There are many ways to go about getting or designing a logo.
Some ways work and some don't work well (at least not for building strong brands). This story gives and example of best practices and things to look for when logo shopping and looking for logo design. Here is a sample of the Before and After we will be discussing in this article.
Do a search on google for "getting help with logo design". See the screen shot below for the results I got today.
Notice all the FREE logos or the LOGO DESIGNS FOR UNDER $200. This is great right? I mean who doesn't want to get a free logo. Ok, so why am I promoting free logos when Logo Design is something we do? Well honestly I'm not promoting these companies and here is why… well I just want to tell a story of a client and the process they went through.
Business Startup: how to create and establish your brand as a startup.
Most startups are on a tight budget and have few dollars to spend on marketing and branding. So first step… how do we get a logo? As I mentioned most people will start at google. A recent client started here as well. They used 99designs to do a design contest with multiple designers (crowd-sourcing). Here is the final logo they came up with:
Now, I'm not sure what the client paid for this logo, but they are an old friend and they asked for my advice. I gave them some feedback while they were in the design process. Sadly my advice was not something easy for the "designers" to create or got miscommunicated/translated. This is part of the problem with free or low cost logos… typically they are not built or designed by people that understand business or how to build a brand.
The overall concept for the logo wasn't bad, but the implementation was a little rough and here's why:
- Colors: these primary colors seem like something found in a Microsoft Word document (meaning the first colors the designer found they used, not well researched colors or creating a strategic meaning behind why they are chosen).
- Font/Typography: again, this seems like a very amateurish font. Typically used when the designer doesn't know how to manipulate a logotype (typography) through letter manipulations, kerning (letter spacing) to create something unique and customized.
- Visual Image: ok, so we have a lightning bolt with a cloud, a "hail-ball" that I thought was another cloud (replacing the dot for the "i"), and what looks to me like the rings of a splash when I throw a rock into water and lastly a line below the type. Having multiple items really makes a logo too busy. Sticking to one visual image allows a strong brand to be created. Clients are not stupid and you do not have to spell everything out or feed them the whole story.
- Simplicity/Sizing: so whenever you have a logo with many elements you have to think about sizing. What will this look like on a Pen? Often busy logos get muddy and hard to read and understand when they are shunk down to fit a pen. This would have been the case with this logo.
So what are your other alternatives? Why not hire a branding expert? Yes you will pay a lot more than your crowd-sourced logos, but you know you will get an expert who understands:
- Business Development
- Human Emotions
What could working with a branding expert look like? What could they do to my logo design and for my business and my brand? I'm glad you asked. Let's review the logo design for HailStaff.
So this is the HailStaff logo after we redesigned things. Let's hit on the 4 items mentioned above and apply them to this revised logo design:
- Colors: so we wanted to create unique colors for the logo. We went with a brownish/gray color that reminded us of the color of the sky during a hail storm. We added blue to add a more positive uplifting feel and so things weren't too gloomy as well as to represent a hail-ball (since the logo will be used on a white background often white hail wouldn't work but blue represents the water creating the hail as well as the lightning bolt). We also worked with a 1 color version to see how strong the logo was when we dropped the colors.
- Font/Typography: we wanted to use an easy to read font and then go in and adjust and customize things. We used Kerning to tighten the letter spacing and then we also created a ligature with the 2 "fs" (connecting them together to create one unified letter).
- Visual Image: so we wanted to build on the original image. We created a strong, bold, simplified lightening bolt image that could on some level represent the letter "s", but not replace it. This eliminates all the busyness and focuses only on "storm" imagery in a most basic format. We kept the hail-ball for the dot of the "i", but made it small and unobtrusive as to not overwhelm the reader.
- Simplicity/Sizing: this logo design would work well on a Pen or small item as well as on the largest item you could put the logo on. The simplicity makes things easier to read and more importantly easy to remember which allows you to start building brand awareness, professionalism, trust and brand loyalty.
I hope this article gave you a lot to think about when it comes to logo design. Keep in mind your logo needs to stand out from the crowd and establish trust. If you do not look professional, why would I want to hire you? Make sure you ask yourself does this logo…
- tell who I am
- tell what I do
- establish trust
- establish pride (both internally and externally)
- does it look like someone I want to do business with
- is it easy to read very small
- is it unique and a 1 of a kind
If it does all these things then you are doing well with your logo design (whether you pay $3 or $3000 your logo will help build your brand). Feel free to review some other Brandwise logo design samples here. Or schedule a time to talk if you'd like to discuss your logo design needs.