Illustrated? Simple? Descriptive? Clever?
Well there are a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself first:
- Who is the intended audience and how can your logo be leveraged to create more income for your company?
- Will it work on merchandise? If so, what kinds of merchandise? – Pens? T-Shirts? Your products?
- Can you make more money from merchandising, or is that not an avenue that fits with your business model?
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Read on if you’re curious how Logo Monster can help your business grow in different ways.
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So, what kind of logo is right for me and my company?
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a logo. Different styles of logo have different possibilities for generating revenue, and driving your business in different directions. Take, for example, the Starbucks logo. This logo is an “illustrated logo”, meaning it depicts a person or thing, or something other than the words in the company name. And importantly it’s also a symmetrical design, so it can work beautifully as a t-shirt design and has a broader visual appeal because of the symmetry. Note: Not all logos need to be symmetrical though. (See the Nike Swoosh and Twitter bird logo marks.
The FedEx logo, which is a “letter-mark logo design” would make a great t-shirt design because it incorporates clever visual tricks with letterforms (it contains an arrow in the negative space between the E and the x). And then there’s the Nike logo, which combines a strong iconic “logo-mark” (the check mark) with a “word-mark” design to create an identity that makes for a wide range of successful applications from t-shirt graphics to advertising and everything in between. Hootsuite, DC Shoes, Adidas and Jaegermeister are all examples of logos that were designed specifically to work for merchandising.
These are some broad examples of logos with merchandising built into their purpose. It’s important for you as a business owner to decide what capabilities you want for your brand identity, starting with your logo.
Of course some logos don’t lend themselves to merchandising at all. Take, for example, the famous original Baskin & Robins logo. This is not a logo that inspires you to wear it on a t-shirt and wear with pride, so they updated it to give it more flexibility and more appeal. Wendy’s is another logo that was not very flexible, so it was redesigned, making it simpler and more iconic.
Sometimes typography is enough. That is to say, sometimes a brand can be defined solely by the name and a strong corresponding word-mark. Take, for example, band word-marks like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Scorpions, ABBA, The Doors, KISS or AC/DC. None of these bands developed an icon logo like The Rolling Stones tongue or Van Halen with their strong VH letter-mark. Instead, their band name is what needed to be reinforced and repeated, so they opted for a word-mark and added that to visually striking album cover illustrations.
So, you have to come back to what your company is and where you want it to go. This means understanding what audience you wish to attract (your “target audience”), and whether merchandising is part of your investment plan. The examples from the paragraph above are bands, so a huge part of their business model is merchandising and a budget for hiring illustrators and artists to promote their music through association with their word-mark.
If your company is largely corporate, then consider going with an attractive word-mark like Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Cadbury or L’Oréal.
You can also consider logos/letter-marks like Hewlett-Packard, General Electric, ABC or IBM are the way to go. Keep in mind, you can still have both, as is the case with Nike or nvidia. It all depend on how much money you have to teach the public the association between your logo and your name. In general, educating the public, globally in this regard, takes hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve a strong “brand identity” where the logo-mark is widely identified on its own (without the word-mark attached), the same way the Nike swoosh is. That said, sometimes a company name lends itself to having a logo-mark that actually is the brand name, like Apple. But this is rare.
Lastly another important consideration is the cost of printing your logo. The best example of this is actually Apple where it was changed from a rainbow to either a sold white logo or a solid black logo. As a rainbow of colours this logo was expensive to print and very complicated for the companies (internal and outsourced) to print, and when they got a printed colour wrong, that product or merchandise was garbage, and that mistake cost somebody a bunch of money.
So, whenever possible, keep it simple. Limit your logo to one or two colours, and use the Pantone Color Matching System to pick a colour that screen printers and sign companies etc can all apply with perfect consistency industry-wide.
I hope this article helps you with your business and that you choose Logo Monster to assist you in your financial success.