Designing a Professional Logo, Part 2

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

You know it's Coca Cola because that red and white logo has been embedded into your consciousness since childhood. The big golden M? You've got it, McDonalds. The logo is a vital part of your brand's identity and it needn't cost a fortune to create a good one. This is part two of a two part article.

Brand recognition is vital for any business that wants to stay in the forefront of consumers' minds and the company logo is perhaps the single most powerful aspect of a company's image.

But designing a good one can be costly if you seek the services of a professional graphics company so that's usually out of the question in terms of budgeting for start up businesses. However, with today's graphics programs logo design is something even the fledgling business person can undertake with great results. These tips will help first timers create a big impact logo that stays within a small budget.

The emotional impact of color

Here we are almost heading into the realm of color therapy, but fear not, this isn't a self-improvement workshop and there won't be group hugs but... and this really is a big but, colors all evoke a different emotion. While each person will react in their own specific way to certain colors there are general views on what colors mean and it really is worth bearing these in mind when you are designing your logo. For example, it'd be quite a departure from the norm to have a psychedelic theme going if you run a funeral parlor. The accepted image for such businesses would be one which is considered much more somber.

Grayscale and black on white

A monochrome logo can work really well depending on your line of business. So if you opt for black and white you've kept things simple. But, even if you opt for a color logo you need to consider how this would look converted to a monochrome image. On certain business documentation where you don't use full color printing process this is how your color logo will appear. Invoices may be a case in point as not everyone prints these in color.

Scaling your logo to size

This is a really important aspect. When you design your logo it will be of certain dimensions, but it needs to scalable in order to convert to a variety of sizes. For example, it will be small on your business card, large on the side of your company's van. Same logo, different purposes. Design the logo in Photoshop or using a similar program and makes sure you design it as a vector image. Vectors are scalable so images can be enlarged or made smaller without any blurring or loss of definition occurring.

Just because it worked for Coca Cola doesn't mean it will work for you

Don't try to make your logo one that is as near as damn-it a rendition of a really well known one. First off the existing company won't appreciate it. If you aim to replicate the company's success, pilfering their logo style won't help. It will only make you look a like a poor cousin and may give the impression that your product is one that is inferior to the famous brand. At best a derivative logo, or a copycat version, will look like a pastiche, at the worst it could land you in court on a plagiarism charge.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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