Local graphic designer talks about logo design
24th January 2011
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Local graphic designer talks about logo design

A LOGO FOR BUSINESS is very often the quickest way to build a brand’s recognition and credibility. This means it’s the most effective way to make a target audience aware of your company and all that it stands for visually, rather than just relying on the company’s trading name only.

Once the logo is designed, it is how it is used that can make or break the future marketing efforts of the company that commissioned it. Companies who want a slick, easily recognisable logo must learn to see it as an investment. They will continually have to ensure that it is correctly used. The logo should be designed to provide an insight into the brand, a quick, visual rendition as to why your target market should care about you and your company. It should eventually, through constant marketing, become a symbol that reflects quality, reliability and credibility of the products and services that the company aspires to. This is where a logo and corporate identity come together and need to be ‘worked’ so that logo and company image are maintained. If the new logo ends up slapped into a Word document and used just as flippantly elsewhere, then there is almost a guarantee that it will become distorted and end up looking a very poor rendition of its designer’s original concept. If a company does not care on how the quality of  its image is perceived, then how much care will they give their to their products, services and their customers?

High expectations
Many clients nearly always want a logo that represents just about every aspect of their company in the marketplace — this is something that’s just not possible. When this is actually tried, the logo can end up as a jumbled mess of ideas without any focus whatsoever. For example, a car company’s logo doesn't have to have a car in it for it to work.

Very often, the client will expect their new logo to have the same impact as known brands. Creating a visual brand takes time and effort and just cannot be done overnight. It takes a long time for a logo to build credibility and instant brand recognition in the marketplace with its target audience. Just think – how many of the logos we instantly recognise today would be turned down? Client comments would possibly be; “too simple” and “does not show enough about what we do!” How many clients would say yes to simple logos like Nike and Apple without wanting to add just a little bit more? Nike and Apple are perfect examples of how “less is more”. But… they have developed their meaning through time and regular investment into dynamic marketing procedures. Using their logos and corporate identity are now viewed as the brand’s promise to its customers. More logos would be successful if the expectations placed on them were much more realistic.

Good logo design should:
• authentically communicate the business and what they have to offer
• be a reflection of the brand’s positioning
• show it is different from its competitors
• easy recognition at a glance
• strong, slick and creative
• be able to be used in colour, black and white, large and small

A good, well designed logo should manage all of the above in the most simplest of ways. Reflecting the value of the business and the foundations of the brand. Once the target audience has dealt with the company, the logo then becomes a badge, confirming the strength, reliability and credibility of that business. The company’s own behaviour, as well as its marketing, must then do what it can to influence these perceptions. The logo needs to become a symbol of trust that the customer can rely on regularly, proving that they are a clear advantage over their competitors.

Logos, corporate identity and branding
Once a new logo is designed, a corporate identity and branding image should be established. Guidelines on usage need to be established. This is normally in the form of a Corporate Identity Manual (see an example here) designed and created by the original designer of the logo. This document should outline the correct usage of colours, style and even the fonts and their spacing etc that have been designed to work in sympathy with the logo for all of the company’s future marketing material. This manual is well worth the extra cost to the logo design. If the client switches it’s designer or printer then this document is invaluable to ensure that the correct image of the company is handled by anyone else. A brand is the organisation’s reputation – how consumers see it. But, even though the organisation does not fully control its brand, it can influence it. The best way to influence anything is to be consistent. So by being consistent and strict with the logo’s correct usage and adhering to the corporate identity guidelines, slowly the company’s positioning in the marketplace will rise.

Some of my logo designs I have created for local businesses can be viewed by clicking here. And a case study showing logo design, stationery and van livery for a local locksmiths can be seen here.

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/dc_design_print

About the Author

Doug C

Member since: 12th January 2012

DC-Graphics is me, Doug Canning, a Graphic Design and Print Specialist with over 25 years' experience. From logo design through to all forms of design and print for all sorts of marketing material - in...

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