When you open a new business – whether it’s online or at a physical location, you usually put a lot of effort into your presence. You buy all the necessary stock, organise staff, get a website and social media account developed, and try and meet your deadline for opening day.
There’s so much involved in opening a new business that your company logo design may fall by the wayside. However, next to your products, it’s one of the most critical parts of the business. If your branding isn’t up to scratch, who knows how many customers you could lose as a result.
Therefore, when the seed has been sown, and a new business plan is underway, put your branding first. Enlist the help and support of a graphic designer and watch as it helps your business take off.
Step one: The Idea Phase
As you’ve already considered the genuine possibility of starting your business, you will no doubt be thinking about the many products or services your business could benefit from offering. In the idea phase, you want to think about the style or trend you want your business to be based from. If you don’t have a common theme running through everything you do, your business can seem disjointed and confused about what it is, and what it offers. If you can notice that, so too can your customers.
Let’s use a new vegan café as an example of how the idea phase can work. Firstly, write down everything you want your business to offer and do. This could include the food you’re going to prepare, the juices and drinks you’re going to have available, and maybe even services such as nutrition classes and how to make your own vegan food.
Then, think about how you would tie all these things together. You do so through branding. What do you want your logo to say? What colours can you envision it being made of? Write down words, feelings, colours and things you want people to associate your business with. Just having this starting point can help someone providing logo design services come up with the perfect design.
Step two: Consider what other brands have achieved
When you’re thinking about starting your own business, you can often get caught up thinking about what you’re going to do and what you like, rather than what works, and what other companies have done successfully. There’s more to a logo or branding than just colours and fonts you want. It has to mean something, it has to stand out, and it has to make people know who you are.
How do you think Walt Disney, Nike, and McDonald’s have come to have such recognisable brand? It wasn’t a fluke. Their dedicated marketing teams put their logos in the right locations, had a branding guide in place, and used an effective design that appealed to a broad audience – the very audience they wanted to reach.
So, while you can have favourite colours and preferred shapes, what you like may not be necessarily what works the best.
Step three: Do your research on logo design
When it comes to building an efficient company logo design, it’s crucial that you do your research. This is especially true in the case of picking colours and fonts. There’s actually real science behind colour and shape choices, and knowing how these negatively and positively affect your business can be very helpful.
We’ll use the vegan café example again. When you’re looking to build your logo, you want to think about the services you’re providing. It’s clean eating, it’s plant-based, it’s healthy, and it’s natural. Natural colours are shades of green and brown, and this works in well with the image you’re trying to portray. Scientific evidence shows that shades of green and brown do work best on business logos that are promoting clean eating, natural services, eco-friendly products and services, and even tree-related industries.
It’s essential you use colours that accurately represent your image, products, and services. Otherwise, it’s not well-represented on the market. For example, the colour red is usually associated with urgency, danger, vibrancy, industrial work and big bargains. It’s a difficult colour to use for most logos and is probably not suitable for a vegan café.
Step four: Think about font
Typography is tricky at the best of times. Misused, it can have a real adverse effect on your branding but used correctly; it can be a complete success – portraying the exact message you’re looking to get across.
The key is first to understand which fonts you shouldn’t use. This can help you avoid making a huge mistake that could affect your branding now and into the future. For a business such as a vegan café, it’s essential that you incorporate a font that’s not only easy to read but represents the finesse of the café. It helps to think about your target market. You’re not trying to appeal to the big, burly axe-wielding meat-eaters who go hunting on weekends. This means that you don’t need to use bold colours or fonts that appeal to certain people.
However, it does help to use legible fonts. This means that if you’ve decided you want a script font, you need to use one that can be read. There are several out there that are hard to understand, and this can have an impact on your branding.
Step four: Create a branding guide
Now that you’ve done your homework and have a list of logo design ideas, it’s time to see your graphic designer. They will not only create your logo from your ideas, but will also generate a branding guide once you approve your favourite concept.
A branding guide includes:
- The overview of your brand, including its history, values, visions, and personality.
- Your brand and mission statement – the common theme you’re trying to portray throughout.
- The logo usage guidelines – how it must be used, where it can be used, the colours that can be used (e.g., grayscale, partial grayscale, the CMYK, and RGB makeup).
- Typography – the fonts used from which font families.
- Imagery – the imagery to be used with the logo.
- Sample designs – how your logo should be used for business cards and letterhead.
A branding guide enables your branding to be used consistently – no matter where it goes. It’s always helpful to give a copy of your branding guide to an advertising company, or to anyone who will be using your branding.
With these five steps outlining how your logo can stand out and be noticed, it’s clear to see there’s more to a company logo design than meets the eye. What steps did you take to create your logo? Would you change anything about your logo now that you’ve got more knowledge? Get in touch and let us know!