HOW TO MAKE A LOGO FOR YOUR STARTUP
Your logo is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. Think of the Nike swoosh, an impressive logo embodies these companies well. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.
Consider Allstate’s “good hands” logo. It immediately generates a warm feeling for the company, symbolizing care and trust. With a little thought and creativity, your logo can quickly and graphically express many positive attributes of your business, too.
There are basically three kinds of logos.
1) Font-based logos consist primarily of a type treatment, the logos of IBM, Microsoft and Sony, for instance, use type treatments with a twist that makes them distinctive.
2) There are logos that literally illustrate what a company does, such as when a house-painting company uses an illustration of a brush in its logo.
3) There are abstract graphic symbols-such as Nike’s swoosh-that become linked to a company’s brand.
Logos like the Nike swoosh has no meaning outside of what’s been created over the years through savvy marketing efforts that have transformed the logo into an identity.Growing businesses can rarely afford to spend millions of dollars and years of effort required to create these associations. So a logo that clearly illustrates what your company stands for or what your company does would be a better choice. Ideally your customers should be able to tell what you do just by looking at your logo.
Look at the logos of other businesses in your industry. Do your competitors use solid, conservative images, or flashy graphics ?
Focus on your message. Decide what you want to communicate about your company.
Use your logo to illustrate your business’s key benefit. The best logos make an immediate statement with a picture or illustration, not words.
Don’t use clip art. Not only will original art make a more impressive statement about your company, but it’ll set your business apart from others.
Avoid trendy looks. Instead, choose a logo that will stay current for 10 to 20 years, perhaps longer. That’s the mark of a good design. In fact, when you design a logo, aim to make it permanent.
Make it clean and functional. Your logo should work as well on a business card as on the side of a truck. A good logo should be scaleable, easy to reproduce, memorable and distinctive.
Your business name will affect your logo design. If your business name is “D.C. Jewelers,” you may wish to use a classy, serif font to accent the letters. For a company called “Thunderbolt Printing,” the logo might feature some creative implementation of a thunderbolt.
Watch Your Colors. Your five-color logo may be gorgeous, but once it comes time to produce it on stationery, the price won’t be so attractive. Nor will it work in mediums that only allow one or two colors. Try not to exceed three colors unless you decide it’s absolutely necessary.
USING AND PROTECTING YOUR LOGO
Once you’ve produced a logo that embodies your company’s mission at a glance, make sure you trademark it to protect it from use by other companies.Once it’s protected, use it everywhere you can, on business cards, brochures, advertisements, your Web site and any other place where you mention your company name. This will help build your image, raise your company’s visibility and, ideally, lead to more business.