Proven Tips for Building a Great Logo

by Lori DeRoche
11/19/2013

Have you noticed that large corporations, regardless of industry, periodically reinvent their logos and tag lines? I recently saw a post online that showed the change in some of the top businesses across the globe from the beginning to now. Click here to see how different companies have updated their logos. 

One common similarity is how the logos went from much detail to very little detail. Some of the lettering is even much different than it was with the original logo. You may have heard that changing your logo can negatively affect how customers and potential customers recognize your brand, causing harm to your company. This is not always true.

Our fast-passed, competitive landscape industry forces us to think about ways that the buying public can recognize us easily, quickly and in a positive light. Every day we need to be thinking about and implementing new ways to stand out from the competition. You logo is a powerful visual symbol that allows your company to stand out in the market.

Here are some tips on how to simplify your logos and tag lines to stand out and be remembered by your customers.

1. Have a distinctive logo. Does the customers and potential customers recognize your company from its logo even if there is no words associated with it? I understand not all small businesses can start off with a professionally designed logo. Ask family and friends for advice and seek out college students studying to become graphic artists. You may get a quality logo at a fraction of the cost. There are also some great "do-it-yourself" programs like, Logo Design Studio Pro from Summitsoft.

2. Make your logo easy to recognize. Whether you want your logo to be a specific font or an actual icon, make it easy to recognize. Don't get too fancy. People will get lost if they cannot read the writing of the logo. It may look cool to you, but if your customers don't understand, at a glance, your message and cannot make out the name, they will turn to other service providers. Remember that they are busy, too, and don't have time to decipher messages that are too complicated or clever. Also, your font may stand out, but you don't want it to stand out so much that the name of your company gets lost.  

3. Choose a distinctive color. Choosing a color for your logo or company name will also help you be distinctive. The whole theme of your website, truck wraps, and stationary can help incorporate your firm's unique color to build your brand. Home Depot has a specific orange they use and McDonalds has a specific yellow. As they've updated and modernized their logos over the years they've nevertheless stayed true to the colors that helped establish them as powerful brands in the first place.

4. Think about how this logo will look once printed or embroidered. Many times printing companies require artwork to be at least 300dpi and in vector format for best printing capabilities. Detailed logos will not look good if embroidered and many companies will not do the embroidery with detailed logos. The number of colors in your logo will also make a difference. Having more than 4 colors can sometime increase the price for embroidery and some screen print projects. These small details are sometimes overlooked, but could make a big difference in what types of promotional products you are able to print; t-shirts, polo's, pens, safety vests, etc.

Creating and displaying a strong logo can help build your brand and make consumers aware of your company and what it stands for. A strong logo is one of the cornerstones in building brand awareness. Take a look at some of the most popular logos to get inspiration, invest in a designer or program that will help you design your logo, and finally place your logo everywhere and make it consistent to help build your brand.

About the author: Lori DeRoche is co-founder with her father, James, of Tandem Landscape Services, Inc., in Phoenix. Contact her at lorid@tandemis.com.