13 Jan 2015
Every business needs a brand identity to represent and market it to the target audience. The case is no different for a startup. No matter whether you are just starting up or in the investment stage, having a good logo is like having a nice face - people will notice it!
But designing a logo for your startup may get you into trouble if you are not aware of some basic fundamentals. I’ve seen lots of people losing money and redoing their logo after making such mistakes.
My 8 years of experience as a professional graphic designer and co-founder of a creative studio made me the go-to guy among my peers when it comes to designing a logo. So I thought of sharing my knowledge for the benefit of the whole startup community. Here you go:
You might think that designing a logo is simple and easy. Trust me, it’s not! A logo is not just a combination of some colors, shapes and fonts. A logo is an identity of your brand and the face of your business. A good logo is the result of days of research, planning and creativity. So please don’t take it casually. Give it some respect. Don’t give it to your uncle’s son who has a computer and Photoshop, simply for the sake of saving a little money.
Stock logos are everywhere. You can get a logo for as low as $5! There are many logo generating softwares and free logo download sites. But remember, there might be hundreds of other people using the same design as yours. For saving some time and money, you are getting a logo that is not unique, and is impossible to copyright/trademark/register.
As startup entrepreneurs, we try to do everything by ourselves. If you don’t have graphic design experience, or basic know-how of designing a logo, you may end up designing a poor logo that doesn’t just look amateurish but is also impossible to use in some settings.
A logo should fit into a lot of applications and mediums. You might want to print it on your business card, put it on your website, use in a mobile app, etch on a glass door, watermark on a video or use in grayscale prints. If the logo is professionally designed, it will be compatible with all possible applications, and it might come with a usage guideline too.
Trends may come and go. But good logos stay forever. It was glossy gradients two years ago, and now it is flat design everywhere. You could adapt your website or mobile app with the latest style in town but not your logo. A logo should maintain a certain level of consistency in order to serve its purpose - helping people remember your brand.
If you design a logo based on the current trend, you might want change your logo when a new trend comes in. It will confuse people and your target audience might even suspect your integrity if they see you changing your logo frequently. Even if you don’t change your logo when a new trend appears, it will seem outdated.
This should be the very first point but I kept it for last, because I want you to remember this even if you forget everything else. Copying someone else’s logo is not only unethical but also a crime. Logos are under intellectual property laws and copying one is a serious trademark and copyright violation.
Some people are aware of this but they still copy existing designs because they think it’s impossible to get caught. You are completely wrong, my friend! In this era of technology like Google’s reverse image search, finding a copycat design is easier than ever!
So, please make sure that you or your designer are not copying the logo from anywhere. Even not having a logo is way better than having a copied logo.