms of scalability and usage on business cards as well as banners.
Typography for logos
Instead of chasing complexity, effective logo designs can be found in the most simplistic typographies. The placing of letters or initials of your company in a manner that they create simple yet strong logos is becoming increasingly popular these days.
Absolute vodka, IBM, NME etc. are the most successful examples of such logos. Sometimes, interesting typographies can be combined with meaningful colors to convey the positioning of the brand. Examples include FedEx, Plum etc. Typographies keep your logo simple and readable while the combination of colors can add flavor of your brand to the logo.
Sometimes, cleverly removing a part of the letter or initials can also create intelligent logos. Examples are V&A, make etc. where a part of the letters is removed to grab the attention and stand out. Similarly, patterns in the logo such as seen in DHL, IBM etc. can also make the logo attention grabbing and stand out in the mind of the customers. The typography can also be used to communicate the theme of the brand as seen with Edge Board, where E and B are placed as edges.
Meaning of colors in logos
While you might think that colors add visual appeal to logos, you should also realize that colors in logos also add an appeal to our subconscious senses. The idea behind using colors that match the positioning of the brand is that customers tend to identify and interpret certain colors in specific ways. For example, blue color is generally considered a very professional color while all shades of pink are most commonly considered feminine, fun, entertaining colors. Hence if you are looking to create an image of a professional service providing company, then shades of blue can be used in your logo along with professional typography.
Going by the same logic, have you wondered why yellow pages is called “yellow” pages? The color yellow is utilitarian and is best used by brands that want to position themselves as everyday need ones eg. Subway, Best Buy etc. Orange on the other hand indicates vibrancy and youthfulness. Lavender color indicates creativity and wisdom while red indicates professionalism and passion. The color green is futuristic and is related to nature. Hence if you are looking for a logo for a natural produce then green is the color that should find a place in your logo. Black can be used for power and style while white can be used for neutrality in your logo.
You have assimilated quite a bit of information about logos and are confident about getting a good job done through your designer. You however need to be also aware of the different formats in which the logo can be handed over to you.
The logo should be received in a format that you can use to further scale up and down and use based on your requirements. Try to avoid receiving logos on photoshop. The best format for receiving or forwarding logos is the EPS (Encapsulated Post Script) format. EPS format lets you size up or down the logo without compromising on the image quality. The background for EPS is always transparent and hence the logo can be moved on any base.
Microsoft office might or might not work with EPS and hence needs to be checked. Hence you might need jpeg images of your logo which cannot be resized well. Hence it is advisable to seek the help of the logo designer and get multiple jpeg files of varying sizes. These files can be created from EPS but you will need help of your designer to create them.
Logo presentation and Customer Review
With your inputs, your business logo designer will prepare a few logo designs and present them to you. If you love the concept and the idea and need minor changes then your designer will make them and can send you the revised presentation.
Sometimes, just the way the logo is presented can make all the difference. So give your designer the opportunity to explain and try to understand the concept. If you are not convinced, then depending on the number of iterations you had agreed to initially, you can request changes and ask for a presentation again.
A well designed logo should be followed by a well-planned brand positioning so that meaning can be added to the logo in such a way that the synergy created can make your brand stand out and make your brand logo memorable.