When you think about a well-established brand, one of the first things you think of is probably the logo. There’s good reason for this. Your company’s logo is an ambassador of your message, and used properly it becomes a visual shorthand for your brand—and everything it stands for.
Unfortunately, because people have been trained to look to your logo for information about your company’s identity, having a logo that doesn’t tell them anything about who you are—or worse, contradicts your intended message—will drive people away.
So how can you keep from getting it wrong?
NEVER steal a logo
It should be no surprise that using a logo closely based on someone else’s can hurt your brand. Beyond the risk of being sued for trademark infringement, taking and repurposing another company’s logo can cause confusion and distrust in potential customers.
If someone sees your logo and mistakenly expects the other company’s services and values, but doesn’t find yours in line with their expectations, they may label you a knock-off and avoid you. Even worse, customers who notice that your logo is stolen may decide you’re a thief—and might therefore treat them unethically.
There are a couple of ways to avoid this pitfall, beyond simply not stealing the logo yourself. First, do a quick Google image search on any logo you’re considering, and if anything too similar comes up, go back to the drawing board. Second, you’re more likely to encounter stolen logos if you buy a logo from a discount service like 99Designs or those found on Fiverr. Dedicated professional designers may be more expensive, but are also better at taking the time to create something unique just for you.
Avoid unintentionally funny or inappropriate logos
Ideally, your logo should convey ideas or attributes in line with your company’s identity, so take care to consider how people will interpret it. If humor or raunchiness are hallmarks of your brand, it’s fine to have a subtly (or even blatantly) silly or risque logo… but if you’re trying to present a professional or serious image, you don’t want your logo to make people laugh or feel uncomfortable.
Though professional designers aren’t immune to this issue—as many articles on corporate logo fails attest—experience and broad knowledge of logo design principles can help protect against it. When you consider a new logo design, look at it critically for elements that suggest anything unintended. If possible, get feedback from as many people as possible to make sure it conveys what you want it to.
Test with your existing customers
New potential customers aren’t the only ones who matter when creating a new logo—your existing customer base may also be turned off by a logo that misses the mark. That can result in lost sales, a drop in reputation, or even consumer backlash that turns your logo from an investment into a major liability.
Returning to the recommendation to get feedback before a logo change, your customers are a great resource for market research. Take advantage of that! Getting their opinions on the new logo will help you to narrow down and issues in the design, and avoid having it fail unexpectedly.
Use your logo properly
Once your logo is complete, your designer will send a variety of file types (.PSD, .AI, .EPS, .PDF, .JPG and .PNG). It is extremely important to understand the various types of logo design file formats and when to use each one. Using the wrong format can result in poor quality & pixelation, this will have a negative impact on how your business is perceived.
Finally, brand guidelines are a fantastic way to ensure you are using your logo as intended. Investing in brand guidelines helps ensure consistency across all elements of your business.
Logo Daily by Creato™
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