The recognition marker for your business

A logo is the starting point when creating a visual representation of your company – creating a memorable logo is an important part of building your reputation. So it is important that you get it right!

Your logo gets placed everywhere! On stationery, signage, promotional materials and on the web and virtual world.
It is the part of your business’s image that is always consistent. It is your recognition point, the thing people remember, no matter what wording or imagery or styling gets changed or added around it over the years. Our visual memory is much better than our word memory as a rule, that’s why people are often good at remembering faces, but not names.

Creating a logo is more than just random shapes or an image you happen to like; developing a logo is about reflecting what your company stands for. The shapes and colours influence the people who see it and give them subliminal messages about what and who you are.

Most people would be surprised to know that 10-12 hours is usually spent on developing initial concept ideas for a logo. It’s not something that is just thrown together in an hour or two, hence the cost of logo design services.
If you are new to dealing with brand, design, website marketing streams and all the other elements that go together to make a great business, you should be aware that your logo design and company identity should be at the top of that list of ingredients. But if you have never approached a design agency or worked on the creation of marketing materials etc… who do you use, where do you start?

Below are some top tips on logo design and choosing a designer.

1. Explore – do some research – Check out the designer’s portfolio, get a feel for what they do. If you like it, put them on a short list of meetings to arrange.

2. Meet with several designers – If you’re unsure, meet with these people or agencies face to face. Remember, you are looking for a designer in the long term ideally, not just to design your logo but someone who gets you and your business and will work with you as you grow.

3. Build a relationship – Not only are you looking for a logo designer, but you should be looking to build a relationship with your designer. Pick the right one and they will be an essential part of your business, someone who understands what you do, and what you are trying to say.  They will understand what you want your business to look like and how that gets expressed to your audience.

4. Cost –  Always an issue when starting out in business with a small budget, the logo itself and your website are probably the two most expensive marketing investments you’ll make when starting up. Don’t necessarily go for the cheaper option, or ask a friend, or a printer who says they will create a site for you for free if you have your business cards printed with them.

This does not pay in the long term. Businesses who start out with an under-par logo, often find that a year or two down the line, the logo just doesn’t work or look professional or unique enough any more, and they find themselves back at the beginning, requiring a stronger logo.
This then means changing the logo they have, maybe losing some of the recognition they have built up with their audience because of the visual change. They may not understand why, or even realise it is the same business, just with a different logo.

And that’s not to mention the expense and time it takes to go through every profile created, changing the logo across the board, both digitally, (which is time consuming) and on the tangible materials like stationery, leaflets, brochures etc – which all costs more money – so investing in the beginning saves a lot of hassle further on down the line.

5. Wording – In theory you can call your business whatever you like.  For example, we are called Reflect, which is what we do for our client: we aim to reflect your business, services and personality through our design. But without the wording placed underneath our logo saying “Design for Marketing and Print”, no-one would know what we actually do by just seeing our logo alone.  So it’s important that the wording used underneath the name of your company should define the nature of your business.

6. What to expect at the concept stage? – So you have found your designer, what can you expect to receive?

Every agency is different; many seem to provide only two or three initial concepts, whereas we prefer to present six to eight, with the concept also being placed in the situation of a business card and website template to help the client visualise it being used in some of its possible environments.

At Reflect Design for Print, we find that this seems to work the best. It provides our clients with a variety of options to choose from, although in truth we may work through twenty+ rough ideas first, before presenting these select few to our clients. And yes! Twenty would be overwhelming and not easy for the client to make a decision from.

In fact, I’m not sure any designer could create twenty outstanding logos!

Just two or three designs does not provide the client with enough variety or make them feel that they have been given choice!! Often a client feels dictated to.

With six or eight, (and sometimes more if we get overspill or throw in some curve balls!) the client gets to see some of the ideas that have been worked through and understands the creative energy and time spent, giving a sense of exploration and value as well as options.

So if you are new to business, getting it right in the beginning can save a lot of time, money and mis-expression further down the line.

Want to chat about your start-up or ready to put that professional logo in place and develop your company identity? Give us a call on 01702 513131 for a no obligation consultation and get an identity that reflects your business perfectly.