Things to consider before developing your logo

Aug 18, 2020

A logo is a critical part of your business brand. Getting your logo right will help your customers to connect with your business; get it wrong, and it becomes a frustrating and distracting process – both for you and for your target audience.

It’s worth saying from the outset that there is a big difference between your logo and your brand. We’ve written a separate process on “Why brand?” and you can read it here.

Many people who are developing their business logo for the first time are likely to pick what they like. Over time, you’re likely to come across ways in which the original logo choice doesn’t necessarily work in the way that you’d hoped, and reach the point where you’re in need of developing a new logo.

Giving consideration to some of the issues below should help you to avoid those pitfalls, and to have a logo package that works for your business for the long term.

 

Consider your brand longer term

In developing your logo, you need to give consideration to how it will be used long-term. Keeping a design simple will hopefully ensure that your visual doesn’t age badly, and provides space for adapting your business to grow at a later stage into new products or services.

One of the first mistakes that people often make in designing their logo is to pick something that is overly personal, or is chosen because it’s what you like. While that’s not always a bad thing, it’s worth considering who you want to connect with your logo, and to design something that will engage with your audience – not just yourself.

 

Keep it simple

Simple is always better. Always.

Develop source files

When you’re looking to use your logo, or have a third-party use it on your behalf, you’ll likely need to have different kinds of artwork, depending on how or where your logo is being used.

When developing your logo, you’ll want to have access to the source files. This essentially means you have access to the master files, in a vector format that supports an image being resized or scaled without loss of quality.

Vector files will also support transparency where needed, so that your logo can be placed on top of images or coloured backgrounds where required. A vector logo will allow you to more easily transform your artwork into whatever file type or output is required.

Develop variations

Having a logo package can provide you with a range of options of which version of your logo you may want to use across different outputs.

While you shouldn’t have too many options, it may make sense to have a variety of graphical or text versions of your logo available, should the output require it. Likewise, if your logo is a unique shape, it may make sense to have a vertical or horizontal version to be able to use in different outputs.

Pick the right colours and fonts

Font and colour choice make a huge difference to your logo.

Unless you are deliberately looking for an ornate script font, it makes sense to pick something straightforward and easy to read. Adapting the font styles to select certain representations (bold, thin, italic etc) will also make a big difference.

Depending on the end use, it would make sense to make sure that the font you have selected can be used easily across all outputs (some websites will penalise for slow loading fonts) or you may find that it’s an expensive font to license for multiple users.

Google fonts is a great tool to use when looking for fonts, and has a range of styles available for free!

When selecting colours, it’s important to select colours that resonate with your product or service. Shades will also play an important role in how your brand can be represented, and it therefore makes sense to have a palette with a range of shades to choose from.

Consider your competitors

It makes sense to consider what your competitors are using for their brand representation, and to pick something that differentiates from them.

For some industries, it may make sense to have a commonality in some brand aspects, but for the most part, you’ll want to make sure that there are unique elements to your logo, and how it is represented.

Test, test, test

Once you’ve developed ideas for your logo, it would be sensible to test them in a real world environment.

You may be surprised that something which looked good on a screen can look quite different on a postcard or a label. Likewise, something that looked good on a large scale output may not scale down well. Testing your design across a range of mockups will help clarify your decisions, and help show employees how your logo should be used.

Make sure it’s legal

However you’re planning on using your logo, you’ll want to make sure that you have the rights to use the artwork or any associated elements of your logo.

Firstly, if your logo is making use of original artwork that has been designed for your business, you’ll want to make sure that you have the rights to use that artwork across all outputs in all markets. It’s unlikely that you’ll experience any legal challenge to the visual representation of any brand elements – but it’d be a good idea to make sure.

Secondly, if your logo makes use of a tagline/strapline, then it would also be good practice to register that as a trademark if you can. This will then allow you to make use of your tagline to its fullest potential, whilst also protecting your business from competitors making financial gain over your brand.

Ready to explore your logo design? Get in touch – we’ll be happy to help!

About the Author | Roddy Mackay
Tentmaker Creative is a small communications consultancy run by Roddy Mackay, a creative with 15 years’ experience of working with a variety of clients in a range of places to help them tell their stories well. Roddy’s work is split between running Tentmaker Creative and as a freelance photographer, where he shoots a combination of travel, weddings and commercial projects. As Tentmaker Creative, Roddy works with a range of other creatives to help clients think through a bigger picture – and to create content and strategies that help you engage your audience more effectively.

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