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A Strategy for Killer Logos

It’s time to design a logo for your company and you are thinking you’ll do it yourself. Why not, you can’t afford a high-cost design agency and after all, how hard can it be? These are just a few things one has to consider when designing a company logo:

  1. Do you have a company color palette? Whatever colors you choose in your logo, will undoubtedly start to drive color choices made elsewhere.  You have to think about the colors you want on your website, your event signs, your collateral, etc.
  2. Do you have a company personality? Are you formal? Informal? In the consumer sector? Financial sector?  All this will affect the personality of your logo as well.
  3. How will your logo be used? Are you going to have the company name included? The tagline attached? What dimension requirements do you have to consider when thinking about envelopes, websites, promotional items, shirts.  Too often we see a client create a long, text-based logo then suffer the consequences later when trying to implement it on a t-shirt or small promotional item.
  4. How does your logo scale. Some logos look great at first, then when they are scaled way down they become unreadable, or when they are scaled way up they look horrible. Scale them up and down as a test.
  5. How does your logo look in black and white? No doubt, your information will get copied in black and white or FAXed somewhere. Companies that use shadows with their text for shaded colors behind their logo often make this mistake.
  6. What message are you trying to convey with your company? Can that be partially captured in the logo graphic? For example, a company that uses the name “fusion” may want a logo graphic that looks like the fusing of several items, etc.
  7. Where are you in the life-cycle of your company?  A one-man company will often be given much grace with an at-home logo look, but a larger company that is  trying to launch an expensive product in a crowded market may give the appearance of being inferior with graphics that are not professionally done.
  8. Do you have several products or business units within your company? In this case, you will want to figure out if you’re going to have sub-brands, will they each need a logo and how will they all work together.
  9. Will you ever be animating the logo?  Some logos are more easily transformed into 3D animated logos than others.
  10. Are you forming a logo that may burden those that follow you for tens of years? Look at many old high-tech company logos and you will see ones that well-intending engineers designed. Don’t you wish they would have let someone else do it?

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