Before you start creating a business card or picking colors for your letterhead, you need a logo. Highlighting your company name, adorned with a little color and perhaps a few graphic touches here and there, your logo is the most critical design element because it is the basis for all your other materials: stationery, brochures, packaging, promotional materials and signage.
Your logo should reflect the overall image you want your company to convey, through the use of colors and graphics. It should also give people a sense of what your company is all about, and leave a lasting impression.
For example, say your product is an organic body cream you will be marketing to health-conscious consumers. Your logo should depict your product’s best benefits—being all natural and environmentally friendly. Creating a simple, direct logo using earth tones and a plain typeface will give the impression of a product that is “back to basics,” which is exactly what you want to accomplish. Take that same product and give it a sleek, high-tech look with bright neon colors, however, and people won’t associate your logo with the down-to-earth product you’re selling.
Logos come in two basic forms: abstract symbols (like the “swoosh” in Nike.) or logotypes, a stylized rendition of your company’s name, like Coca-Cola. You can also use a combination of both. Use your best judgment for what works best for your company and choose a design that will be remembered.
Even if you have a good eye for color and a sense of what you want your logo to look like, you should still consult a professional designer. Why? They know whether or not a logo design will transfer easily into that can’t be transferred or would cost too much to be printed. Your logo is the foundation for all your promotional materials, so this is one area where spending a little more now really pays off later.