People are going to judge your business by its look, so your logo, Web site and store design should be dressed to impress, says David Slavin, director of Design for Marketing (www.design4marketing.com), an Internet, graphic design and marketing firm in Los Angeles.
"You need to have a strategy so you know your logo, colors and overall image will translate well across all platforms [for a long time]," Slavin says.
Colors send messages, so use color to define your business as conservative or cutting-edge. Slavin urges business owners to pay attention to how they apply the look. Can it be animated for use on a Web site and in electronic promotions? Can it be carried from print ads to fax cover sheets?
Slavin cautions against common pitfalls:
Overdesigning: Clean logos and graphics are likely to be more memorable.
Underutilizing: Put your logo and colors on everything. "Continually reinforce your brand message," says Slavin.
Being inconsistent: Be sure that if all your collateral materials are lined up, they'll look like they're from the same company.
Doing it yourself: Let a professional develop your logo, brochure and Web site to ensure a long shelf life and a broad reach.
Gwen Moran is president of Moran Marketing Associates and founder of BoostYourBiz.com, a marketing information resource for small businesses. E-mail her at email@example.com..
- Design for Marketing, (310) 444-3700, firstname.lastname@example.org