As an entrepreneur, chances are you have a new logo you just had created for your company or product, or you have an existing logo that you have been using for some time now. Either way, your logo is your identity. It represents who you are, what you do and what you bring to the consumer market you are in.
Making sure that you are making the most of your logo is key to helping you establish your brand and conveying professionalism, reliability, and quality. What follows are a few guidelines and tips to make sure you do just that when it comes to using your logo.
Don’t Crowd It Out
People that are not very knowledgable about basic principles of design will generally insert their logo into an area but disregards the space around the logo. Whether it is a spot at the top of their invoice form, letterhead/business card, or whether it is in the header area of their website, many clients make the mistake of not allowing enough “negative space” around their logo. Negative space is a valuable design principle that refers to the empty space around an element (text, picture or logo). When viewing a page, the human eye likes to have empty space to allow the eye to travel and rest as it spans the overall space. Not enough space creates visual tension to the viewer. A crude, but perfect, example of this is if a logo on a white background with no negative space is placed on a webpage with a black background. The end result is a feeling of constraint and overcrowding, and doesn’t help showcase the logo. Allowing plenty of space around your logo in relation to other elements is foundational to making sure it is taking center stage.
Maintain Your Logo’s Visual Integrity
Another very common oversight in using a logo is when it is being inserted into a document, flier, website, or other marketing collateral and the logo is forced to fit into a visual space that doesn’t properly accommodate its proportions. When this happens, the common solution is to either stretch the logo or compress the logo so that it fits. A lot of time and thought (hopefully) went into your logo’s design with attention to the specific typeface and letterforms of the logo as well as the shapes, spaces, and the overall visual esthetic of it. To help maintain the integrity for which your logo was designed, it should be displayed in the exact proportions that it was created. It should not be adjusted to fit any given space. If anything, the space should be adjusted to accommodate your logo’s proper proportions or the size of your logo should be adjusted to maintain those proportions. Failing to do so reveals a less than professional approach to design that can be carried over to a prospective customer’s overall (negative) impression with your branding. If you don’t care about your logo, how much do you care about your service, or the quality of your product?
Your Logo’s Font is Off-Limits
A common error by many client’s after they have had a logo designed is to want to use the logo’s font/typeface everywhere – for headlines, for the body copy in a flier, for the address on their business card. The error of this is that in the end, it is their font (not their logo) that becomes their main identity. The problem with this is that the same typeface can be used by other company’s out there and therefore doesn’t become uniquely identified with YOU. The other reason this practice should be avoided is that it removes the uniqueness of your logo. Your logo and visual identity become mediocre and visually lost among the rest of the page. It takes your logo from being unique and identifiable and waters it down to something that is mundane and average on the page. Unless your logo is among a showcase of sponsors alongside other logos, it will showcased on your marketing collateral with your messaging. Making sure its uniqueness is maintained is easily accomplished by finding one or two fonts that compliment your logo, but don’t repeat it verbatim.
In the end, your logo is the ideal visual representation of who you are as a company. It needs to convey quality, establish trust, and help you stand out from your market peers. Once you have it, it is important that you display it properly.
If you are just starting out and don’t have a logo designed, hire a professional to do it. Some people make the mistake of designing their own logo or using a family member to do so, simply because they have a piece of software available to do so. Anyone can buy a set of dental tools, but that doesn’t mean you want just anyone to give you a root canal. Hire a professional who has the talent, knowledge and experience to set you off on the right foot.
– Written by Scott Saunders
Owner and Creative of Design 7 Studio