Is your logo working for you? In today’s economy, branding is more important than ever. However, in my work with the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network’s Market Research Center, I see a lot of companies that have neglected one critical element of branding – their logos.

When you start a business, it is easy to fall into the trap of having your creative nephew produce your logo, or even use one of the online logo builders, or even just DIY (Design It Yourself). These tactics can work and have good results, but more often what results is either extremely generic, poorly focused on your business, difficult to reproduce or just plain terrible. You may want to consider using a professional designer with logo experience.

In order for a logo to work for your business, it should meet most — if not all — of the following criteria:

Keep it Simple

Complex designs with multiple fonts, complex images and numerous colors may seem appealing, but think about how you use a logo. It should be a quick and easy to recognize symbol that evokes your business. If it is overly busy, people may not understand what your brand is about.

Correct: Target Logo. Incorrect: tree-shaped logo with many colors and hard to read text.

Are the Colors Timeless?

 

Your logo should use colors that are going to be used elsewhere in your business. Think UPS. Brown wouldn’t necessarily be my “go-to” color, but UPS has made it work for them. Their trucks, stores and uniforms all use the Pullman Brown and gold color scheme and are instantly recognizable. Be cautious about using “trendy” colors. What’s hot today may be old news tomorrow.

Correct: UPS logo. Incorrect: colorful logo with many bright colors and images.

Color is Important – But Does It Work in Black and White?

Does your logo work in black and white? If not, you need to consider all the ways you might want to use it. Do you want to print or embroider shirts in multiple colors? What about printed marketing materials? It’s a good practice to have your designer start with black and white and then add color to your logo design.

Correct: Original Apple Logo. Incorrect: Apple logo in grayscale.

Are the Fonts You Are Using Professional and Clean Looking?

Try to avoid the mistake of overusing different styles of fonts. The logo is supposed to communicate immediately who you are. If the font is hard to read, or if it is totally illegible it also won’t communicate.

Correct: Animal Planet Logo from 2006-2008. Incorrect: Animal Planet logo from 2008-2016.

Avoid Using Stock Art

If at all possible, use original art. If you must use stock art, make sure that it isn’t something that is used by dozens of companies. You want a unique, clean look for your logo that stands out and says something about your company. Also, if you decide to use stock art, ALWAYS make sure that you have the rights to use the image.

logo with various stock art with white. non-transparent backgrounds.

Need I say more?

Does Your Logo Work Everywhere?

Will your logo work on Facebook, Instagram and other social media? Does it look good on your website? On your truck? On a shirt, business card or even on a giveaway pen? Facebook uses a circle for their logo display. Will your logo work in this format and still be legible? It may not work for all purposes, or you may need to have an alternate version.

Format, Format, Format

Whatever you do, make sure that you receive the logo not just as an image file like a JPG or PNG, but as a vector image. Vector images can be scaled up and down in size, which make them easy to adapt to any size without losing quality.

Is Your Logo Working For You? We Can Help.

So, Is your logo working for you? If you need assistance during these difficult times, please contact the Wyoming SBDC Network. Our regional directors and counselors are ready to assist you in creating strategies to bring your business through a new and challenging world. Click here to speak with your local advisor to receive no-cost, confidential assistance today.

About the Author: In over 17 years, Mike has built an information resource for Wyoming businesses that is unique in the nation. The Wyoming SBDC Network’s Market Research Center specializes in providing any Wyoming business with access to advanced marketing information that was previously available only to a few of the largest corporations. Mike’s individual expertise also includes marketing, product management, product development, international trade, and exporting.

 

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