This blog post originated from LMG CEO, Kelly Edwards’ book Mistakes Advisors Make. Kelly is passionate about teaching business owners how to navigate complicated decisions in today’s marketing world.
No one is more aware than us that there is much to consider when it comes to marketing. Defining and reaching your target market. Website. Social media. Print marketing. The decisions seem endless, but they are important. One of these important steps is having your logo designed. It is your brand, your identity, and once you choose it, that should be it. It is a “one and done” item. You cannot change your logo, at least not significantly, very often, so you must get it right on the first try. Logos are one of the items we recommend you have done professionally and are willing to spend some money on.
On the very low end, you could probably find professionals to create your logo in the $200-$300 range. However, most of them are going to be in the $1,000 range, but that’s a small price to pay for something that is going to live with you for your entire career, your entire business, and possibly generations after you. When people try to do their logos on their own they typically use clip art, which they pair with the name of their business, and it looks like clip art, meaning it looks cartoonish and unoriginal.
Be careful when choosing someone to design your logo. We have had clients come in our office with what was supposed to be a custom logo, but the image looked familiar. After conducting a reverse image search, we found out it was just clip art! It was clip art that anybody could buy for five bucks, and they sold it to this guy as a custom logo. Number one, that is just ripping people off. Number two, you are running the risk of your logo being the same as other people, and that is not custom. That’s not good branding at all. If Coca-Cola’s logo, which is Coca-Cola written in a special font, was used for other products it would dilute how powerful that brand is, and you do not want to do that. The good news is that my client could get his money back, but not all people are as lucky.
The other problem with DIY logos is that you do not have a professional to guide you. Here is a piece of advice that the average person probably does not know about logos, and it is something that a professional would guide you on: logos in this day and age need to be flexible, meaning it needs to be adaptable for different types of media. For example, let’s say your logo is a rectangle, which is acceptable, but your log needs to have a component that could be changed into a square. The reason for this is social media profiles. Social media profiles, almost without exception, require a profile photo that is oriented like a square or a circle, where everything is even on all sides. If you have a rectangular logo that is wider than it is tall, our only choice is to shrink it down, and then have a bunch of dead space above and below the logo. I’m sure you have seen logos like this, you may even have a logo like this.
What we recommend is having a logo that you can break a piece off of, and use it in that orientation. For example, maybe your logo has an hourglass, and then off to the right of it is your company name. In situations where you just need a square or circle, you would just use the hourglass component as part of your brand. We would strategically design that part of your logo to be a perfect square, or work in a perfect square, so things are even on all sides.
A professional is going to be able to guide you in those areas, and with color choices. They are going to make sure your colors balance each other, and that they are not going to give off the wrong vibe. They have access to tools and fonts that you do not have. When it is professionally done, you are going to end up with a much better product in the long run.
If you create your own logo, with software such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Paint, and you decide to put it on a building, billboard, or magazine ad, it is not going to be in the correct format. They’re going to want your original artwork, or what they will call your vector artwork, and you don’t have it. Vector is not a version. It’s not something that you can create without advanced graphic design software, and so it is not going to be scalable.
At some point in the future, you’re going to end up having to pay somebody to redo the logo, so you may as well just invest in it from the beginning, and let a professional do your logo from day one. We inherit a decent amount of these types of logo situations, and we get to the point where we do not have the right resolution logo to do the job we have been hired to do. It doesn’t exist because they created the logo themselves, so they end up having to pay us to recreate it anyway. That is why it is best to do it the right way from the start.