A good logo is instantly recognizable. Think of a striped apple with a bite out of it; two red bull’s eye concentric circles; or five interlocking colored rings. These logos—for Apple Computers, Target, and the Olympics—are eye-catching but simple designs that pair strong graphics with appropriate color to brand the organizations they represent. Your logo should do the same for your business.
What is a logo?
A logo is a graphic element, symbol, or icon of a trademark or brand (e.g., Target’s bull’s eye). A logotype is text set in a unique typeface or arranged in a particular way (i.e., the text that spells out the word Target). In popular usage, the word logo is used to signify the graphical portion of a business identity (e.g., Target’s two red circles comprising a bull’s eye) and may or may not include the logotype.
Why you need a logo
A logo gives the first impression of a business. It can promote your business (put it on letterhead, signs, ads, etc.); can attract customers (picture those golden arches of McDonald’s during lunch hour); and can give a unique identity (think Coke versus Pepsi). In many ways, a logo is as important as the business name. When your customers see your logo, they will think of your business. So make sure that both your logo and your business are memorable. A logo is an aspect of your company branding and helps distinguish you from your competitors. It works with your colors, tagline (slogan), and marketing campaign.
Elements of a good logo
Since your logo will represent your business and will be seen by many potential customers, it’s important to consider the design carefully. Most importantly, the logo should represent your company appropriately. In other words, don’t choose an orange sun for a bottled water company. Be sure your logo displays basic design principles such as color, form, line, and space. A logo should look good in black and white as well as color and should retain its integrity whether reproduced small or large. A logo that looks good on your company’s letterhead may not necessarily be readable at a smaller size on the web or at a larger size on a billboard.
Put your logo to work
Place your logo on everything you print: letterhead, invoices, business cards, websites, company vehicles, pens, t-shirts, signs, and ads. Who knows, maybe your business will be the next Target or Apple Computers. A strong logo is an important part of your future success.
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