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Not only is it one of the most creative aspects of marketing, but designing your company logo is also one of the most challenging tasks you'll face. A logo has to sum up your business in one concise visual image and leave people with a lasting positive impression. That said, the following are some definitive logo design do's and don'ts:
- DO begin the design process by brainstorming. Sketch out about 12 to 15 ideas, then choose the top three or four. DON'T go out and have thousands of expensive business cards made before you bounce your favorite ideas off family, friends and professional peers.
- DO consider your target market. The feeling your logo conveys should be appropriate to your business. For example, if you're a financial consultant, you might want to create something more conservative and classic rather than copying some shagadelic or Gothic design you saw on a recent CD cover. On the other hand, if yours is a creative type of business, these wilder, more colorful designs are probably appropriate. When in doubt, ask yourself whether your potential customers will be attracted to your favorite font (Vivaldi) and/or color choice (pink).
- DO design your logo so it's easily reproducible in all sizes. This means your logo design should be simple and consist of a graphical icon. DON'T use a photograph, which may be indecipherable if enlarged or reduced significantly.
- DO create a logo that can be reproduced in black and white so it can be easily faxed or photocopied.
- If you use colors in your logo design, DO use them consistently. Decide ahead of time whether your logo is going to be black and white or a certain color, and then stick with the colors you choose.
- Most important, once your logo is in place, DON'T change it. Your logo needs to represent your product or service as it is now and 10 years down the road. You DON'T want to hand out your business cards at a mixer and then come up with something you think is better three months later. No matter how interesting your logo choices have been, inconsistency will definitely tarnish your professional image.
Julia Miller is a Los Angeles business writer specializing in sales and marketing.