Is your company ready to look the part of a leader? Establish your corporate identity with a great logo! This presentation shows how to create and manage an effective logo, and provides the steps to help you get started.
Identity MakeoverIs your company ready to look the part of a leader?
Brand Identity and Corporate Identity These are two distinct and concrete concepts. However, both play off each other and are part of one another. Brand Identity: Your Customer’s Perception Corporate Identity: Your Company’s “Clothing” Unfortunately, many companies sometimes believe that the visual changes will change the brand image. But changes to logos, signage, and even outlet design do not always change consumer perceptions of quality, service, and the intangible associations that are made when the brand name is seen or heard. You cant make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. You can’t polish a turd.
Brand Identity (Basically: Your Image) Definition: A brand identity is the expression of the relationship between your company and it’s constituents. It is the sum of all experiences with your company and the promise your company makes to perform.
Corporate Identity (Basically: Your Logo) Definition: Corporate Identity is the visual means by which organizations, businesses and manufacturers are recognized and distinguished from each other. A company’s name, logo, typeface, colors, slogan/tagline are all elements that help comprise a company’s corporate identity.
5 Elements of an Effective Logo 1. Describable: If you want people talking about your logo (and you do), it must be easy for them to describe. 2. Memorable: Being memorable is one of the most important aspects of your logo design and should not be overlooked during the design process. Take the Nike logo for example, its incredibly easy to remember. 3. Effective in 1 color: Its important to remember that there will be many times when color isnt possible for the placement of your logo. Whether its on a t-shirt or newspaper, sometimes you can only use black or white. If the design of your logo depends on multiple colors, it will not be effective when color isnt an option. IMPORTANT: THIS GOES FOR SHADES OF GREY TOO! 4. Scalable: Your logo must be just as effective on the side of a billboard as it is on the side of an ink pen. If your logo is too complicated, it will lose most of its detail when printed small. 5. Relevant: Your logo design must be relevant to your industry. You wouldnt want to use a childish looking font for an airplane parts manufacturing company.
Thinking about a new logo? Remember: Superficial reasons for a logo redesign need underlying support from a philosophical basis to be valid. Why do you WANT to redesign (Superficial Reasons) • I’m tired of looking at our logo • I don’t like the colors/style/design • We have had it for a while/it looks dated • We just don’t like it • I am new to the company so I want to change it/make my mark • Competitor’s logos are perceived to be better
Thinking about a new logo? Why do you NEED to redesign (Philosophical Reasons) • Current logo does not convey the companys purpose or mission • The company has changed… • direction • ownership • offerings • location • Current logo … • has no equity • has no support/buy-in from staff, no one is tied to it • is not recognizable • Current logo doesnt "say" anything about our company • Current logo is too • abstract • plain/nothing distinctive • confusing/busy
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 1. Understand the goal, plan ahead • A logo establishes an image of your business, brand or product. • Explain your business, its values, mission statement and promise of higher standards of care and quality. • Doing a little legwork at the beginning will help the process go much more smoothly. • Once you get to the design stage, most if not all the questions should be answered and a solid direction should be established.
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 2. KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid): Simplicity is the key to designing your business logo. Having a single focus is critical. You must be clear on what your identity is first, develop a concise company logo that clearly states your company identity.
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 3. Identify your target audience: Do make sure that the logo is designed with the target audience in mind. An effectively designed logo is compatible with the consumers of the product or services that you provide. Therefore your logo could be designed to appeal to the interests of the customers.
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 4. Research your competition: If you are ready with your company name then look at the logos of your competitors. This will give you an idea of what is present in the market and help you decide what works and what doesnt. You can then develop a logo that best suits your corporate identity.
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 5. Research famous logos: Researching giant corporations (that pay millions of dollars on identity) will give you valuable insight on how best to steer your design. Large corporation logos are usually very sound in design and simplicity. Especially look at logos in your target or similar markets
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 6. Generate some key words or phrases: Write down some key words or phrases that you feel best represent your company’s personality, philosophy and what your customer’s think about it. These words and phrases can be invaluable to the designers that will eventually be taking on the project. Examples: Personable Experienced Knowledgeable Professional Leaders in our field Quick Timely Current (Up to date) Friendly
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 7. Identify logos you like/don’t like: This exercise will help a designer determine which visual cues you most prefer/like and more importantly don’t like! Example: You make accessories for shoes Like Don’t Like
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 8. Determine beforehand the potential uses for the logo: Designer’s will design a certain way based on the logo’s uses. For example: If the logo is to be used on packaging, billboards and tradeshow displays, they might lean one direction, but if it is only to be used on letterhead and business cards, they may go another. Will it be used on: • Small printed materials (brochures, packaging, stationary) • Large printed materials (billboards, displays, vehicle graphics) • Websites • Video
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 9. Figure out who will be involved in choosing the new logo: This is critical. The less people involved in the elimination process, the better. Here are a few helpful strategies: a. It is okay to have a committee… but the committee does not NEED to see everything b. Keep your committees an odd number (3, 5, 7, etc…) This eliminates the possibility of a tie between logos c. Identify one to three KEY people to make the initial cuts to the choices d. When presenting to a committee, bring in no more than 3 choices e. Insist that committee members make a clear choice, that is, they have to pick a winner in their mind, they cannot be “okay with this one or that one”.
10 Steps - How to Get Started: 10. Get “buy-in” from everyone involved: This is the most important step in getting started and most overlooked. • Failure to get everyone involved to buy-in on the idea of creating a new logo, or even the process of creating a new logo will lead to delays, apathy, and ultimately the death of the project. You will have wasted everyone’s time and money. • Once the design process begins, there is no turning back. • If work has been done in the design process, and someone in the team decides that your company does not need the new logo, you cannot just walk away from the project and not pay for the time put into it.
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 1. Establish Your Timeline: Set dates for stages in your project. Work backwards from your desired completion date. If needed, make sure to also establish when support materials will need to be produced (stationary/website/other?) This process should come after AFTER logo is chosen. Example Steps for Logo (Support Materials) Creation: • Step 1 – Creative brief sent to design team (from How to Get Started Steps) – by Date… • Step 2 – Initial layouts/designs back from designer – by Date… • Step 3 – Reviews/comments/selections back to designer – by Date… • Step 4 – Revised designs back from designer (back to Step 3 if needed) – by Date… • Step 5 – Final (logo/support materials) files produced – by Date… • Step 6 – (If needed) Begin working on support materials (back to Step 1)
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 2. Outline Objectives/Expectations: a. Based on uses, establish what logo versions/deliverables (formats, etc…) will be needed (From How to Get Started Steps). b. How many designs/looks/variations will be presented. Insist on options (at least 3 to 6). c. Establish how logos will be presented/eliminated… Determine a process for choosing from designs (important to a designer) d. Discuss how development process is expected to proceed 1. After initial presentation, a direction will either be chosen or not a. If not, make sure the process allows for additional ideas b. If so, find out how many revision stages are included as you hone in on a design 2. Make sure to get costs for further application of chosen design
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 3. Hire a Professional: a. You get what you pay for… dont try to get a deal (there is a reason $99 logos are $99) b. Youll get better responsiveness/after the process support c. Can expand logo applications into other marketing areas/materials d. Establish expectations/work process e. If termination of the relationship is desired/needed/warranted, find out what is involved/expected from both parties
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 4. Get an Estimate: For deliverables needed (logo design/formats/other materials) (outlined in step 2 – Creating Your New Logo). Work for a price you are both comfortable with. If either party feels taken/shorted, the relationship will deteriorate rapidly. Don’t always go for the cheapest price – Some designers or design firms will do what it takes to “buy the business”. This “discount” is great on the first job, but there may be a “price shock” on future projects. Make sure you understand up front where the price you agreed to came from. This give you insight to future costs.
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 5. Be keenly involved in the design process: a. Explore possibilities 1. Should be a "range" of options from expected to unexpected 2. Never know where inspiration will come from b. Keep an open mind 1. Dont be locked in to one preconceived notion or idea 2. Dont be automatically drawn to the obvious 3. First idea is not always the best idea 4. Remember that there are always multiple ways to explore a concept/idea/look
5 Steps – Creating your New Logo 5. Be keenly involved in the design process: c. Make sure to arm your designers with any information they may need/request 1. Like a tennis match… designer will need certain information to proceed. Make sure they have it. a. Keeps the process moving b. Leaves no question unanswered c. Requests might even seem odd, but there could be a valid reason for needing certain information. Always okay to ask “Why?” 2. Designers need feedback a. Do not be afraid to say you do/dont like something b. If you do/dont like something, have a reason why you feel that way c. If the designer misses the mark entirely, let them know. 1. Deserve the benefit of the doubt in first round 2. If they miss the mark or concept or just seem to not be listening, end relationship, move on, adjust expectations/timeline, find another design team
5 Steps – Managing your New Logo 1. Protect your Logo: Mail to yourself (most basic way to establish creation date) DO NOT OPEN UPON RECEIPT! Notary Public (Can help establish an official creation date) Can ALWAYS add a TM with no cost or legal involvement. But it is better protected by a Registered Trademark (no one else can use it, you will have concrete legal recourse)
5 Steps – Managing your New Logo 2. Create a Standards Guide: Gives staff a sort of “Rules of the Road”. Makes for easier reviews.
5 Steps – Managing your New Logo 3. Identify style/usage "Police”: People on staff to enforce standard guide rules.
5 Steps – Managing your New Logo 4. Control all distribution of logo/identity: Establish one source of contact, or a CD/folder resource with all acceptable versions of the logo and other materials.
5 Steps – Managing your New Logo 5. Insist on reviewing most if not all uses: Establish a protocol and stick to it. This can be a person, e-mail address or some other depository where people submit items for review. As time passes, usage rules will become second nature and will require much less policing and management. Do not wait to act. Correct any issues as you see them. Once someone gets away with something a few times, it is deemed acceptable and manifests from there.
Examples Successful Identities: Design student paid $35 for original concept. Nike: 40 years
Examples Successful Identities: Arches were part of the original restaurant design. McDonalds: 50+ years
Examples Successful Identities: How was the script decided on? The owners felt that ‘the two Cs would look well in advertising’. Coca Cola: 75+ years 1886 1941 2003
Examples Famous Logo Makeovers: Did one company force the hand of the other? Caribou Coffee (Redesigned March 2010) Starbucks (Redesigned January 2011)
Examples Famous Logo Makeovers: Target audience backlash forced them back to version 2. The Gap (1972 Original Logo) The Gap (Iconic 80’s Logo) The Gap (Oct. 2010 New Logo) Lasted 1 week. Person who oversaw the logo redesign resigned 4 mo. later.
Examples Famous Logo Makeovers: Update an outdated but iconic logo Walmart (1962 Original Logo) Walmart (1964 Logo – First used company wide) Walmart (1981 Logo) Walmart (1992 Logo) Walmart (2008 Current Logo)
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Define new company image and direction Aquascape Designs 1993 1995 1996
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Define new company image and direction Aquascape Designs 1999 2004
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Define new company image and direction Aquascape, Inc. 2007
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Modernize logo, bring out company personality Vela Insurance 1997
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Modernize logo, bring out company personality Vela Insurance 2009
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Convey versatility and capability Packaging Design 2000
Examples Sikich Logo Makeovers: Convey versatility and capability Packaging Design 2011
Exercises Look at your company’s logo • Use Company Logo Critique Worksheet to grade your own logo • If you score in the 49+ range, you may want to start looking hard at your logo • Use the “Do You Need a New Logo” flow chart, just for fun (courtesy of Watermark Design, Charlottesville, VA).