Logo Design Tips

(this is an article I wrote a couple of years ago – eventually I will create an article database of some sort.)

If you’re just starting your business keep reading.

If you’ve never really had a logo for your business keep reading (I’ve seen this in some smaller businesses.)

And if for some reason have the chance or ever think you will have the chance to create a new logo for yourself or your company without destroying years of marketing and brand recognition then keep reading.

Some key aspects to consider when you and/or your designer are planning your logo are:

– Does it fax well?
I start all of my logos in black and white even if there will eventually be color or gradients added. If the logo looks and feels right in black and white (no grey) then it should work well in a larger variety of applications than something that has been created in color initially.

– Does the font choice convey the message you want to be conveying?
Most people are familiar with the font Comic Sans. Some people even like the font Comic Sans. But even if you like the font, you would be more than likely to agree with me saying that this font would not be appropriate if used in a logo for a business that wants something with a level of professional sophistication.

– Have you written down adjectives that describe your company or how you want your company to be seen?
Things like professional sophistication or creative and friendly. See if the design “matches” that description or see if you can find a font that has the same sort of visual emphasis to it. Let your logo “describe” your company for you some.

– Does your logo have a shape or an object that can easily identify your company? (optional)
A great example is Apple’s logo. You recognize it instantaneously when you see their little apple with the bite taken out of it. Granted it would take time and advertising to make sure your object, shape, symbol would be as recognizable without words, but it would also make your logo easier to identify when scanning over a page. It isn’t always necessary however.

– Does your logo have flexibility?(optional)
One of the ideas that has struck me as being very useful recently is the idea of having what I’ve been calling a “break-apart logo.” Something where there is an element in the logo that can either be broken off on its own and used in a variety of ways or could be moved around within the logo to make it either vertical or horizontally shaped without changing things too much. This may not always work well for all logos but it’s also something to consider.

The Wal-mart epidemic

Monday, February 28, 2005

Don’t blame Wal-mart – blame the people who shop at Wal-mart….or so this article says:

Ok – I hate to admit that I occassionally shop at Wal-mart but let’s look at why. There are the reasons mentioned in the article (low prices). Now granted that for most I will admit that it’s the low prices that draw them in but I would also like to point out a few other reasons:

1) one stop shopping. Where else can you buy your groceries, the latest cds, new windshield wipers and shoes all in one stop.

2) selection. I hate to admit this but when I want fresh fruit and vegetables, wal-mart is usually better than the local groceries. My guess this is due in part to the speed of turn-over but I would also blame the groceries for pushing how long they leave fruits and veggies out. I will probably never go to one grocery chain again looking for fresh herbs after I went and was greeted by a line of REALLY moldy dill, basil and others – nothing was in edible shape. I do occasionally shop the co-op here but since their focus is on organic (which is not something I’m obsessed about) the fruits and vegetables are often around 3 times as expensive as the grocery (and probably 4 times as expensive as Wal-mart) which is just a bit too much of a price difference to simply say it’s because Wal-mart is the cheapest.

3) availability. This one is two-part. One is that when I go looking for something specific more often than not Wal-mart has it in, whereas there are times I walk away from other stores without the item I came in for because they didn’t have it. Also there are some items that I don’t think any of the local shops carry (lets face it, outside of Wal-mart there are only other large National chains that I know I could find a plain clear shower curtain at.) The second part to this is the fact that they are open 24 hours a day. To some people this isn’t a big deal, they sleep at night but for me sometimes 1am is the only time I can find to go shopping.

4) Customer service or ease of use. Wal-mart is laid out in isles. Everything is easy to find. A tangent that I think ties in (it’s less about Wal-mart and more about shopping at National chains): I had a discussion with someone recently about why we tend to aim for chain restaurants instead of local restaurants. We started thinking about our experience at local restaurants in comparison to the chains. Even though we weren’t “wowed” at the chains, we typically didn’t get bad service whereas we’ve had a higher percentage of bad waiters or service at some local restaurants (everything from waiters taking drink and appetizer orders and not showing up again for 20 minutes after just the drinks arrived to a manager yelling to the staff right in front of us that it was clean up time and he wanted to close and lock-up in 10 minutes when several tables weren’t done eating.) Another reason we sometimes chose the chains was because we knew they would be open (let’s face it, some local shops just plain have strange hours).

5) And another thing was perception of cost – we thought that one restaurant here that we like was actually much more expensive than it really was. We compared our cost to eating out at a chain and it was actually the same AND we took home left-overs from the local restaurant. I think in some cases that the cost of something might be VERY close at Wal-mart as to somewhere else but in our minds we think that the price difference is more drastic.

This may not be everything, this is just a bit of what I think because I don’t think price is the whole picture. It may be a good chunk of the picture but it’s only one of many aspects. Feel free to comment if you have something to add to this. 🙂

Another article on Wal-mart and what it does the other direction (to the vendors and ultimately the innovativeness in this country.)

And then another article on our change in shopping habits:
It also notes another reason people shop at Wal-mart – close location.