Is your Logo doing your Business Justice - Part 2

Logo Design - Points to Consider - Part 2

Design to Delivery – Size and shape matter

Ever had problems with your marketing literature or branding?
Does your logo stand out from the crowd?
Does it meet all your marketing requirements? Or is it blurred or undecipherable at larger or smaller sizes?

These are just some of the difficulties that can be experienced by companies, even when they have outsourced the design of their marketing material to the professionals. Often these problems only materialise sometime down the road.  

The key to prevention is communication with your chosen graphic designer. Remember, nobody knows your business like you do and they are not mind readers! Let me give you a couple of examples.

I know of a division within a company, who spent some £10K on having a new logo and page background designed, based around the full title of their division, which was some 82 characters long! For some unknown reason it was therefore decided to split this text into three rows of decreasing size, rather than abbreviating it or simply loosing some of it. They needed their background design for both their web pages and printed publications, which incidentally in both of these cases works well. However, more importantly, it was also needed for use at national and international conferences, meetings and workshops, at which their staff gave regular presentations to audiences ranging from 20 to 500. Costs aside, which I will go into later, this is where the route of their problems lay.

Even when blown up on a large screen, if you were sat more than a third of the way back from the front of a lecture theatre seating 200 – 300 delegates, you could only clearly see the first line of the text of their logo. Why? Well, firstly, as you may well have gathered by now, due to the amount and size of the text. But that was only part of the story. The colour selection chosen was not appropriate for the intended use. This coupled with the colour blending and degree of fading/opacity used resulted in the text simply not standing out against the background, at any distance. Any designer worth their salt, had they known of the intended use, would have come up with a far more appropriate design.

So think carefully about where and how your branding/logo will be used and make sure you convey all of the required likely uses to your chosen graphic designer.

Take another example. Perhaps you need to market your company on other websites? If so, your logo is likely to be viewed at quite small scales. Here again, not only do you need to think about colour selection and wording, but you also need to take into account the orientation of your logo in relation to the likely size restrictions on these websites. It is all very well having a logo that is rectangular in shape but think about what happens when it gets uploaded to a site where the size allowed is equal in the horizontal and vertical planes. The height of your logo is going to be shrunk until the width fits the allotted space or visa versa. Your logo will then not stand out compared to any competitors, whose layout was more appropriate for the space. The same problem can arise when designing for the print. One way of overcoming this is to simply have two logos designed, with a common theme, but having different orientations, so that you can select the most appropriate for the task in hand.

Another tip is to make sure your logo is scalable. Logos that are not scalable will appear blurred, if they are used at any other scale to the one in which they were initially drawn. This is quite a common feature of logos, especially those designed in-house, where the wrong tools have been used for the job. You cannot create professional looking logos using PowerPoint, so don’t even try! Believe me, there are some SME’s/not-for-profit organisations out there who try to do just that! You need to use the appropriate software. Adobe Creative Suite, of which there are many different versions, is the professional’s choice but there are other alternatives.

Remember size and shape matters when it comes to successful logo design and delivery, so make sure you take the time to list all the possible uses that your logo will be put to before that first crucial meeting with your chosen graphic designer.

It should not cost you a fortune to procure a scalable simple logo and other branding, so don’t get ripped off. Expect to pay somewhere in the region of £500 - £2000. Complicated designs will cost more. If you want the graphic designer to attend face-to-face meetings with you, during the design process, then this will obviously add to the expense.

Another tip, if you are setting up a business from scratch, save yourself some money by asking your chosen web design company to also design your logo and branding at the same time. Some companies will not charge you any extra for this service. So don’t be afraid to ask – you’ve got nothing to loose.

If you do find your logo is blurred at smaller scales then try this tip. Open it up in Photoshop. Then go to Resample Image in the Image Display dialogue (Image>Image size) then select Bicubic Sharper. This keeps the image sharper as it gets smaller and hopefully will improve the end result for you.

CGT offers a variety of creative design training courses for the creative industry and those SMEs who want to take control of their own marketing.

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