Your company's brand is a reflection of your corporate culture, mission and attitudes. It incorporates the essence of your company. Although often called a company's brand, your logo is one of many elements in your branding strategy.
Starbucks' easily recognized green and white logo is the visible representation of the company, but its brand extends beyond that image. Other factors in Starbucks' brand include: its inviting, comfy store environment; its color scheme of earth tones; its snobbish attitude; its beverage sizes in vente and grande that convey a more exotic nature than medium and large; and its baristas, not mere clerks or waiters, but a term that nods to the unconventional attitude that the company wants to convey.
Your company's brand should, of course, incorporate the outstanding quality of your products and services. Other elements pertinent to your profession should also be included, such as your dedication to customer service, your responsiveness, your ability to cleverly solve problems, your commitment to meeting deadlines, etc.
Your logo has an important job as the visible manifestation of your firm. It has to be powerful, compelling, colorful, attractive, unique, memorable and easily readable, to name just a few characteristics. Creating a logo that spells success is a challenge. A few suggestions:
Patience. Take time to focus on your target audience, mission and goals. Think through your preferences about colors and style.
Style. Traditional or abstract? Your logo should reflect your place in your industry. If you lean toward the traditional, your logo can reinforce your business by cleverly using its initials or an image often associated with the profession. If your outlook is a bit more contemporary, an abstract concept is a more distinctive way of identifying your company.
Colors. A great logo uses eye-catching, complimentary colors. Colors convey different psychological responses, as shown on these color steps. Consider the message that you want your logo to share. For businesses with an international market, remember that some colors have different connotations in other cultures.
Flexibility. Your logo should have an impact at all sizes and on different media. A logo with a strong horizontal orientation may be unreadable on a vertical product. That ball cap requires a different type of file than your Facebook page. A multi-colored logo may not be as dynamic when reproduced in black only.
Simplicity. Strive for an uncluttered image by using an easy-to-read font and resisting the temptation to include too much information. Your tagline, phone number or website may hamper your logo's use. These elements can always be added to a document.
Creating the right logo is not for the faint of heart. A professional graphic designer is well versed in mixing these different considerations into a logo that triggers a positive response from potential and current customers. Professionals know the value of complimentary colors, how to refine an abstract design and what electronic files are needed for different uses.
Entrusting design of your logo to a professional is worth the investment. An online service can't understand the full extent of your business and embrace your company's mission. Your logo -- and your brand -- deserve the skills and talents of a professional designer.