« Back to Blog July 20, 2015 | Branding | Logo Design

How to get a logo that works for your business

“I need a new logo.”

This is a very common request designers get. A totally fair request for any business owner to make. But before any responsible designer gets to work designing a new logo, there is one essential question that must be asked.

“Why do you need a new logo?”

Maybe you are a brand new company and need a logo as a public face to your organization. Maybe you are rebranding, which means your current logo doesn’t match up with your company’s current goals and values.

In either situation it’s incredibly important to figure these things out before you even start to think about logo concepts or business card mockups.

Anyone can get a generic logo, slap it on a business card, and get to work. Your company’s greatest chance for meaningful and lasting success comes when you establish your brand, your identity, and then determine the appropriate pieces.

What is a brand?

Your brand reflects your values. It’s what you represent.

It’s how you react when a customer has a problem. It’s how you treat every person that interacts with your company. It’s the tone of your messaging, whether that be laid-back, serious, or just plain weird.

Your “goals and values” get thrown around a lot when designers and marketers start talking about brands, but what does that really mean?

Say you’re a brewery who strives to make the most unique and interesting varieties of beers possible. Your core values would be things like always experimenting on new styles, setting the highest standards possible for your ingredients, and valuing the creativity of your process.

Your values are what drive your business forward. They are why you do what you do. These should be things you would never compromise on.

Your company’s goals would be things like bringing your product to larger markets, or to expand your brewing operation to generate a higher volume of product. Goals are the ever changing things that you strive for. When you reach one goal, you find another. When your goals change, your brand changes with it.

Deciding on your company’s mission is the first step in focusing your brand into something that can be designed for effectively.

What is an identity?

So you have a brand. Now what?

An identity (commonly referred to as a brand identity) is how you want your brand to be perceived by your potential customers. It is how customers view your company and how you choose to interact with them.

This is your plan of attack for your brand.

An identity addresses questions like, what do you want to say? Who do you want to say that to? Where will these people hear it? When will they hear it? Why should they hear it in the first place?

Your brand identity uses the answers to these questions as a guide for every aspect of your company that is seen by the public or used internally.

Your identity is the sum of all the things your company uses to market itself. This includes your logo, website, business cards, packaging, social media presence, and anything else that a customer will interact with.

Consistency is key. Having a solid brand identity means that most of the guesswork is taken out of designing for your brand. Something either fits in with your brand identity, or it doesn’t.

Pretty straight forward.

So, can I have a logo now?

Yes!

In the same way a land survey and an architect’s plans are needed before you can build a house, having established brand goals and a focused brand identity is needed to design a logo.

A logo is arguably the most important aspect of any brand identity. It’s a symbol that will come to be an identifier for your company. People will see your logo, and immediately have a reaction to it. Good, bad, or otherwise.

A logo is one small piece of an incredibly large puzzle. A logo represents the values and goals of your brand and is designed to appeal to your target demographic.

But people don’t interact with logos. They interact with your product, or your employees, or get the benefits of your services. A logo is just a visual reminder of that interaction and your reputation. The most beautiful logo in the world doesn’t mean anything if it comes to represent poor service or quality.

And, we’re back!

It all comes back to your goals and values.

There are plenty of successful companies that don’t have a cohesive brand identity or who have an ugly logo. The reason companies can still succeed even with these deficiencies is because their values mean they provide amazing service to their customers.

But a company that has strong values, provides exceptional service, and is marketed correctly will find the most success.

So write out your company’s goals and values, determine your identity in the marketplace, and work with a professional designer or marketer and see how successful your company can become.

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