When we found out my mom was going to have a baby girl, I decided that I would be the one to name my new little sister. My mom went out and bought a book of baby names, and I immediately began to strategize how I was going to choose her identity. My first tactic was to fan through the pages of the book, and then stick my finger through to a random page and see what name my scientific method had selected. Angela. Simple meaning: Angel. If you’ve met my sister, you would understand why this tactic was flawed. #ilovemysister My next strategy, was to pick a bunch of names that I thought were pretty. But the truth is, until I saw her, I could have never picked the right one.
Similarly, naming your company is only one aspect of creating its identity. How that name looks will say a lot about what it means to others. There’s a good chance you’ve seen advertising for cheap logo design: “Create a Logo for $5” or “Logo Design in Seconds”. Logo design is a critical step in branding your company and although these cheap alternatives may sound appealing, you should expect a few key deliverables when creating your company identity:
- A preliminary discussion between the logo designer and the organization where the values, goals and personality of the company are discussed. If the designer doesn’t understand your business, they cannot create your brand identity.
- Multiple, unique logo designs that incorporate different design elements for consideration. Maybe you want an icon that can be used in social media profiles or on promotional items; or maybe you prefer text alone.
- Creative and purposeful use of fonts and color. Your logo defines your company in one single image. Make sure that it’s saying the right thing.
- Rarely, is your first logo design the perfect logo design. You should play with each concept; its layout, its font, and its colors until you feel like you’ve got the perfect combination.
Perhaps a few hundred dollars seems like a lot to spend on one design? Consider this:
Maybe a little extreme—but compare my clipart version with a professionally designed logo:
What are the differences (besides the obvious deficiency in clipart design)?
- Vector design: You will regularly be asked by vendors to provide a “vector file” of your logo. This means they’d like you to send a .ai or .eps Professional designers should provide this to you, but many times the only files you have are jpgs or pdfs. This can be very limiting to how large or how small you can make your logo without distortion (getting fuzzy).
- Transparent backgrounds: You’ve probably seen this multiple times with other companies (or maybe even your own): the use of a logo with a background color that won’t go away—Probably one of the most frustrating things when you’re trying to knock out a quick letter to customers or Power Point presentation! A professional logo designer would provide you with a .png file or transparent vector file to ensure this issue wouldn’t happen.
- Affordable embroidery and print: When designing your logo, you have to consider multiple uses. Maybe you’d like to have it embroidered on polo shirts or printed on coffee mugs and koozies. The use of color, shadows and gradients can significantly impact the cost and appearance of your logo on different applications. Make sure you consider this when logo designs are provided to you.
- Specific fonts and colors provided for future use. A logo is just the start of your branding. You may want to incorporate the same colors and fonts from your logo into future marketing materials. A professional logo designer will provide you with brand colors and fonts, enabling you to create a consistent brand.
So yes, you can absolutely find logos for cheap—or create your own. The value, however, of having standardized colors; multiple file types; and a unique design that you feel truly defines your company is well worth the money. And as for my sister—what did we end up naming her? Megan. It means GREAT.