First impressions count. A well-designed, professional looking logo can communicate what your company does in seconds. That’s why it’s one of the most important steps to get spot-on when starting a business. It can tell the customer who you are, what you stand for, and make that all-important impact.
For this reason, many new start-ups entrust a designer to make a business logo for their company. However, there are some essential criteria you should be crystal clear on before making that call in order to ensure your logo looks good, is relevant – and packs a punch.
1. Know the name of your company
It may sound obvious, but carefully considering the name you have chosen to represent your business is an important step to avoid wasting money when you ask a designer to make a business logo on your behalf. Ensure the company name does not limit the design by being ridiculously long, and think twice before adding a tag line to your logo, to avoid overcomplicating it. Equally, using a generic word such as ‘solutions’ or ‘services’ may be appropriate, but is a challenge to represent visually.
Also consider the timeless appeal you want your business and logo to have. Naming your business something which prescribes a certain logo design, e.g. “Love Heart Stationery”, is not necessarily a bad thing. Synergy between the logo and the business name is the best way to remain memorable, but make sure you’re not likely to go off your icon or the colours used a few weeks later!
You may also wish to inform your designer if the business logo they are creating is that of a new business, or improving an existing logo. For the latter, it may be beneficial to bear in mind the old logo, so that existing customers do not find any radical changes too alienating.
2. Style of your business logo
Think about the personality of your business and the mood you want to convey and stir in your customers when they recall your company. Is it serious and efficient, or friendly and approachable? Futuristic or nostalgic?
Such crucial considerations will underpin the design of your business logo, and you may wish to match this to one of three basic logo-style concepts, when communicating with your designer:
1. Font-based logos. Good to help customers recall the name of your business, if nothing else. However it may not explain what you do.
2. Representative logos. For example, using a van icon in the logo for a delivery service, which is both simple and self-explanatory.
3. Abstract logos. Often the most iconic logos utilise abstract symbols. However, these graphics are meaningless without money and time spent to establish the connection between the visual, and your brand.
As a small, growing business, the most beneficial and financially-efficient model may be a representative style of logo – which instantly communicates the service your company offers.
3. The message behind your business logo
Before you dash off to commission your logo, devise a one-sentence message which you want to underpin your brand. The initial concepts returned from the designer will be all the more powerful with a driving mission statement to stay true to.
Also think about the unique selling points (USPs) of your company. If speed and efficiency is crucial to the marketability of your service, you may wish to liaise with the designer to ensure this comes through in your business logo.
4. Make a business logo fit for purpose
Consider how you intend to use your business logo, once it has been made. For example, logos can be used on business cards, websites, stationery, badges, billboards, and vehicle-liveries, which all come with their own design limitations. You need to be sure your logo will be powerful no matter how and where you decide to use it.
This especially applies to colour-considerations. Yes, your five-colour design may look striking online, but not only will it cost a lot to reproduce in print, it may lose its clarity and strength when photocopied in black and white.
5. And lastly, research your designer
There is a huge diversity of prices in the design market, and it is important to know the company you have selected in order to guarantee a professional outcome.
While well-established, professional firms may charge in excess of £2,000, this is not your only option for quality, as many independent design agencies charge much, much less to make a business logo.
Our advice: do your research. Start-ups on a tight budget should not just settle for the cheapest package available. Check the quality of previous designs in the designer’s logo portfolio, and seek out customer testimonials for reassurance that you have made the right choice.
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