A few things to know before you create a logo
A logo is used as a branding tool so clients who are picture and image thinkers recognize your brand on advertising and marketing across many platforms from social media to billboards and print. Your logo should generally reflect on the business you do. There are exceptions to this, but most small businesses have a product or service that CAN be illustrated in some way. Your logo (generally) should be a mixture of illustration with text that loosely explains the concept of what you do, or service you offer. Take a quick look at our two logos. Sew Shore's logo is text threading a needle to signify our embroidery and alterations services, while United Uniforms places a shirt in our "U" icon.
Now, your logo should look GREAT in black and white. It will usually appear on your paperwork this way, especially if you are a new small business and just upload the .eps or .jpg into templates so it prints at the top of every page.
Here are a few run-through exercises when designing a logo:
• Do a brainstorming with friends and family to get their ideas down on paper. Then, do another brainstorming with the graphic designer to hash out potential concepts.
• Have the designer submit several sketch ideas, in black and white. It's just rough pencil, or digital layouts with different fonts, concepts, or shapes. This will be your first and maybe second round of revisions.
• Finalize the black and white file. Your logo should ALWAYS be in vector format, preferably EPS. No weird photoshop files, or anything else. It needs to be a true VECTOR .eps file. A .jpg embedded into an .eps file does not make it vector. Do it right the first time and save yourself from expensive redrawing fees and time wasted.
• Do a color exploration. What green, red, blue, yellow, etc should you use? CMYK pure colors look better than halftone, but sometimes you need that off-green for money or something peach for fruit. There are experts on color theory who have masters in color design. Be cognizant of the colors you pick and why. Reds are passionate, blues are cool and relaxed. Greens are BOTH fresh AND toxic. Browns are both NATURE and toxic. Greens, especially neon, are great on backlit stuff like computers, but don't print that way on paper. Neons are much less used colors than others because of this.
• Avoid gradients, shadows, and thin outlines. They won't always translate properly with all applications such as screen printing and embroidery.
• Take a look at the sizing of your logo in various formats. I usually do this step after the B&W logo is first developed. When you shrink your logo down to a 1/2" x 1/2" box, do you lose ability to read all the lettering? Can you still see the logo to get it? If it was that size on a website, will people still read it? Often, logos have 'branding standards' that accompany the logo. These standards allow for variations of the logo. For instance, maybe at the 1/2" size, the text underneath is removed, and written larger on the right. Maybe in a vertical design, the logo changes again with text in a different configuration. Also, your branding standards show how NOT have 'common page text' within a specific distance of said logo. In other words, you want white space to appear around the logo on all marketing and website materials. You don't want text jammed up against the logo.
• Do a 'mobile phone' text. What does the logo look like all tiny on a phone? What does is look like in your social media apps? Does it hurt the brand? Can you read the text in the logo and get it?
Also, I encourage you to find someone local vs international. Find someone who is an artist, most would be happy to show you their portfolio of work. Whether you spend $100 or $5,000 on a logo, it won't bring you sales. Having a great business will. Be wary of deals that are too good to be true and expect to get what you pay for. Many vector conversion outlets or amateur graphic "designers" simply live trace images and compromise quality and detail when doing so. You'lll want to have faith knowing your logo will look just as good on a billboard as it does on a stamp. When you have a poorly designed logo, some people may doubt your professionalism and abilities because of the quality of your marketing materials. Not all, but some. It won't help but, it could hurt you. Spending 100k doesn't equate a better solution. Finding a better artist, regardless of the price, equates a better solution.