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Design your Logo
A well-crafted symbol brings business prosperity

Logos can be described visual icons that provide a unique identification element to a business or product. Logos provide quick visual recognition of a Company which in-turn builds branding. Business owners and overly enthusiastic artist can often go astray in their efforts to design the perfect logo. There are too many examples of logo designs that look uninspired, overtly abstractor seem to be nothing more than whimsical art. Many of these logos are designed without forethought into usage, application or even cost impact upon a business. So how do you create a logo that makes business sense? Consider following a few simple guildlines:

REMEMBER THAT YOUR LOGO IS A BUSINESS TOOL. Your design concept begin with a commitment to portray your business as professional and competent. A logo is not an art piece! Avoid using elements that may give "dated" look such as those 1970's flowers that were on so many Volkswagen Bettle cars. A logo design would take into consideration how, when and where the logo will be used. A logo has a cost impact upon your buisness from the day it is introduced. There is more to designing a logo than simply hiring an artist or onlie art shop to assemble shapes and colours - it is a business decision.

CREATE YOUR LOGO USING VECTOR GRAPHICS SOFTWARE. Simply put, images done in vector graphics can be resized and maintain design integrity. There is no loss in clarity, sharpness or definition and the file size remains constant. A common program for creating vector grahpics is Adobe Illustrator. Software like Photoshop, which works in pixels, is better suite to working with photos and texture style areas. You can create your original image in any software but have it redone in a vector graphics format before you print or reproduce your logo. After all, a logo is all about shape image.

AVOID COMPLICATED AND INTRICATE DESIGNS. A logo that is too intricate hinders rapid visual identification. The viewer is required to "study" the image in order to mentally process the image and relate its identification to a given company. Note the simplicity and high visual impact of the Nike "Swish", an excellent image. Another reason to avoid complicated designs is that they do not reduce well. A busy, intricate logo on the side of a company truck may look wonderful but use on a business card it may become a meaningless blob of ink. Keep it simple and clean.

LIMIT COLOUR SELECTION TO A MAXIMUM OF THREE COLOURS. Ideally use one or two colours but never more that three. There are three main reasons for this guideline. One, your printing costs for printing business cards, letterhead, envelops, labels, etc are increased for every additional colour that your require. Your "cheap" logo design could end up costing you a lot of money. Reason number two, your visual impact or even identification could be diminished or completely lost in some mediums. Consider a logo that has overlaid images of different colours - looks nice, right? What about your when you fax your proposal or letter and your logo is now in a black and white realm? Does the black and white (greyscale) version still provide distinction? An example of lost-in-translation logo is a peacock used to promote colour and via fax it ends up looking like a turkey. A final note on colour selection is to carefully consider cultural and marketplace standards. For example, red may be lesser choice for a medical company due to the negative assocation of red to blood/ danger whereas green might infer safety or a positive status.

CONSISTENCY AND CONTROL IN FRONT USAGE. Do not use over two font styles, as it may be distracting and confusing. Try to use a standard font such as Time New Roman, Arial, etc as it makes commercial reproduction of your image easier. Any font style should be San Serif and typically non-script to improve clarity in small format reproduction. An exception is a logo/ name where the logo is the Script font such as the trade name of a popular soft drink in a uniquely shaped bottle.

CHECK TRADEMARK AND REGISTRATION RIGHTS. While a new logo runs a low statistical chance of violating any trademark or registration rights of any existing logo it is not a bad idea to make some effort to confirm this before your publish your new logo. And after you have settled on a final logo design you should take the effort to register or trademark your own logo. If you need an example of why the consider the yellow pages"Walking Fingers" logo. The design was never trademarked or registered and has no copyrights protection - it could have been, but wasn't - a huge loss of value for the original creators.


Source: SME & Entrepreneurship Magazine (July 2009), Insight Coloumn - Branding, p. 63



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