If you look at your logo, do you ask yourself if it's right for business? If not, you probably should be. Your logo carries a lot of weight for your business and it should be treated that way. It's not just a visual symbol to slap on your stationery. It's much more than that and says more than you think about your business.
Your logo is typically the starting point for any interaction you have with potential customers. This can be a website, stationery or social media page. It's typically in the upper left hand corner of a document or page and is naturally where customers look first. The first impression is becoming more important than ever with attention spans decreasing by the minute especially in online applications. That one second chance interaction couldn't be more important.
Your logo is a visual representation of what your business provides and how it provides it. The different aspects of your logo such as color, font selection, size, boldness, weakness, etc. says who you are in roughly one second. People are used to seeing logos and subconsciously judge immediately whether a company might be dependable or worth calling by looking at the quality of their logo. If the business hasn't taken the time or effort to create a good looking logo, why would they care to do a good job for me. This carries throughout the rest of your marketing materials as well. Your website, printed materials, social media, etc. Your logo is your brand and says a ton about your business. Be sure to give it the attention it deserves and you'll see the benefits.
Your may be sending a different message with your logo than you think. What colors are being used in your logo? Are you using a strong color pallete with reds and blacks or more subtle muted colors? Does your color pallete mirror the types of services or products you're offering? The answers to these questions don't come easy to everyone, but are aspects that need to be taken seriously when designing your logo. Typically stronger colors represent power and boldness while softer muted colors tend to be more approachable and friendly. What's right for your business depends on what personality you would like to portray and what industry you're in.
The same goes with your font selection. The subtle differences in typefaces can represent different feelings and personalities. Headline fonts tend to be more forward and in your face while a thinner font may be more elegant and sophisticated. Most typefaces have different weights and styles. When picking a font, look at the available styles and weights for that font. Consider what applications you'll need it for. How large or small will the fonts need to be. Experiment with shrinking your type way down and making it large. Does it hold up a different sizes. Put as much importance on your font selection as you do your icon. For some logos, these are one in the same which adds even more importance. And last, don't forget about your tagline. If you have one, it's typically much smaller and will need to be legible at smaller sizes. Experiment with your logo drafts so there are no surprises with your different applications.
If you're considering redesigning your logo, don't take the decision lightly. How much do you have invested in your current logo? Consider how your customers might take your rebranding. Do you have an older customer base who may be confused by the change? Do you have customers who may think you've been bought out? Consider putting together a process for educating your customers on the reasoning behind your rebrand. It's also an opportunity to create a press release announcing new and fresh material. Think through whether it's the right time for a rebrand and how you plan on communicating that to your customers. As you've probably seen with some bigger brands, a rebrand can be a disaster if the logo is not well accepted. You'll find that everyone will have an opinion about a design whether you want to hear it or not. In fact, these opinions good and bad are a must to make sure you're on the right path. Take the time during the logo design process to get some feedback from larger groups to cut out headaches that follow.
Give your designers the permission to explore with your new logo. They've taken the time to research your industry and have asked you a hundred questions about your business for a reason. There is a lot to say with your logo and a good designer takes all of these things into consideration. Don't try to micro-manage your designer by giving too much direction. Let them explore the possibilities first before injecting too much criticism. There is a time and place for comments, suggestions and criticism, but the beginning exploration stages is not the time.
Expect your designer to give you a few options, not twenty. Designers keep the options limited in order to stay focused conceptually. In the logo design process, before you see any concepts, the designer has already been through an exploratory phase which involves trying various marks and treatments which allows them to separate the good ideas from the bad. The first visuals you see are not their first ideas, but likely a few among forty or fifty.