The truth about your logo (and how important it ISN'T).
Let me let you in on a little secret. Well actually, it’s more of a big secret that many graphic designers hold onto for dear life because they think that if they tell you the truth, no one will pay them to design anything anymore. Not true.
Okay. Here goes.
Your logo isn’t that important. Not really.
It’s certainly not the most important part of your brand, that’s for sure.
When you’re in the early stages of your business, it’s pretty trivial.
If you came to me and said, “Hey Emily, I’m starting a business and I really need a logo before I can do anything but I don’t know how,” I’d tell you to forget it and focus on more important things like colours, imagery, the way you write and speak to people, and the vision you have for your brand and business.
I mean - don’t get me wrong - there is a time and place for an elegantly designed, completely unique logo in business. And that time for us online business owners is usually right around the time we feel like we’ve grown so much that our DIY attempt is sucking up too much time and effort.
This is the perfect time for me to work one on one with clients, and people at this point in their biz usually have a really good sense of direction and vision for the growth they see for their brand.
But if you’re not there yet; if you’re starting out or still in the early days, here is a list of things to think about before you even touch your logo:
Where do you see yourself and your business in the future? What’s your vision?
Consider what kind of voice you use when you talk to your peeps. Are you being authentic, or are you presenting a ‘super professional business’ persona that isn’t how the real you would talk?
What really inspires you, both generally, and more visually.
How can you help people that would just light you up on the inside every day?
After you’ve figured that out, you could start on a logo, but I’d still say your colours and imagery are more important at this point.
I don’t think you should invest a great deal of time or money into the design of your logo when just starting out, and there’s a few reasons why.
When your business is new, it’s gonna be a while before you’re recognised for your logo like Apple or Nike. You can always change it later, and it’s a waste of precious time that no one starting up a business should have to spare.
As you build and grow your brand for a little while, you’ll go through a lot of changes. You’ll change your mind on what colour things should be, what atmosphere you’d like your brand to have, or what inspires you in your business. It’s highly likely that you’re going to want something different a couple of months to a year down the track.
No one’s really looking at your logo yet. I mean, they might notice that you have a nice one, but it’s likely that as you start working on building your business and your brand, people know your name more than they recognise your logo. They recognise your style more than they recognise your logo. They value your content and expertise more than they value your logo. No matter how pretty it is.
Once you’ve established that value, you can bring a cool logo into the mix, but in the beginning, there are more valuable things to focus on that will do more for the growth of your business.
So what should you do instead?
First, you wanna get clear on your vision. Where are you taking your business? What are you selling, who to, and why? How are you talking to them?
Second, you wanna pull together as much visual inspiration as possible. Get moody, make mood boards. Don’t rush it. Make multiple versions until you’ve got something that’s refined.
Third, here’s where you can do your logo. The secret? Find a nice, simple font. Type your business name. Voila! This won’t hold out forever, but it will do perfectly fine to start with.
Fourth, find colours, fonts and images that fit in with your mood board.
Finally, put all your bits and pieces together into social media graphics, business cards, content upgrades and PDF templates, and other visual bits and bobs to help you share your super valuable content.
If you want to know how much time to spend on each step, and more detail about how to go about achieving them, I’ve got a really cool pdf checklist and brand essentials calendar for you. Download it here if you haven't already grabbed it!
I’m all about being honest with you, so if you’ve been putting off getting stuff done when it comes to your branding because you don’t have a logo yet, this is me giving you permission to ignore your logo for right now and move on to the things that matter!
If you have any questions about logos or the brand design process, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I wanna help you get your brand ready for 2017!
Until next time