£136 million. That’s what UK oil group BP reportedly spent back in 2000 when it introduced its now iconic sunflower logo design. And, it’s not the only multinational investing heavily. Nike, Starbucks, Apple and McDonalds are all on a constant drive to maintain instant recognition, and their logos are the holy grail.
“But they’re the big boys”, we here you say. “It doesn’t matter as much for smaller firms”. Not so! Building brand recognition is vital, no matter the size of your business. And, drum roll please… that’s your logo’s primary job.
So, we’ve created FIVE LOGO RULES to help you get started, and maximise the impact of your BRAND LOGO once it’s created:
1 // The right fit
Is your logo appropriate? Look around and you’ll soon spot that many industries have quite specific themes in terms of logo design. Now it’s great to be original, but often if you’re not in step with the rest of the crowd, you could get left behind.
Study the competition. Use resources like Pinterest to research common trends, and note what works, and what doesn’t. (For example, in the restaurant and brewery industries, a crest logo is very common. In the graphic design industry, it’s becoming more common to see characters as part of a logo or brand scheme.)
2 // Simplicity
Generally speaking, a logo should be R.E.A.L.L.Y S.I.M.P.L.E. Remember, it’s goal is to cut through the noise, build brand recognition, be remembered. The more complex the image the less likely it is that this will happen. So, avoid special effects and drops shadows.
It should communicate exactly who you are, and what you stand for in a split-second. And it should be able to do this no matter the medium. From digital advertising, to printed collateral, or even a giant billboard ad.
3 // Colour considerations
Colours carry meaning (and these meanings can vary wildly by culture). An important consideration in today’s global economy.
Research by ecommerce platform Tictail recently revealed that China, France & Russia all have strong cultural connections with red, while Japan favours green, South Korea has a soft spot for pink, and The Netherlands still prefers its historic go-to, orange.
Consider the markets you operate within, and plans for future expansion. If you already have an established brand colour scheme, ensure its future proof before investing in it further.
TOP TIP – Best practice dictates that you keep the colour selection below 4 colours (we’d actually go so far as to say 2 colours are the ideal).
4 // Think functional
How does your logo look when it’s blown up to the size of a house? Now what happens when it’s printed on the corner of your letterhead and you’re looking at it from across the room? Can you still tell it’s your logo? That’s an important test for determining whether your logo will function in all the potential places it may be used.
5 // Develop brand guidelines
Chinese Whispers is a great game to play with the kids, but it’s not how you’d want to manage your firm’s branding.
Make sure that you develop some guidelines for the use of your logo. Show examples using the exact colour breakdowns and web references, how much clear space to keep around your logo, what fonts you have used and various file formats so you can supply appropriate high-quality versions where needed. Brand guidelines can go far beyond these details, but creating a basic reference point means that your logo will be consistent, however its viewed.
OK, so you have your new logo. Now to use it.
Kate Southon, Head of Design at VMS is all about shouting from the rooftops. “The more constant you can be in the use of your new logo, the quicker customers, and potential customers will remember your brand”, she says.
“If you’re refreshing your business image, and logo, it’s a big deal. Don’t do things half-heartedly, put in place a roll-out plan designed to impact, hard. Firstly, shout about it. Consider a launch event, employee party or customer promotion. Announce the change across each of your social media platforms, send out an email campaign to all clients, stakeholders and partners. Secondly, refresh all marketing collateral, and put a deadline on achieving 100% migration. From email signatures to business cards, flyers to adverts, the website and more…”
One last tip
Ask yourself these two questions:
• Does my logo truly represent my business?
• Is my logo dated and old fashioned looking?
If you answer ‘yes’ to either of these questions, then it’s time we talked.
If you answered ‘no’ to both, congratulations. Your logo should continue to increase brand recognition for your business for years to come.
Viewpoint Marketing is a full service marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex. We create successful, strong brands, marketing and advertising as well as innovative websites and online solutions for growing businesses.
If you would like a FREE logo audit, get in touch!