What is a Brand/Logo
In business terms, by definition: A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed with the name of the organization (a logotype or wordmark). At the level of mass communication and in common usage a company’s logo is today often synonymous with its trademark or brand.
What Makes a Good Logo?
Designing a good logo is no simple task. A good, professional logo requires involvement from a marketing team and/or design agency. It requires a clear idea about the concept and values of the brand as well as understanding of the consumer or target group for your business. Broad step in logo design process would be formulating concept, doing initial sketch, finalizing the logo concept, deciding the theme colors and format involved. Let’s look at the thought process a little more in depth, about the psychology of a branding campaign:
Various fonts, colors, images and placements can evoke different feelings, perceptions and understandings about a business before you even know what the business is about. This needs to be taken into account when creating your logo. There is a level of subliminal undertones that need to be factored in, a basic understanding and level psychology is considered, and of course the business itself when creating concepts and designs for logos.
Hmmm….seems like there is a little more to logos than slapping a few words together in Microsoft Word and calling it a day.
Why Your Business Requires Branding
Your company’s brand is a snapshot that represents your business. It tells people, oftentimes without having any words included at all, about what you do and who you are. First impressions are key, and if you don’t catch their eye and keep their attention, someone else will. A bad logo, or even worse…lack of one entirely, can make or break your business in a matter of seconds. People are visually stimulated, and a good branding campaign and logo will use that to your business’s advantage. A good logo is easy to read and can be used through several mediums for business needs: web branding purposes, paper printing, embroidering, etc… Your brand also needs to be consistent with your business. If you own a yoga studio, it may not make sense incorporating a grizzly bear into your logo just because you happen to like them. Your brand and your business need to be extensions of one another, they need to work together and still make sense, they need to work apart from each other and still mean the same thing. Last but not least, your brand needs to be memorable…set the tone for your business and help people remember it. Make it memorable because it embodies your business, not because it has so many colors and flashing images that it makes people nauseated. That being said, oftentimes having a professionally designed logo is the key to brand recognition (believe it or not, there is method to the madness!).
What Your Brand Says About Your Company
i.e. What Your Brand Says About YOU
Let’s take a look at the JMA Web Consulting logo as an example. The most recent rendition is to the right, what do you see? Is it clear enough to read and understand, is it recognizable/memorable (i.e. is there something that sets it apart), is it visually pleasing? We would like to think so (and to be honest…my “Type A” is acting up and I want to pop open Photoshop and play with it as I watch this upload), but it hasn’t always been as such. We have had 4 separate logo designs in our years of web developing, and each one has taught us about where our business was at the time and where it is headed in the future.
Now, let’s take a look at our original logo (Hey, everyone’s had a bad logo…don’t judge!). We have come a long way since then…and we may change it again as our business changes and evolves. Why change it? Because your brand, your logo is directly related with you and your business. It represents your company, your employees, the way you do business and who you are. It is synonymous with your business…and as most businesses grow and change, so must your representation. If you have a brand new business…great! Be ready to change your brand in a few years once you have learned a little more about how your business works and runs. If you have a new business, you more than likely have several boxes of old, outdated business cards in your office that you wouldn’t hand out if your life depended on it. Why? Because your business has changed, improved and grown beyond the limitations of your old “persona”. Let’s look at some more well known companies logos over the years:
From Coca Cola, to Apple, to Mercedes Benz, companies have continued to change their brand time and time again. Look at the various forms of each…note the fonts used, the colors they choose, the style in which they were created. Most of them you can tell when they were created before even looking at the dates on the graphic. What does each individual logo say about the company at that time? Who were they trying to reach as their audience, what different feelings do you get from each of the variations?
So let’s look back at your logo…what does it say about you and your business? Are you representing your company to it’s fullest potential? Is your logo, clean and easy to read and print. Is it unique but still concise and transparent about what it is that you do? If not…perhaps it is time for a new look, a business make-over, a new brand and logo.