A logo is more than just a little design or your company name written in a fancy font. Logo design is a special skill, and there's no one definitive method that is better than the others. All good logos, however, have a few things in common.
When you're designing your logo, aim for something that:
1. Isn't trendy and doesn't need to be redesigned each season.
2. A color logo is very attractive, but make sure the design will look good even in black and white. Good logos are legible even when reduced such as on a business card.
3. Is adaptable enough to fit on different products or marketing pieces.
4. Is integrated into your overall marketing strategy.
You'll probably want to use a combination of your company name and emblem. That's the best, safest bet for most small businesses. Done correctly, your logo can become an important part of your intellectual property and can offer real value to your business.
Who are you and what do you do?
If you want your logo to communicate effectively who you are and what you do, you've got to know precisely who you are and what you do. That sounds obvious, right? But far too many businesses can't articulate what makes them unique. In 10 words or less, what is your business? You need to discover the essence of your industry and what people want to find there.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Your dance studio needs to convey a fun and secure environment for kids and a sense of trustworthiness for their parents. Show them that you are going to enhance their lives through dance training by building self esteem, self confidence while developing a can do attitude.
What Can You Do for Me?
You're about to learn a secret far too few business people understand. When you describe your business to other people, you need to focus on the benefits you provide to your customers. Most people, when asked to come up with a list of benefits, come up words like: reliable, fast, honest, conscientious, professional, experienced.
These are features, not benefits. The difference is that a feature is merely a description—a fact—about a product or service.
To move from feature to benefit:
1. Write a sentence that describes who you are and what you do. "Fostering success in the arts, at school and in life," for example.
2. Ask yourself, as your potential customers will, "So what?"
3. Answer that question: "We have been in business for 22 years and have a track record of results that we know can also work for your child as well."
Now you're on the way to a benefit. This statement answers the customer question: what can you do for me? In this case, the benefit you can offer, at its most basic, is: I can teach your child life skills while learning to dance. That's what you want to convey behind your messages, behind your logo.
Options for Logo Design:
Create your own logo. Designing your own logo is the cheapest option available. And you don't have to spend time trying to communicate the details. However, you may find that it's difficult to translate your vision into a logo if you're not a professional designer. Worse, you may find that you get what you pay for—and when you pay nothing, that bargain price might be reflected in your new logo.
Hire a freelance designer. Working with a freelance designer requires more investment—potentially significant in both time and money—than creating your own logo; however, it also has its advantages. Freelance designers create logos for a living and have a lot of knowledge and research to support their creations. If you cannot find one we recommend Dawn Macchiarelli of And Then Design who has experience in this field and will work with you to create a great one. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Use an online logo design service. A relatively new development in the design world is the advent of online design services. These companies provide fast-turnaround logo design—to the tune of a professionally designed logo in three days for about $300.
Now it's time to go out and get your very own logo. There are several options for doing this.