Hey girl, this post is going to dive into everyone’s favorite part of visual branding: the logo.
Before we get into the logo part of your visual brand, let’s recap. If you haven’t been following me for the last month, we’re discussing building a cohesive visual brand. In order to do that effectively, there are certain elements you need to have in place:
The 5 Key Aspects to Visual Branding are:
Your logo is one of the most important aspects of your visual brand identity. It’s how your target audience will be able to easily identify you and how others will separate you from your competitors. Because this is arguably one of the most important aspects of your visual brand, take careful consideration of the first 3 aspects we’ve previous discussed (color, typography + imagery) when designing your logo or hiring out your logo design.
Your logo is NOT your brand
Your brand is a combination of history, promise, reputation, perception, name, pricing, and it’s positioning. While that isn’t the text book definition, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon sums it up best. “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your logo is part of your brand, but it’s only a visual identifier of your brand. So while having a logo is SUPER important, having amazing service is just as important. Having a new logo, does not automatically mean, you’re going to get clients. So many people focus on their logo and their website, without taking the time to focus on their brand as a whole. When you really focus on who you are as a brand, it makes it really easy to create a brand identity.
Why you need a logo
You don’t need a logo to start a business, but you need a logo to build a brand. This is especially true, if you are building a brand online. The online space is noisy and full of people doing the same thing that you’re doing. One way to stand out is to add some visual identifiers, like a logo, to help you stand out from everyone else.
Think about the last time you visited a website, and it looked really “generic” and didn’t really feel customized or like it had a personality. Did you trust the business? Were you hesitant about typing in your credit card numbers to purchase anything? Having a cohesive brand identity in place, would’ve probably made it feel more trustworthy. Now, I am not saying that just because a business has a visual brand identity, that they aren’t crooks, but you get a better overall impression of a business that has one, than one that does not.
What will a logo do?
The first thing people will see, or should see when engaging with your brand, is your logo. Your logo is usually a pretty good indicator of the type of business you are. Are you fun? Are you serious? Are you upscale? Are you casual? How do you know if your brand is casual or serious? In my 5 Day Visual Branding Course, I discuss how to define your Brand’s Personality. Once you have a solid idea of who you are as a brand, it will be easier to move forward with the logo design process.
What should it look like?
A good logo should be simple, legible and timeless. Before you start thinking about getting your logo designed, think about how your logo will be used. Will it be used on a billboard? The side of a bus? On a store sign? On your blog? Your business cards? You should be able to use your logo in any capacity whether it be on a billboard, a sign on a building, a business card or a letter head. It should be legible regardless of size. Here is an example of some bad logos. It’s good to see what not to do, so you can get an idea, of what your logo should look like.
I’ve designed some bad logos lol. I think most designers, when they are first starting out, have a few logos in their arsenal, that they aren’t too proud of. Avoid logos that have too many elements, too many colors, that are using trendy elements or that don’t read well in black and white.
Different types of logos
There are 7 different types of logos. The logo you choose, depends on your business industry and your brand personality. I found an amazing article on 99 Designs, that breaks down the 7 different types of logos.
Now that we’ve discussed the first 4 aspects of your visual brand, let’s combine them all, so that you will remain consistent. Brand Boards or Style Boards, are great ways for you to quickly reference, all of the visual elements of your brand. One of my most favorite clients I worked with, is Marie, who runs The Curvy Fashionista. I refreshed her brand identity, and she has done an AMAZING job of keeping everything consistent from her youtube videos, her conferences, to her Facebook fan page. She is the perfect example of how you can get a brand identity designed, and create a cohesive brand presence. When you’re working with a designer, they should include a brand style board or style guide, with your package.
Not ready to hire a designer? You can create your own brand board using Canva, Photoshop, Picmonkey, or even Google Docs. Having just a simple brand board for yourself, will help you keep everything cohesive from your blog, website, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook. Your brand board should list your logo, fonts, the style of images you should be using, and the hex codes for all of the colors you are using for your brand.
You can download this free brand board here, when you sign up for my email list :). It’s already done for you, all you do is add your own info. You’ll also get my Ultimate Guide to Visual Branding. You will need Photoshop, which you can grab a free trial here, to update the brand board. It’s super duper easy to update, even if you don’t know how to use Photoshop.
Ready get your logo professionally designed? You start your project by clicking here!
This is a great article that a lot of bloggers and creative entrepreneurs need (including myself). Thank you for sharing your knowledge and brand boards.
This article is excellent. I agree that your logo should stand out. I use Canva for my logo.
This is great. I needed this when I started my site. I will def be fwd this to a couple of friends