Logo-a-Go-Go: Designing Your Logo, Part 1

Hi there! This is Lizz, the graphic artist for Golden Mailer. I’ll be guest posting this month, sharing a little bit about what I do, and some tips and tricks to really maximize your results when it comes to design of both ads and other things, like your logo and corporate identity. If you have specific questions that you’d like to see addressed in future posts, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get to it just as soon as I can!

Let’s start with one of the most basic elements for branding your company; your logo. You’ve got a great name, and you’ve filed your fictitious business name paperwork, so now you just need to create the identity to go with it!
Yes, this is the part where I’m going to suggest you hire a trained designer to work with you on creating your logo, but I also realize that may not be a realistic option for a small business owner who is just starting out, so I want to help point you in the right direction so you can create your own identity! When you’re a multimillion dollar corporation, you can hire a pro to update your look instead!
Some questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about your logo.

  • What kind of image do you want to portray? Elegant and professional, fun and lighthearted, or hard-working and dependable?
  • Is there a color that is generally associated with your industry type? Think green for landscaping, red, white and blue for smog and auto service providers.
  • What are some of your competitors using as their logos? You don’t want yourself to get easily confused with them, if at all possible!
  • Does your company name tell people what it is you do? Are you “Jimbo and Sons, inc.” or “Jimbo and Sons Painting”? This will have an impact on some of your options.

Take a minute and think about some logos you know off the top of your head… how about this one? Or this one? They’re both pretty universally recognized, right? And they’re logos that graphic design students all over the world learn about in class when talking about iconic logos. Here’s the thing. Nike and McDonalds have spent billions, yes that’s billions with a b, of dollars making their logos iconic. Unless you have billions of dollars available for a branding campaign, you’ll need to make your logo a little more obvious and a little less icon..

One of the best ways to do that is to incorporate your company name directly into the logo, and your logo can really be as simple as your company name in a specific font and a specific color. Like this. If you’re looking for a really great font that speaks to you, check out DaFont. It’s one of my favorite resources for free typefaces, and you can search by specific style, or just browse until something jumps out at you.

If you want more than just the font-based logo, you can introduce a graphic element; it can be as simple as a circle or as complex as an entire character.

Next week, I’ll go more in depth into some design ideas and show you some samples of what I’m talking about.

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