Here at The Lion Project, we strive to produce the best possible videos for non-profits and businesses. While video production may be a large portion of our business, we also provide graphic design and branding services for our clients, among other things. Our design manager, Benten, shares his thoughts on how to produce an effective, professional, and compelling logo that will be both timeless and cutting edge, while also setting your business apart from the crowd.
It is important to start by choosing how you would like your company to appear to those viewing your logo. What does your company do? What message do you want your logo to communicate? You can begin by writing your mission statement or one sentence explaining your business to help you focus your efforts and keep things simple.
If that’s not enough to help you get started, here are a few other exercises that can help you on your way:
Take a look at the logos of competitors in your industry
Do other businesses in your industry use logotype logos, or do they use abstract or literal imagery? Taking cues from businesses similar to yours and deciding how you would like to differentiate your logo from theirs can help you get on the right track in creating a new logo.
Stay focused on your message
What do you want your logo to communicate? Do you want to maintain a professional image, or do you want to communicate a fun, unique message?
Keep it simple and versatile
It is important to consider the many uses that your logo will have once it is created. A logo needs to be legible and effective, whether it is on a business card, website, or billboard. In order to accomplish this, is it important that your logo works in black and white and is scalable to any size. Also be sure to use icons instead of photographs to maintain this versatility.
Use your business name as a catalyst for ideas
Does your business cater to a wealthy demographic? If so, it would likely be a good idea to go for a classy and prestigious looks. Is your company focused on being extremely fast and efficient? It may be acceptable to use iconography that communicates speed, such as a lightning bolt, but be sure to keep things simple and gimmick-free.
Communicate your business’s primary advantage
What does your business do best? Do you boast excellent customer service? Does your company pride itself on quick turnaround for customers? Taking cues from your company’s best benefits to customers can be a great way to brainstorm.
Make it timeless
If you already have a logo, it is important that you don’t change your logo so drastically that customers no longer recognize your logo. In this case, it is best to make smaller, incremental changes over time. Of course, if you do not have a huge marketing budget, it is important to create a logo that will remain in style for 10-15 years. With that in mind, keeping things simple will take your logo a long way. Consider the I Love New York logo by Milton Glaser. This logo has been in use since 1976 and is still going strong. Be sure to avoid trends and “popular” styles. These will likely be out of style within a few years and will force you to update your logo once again in order to stay current.
Once again, it is important to keep things clean and simple when it comes to color choice. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended to keep your color count to three colors or less. Having a lot of colors can translate into expensive bills further down the road when you run into color maximums when printing business cards, stationary, or other marketing materials. Having too many colors can also make for a visually busy logo.
As you are most likely already aware, different colors communicate different emotions. What do you want your logo to communicate? According to CreativeBloq, colors can communicate vastly different emotions in the viewer:
- Red implies passion, energy, danger or aggression; warmth and heat. It has also been found to stimulate appetite, which explains why it is used in so many restaurants and food product logos. Choosing red for your logo can make it feel more dynamic.
- Orange is often see as the color of innovation and modern thinking. It also carries connotations of youth, fun, affordability and approachability.
- Yellow requires cautious use as it has some negative connotations including its signifying of cowardice and its use in warning signs. However it is sunny, warm and friendly and is another color that is believed to stimulate appetite.
- Green is commonly used when a company wishes to emphasize their natural and ethical credentials, especially with such products as organic and vegetarian foods. Other meanings ascribed to it include growth and freshness, and it’s popular with financial products too.
- Blue is one of the most widely used colors in corporate logos. It implies professionalism, serious mindedness, integrity, sincerity and calm. Blue is also associated with authority and success, and for this reason is popular with both financial institutions and government bodies.
Hire a designer
Obviously, being a designer myself, I am going to strongly encourage the use of professional designers when creating a logo for your business. Sketching up ideas for your designer to use is a great start, but you do not want to compromise the integrity and image of your business by skimping on your logo design budget. While you may be able to avoid the high costs of hiring a design firm by attempting to create a logo yourself, it is extremely easy to come by independent and freelance designers in your area that charge as little as $25-50 an hour for logo design work. It is completely feasible to spend $300 or less on a logo design, but it is also important to not choose a designer simply based on his or her hourly rate.
As with anything else, you get what you pay for. Choose a designer that has an extensive portfolio and history of working with numerous clients. Browse through their client base and decide for yourself. Dribbble or Behance are both great places to start when looking to hire a designer.
Creating a logo for your business will be one of the most important things you do for your company’s image. Consider all of the ins and outs of what you want your logo to communicate, sketch out ideas, keep it simple and timeless, take the time to select the right designer for the job (and don’t skimp on the budget), and have fun!
If you are interested in creating a logo for your business, branding, or creating effective marketing materials, be sure to contact us for a free quote. We would love to work with you.