First things first: what is a logo?
A logo is an identifying mark, symbol or signature, that is used to identify a company or brand. It does not sell the company or its products directly, nor describes its business. It is there solely to provide an identity, not to define an organisation.
However, a lot can be said through a logo, as it is often the first visual input that the public has about that organisation – and as we all know, first impressions matter!
Companies, however, are often reluctant to invest money in hiring a professional to design their logo. In a world where apps and design software are freely available, many people want to fly their creative flag and create their own logo. However, there are several pitfalls to doing this and the owners of amateur logo designs will often regret this decision down the line.
So why should you hire a professional to design your logo?
#1 First impressions count
If the first thing that you see when you log onto the site of a potential business partner or provider is a pixelated logo that looks like it was created from clipart, you aren’t going to be convinced that this is the kind of company that looks after the little details.
People first look at your profile online and see if they are convinced. If they are, then they will call you and ask you for a quote.
Your logo is the first graphic from branding that people see, and it appears everywhere. From business cards to brochures and, of course, a website – which is a digital billboard for the world to see. If it doesn’t resonate with your target audience and reflects a professional style, customers or readers and visitors won’t hang around.
#2 It’s not just about a pretty design
In a world where people interact with hundreds of brands a day, you have a split second to capture someone’s attention and stand out. A professional logo will also help your brand to be remembered in the future, promoting your business or blog.
Professional designers spend years training to be able to understand the flow of a logo. Font, colour, balance and relevance all play an important role in the overall impression. Using good old Arial (or heaven forbid, Comic Sans) as your logo font certainly makes it look like you spent all of 10 minutes fiddling around in PowerPoint to create your first impression. A good designer will consider several elements like brand mission, values, target market, and competition also as setting the right visual.
When designing a logo, don’t just think about it visual appearance and meaning, but also about the possibilities of developing a visual brand identity, as well as the implementation of brand identity on various promotional materials. One of the good reasons why you should invest in the professional logo is a possibility to get the entire brand guide with defined brand standards and material consistency, that certainly communicates to consumers professionalism and stability. Having the right colour breakdown is key, as what looks great on screen doesn’t necessarily translate to the correct colour in print.
#3 Building Trust
Before someone tries your product or service, they assess appearance. A brand that has a professional logo design as part of their identity immediately generates trust, because it looks like you took the time to get it right before trying to speak to them.
A strong brand identity can inspire someone who doesn’t know anything about your business to show interest in what you produce or deliver. It can also help build loyalty over time, as your business grows and gains fans. It’s also clear that different designs work for different industries, so in order for your logo to build trust, it is necessary to know what works for your product/service category. Therefore, it is essential to hire a professional designer, who will research your industry and make suggestions about what type of logo will fit in best. For example, combining a red logo with a dentist’s business just won’t work – the connection in this context with blood is just too strong!
#4 Horses for courses, or the right tools for the job
Investing in a professional logo will ensure that your designer will send you all type of files you need, specific for printing or web use. This will avoid a pixelated logo on your website, as well as the possibility of variations of colours in your printed materials. Professional designers work with design tools such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, that allows the graphic to be vectorised. A vector graphic can be scaled to any size without losing resolution, which means that the giant three metre logo on your billboard across the highway will not look blurry.
A good designer will also provide logos specifically for print and online usage, as the colour models for each are different. That means that when your web designer asks for your logo, you can hand it over confidently knowing that it will reproduce perfectly on screen.
#5 Longer lifetime
Since a professional designer creates a logo design after conducting research, you will have results that will last for a long time. You won’t have to worry about changing your logo in a couple of years since it wasn’t what you had imagined doing. Indeed, at times rebranding is an alternative when you are changing your business center or targeting a different audience, but not because the principal design you had wasn’t sufficiently solid.
Big brands that have been on the market for years certainly rebrand from time to time. For example, Coca-Cola changes the look of their logo with a few small tweaks to modernise it, while the basic design doesn’t change and it is still instantly recognisable. Look at rebranding as a brand revival based on well-built foundations.