Why do you need a business logo? Should you design it yourself, or use an agency? How can you avoid copyright violation? Here we look at the importance of a business logo and how to design one. We also explain what to expect from a professional service, and how to stay within the law.
It may not be important to you personally to have your own business logo, but a great logo can often put out a powerful image for your business. The right image is vital and your logo should be memorable, inspire customer confidence and represent the business in one neat professional package.
With a little creative talent and a computer you can design your own logo cheaply. Look at existing logos for inspiration. You can combine ideas from a variety of logos to create your own. As long as you don’t copy exactly from other logos you are in no danger of copyright violation. Remember, it is illegal to reproduce other people’s logos. Short on ideas? Look at sites offering free images and designs. For instance, for photographs look at www.freeimages.co.uk, for graphics, animations and fonts try www.screamdesign.com. Another useful site for fonts is www.fontdiner.com.
Don’t even think of using clipart.
When designing the logo, consider how much you will use it and the expenses of printing it yourself. How distinctive can you make it and how much detail is appropriate? Will it be easily seen at different sizes? What colours/shapes will you use to catch the customer’s eye without making it too complicated? Consider where the logo will be used, for instance on letterheads packaging etc. Basically, as we say here at Duport: keep it simple – do it well.
Don’t rush into print, even if you are happy with the design. It is vital to find out if the logo will work and make a good impression. Ask people (friends, family, business colleagues) what they think of the design and if it relates to what you are trying to sell/offer etc. If necessary tweak the design. Or scrap it and start again! Consider who will print the logo. Unless you have a high quality printer and only need a short print run it is worth using an outside source.
There are a few additional considerations if you want to create a website logo. If you intend to use the logo both on screen and on paper, it is better to design the idea on computer first (it may be difficult to reproduce on screen if it is too detailed and you need to be aware of file size). Limit the logo to a small file size of under 10kb. The bigger the file, the slower the page will download.
Generally, it is not good practice to animate a logo, but if you must, then position it away from other animation to avoid distraction. Strictly limit the use of different colours to further minimize file size. Use ‘web safe’ colours (don’t mix) so they will be supported by all browsers. This ensures everyone will see the logo as it should be seen.
If all this sounds daunting, you can always call in the professionals. Either use a local firm (get a recommendation) or look on the web. Logo design can cost little more than £100, but be cautious. Look for fixed fees and unlimited revisions on designs. Costs will be higher (nearer £200), but it ensures the end product is right. With a good company there should be four different stages for you to go through. Initially, place the order. Give as much information as possible and state the requirements for the logo. Within 2-3 days you can have a set of half a dozen designs based on the initial brief. The third stage is to decide what you do and don’t like, have the plans revised and new ones drawn up. A good design company will make amendments within 48 hours. Typically, within 2-4 revisions you will have the perfect logo. Once the final confirmations are made a CD ROM in a variety of industrial formats will be posted out. Of course you could extend the package to allow the design company to print and produce the logo along with stationery, business cards etc. Choose a broad company (clients ranging from sole traders to major corporate, and a variety of recent work for inspection) which promises to adhere to strict deadlines.
Whichever options you decide on remember that the right company image is vital if your business is to develop and reach its full potential. Take time to get the logo right, because you will probably have to live with it for a very long time.