One of the first things that you’ll need to do when starting a business is to create a logo to represent your company. It seems like this may be a simple thing, but it is often more difficult then you think!
Some Logos Are Timeless
There are certain logos we’ll never forget: Apple, CocaCola, McDonalds, Google, Nike, Target, etc.
I don’t even need to show these, because we all have them imprinted in our minds. Pretty amazing!
I wish I could write a post about what constitutes a great logo. I don’t have any magic formula, but I know one when I see it. Creating a timeless and effective logo is not an easy undertaking. Large corporations often times spend millions of dollars on their brand.
I recently found a great resource to help you out with any logo questions (which actually inspired this post) called the Logo Design Blog. According to the site, the 5 characteristics of a highly successful logo include:
For more details, read the post; it goes into detail about each of these characteristics. In another interesting post, the site discusses the various constituents of a logo, which include symbol, sign, emblem, or slogan. It is a great place to start learning more about logos.
What Not to Do in Creating a Logo for Your Company
While I can’t tell you the formula for a great logo, I can talk about what isn’t great. Since I’ve spent a lot of time in the real estate world, I have seen countless logos from companies who are all looking to create a brand for themselves. The interesting thing is that at least 90% of these logos have some kind of roof or home as part of the logo. While this seems logical, and we even played with a roof-esque logo, does it differentiate these companies from one another? No.
They all pretty much have the same theme and in my mind, are simply clones of one another. They do nothing to help people recognize the companies.
The Evolution of a Logo Design
I believe that an effective logo is one that instantly provides brand recognition. Lets compare the various iterations of my company, BiggerPockets, Inc.’s logos over the past several years.
This first version of the logo is nothing but disasterous. I thought that because the site was about making money with real estate, that money should be the central theme. This is nothing but an amateurish slapped together logo that does nothing to further our site’s brand.
Here we are making the mistake most companies make when it comes to designing a logo. They shoot for the obvious. Our little blue roof did nothing to differentiate our brand. We were yet another real estate related site . . . nothing more, nothing less.
In the above logo, we started to realize that the roof shouldn’t play as prominent a role. We wanted people to focus on our name, BiggerPockets, which represented what people would get from our site. This began an evolution towards our differentiation.
This logo actually came from one of my high-school students (I taught school for several years). I wanted something fun and unique involving money and a big ‘ole pocket. While this design certainly stood out and let people know more about who we were, it was a bit amateurish as well. We were going in the right direction, but hadn’t quite done it just right.
This final and current logo of the company, I believe, hits the nail on the head. It is certainly unique, and represents who we are. By itself, the iconic man in the pocket, representing how big your pockets can become, is symbolic of our site. I am extremly pleased with this logo, as I feel that it is clean, unique, and expounds a message. Does it have what it takes to become timeless? I suppose that is up to you and everyone else out there!
A Great Resource for Creating Your Logo Design
After I knew that my student was on to something with our logo, I decided to have some professional graphic artists clean it up for me. To do that, I found a great service that everyone should utilize: SitePoint’s Logo Design Contests. All I did was give the brilliant (and not so brilliant) graphic designers on Sitepoint (a huge and amazing webmaster forum) some ideas of what I was looking for, and let them run with it. There were many wonderful ideas put forward, and I was able help the designers modify and clean their logos up until I had somthing I was happy with. The best part about running one of these contests is that it is affordible and you do get many ideas to choose from.