The 5-Minute Logo

Whether you’re just getting started, or completely rebranding your business, your logo tends to be the very first thing you start with. It’s the symbol of you, of your company, and will (hopefully) be a positive reminder to your customers for years to come. Sounds great, right?

We all know about the iconic brands like NikeStarbucks, and FedEx, but what makes them so successful? How can you make sure that your brand is setting you up for success just as these have for these companies?

  1. It Has To Be Well-Researched

Before you start sketching and before one pixel hits a computer screen, you’ve got to do some research. Research of your own company and research of your competitors. You’ve got to get to the crux of what your offering is, how you engage with your customers, and how your customers feel about you. Do some market research to see if the two line up. McDonalds really got this part right. When they started, they were a brand that prided themselves on a cheap meal delivered fast. Over time, their market and market demand has changed. With a more health conscious audience and the emergence of such companies like Starbucks, McDonalds noticed that their audience behaviors and expectations were changing, so they adapted.

When brainstorming your brand, listen to your gut. You know who you are. You know what you do better than anyone else. You know if your customers raving about you to all of their friends. Be honest with yourself, and honest with your place in the market, and always, always, always listen to your customer’s needs.

2. Simple Is Usually Better

Ask any designer and they’ll tell you that designing a clean, simple, clear-focused logo is much more difficult that designing one with lots of moving pieces. Take for example the final logo for the note-taking and organization platform, Evernote. The final product seems simple enough, right? It’s just an elephant with a folded ear. Easy peasy. How could that have possibly taken more than 5 minutes? What most people don’t realize, is the scrutiny involved to get to the epicenter of your brand.

The starting process behind the Evernote brand

Revisions, after revisions, after revisions

It took a total of 6 weeks and several rounds of revisions before reaching the final product.

3. Details, Details

Think about all of the potential applications of your brand. You’ll certainly want it on business cards and company stationary, but what about billboards? Can it translate from a billboard to a postage stamp and not lose any of it’s magic? You don’t have to pour the entire life story of your business into your logo. Your logo is designed to be the bedrock upon which everything else grows. Just like you saw above with Evernote, you’ve got to make sure to give your new logo the vetting time it needs. Do you know what roles color can play in how your brand is perceived?

Did you know that the green color in brands like Whole Foods and Starbucks are meant to give you a feeling of growth, health, and calmness? Or that the red of Coca-Cola and Target is meant to feel youthful, bold, and exciting?

These are all pieces of a whole that will become clearer once you’ve done item #1 on this list. The more you know about your business, how your business is perceived, and your competition, the easier this process will be.

Five minutes to create a grey elephant silhouette with green company lettering? Hardly.

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