Almost all businesses have a logo, whether it was designed by a professional, or simply the company name in a special font and color. Some are just graphic, some just text – others are a combination. The importance of your logo depends on a lot of factors, not the least of which is what business you are in. To many of our clients, such as restaurants, pubs and beauty parlors, logos can be incredibly important.
A logo differentiates your business from your competitors and should give your prospective clientel a feeling about the way you want to present yourself. A logo can be classy, modern, chic, silly, fun, olde-fashioned, etc. Whatever style you choose, it sends a message to your customers. As time passes, you may decide to keep the same message, or change it, but either way you may need to update your logo.
Once you have been in business for over 10 years, or if you are trying to change your image, you may want to consider updating your company’s logo, especially if it looks like it might be a tad outdated. Even big corporate giants change their logos every so often: I just read that Walmart, the retail giant is about to change theirs. Yes, Walmart. Not Wal-mart anymore. Their new logo is a one word Walmart with a white sunburst at the end, with a burnt orange background. The new look is more modern and looks a bit “internety” to my untrained eye.
What changes might you consider to your logo? Well, first I recommend looking at the colors – do they still look good 10 years after you picked them? If there is a graphic, does it still send the message you are looking for? Also, since today you can advertise in more forms of media – in particular on the internet, does it look good online?
Many businesses have a couple versions of their logo. One is simpler, perhaps just text in a specific font and color, and another one with a graphic, whether abstract, geometric, or a caricature. This gives more flexibility when the business name is used. A menu, for example, might show the whole logo, while the sign might show the text logo.
Depending on your budget, type of business, and what you are looking for, you have a number of options. Traditional options include consulting a graphic artist or marketing firm. Other more artistically minded business owners, or cheaper ones, design there own. Here are some other creative ideas on how to brainstorm a new logo:
- Have a customer contest.
- See if any of your employees with an artistic bent have any good ideas.
- Offer it to the local community college’s graphic art’s instructor as a class project.
- Post a barter offer on craigslist.
- Barter through a traditional barting organization. (see my posts on bartering for small businesses)
Have any other ideas? Let me know, and I’ll add them.