When it comes to branding or business identity, sometimes I think that I'm a little harsh. A little too critical. But, then I'm reminded that building an effective brand requires criticism and scrutiny in order for it to work? By "work" I mean effectiveness, memorability and clarity. Your audience needs to have a clear message of your logo each time it's seen in order for them to understand, remember and believe it. Think of the message as your business' story. What does a story include? Colors, shapes, text, a meaning behind it, images to give more of a feel for it. What's your business' story? Start working on one by coming up with one paragraph to describe who you are, what your name symbolizes, who you serve, what's their age group, etc.

As a graphic designer, I tend to have a desire to make things better. The world, too me needs to have it's own fung shui, a balance, purpose and place in a specific space. However, I find that for most entrepreneurs, the pressure is on and "coming up with something" or "going with what I have" is often the case. Funds are low or non-existent for a professionally designed piece of art that can forever represent their business.

I recently made a post on FaceBook sharing my thoughts on how each time we have request for logo designs, it's sometimes a scary, insecure feeling of a process. But, then after all the fuss and worry, out emerges a beautiful creation that completely erases all the fear of rejection and strife. It can be such a joyous occasion to have a fresh, vibrant logo that, at first sight, is sure to stand the test of time. On the other hand, if done with a lack of thought and strategy, it could fall flat and become yesterday's news almost instantly. So, as you can see, as long as you really think the process through, you can't go wrong. Either, you'll have a wonderful concept to hand over to the one that's designing for you or, you may do well to go at it alone. Now, if there's not one ounce of design juice in you, opting for option one won't hurt.

Here are the primary pointers I follow that works for me at least 99.9 percent of the time. Hopefully, it'll work for you, with a little patience and practice:

Think about the niche/target market you're serving. The most important is their age group and interest. If the age group you serve is between 45 and 55, you may not want your design to scream teenager with bright colors and zebra-striped colored fonts.

Your color scheme MUST match your business' theme and description. I know it sounds funny but colors sell and have very deep meaning. Check out this Must Read Articleto see what I mean.

Determine the "eye-catcher" or focal point you'd like to have in your design. This can be an icon/image or font style. If you select an Icon/Image it really needs to sum up what your business is and what it does or primarily offer. For a text only logo, this will be a chance to make your color scheme pop!

Now, I'll admit, coming up with your brand to represent everything your business is about can be a very difficult challenge. However, by first researching extensively and coming to terms with your "business' story" you will undoubtedly have a clear headstart to your design being exactly what you want and need it to be.

by Michelle Hill-Smith


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Comment by Alexander Robinson III on July 22, 2012 at 12:51am

Great post! I feel branding is what keeps your business a float after its gained attention. No matter how  much advertising you do, if your brand isn't remembered, you're doing it all for nothing. 

Comment by Michelle Hill-Smith on July 22, 2012 at 5:58am

That's right Alexander! Why waste your time marketing to the potentially blind? LOL!


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