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One of the most basic things at the core of any company's branding marketing arsenal is the logo. This singular sprite reminds customers who you are, what you do and how you do it. Unfortunately, many companies are stuck with poor logos either because they attempted to create a logo themselves or because their graphic designer didn't understand the principles of great logo design. To create stunningly effective logos, you need to understand three basic concepts: design, colors and branding.
Here's a brief introduction into logo design, colors and branding you should keep in mind before you sketch your next logo.
The first rule in logo design is one of simplicity. Keep your logo design simple and easy to see at a brief glance and from a distance. Know that the logo must be scalable so that it can be easy on the eyes on a business card or billboard and everything in between. You don't need a lot of fancy colors - two is often enough, and four is the max - or extra graphics, swirls, dots or anything else that might detract from the logo core and make it difficult to see at small sizes. Taglines and other text should not accompany the logo, unless the logo is the name of the company itself; and if this is the case the font should be bold and very easy to read.
Think of some of the most popular companies today. What do their logos look like? Some of today's most successful branded campaigns hinge on logos that are little more than two or three lines or even a single swoosh. Your goal as a designer is to come up with a compelling yet simple design that is easily recognizable and memorable.
As stated, logos should be limited to four colors. In fact, two colors or even one color often look best. When deciding what colors to use, think about the nature of the company and where it is likely to be heading, and apply a color that invokes a complementary emotion. Don't mess around with drop shadows, inner glows or any other effects. Instead, use well-defined solid colors so that your logo looks good in greyscale or black and white as well as color.
Once the logo is approved, it should not be changed - at least, not for a very long time. Branding depends on repetition, and a logo change spoils all the time and hard work spent reinforcing your company through your logo. If you're currently going through a rebranding process, you need to work hard to associate your old logo with the new one so that your customers also make that association, and you'll retain some of the fruits of that effort.
When it comes to logo branding, there's only one thing you need to know: Put your logo on everything, and make sure everyone sees it. Your logo should be on letterhead, tri-fold brochures, business cards, websites, e-mails, envelopes, billboards, advertisements and anywhere else your company is mentioned. Any time you correspond with customers, either directly or indirectly, your logo must be a part of that correspondence.
Successful logo design, coloring and branding depends on following a few simple rules. Pay attention to these tips and you'll be on the right track for crafting outstanding logos that get noticed - and earn you more work.