Brand Identity

Have you ever tried to pick a logo for your company? Many would argue this is a job best left to the marketing department.  However, your logo is the most important element of your brand identity. It is the anchor that glues your multiple digital channels together and helps your users identify you in a sea of competitors.  It holds the most influence over the design and colour scheme of your website.   The elements in your logo will influence the design of your business cards, video content, signage and just about every other piece of marketing collateral. It conveys a message to your customers and creates emotions. Can you imagine Apple without its iconic logo? Would you be able to find a McDonald’s restaurant without its glowing arches being visible from miles away?

Stock Image Libraries? Nope

Just remember that you are picking a logo that may one day represent a Fortune 500 company. But for now, while you are a startup on a small budget, that doesn’t allow for a marketing department, you’ll need to choose one yourself. To get started, browse a few well-known stock image websites – Fotolia, iStockphoto, Shutter Stock, etc. If you’re stuck, just Google “stock images.” These sites sell high-resolution raster and vector based logos (and other images) that would satisfy most tastes. Most of these are fairly generic, but there are a few gems out there if you’re willing to spend the time searching for them. The problem with this approach is that there are hundreds, maybe thousands of others who have downloaded the same logo. Just imagine the embarrassment of discovering that there are 5 other businesses in your neighborhood using the same logo!

Hiring a designer? Warmer

You could also hire a graphic designer. With this approach, the sky’s the limit but you may have to accept your designer’s taste and style. You could shop around for a designer that has a style similar to your own, but will they ever really understand what you want? Many designers have a few methods to get into your head to extract and understand what you want.  However, most of these tactics are focused on your personal tastes and preferences, rather than your business needs.

The discovery process often turns out to be a frustrating experience for both the designer and the client. The designer produces countless versions and ideas.  In turn, the client mechanically turns them down for various reasons. This often leads to frustration, resulting in the client choosing and settling on a design, just to move the process forward.   However, there are other ways to approach designing your logo.

Hiring a designer right way – 5 easy steps

A few tricks to avoid this situation:

[dropcap style=”simple”]1. [/dropcap]Spend some time with your team (if you have one) brainstorming your core business values. Try to answer questions such as:

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Don’t be afraid to use specific adjectives such as cool, funky, laid back, serious, focused and more. During this step put as much as you can on paper. A white board is particularly useful for this exercise. You can also approach your friends and family and ask them how they perceive your business.

[dropcap style=”simple”]2. [/dropcap]Associate your values with specific symbols. The easiest and most obvious association is with symbols relevant to your industry. For example, a real estate company may use images of a house. A computer company may use images of mice and keyboards. Someone working with people may use human figures. One pitfall with this approach is that your logo may look boring, generic, and predictable. A better approach is to identify symbols that create an emotional connection to your logo elements and link to your company values. For example, trust and reliability can be associated with tree roots. Openness and creativity can be associated with flowing water. Try to be clever, but remember to keep things tasteful.  Remember, your logo has to resonate and create positive and powerful emotional connections with your audience.

[dropcap style=”simple”]3. [/dropcap]Pick your colours. It is no secret that colors can drive emotions and influence perceptions.

When choosing your colours, keep these common colour associations in mind:

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[dropcap style=”simple”]4. [/dropcap]Now it is time to unleash your creativity! Take a pen and paper and start sketching your ideas. You don’t need to be an artist to succeed at this. Rough sketches are all you need. Your goal is to convey a concept. Create five to ten sketches preferably on the same sheet of paper.

[dropcap style=”simple”]5. [/dropcap]The final step is to snap the images with your mobile phone and send them off to a graphic designer. Don’t forget to attach a list of your company values, your color preference, comments, and just about anything else your designer should know.

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Concept Result
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Logo creation is a project requiring intense time and resources.  It should include input from all parts of a business, not just the marketing department.  Creating a powerful and emotionally driven logo is one of your most effective tools for standing out amongst your competitors.  Through careful research, planning and design, your logo will tell a story about your company and define its core values.  Through understanding your business and choosing the right designer, your logo will be a mark of distinction and the cornerstone of your corporate identity.

Download a ZIP file with 9 free vector logos for Real Estate (Adobe Illustrator Template .ait files)

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