When you start a new business, one of the most exciting and fun aspects is working with a graphic designer to come up with ideas for your company’s visual identity.

Having a professional brand identity, created and designed by an experienced graphic designer will add value and credibility to your brand.

Be honest with yourself, if you needed work done on your property, who would you trust the most? A builder with a ‘dodge-it and bodge-it’ logo that’s obviously been knocked up in WordArt, or the one who has invested in a bespoke design that exudes professionalism and attention to detail?

You will need a range of visual marketing communications including at least one and probably more of the following:

  • company logo
  • stationery
  • business cards
  • brochures
  • exhibition stands
  • vehicle signage
  • merchandise
  • packaging
  • outdoor advertising
  • website visuals
  • social media images

As a professional graphic design service, we have turned our clients’ visual brand ideas into all of these and more – take a look through our portfolio.

Some of our clients have a very clear idea of what they want when we take a brief from them, some don’t. If you’re just starting your business and need some advice on creating branding that is going to win business, or perhaps you feel your brand needs a bit of a refresh, this series of short blogs about what makes great business brand design is a good starting point.

Let’s start with our top three tips for great logo design.

  1. Start with your brand vision

Your logo is everything your brand stands for concentrated into a collection of shapes, colours, fonts, keywords and phrases.

Brand equity guru David Aaker argues that brand vision (he used to call this brand identity) is the “cornerstone of brand strategy and brand building”.

Basically your brand vision is the foundation on which all your brand elements are built, including your company logo. Lose sight of your core brand values and your logo won’t work. This was a lesson that clothing retailer Gap learned the hard way. The original Gap logo communicated classic, cool and effortless chic. In a much publicised logo overhaul they unveiled a new visual identity that incensed their brand’s customers, who could no longer identify with a logo they felt cheapened the brand and them by association. The new logo was pulled within the week and the original reinstated.

That’s why we spend time asking all our new clients lots of questions about the vision they have for their business when we first meet.

  1. Keep it simple

It’s important that your logo communicates everything your company stands for in an instant. Therefore we always advise our clients to keep it as simple and clean as possible. Try to stick to 2 colours (maximum 3) otherwise it starts to look too fussy.

Think of some of the world’s most instantly recognised logos and how simple they are in their form and design: Apple, McDonalds, Nike. Simplicity in logo design certainly didn’t harm their commercial success. 

  1. Test it out on your target market

We always make sure our clients have a selection of logo designs to choose from (usually a minimum of 3). Before committing themselves to one design, we advise our clients to test them out on their target market.

Whilst it’s important to have a company logo you can live with for many years to come, it’s just as important to make sure it’s going to resonate with your potential customers and attract their attention (and custom) for all the right reasons. Take a look at this rather amusing post about logo failures that we came across to see why this is crucial.

Next time we’ll share with you the most important thing you will ever need to know about effective brand design and communication.