Your Company Logo Must Be...
As a business owner, your logo is your fingerprint that you leave on every piece of content you send out into the world.
When was the last time you read a website, business card, infographic, advertisement or brochure that didn’t have a logo on it? Your answer is probably never. You know as a business owner, your logo must go on every marketing deliverable you publish, otherwise you’re not going to get traffic or any ROI from that investment – since no one would be able to identify the creator and promoter of the content.
Your logo is how you identify yourself 24/7.
The beauty with content marketing is once you finish a deliverable it works for you 24/7/365. Once you share it on social media, your content is fair game to be published across the internet giving your business exposure without being limited by time constraints.
As your content is shared more and more, your logo must be a visual that is easy to identify as you consistently share information on social media. As you share more infographics, white papers, case studies, slide decks and other content, the one design element you certainly don't want to be lackluster is your logo! Your identity is what will be seen consistently as you continue to market, and once your logo is published online with content, it will be out of your hands and circling the internet as a medium that represents your business.
Your logo requirements have changed with social media.
Before social media became the primary outlet for marketing, your logo had to meet only the following standards to be published in printed outlets.
- Your logo needed to be readable at various scales – for signage, paperwork and business cards.
- Your logo needed to work in full color and in black and white - especially for newspapers.
- Your logo had to stand out among your direct competitors when advertising in organized publications such as phone books and industry magazines.
Those requirements above are still needed. But now, there's a core requirement to add – your logo must be flexible.
If your logo is not flexible, it’s going to fail to communicate well on social media and on online.
What does flexibility mean? It means your logo must work in multiple color schemes including full color, an alternative color, in solid black and solid white. Your logo also needs to work all together with an icon and text. Plus, it needs to be able to be pulled apart allowing the icon to work independently and the text working independently.
This is because your icon will work as your social media avatar and as your favicon. It can also be used in small design strategies in white papers, documents, apparel and can become the icon that represents your app.
The text part of your logo needs to work independently because it will read well alone if a designer has to crop out your icon, and text-only-logos work well in footers of slide presentations and other documents where you have a linear area to present your logo and company identity.
Together, this flexibility provides you a strong design style to use. In social media backgrounds, white papers, presentations and other marketing deliverables you can pull your logo apart to use throughout pages, connecting your identity consistently to your content. Flexibility allows you to creatively and artfully present your business across marketing mediums, showing your readers you have a memorable identity.
As you see in the logo designs below, each logo works all together, as only an icon, and as only text. In each variation, the logo maintains clarity in the multiple color schemes required.
Your logo icon must stand out in the clutter of social media.
When people are scrolling through social media feeds, you depend on a logo that stands alone as an engaging icon among the chaos. On both mobile and desktops, your icon in a Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn feed is small. You don't have space to illustrate your entire logo, so it's vital that the icon that represents your business is memorable and eye-catching at small scales.
Take a moment and jump over to your favorite social media feed, and review how tiny logos are appearing in the dynamic feeds, and take note of which logos grab your attention among the noise.
Most likely the logos that pop or attract your eyeballs are logos that are bright colors with simple shapes, characters and letters. These logos are simple and easy to read, because they were designed professionally and tested to confirm their readability.
Your logo must read clearly as a favicon.
A favicon will likely be the smallest your logo will be presented at, and it must be readable. Take a moment and look at the LinkedIn logo you see in your web-browser tab above. The logo icon is tiny, but not blurry. It's a pinprick on a eye-chart, but as you noticed, it's crisp, readable and clearly identifiable.
Your logo must blend and stand-out in a grid of other logos.
You’ve seen plenty of business websites where somewhere on the homepage is a grid or row of logos that the business has worked with over the years. This is how businesses can validate their services, by showing they've helped credible clients reach their goals.
This looks simple, but for a designer when you're handed a dozen logos all with various color schemes, sizes, fonts, and shapes, it's a challenge to organize the unique logos in a layout that doesn't gift one logo priority over the others. This becomes more complex when in the collection of logos a handful are designed poorly and don't meet the fundamental requirements of a professional logo design.
In this situation, you want your logo to be an oxymoron. Your identity needs to blend with the other logos so it doesn't affect the design of the website layout, but you always want your logo to stand out to the reader.
As you see in the grid of 9 logos below, the variations of design choices, fonts, colors, weights, shapes and styles creates a design challenge. To aesthetically present these, you can heavily reduce the logo sizes and convert them into a grayscale. To leave them in full color, you have to play around with which logos visually work together to create a clean graphic.
Your logo must be animation friendly.
Videos and animation have been increasing over the years, and they will continue to do so. If you haven't started content marketing with videos and animations, you are going to be forced to in the next couple years. The expectations of viewing videos about new businesses is becoming normal, and not having videos included into your marketing will make you appear as an out-dated operation.
This is simply because videos are easier to consume then reading. They’re far more convenient in our world of non-stop media and people enjoy sharing videos more than other content. Animation is also growing among small businesses, because the software is more affordable, allowing graphic designers to move into motion graphics without investing large sums of money or accruing debt.
Having a logo that is flexible to animation sequences will allow you to have the intro and outro of your videos be branded with your logo. You'll see this below where the clip begins and ends with my logo – while in the middle of the clip you'll see simple ways logos can be animated.
Your logo is an investment in your business.
Yes, you can find bargain freelancer sites and buy a cheap logo for $5. Don't be surprised if shortly after your purchase, you may find yourself in a dispute because the steal of a logo you bought was actually a stolen stock logo with your business name typed over it.
If you are planning on being in business for more than a day, your logo is going to be used on thousands of documents. If you add your logo to every graphic you share on social media, you're in the tens of thousands. The more you use your logo, the more you benefit, and it becomes more and more cost-effective as you continue to use it.
If you're looking to get a logo designed, have it designed professionally the first time. It is better than after years you’re in business. Here's why.
Designing a logo professionally the first time will save you headaches.
When you create content for marketing, whether it’s an infographic, animation, white paper, blog post, video or interactive site, your intention is to get that piece of content shared by as many people in your target audience as possible. You want readers to share your content to advertise on your behalf, and as more and more people share it over time you should start to see a ROI.
But what if during your content marketing endeavors you started changing logos? What if you started with a cheap logo you put together to launch your business, and after a couple years you paid for a mediocre logo, then finally after several years you pay for a professional logo.
Well, all of the content that was shared over the previous years is showing an older identity. Now when you share information, readers will come across content from you with various logos leading to confusion and skepticism for some. Since, your content is already published, you will not be able to go back and swap-out logos, because once content is circling social media, you can't get it back to edit it.
Now here’s an interesting thing I’ve seen. Some customers, enjoy to see a company they support get a new logo. It’s a sign of progress and growth. Overall a new logo strengthens the impression your business is evolving and becoming stronger. Then there’s the other side, where people who don’t welcome change will not see your new logo as growth, but as change that might alter the routine they're use too.
Depending on who your audience is, you can decided. I would suggest the safe route, and simply design your logo professionally the first time so you don't have to fret about updating your identity in the near future. Then you can focus your efforts on developing better and better content, while using your flexible logo in professional and artful ways across your content marketing endeavors.
I can help you design a memorable, flexible logo that will illustrate your business.
If you're starting a new business, or your current business needs a fresh professional logo, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set-up a time this week to discuss your new logo.