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Designing a Great Business Logo

A business logo is a catchy graphic or stylized abbreviation of your company name that can create instant branding and recognition in the marketplace.  Think of the Nike Swoosh Logo – it is recognizable everywhere. Other examples are the IBM logo which includes their letters in a stylized font; or Apple, which is a globally recognized brand logo.

Here are key aspects you must consider when creating or redesigning your logo:

1. A logo is for identification of your company: A logo is an eye-catching way to brand and imprint your company into the marketplace. So you will want it to be easy to recognize and memorable.  Ways to do this are to ensure your graphic is stylized, not dependent on color, and not overly complex in its design.  Going back to the Nike Swoosh logo, if you saw that from 100 feet away, you would still know what company it identifies.

2. Your logo is a piece of your corporate branding and therefore should reflect your business and identify with its core audience: You want to design and position the logo for its intended audience.  For example, if you run a childcare business, bright colors and childlike font could be really effective.  However, if you run a CPA firm you want to ensure that your logo reflects that you take what you do for your clients seriously.

3. Maintaining visual consistency:  Ideally you want to create your logo using Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw using a vector graphic to ensure the logo looks the same in all size. The reason for this is that you want the logo graphic to look fantastic in all sizes, on t-shirts and print materials, and even billboards.  In addition, consistency with the logo is critical – I recommend you get rid of old logos on all materials as soon as you have a new logo so that your branding becomes more powerful. Don’t dilute your logo by having varying ones on different materials i.e. collateral versus website.  Also, many companies have a custom color or color scheme that they use – keep this consistent on all materials as well to improve brand recognition in the marketplace.

4.A logo should be unique and original: It’s tempting to look at others’ logos and find a way to adapt it to your own business.  However, be cautious and lean in on the side of originality.  Every business is unique, and your logo should reflect that.  You can use other’s logos to help brainstorm for design ideas or themes that you like, but in the end, come up with something that reflects your company’s unique character

5. Keep it simple: Think of your logo on a billboard; then imagine it on a business card.  Will it be effective in both mediums? You don’t want a design that is so detailed or intricate that it loses its cache when printed on a business card.  In addition, you want a logo to look visually appealing; don’t allow the design to be all over the place.  For example, do not use multiple font combinations with italics: i.e. John Doe’s Print Shop.  This type of combination doesn’t have a clean look and appears less professional than: JOHN DOE’S PRINT SHOP. When designing, keep simplicity in mind.

A logo is like the thumbprint of your business that can help people recognize and associate with your brand, whether in a local, regional or global market.  Keep it simple, consistent, and unique, and you will be positioning your logo to help build your brand.


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