If you’ve found yourself here, then you’ve probably begun to look at your logo and feel like something is just a bit… off. You don’t know what it is, maybe it just doesn’t represent your business any more, or you’re going through a rebrand, or the logo is outdated and just needs modernising a bit. Whatever your reasons, it may feel a little overwhelming at first. We’re here to help with that, as we talk you through how to evaluate your brand, research the industry and consider all the ways your logo will be used.
1. Evaluate Brand
It begins. Stage one is to evaluate your brand, what it embodies and what the business goals are. It’s not just about creating a visual symbol; it’s about conveying the soul of the brand and all it may encompass. For the designer, this is the client discovery stage and is when you and the designer really get to know each other and ensure goals and visions all align.
Keep in mind that the logo is only as good as its representation of the business. The purpose of this stage is to know inside and out what impression you want to make. Even the most well articulated brief cannot capture everything you have in mind for your business, so designers must probe deeper and explore how the client really feels about the business, and the nuances of how it operates and what its aims and goals are. What’s written on a corporate document may be totally different to what you actually want, even if it’s well written. A good designer-client relationship is imperative to success, so the first discovery is a bit like a first date; you’re just finding out how many siblings the other has and what they studied at university.
The insight gained from these client discovery meetings are noted down and will ultimately contribute to the success of the logo in the long run.
Your designer should ask some specific questions at this point. The questions will be along the following lines:
- What motivated your decision for a new design? What problem are you trying to solve?
- If your brand was a person, what adjectives would you use to describe it? (clever, prudent, etc)
- What is your brand voice? (eloquent & formal, jokey with slang, etc)
- Which core beliefs and values shape the identity of your brand?
- What is your unique value proposition? What does your company offer that competitors don’t?
- How do you want your customers to describe your brand to their friends?
This slips into the realm of branding, however, logos are one of your strongest vehicles for branding so asking these questions is a necessary first step.
2. Research the Industry
Just like no man is an island, no brand exists in a vacuum.
To be a contender you must know what it is you’re up against. If you want to break the rules you first need to know what rules are there to break. Which is why stage two is the Industry Discovery stage. Here, you must research logos from competitors and industry leaders and it can mean the difference between a generic logo, a logo that is too far out of left field, and the logo that straddles the gossamer thin line between the two.
There is vital information in the logos already out in the industry, such as:
- What logo techniques work for the industry you’re researching, i.e., brand colours or particular shapes.
- What logo techniques are overused, to the extent that they lose personality.
- Which logos are ignored, which might inspire ways to stand out.
- What kind of customers dominate that particular industry (or which customers the client’s rivals prefer to target).
This information will directly influence decisions from this point on. For example, most logos within the tech industry are blue (Facebook, Twitter, Dell, Visa, etc.) There’s some colour theory behind that as blue is often seen as trustworthy. If you were a tech company, you can use blue either because the data suggests it works the best or use another colour in order to stand out from the Big Blue Logo Sea. This is purely a creative decision so there’s no right answer; it’s just down to the your s priorities. Do they want to stand out or do they want to ingratiate themselves with their peers?
Either way, you won’t even know there’s a choice to make unless you do the research first.
3. Make a List of Where the Logo Will be Used
You may have envisioned your logo on the storefront, or on vehicle wrappings being driven up and down the country, but there’s numerous places the logo would be used and each one requires a similar level of care and attention.
Where will my logo be used?
- Website icons
- Signs and banners
- Product packaging
- Social media profiles and banners
- Business cards
- Company letterheads (invoices, internal documents)
- Email marketing campaigns
- Marketing swag (pens, shirts, mugs etc)
Consider how the various mediums will influence the shape and colour, for example, can this be embroidered onto a company polo? So work through several versions to have on hand to suit the most likely needs. This is what’s known as a responsive logo and it ensures you always have the best logo for any situation. So, plan ahead and design the variations at the same time rather than designing the main logo and adapting it to different situations as and when they come up. This makes each variation feel like the same logo, rather than a collection of related logos.
If this responsive and adaptable style of logo sounds appealing to you, aim for four variations at first, and escalate the logo in both size and complexity as time goes on.
4. Bonus Stage: Find A Creative Agency that Shares Your Vision
Aha! Sneaky stage number 4!
Another caveat really, that all these stages can be done DIY, however, software, design and branding knowledge means that obviously, your mileage may vary.
A creative agency is a vital initial step in the process if you’re a business owner looking for a logo design or are rebranding the company. Finding a creative agency that shares your vision and understands your company inside and out, along with its aims, ethos and mission statement ensures the successful creation of a logo and a fruitful professional partnership.
Brace Creative Agency has experience in the logo design and branding department. It’s certainly not our first rodeo! If you’re shopping around for an agency that shares your vision then drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a ring on 01452 729 953