Getting the perfect logo isn’t as simple as it would seem.
Many factors go into making your business logo the perfect logo and one that lasts for years.
Remember your logo should last for the next 5 to 10 years before you need a revamp, so what logo or branding you get now will be the face of your business for a long time, so you need to get it right.
The following are critical factors that make the perfect logo you can be proud of and reflects your business’s personality.
1) Are the colours correct?
Ensure that the chosen colours align with your business model and ethos and resonate with your clients. In other words, if you’re a law firm, you should opt for bold, intense colours that say you are trustworthy and established. Dark blues, greens and blacks are better than light orange, red or pink. Ask yourself this question would you go with a law firm that had pink all over their marketing material or blue? Even tradies should know that your logo and branding colour scheme will tell potential clients a lot about who you are and your business; if unsure, go for neutral colours rather than striking, bright colours that make too much of a statement. Classy, stylish and understated tones are always a winner, especially if you’re looking for exclusive clientele. Bright, loud colours are OK in fashion, design or travel. It’s OK to push boundaries and incorporate loud colours, but only if they are implemented tastefully. And for this, you will need to get a seasoned graphic designer that knows what they are doing and how colours can affect people’s perception of a business.
2) What fonts are you using?
Use standard fonts like Helvetica for your logo or branding, and never try to use over-the-top fonts to stand out. I always like to use the comparison of a law firm and the Wiggles. A law firm would always want to use a standard trustworthy-looking font, not something that would appear on the cover of a Wiggles CD. It’s pure common sense when it comes to fonts, and your graphic designer will be able to run through the appropriate fonts for your business. Again tradies can afford the luxury of more risque fonts so that their signage stands out on their vans or trucks but err on the conservative side of your font selection. Fonts in Use have a great website that shows you what fonts are popular in Australia right now.
3) The business name
Your business name is a super-critical component of your logo or branding. Choose wisely as this is the same as your name and is what people will remember. I can’t count the number of people who, like us, got the name Hopping Mad Designs, but I can tell you that people remember it years after contacting us. You can use your name as a business name, but it’s always better to have something creative that stands out and is memorable. I love how Thai restaurants incorporate the word Thai into their name, like Thai Me Up or Thai Tanic! I’m seeing plumbers and tradies get creative with their business names like Royal Flush Plumbing or Plumbers 911 (I’d use Dial 911 Plumbing). See more at What to consider when choosing a business name
4) Number of words
Two to three words are the maximum you should use in your business name. After that, it starts to get complicated to say over the phone, and for design purposes, it’s easier with a short, sharp-sounding name. Also, you have to think about your name for your website’s URL. Long-winded words that try to cover everything you do will look odd online, in print and on your trucks. The golden rule here is to keep it to three max unless you a professional business that must list all the partners’ names. Even then, you might like to abbreviate all the names like our friends at YPOL.
5) Limit the use of colour
Never use more than two colours! Using three or even four colours starts to confuse people, and they won’t take you seriously unless you’re a painter and want to use the colours of the rainbow. But, most businesses should limit the colour palette to two. It also works out cheaper when printing in PMS colours. But, don’t be afraid to have just one colour or even shades of that colour. Some of the best logos have one colour. Look at Apple, Mc Donalds, IBM, Qantas and H&M.
6) Look at your competition
See what your competitor’s branding looks like and try to be slightly different. You do not want to copy and replicate your competitor’s design style but use it as a yardstick of what’s successful and works with the buying public. It’s OK to study your successful competitors, see what style they’re going after, and see if your brand’s personality fits in with theirs. Remember, it’s your business, so you need a specific look that tells the story of who you are and your unique selling points. Are your competitors saying they are cheap or upmarket? Do they position themselves as a market leader, or have they gone downmarket in their look? The business owner must have a design style that sets yourself in a certain way, whether similar to your competition or different.
7) Logo elements
How many graphical elements are in the logo? Do you have an image or different shapes or images? The best way to look at visual elements and the business name is to keep it simple. Overcomplicated graphical design elements can be confusing and detract from the brand. A simple additional feature works if it stands for something significant related to the business and is not created to fill space or gaps. If you have the correct fonts, colours and design style, there isn’t much need for any additional elements to the brand. Don’t be pressured to put something in the logo. Having said that, some tradies will put drains, electrical cables or bricks in the logo to enhance what they do. In this case, it’s OK to do it.
Will you be able to use the logo on a van, on outdoor signage, stationery, websites, social media and adverts? Your new logo must be easily scalable to fit all forms of communication and marketing material.
Lastly, your logo or brand has to be memorable and last the test of time. There is no point in going through all the effort of creating a logo if it will be outdated in a couple of years. Of course, it’s always suitable for a brand refresh, but your logo must last at least five years. And, when people see it, they should recognise it if they have seen it before. Hence, it has to be memorable.
On a side note. There are loads of online graphic designers or cheap $5 designers that will rehash old logos and pass them off as new. So, if you get a cheap logo designed and save a few dollars, be warned as this is not the right path your company should take. Your brand is the face of your business, so you must have a professional graphic design studio do this for you. A memorable, striking logo will pay dividends for you and enhance your company’s profile. It’s so worth it!