Sometimes clients come to us knowing that they want a logo design but are unsure what they’d like, sometimes they have an idea in their head and they need it drawn out so they can see it – regardless though, every new client needs a little help taking into consideration a few points when thinking that initial design or working through concept designs.
Here are a few helpful principles to consider when commissioning a new logo from your graphic artist or graphic designer:
Don’t Follow Trends!
I know this seems counter-intuitive as what is ‘in trend’ will surely paint your business or project in a better light right!? You want to be trendy so you align with trends in your industry/community/profession right!? Well, actually it’s the opposite. A business logo should be seen as a long term investment for your brand or company and in following a trend with your chosen design you will be sacrificing long term use and relevance for a quick short-term win. By definition a trend is short-lived and whilst your new logo might be bang on just now – it’s going to look dated as soon as the trend it’s built upon fades.
Your logo is the underpinning structure in your branding and it’s what a client or customer comes to recognise and know as your business, hence changing it often can alienate existing customers and be to the detriment of your potential customer base. When commissioning a graphic artist to create a new logo design think above and beyond what’s fashionable just now and look at longevity. A logo that is timeless is a far better investment than say a quick hit ‘emoji’ logo (btw we don’t mind emoji’s but just remember they’ll be old news in 6 months time…).
Think About Colour
Your printer and your computer both show colour right? So a logo will look exactly the same when printed as it does on screen right? Again, Wrong! Digital and printed colour technologies are entirely different things. One works by emitting different wavelengths of light at you that combine to form the perceived colour in your brain and the other absorbs different wavelengths of light to leave you a perceived colour from the remaining wavelengths. Now this by definition creates a vast difference in how a colour is perceived.
Bright and vibrant colours that appear on screen from the light being fired at you just can’t be easily replicated through traditional ink or laser printing. Colours such as greens, purples and oranges will be more dull, less vibrant and flatter when printed than they may appear on screen.
A good graphic artist will produce concept designs for you with ‘proof’ colours so that you will see as close to a representation of how your logo will appear when printed – otherwise your on screen asset may vary drastically when printed out on things like business cards, and continuity of image is important in branding.
For your logo design then just be realistic about colours when looking at bright, out there tones. Ask your graphic designer or graphic artist for a proof representation of the concept logo and always design for print but use for digital, that way there will be a minimal difference in appearance between applications.
The Devil Really is in the Detail
Clients really love their logo designs – a graphic artist can take an idea and create a visual representation of exactly what the imagined design idea was. It can become something we/you are really proud of, especially when so much time, thought and sometimes money was invested in it. However just because you’ve thought about it loads and considered every detail of your logo design does not mean your clients will.
It is likely (and I’m sorry to say) that a prospective client will see your logo fleetingly and in that split second decide to look further or not. They are not stopping to consider the likenesses of characters, the neatness of shadings or the subtleties we have poured over – they are forming an opinion from the general appearance.
For this reason a logo should be immediately impactful, easily recognised and as simple as you can bear. Now we will can only advise clients, if you want a specific kind of logo we’re happy to help but too many details can be lost in a logo as no one will see it.
The other limiting factor with detail is scalability. Use the logo in too small of an application such as a business card or pin badge and it may be almost undecipherable. A great logo design should be able to be used from bill boards to business cards without any or much alteration between uses.
Find the Sweet Spot
I say it all the time – and I tell clients too…DON’T COPY! Apart from anything else there are copyright laws that prevent infringements on existing designs and assets but all too often we receive clients who have seen an existing logo from a competing or comparable business and want one like that.
That is fine, in fact it’s a good idea to research the industry to look at what competitors are doing but that doesn’t mean you should copy them. A logo should be a focal point of YOUR businesses identity, if you make it too similar to an analogous business you are diluting your own brand.
Take for example a ski business, google ‘ski logos’ and you will see hundreds of logo designs built around trees, mountains and snow. Now, these results show you that businesses in this industry obvious favour aligning with the environment in which they operate i.e. alpine and mountainous areas. This is represented in the vast majority of logos and so is obviously either what the customer base comes to expect from a business in a comparable industry or what the customer base has been trained to expect.
So, the sweet spot now means utilising some of these symbols/assets in the design to remain competitive and appeal to the targeted consumers but whilst producing a unique logo design not directly influenced by any other business in that same industry – it’s a fine line but an important one.