You’ve passed one business startup hurdle by deciding on a business name. Now you must determine how that name will visually represent your brand—your next step is logo design.
Your logo (a component of your brand identity) is a visual representation of your brand attribute, which over time will distinguish your brand from all others. Therefore, your designer’s chief goal in designing your logo should be to reinforce your brand attribute. An example of how one brand does this well, is Tesla.
Creative and technical innovation is epitomized in the Tesla logo
The word “innovation” gets tossed around a lot in the business world, but Tesla is one company worthy of owning the word “innovation.” So much so, that it is deserving of the brand attribute “Innovation” supported by the brand value “Premium.”
Tesla excels at innovation and lives up to premium with the technical brilliance of its electric motor and illustrious design of its vehicles.
The Tesla logo makes an expert play on innovation with a “T” inspired by the cross-section of an electric motor and creative design that surpasses the simple use of a typeface for the letter “T.”
Innovation permeates all aspects of Tesla’s business, including its unique method of selling vehicles in upscale malls.
How does a micro-business afford a logo design that reinforces its brand?
As a micro-business without the big bucks to invest in logo design that a large company has, you may doubt your ability to create an effectively designed logo. As your marketing partner, Iyobu’s chief purpose is to ensure micro-businesses have the resources to navigate quality brand identity design within the budget of a typical micro-business. We recommend that you:
- Educate yourself on Iyobu’s principals of logo design.
- Locate a freelance designer or a logo shop that is affordable without sacrificing quality.
- Discuss our principals with your designer and ensure they ask you questions about your business that will lead to a successful design.
Educate yourself on Iyobu’s principals of logo design
Know your brand attribute and supporting brand value(s):
Refresh your knowledge by reviewing our previous blog, “Build it and They Will Come—Developing Your Brand’s Value and Attribute.
Take the “sequence of cognition” into consideration:
Understanding the sequence of cognition will help you in conversations with your designer. An experienced designer will ask you questions related to the sequence of cognition to guide you in a logo design that represents your brand personality.
The sequence of cognition considers these three elements:
- Visual images can be remembered and recognized directly, while words are decoded into meaning.
- The value of a stand-alone symbol (once your brand gains popularity) is ease of recognition and association with your product and service. Even if someone does not speak your language your iconic symbol will inform them of who you are.
Example of logo shape/symbol: Apple and Nike
- Color can trigger an emotion and evoke a brand association. It is also used to express brand differentiation.
- The color known as Tiffany Blue, (also referred to as robin’s-egg blue or forget-me-not blue) is an international icon of elegance and sophistication.
- Color is used to build meaning and expand connotation.
Example: Tiffany’s trademarked brand color1
- The brain takes more time to interpret language. The font used should make your logotype/wordmark easy to read and be distinguishable as “your” business name while still representing your brand attribute.
Use Fonts to Convey the Right Emotions
Disney's brand is based on creating happiness through fun, magical experiences.
Example of logotype/wordmark, courtesy of companyfolders.com
Example of logotype/wordmark + symbol
Remember, you get what you pay for.
Don’t be in too much of a rush to create your logo. Good design is not created overnight. Avoid being gullible and taken advantage of by “logo farms” which are prevalent online and award projects to designers by way of competition. These companies often offer multiple logo designs at prices that are so low…well let’s just say you get what you pay for.
I suppose by now you’re getting the message that your logo design is a valuable investment in your business.
Locate a logo shop or freelance designer that offers affordable prices without sacrificing quality
Don’t feel that having a well-designed logo is out of reach. We realize most micro-businesses do not have the budget to hire an experienced design firm for their logo. As your virtual marketing partner, Iyobu introduces you to freelance resources including designers who are skilled and passionate about their work. Some of these designers have worked at large agencies but now choose to freelance.
If you Google for logo design you will come across many options, including those that are free or very, very, low cost. The credibility of these options has to be weighed carefully. An article that appears on the AIGA (“American Institute of Graphic Artists”) website sheds light on this very subject. See “What Kind of Logo Do You Get for $5.”
Safe online logo design options
Iyobu recommends the online logo website The Logo Company and freelance options under AIGA for logo design. These websites work with talent who have been screened, pay the designers respectable wages, provide you with secure payment options and allow you to speak with a human to discuss your project.
The Logo Company
How the company defines itself: "We’re a team of talented graphic designers specializing in business graphics. Our team has been designing logos and business marketing materials for over 20 years." Visit The Logo Company for 25% off of your first order.
If you chose to work directly with an independent freelancer for logo design, we recommend visiting your local AIGA website. Fees for freelance design services will vary. Expect to pay approximately mid-hundreds to a few thousand dollars. The advantage here is that you may be able to secure the talent of an excellent designer who is a recent design school graduate or a designer who works at a major agency and does independent freelance projects outside of work. Another advantage to this option is that you can have a 1:1 relationship with the designer and should be able to speak with them throughout the project, including a discussion of their design strategy and your expectations.
To locate an AIGA logo designer, we recommend that you visit the national AIGA website to find your local chapter. Additionally, we suggest you review the following AIGA graphic design resources:
- “How to hire a designer”
- “Designer Directory” where you can search for a graphic designer by type “logo” and location “your city”.
Discuss the principals you’ve learned here with your designer and ensure they ask you the questions about your business that will lead to a successful design.
For best results, make sure your freelancer asks you questions that align with Iyobu’s principals and your brand attribute.
When selecting an affordable option for logo design services you want one that allows you to provide information about your company, so they understand your overall brand personality, including brand values and brand attribute. They should be willing to offer you options and a discussion based on the principals Iyobu has outlined.
So that you are well prepared to discuss your project in a manner that will result in a successful project, be sure to complete these steps:
- Know your brand attribute and supporting brand values so you can communicate this to your designer. This knowledge greatly helps the designer figure out appropriate fonts and colors.
- Decide if you want to focus on a symbol and logotype/wordmark, or logotype/wordmark alone.
- Ensure your business name is short and easy to remember. If you have not done so, consider trademarking rights to your name before investing in your logo design and applying it to a website and marketing collateral. Just because you can get it as a domain name does not mean you have trademark rights.
Gather your final logo design selection and files
Upon completion of your logo design your designer will provide you with different file formats for print materials (stationery, brochures, etc.) typically a .tif or .eps file, and online collateral (website, PowerPoint) typically a .jpg, .gif, or .png file. You should also ask for a copy of the original “native” file format. This file format is from the software used to design the logo, which is typically Adobe Illustrator. You should keep a copy of your logo files in a safe place and send additional copies, and not your native file, to companies providing your design services.
In the end, investing in your logo design will prove to be one of the most significant long-term business investments you will make. Overall, it will lead to your brand being instantly and/or easily recognized and create an emotion that will drive affinity with your brand.
1TIFFANY BLUE and the TIFFANY BLUE BOX are trademarks of Tiffany and Company.
We welcome you to share your logo thoughts, challenges, solutions or successes by leaving a comment.
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