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  • Julie Boake

Designing a logo > building a brand

Starting a business can feel exciting and overwhelming, but there are many fun things to look forward to, and a logo is one of them.


First, let's define the logo, it's really the visual representation of the business, the face, but not the personality- that's more the brand which should be built in conjunction with the logo but it is its own entity. Wix published an article about the types of logos here, so I won't regurgitate the information since most clients want a good logo, without worrying about what type it is. I most commonly get asked for a combo so that clients can use just the symbol or the wording as they choose.


Generally, when I start working with a client I will ask them to complete a worksheet, this will help me get to see their preferences and weave some of their ideas into what might work based on their preferences.


To help you prepare, here are some things to think about:
  1. What brands do you like? Both within your industry or outside of your industry

  2. Who is your target audience, who is your most likely customer and whos the ideal customer?

  3. What logos do you like, and which do you hate?

  4. Think of your favourite colours, typefaces (fonts) and how you will use the logo.

While those are some things to consider and think about, while working together I will help you by providing ideas and design concepts and your feedback is valuable.


When you receive your drafts, review them, look at them, ponder them and make notes about what you like, what you don't or any revisions you would like to see.



What not to do:
  1. Metals are objects, not colours, ie: silver is greys and golds are yellows, we cannot print a metal, we can mimic it in a blend of colours but we cannot print it without using foil. Metal is also pricy when you get into foil and metallic thread, specialty paper and vinyl.

  2. Gradients are fabulous, there are reasons why businesses are getting rid of the gradients in their logos, the cost and complexity. Consistency is so key in building a brand and gradients are fluid and change, they are difficult to replicate all the time across various mediums, and can be a challenge in the physical. With embroidery, they need to use many different threads to get the gradient, in vinyl it's impossible, and with paint, it can be tricky...

  3. Complexity is a killer of logos. We live in a fast pasted scroll world and our brains cannot process information fast enough, so the more simple and clean the logo, the more likely it will be remembered,

  4. Involve the world. Sometimes clients get overwhelmed by opinions and don't listen to their gut. This can be hard, but not everyone needs to make decisions in your business, you know, and if you are not sure about the logo, go back to your designer. There was a lot of thought put in, and perhaps there's a couple of key things that can make it better.


Tips:

  1. Look at the portfolio of the designer you are working with, do you like their work? Each designer has their own style so if you like a style, make sure your designer can do it.

  2. Get clear, using clear descriptions helps quite a bit, words like 'feminine' can be hard to distinguish, but something like soft edges may be more clear.

  3. Start the process when you have time to be engaged. While we are all focused on the design and process it's easier to complete it while it's fresh than trying to come back to it weeks later.

  4. Get all your files. Ask for your .ai, .eps, .jpg, .png files, these are assets! Then save them somewhere safe.

  5. Ask for your guide, what the colours are, the fonts, and the rules. Even if you do not complete a full brand guide starts with the basic info.


What about building a brand though?

Branding is giving personality and creating an image, communication and tone. The branding lends to what the business believes in, the why, and where it stands which is demonstrated through the visuals, the choice of placement, activities and connections. Once you have your logo started, we can start thinking about the brand.


I hope this gives you a basis to start thinking about your logo design.

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