Alright, so you’ve started a company. Now that you have a GST number, a company name, and all the other fun paperwork that comes with it, its time to look at getting a logo created.
First things first, call the pros
Listen. I know what you may be thinking. This can’t be that hard: I’ll just grab this picture from Google or buy this icon from GettyImages, slap the name beside it, and we’re good to go! (Please stop before you break my designer heart even more.) And yes, all of those things seem pretty simple now but they can become very expensive fixes later.
Sure, that Google image may look cool but what happens down the road when you’re a large company and the owner of that graphic comes out of the blue and says, “Hey, here’s a lawsuit for stealing my photo and using it in your logo.” Or, when another company in town purchases the same stock graphic you did and now your logos are exactly the same. Now you have to get a new logo, new signage for your location and re-decal all your trucks. See? Not so simple.
Sometimes, it’s just best to start with the pros.
Now, before you get started, here’s what your designer wants you to know.
Your logo is very important to the company and your brand but it DOES NOT need to include every single aspect of your company and here’s why.
1. It will always be used with other information
Your logo appears very few places without additional information and, therefore, context. Any advertising or billboards will have images, taglines, phone numbers, and/or URLs which will either add information or point somewhere with more information. Promotional items and printed stationery will have URLs or contact information, vehicles will — and should — have the URL, or at least a phone number where people can get information.
A great example is FedEx. This logo doesn’t include a van, a semi, and a plane to show all the different ways they ship packages. No. Instead, they know that the FedEx logo will be used on those different types of vehicles and will have extra information like freight, ground, or express to show the different types of services they are providing.
And, if you google FedEx, you will see that their logo is on a website that explains all of their services and what they offer customers.
If you don’t know what FedEx is — where have you been? — it is pretty clear once you see the website what it is they do.
2. Your business can change and grow
Say, for example, you are a residential electrician. You want your logo to include a house and a lightning bolt – for obvious reasons.
That’s fine, but what happens if, one day, your company grows to include industrial work? What if you start to work in oil and gas? Then, the logo with the residential home doesn’t make sense to a company looking to hire someone for a large industrial project.
The logo could, in fact, hinder you as it screams residential at first glance. Potential clients looking for other electrical work might just move on to the next company.
“Okay, so I’ll just change the logo.” Let’s consider that for a second. Changing a logo involves a lot of expenses: the cost to get the logo redone, printing new business cards, updating your website, etc.
At this point, you have a large company! Are you now going replace the decals on all 12 work trucks, get new location signage and print everyone new business cards? Sounds expensive. Keep that in mind when coming up with ideas and wants for your logo.
3. Messy logos make messy businesses
Okay, that’s an unfair statement, so let’s unpack that. There are plenty of logos that can be strategically messy and still good businesses. What I’m really referring to is crowded, cluttered logos.
Logos do not need to have pieces of everything your business does and they should look clean and professional even if they have more cartoony or “messy” attributes.
For example, if you are a plumber and your services happen to include plumbing, heating, and gas-fitting, we don’t need to include a pipe wrench, a hot water tank, a furnace, a flame, a sewage camera, a garage heater and a boiler in the logo. (Naturally, that’s a bit excessive for my argument, but you see my point).
If we did add all of those tools and equipment into a logo, it would be nearly illegible from a distance. At smaller sizes, it would more than likely look sloppy and maybe even give a bad impression of the company. (Not a trade where you want to look messy might I add.)
In this case, we should stick with a simpler logo and then use all those items as icons on promotional items or in pictures on the website. That way we still display the services your company offers but we don’t try to squish them onto the logo.
4. We still want your ideas
If you’re getting the impression that I now want you to come to us and say, “okay, just give me a logo,” with no other context, that’s not my intention – though that is an option if you want it.
Designers are passionate about what they do, and I’m no exception. But during the design process, we still want your ideas. In fact, we take pride in being able to bring your ideas to life. And, often the most powerful, striking logos come from suggestions made by you, the client.
Do you have any special symbolism you want to include in the logo? Tell us! What is the meaning behind the name? Let us know. Do you want the logo to be orange because that’s your favourite colour? Give us that tidbit, too. Just remember those paragraphs above when looking at other logos or thinking of ideas.
At the end of the project, we want to send your business off into the world with a beautiful logo that you are happy with and that will benefit your company in the long run. So give us a call, and let’s get started on your new logo.