First, a logo, while offering brand recognition, is not your actual brand; market perception is the brand, and the logo is there to show people that it is you they are dealing with. You logo is, however, extremely important: it should be instantly noticeable, professional and convey the right message.
When a business builds up a reputation it begins to gain custom; your expertise in your field is what creates the trust and confidence your customers have in you. Your brand represents you in the first instance, and is vital to that reputation. Therefore, what level of your budget are you willing to put towards it? Do you understand what is required from your logo?
Designing a logo is not the work of a moment; after all, this will be the visual identifier of your company for years to come. However, many start-up businesses opt to cut corners in this area of development, in order to save money. This is not a great idea, and there are many other mistakes that can be made in terms of logo design, such as:
- The Home-made Logo: this is an absolute no-no; you may have Photoshop and other handy programs, but they are not enough for creating a great logo. Furthermore, you’re likely not a designer, and do not have the necessary skills to design a great logo. After all, you offer a product or service: would you expect people to be able to create it themselves as professionally as you do? Logo design takes much experience to understand, and there is plenty to know about. Let the professionals do it.
- The Logo Contest: this happens all the time, and while it is great fun, it is not conducive to having the best logo. Your chosen designer needs to know everything about your business, and about your potential customers; he or she is not going to know that by entering a competition. You will get a variety of logos that look good, without a doubt, but do they speak the language your customers want to hear? The standard of entries in a logo contest will fall short of a bespoke design ordered from someone who has taken the trouble to find out about your business.
- Using Stock Images: don’t do it; it happens frequently when people think all they need is a catchy, fun image to stick on their paperwork. It’s highly unprofessional, and conveys the message that you are, too. Many other people will use these images, but you need something unique, something that tells the customers it is you, and only you. Original logo design is a must.
- Online Logo Design: if you run a search for log design you will find many offers, all of them at excellent prices. Never accept these, as they will be cheap, and look so. Your company is only going to succeed if it can portray a professional image in the market place. You are not going to make the right impression with a poorly designed logo that does not give out the right message.
- Put it this way: if it looks too good to be true, it is. You need a designer that will research your company, find out who you are, what you stand for, and what your customers are looking for, and you need a logo that is utterly unique. Saving money on logo design is tempting, but in the long run it is a poor choice.
- Lack of Feedback: research is everything when it comes to brand identity and logo design, and that applies whether you opted for the professional route or designed it yourself. You might think your logo is wonderful; others may not. Remember, it is others who your logo is aimed at, not you. Professionals will test the market for a reaction to the logo, and research all aspects so they know what they are aiming for. If you don’t get feedback, you may end up with a logo that is permanently detrimental to your company image.
Getting it Right
The basic message is this: if you want your logo to achieve what a good company logo should, you need a designer who understands your needs. Tell them everything they need to know about your company, what your aims are, how you intend to move forward, and where you need to use the logo. Professionals don’t just look at the logo itself, but how it will transfer into print and digital media, how the colours will look on screen, whether it can be used in monochrome. Furthermore, they will consider you target audience, and the future development of your company. To be unique, you need a professional.
Budgeting for Logo Design
There is no set cost for a logo design; your designer will take everything into consideration – including your budget – and agree to a cost with you. The design process will be specific to you, and there are many other aspects that influence the cost of the job. However, the basic rule of thumb is this: buy the very best you can, and don’t think in terms of saving money, but in terms of future business growth,
Your logo is the ultimate representation of your company, and of the brand; it fosters your reputation, and should inspire potential customers to find out about you. A good logo is worth its weight in gold.