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3 fundamental strategies to get a winning logo

Logo design seems simple. but it’s worth the time to do it right. Here are three strategies to help you get the most out of your logo design.

Everybody has a logo. Little League teams have logos. Hair salons have logos. Big companies, small companies…everybody.

A few of the logos are actually good.

By “good”, I don’t mean that I like them. I mean that they achieve what they are meant to achieve. They are winning logos.

Here are three strategies to help you get a winning logo.

3 logo strategies

Understand your brand

Many people labor under the mistaken idea that a logo is a brand and a brand is a logo. Not so. A brand is how people feel about your company or what they think about it.

As Seth Godin says:

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Jeff Bezos has this to say about a brand:

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”

Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. Well, it should be, if done right. If your brand is all about being gentle, your logo should reflect that. You can nix the image of two gorillas staring each other down.

Nail down logo pricing

Price and quality are related, but not the way you think.

With most things in life, really cheap is, well, really cheap. I’m a pretty frugal guy, but I know that if you get a really, really great deal, it’s not always that great a deal. The least expensive is usually not worth what you’ll pay.

You would think I would learn my lesson on that one. I’ve had a logo designed on Fiverr. Then I had another one designed on Fiverr. At least I wasted only $10. Not the most expensive learning experience.

On the other hand, the most expensive item is rarely much better than the mid-price. This is true, whether you are buying:

  • lounge chairs
  • lasagna
  • logos

Paying top price probably won’t get you a better logo. There is an exception – if you are paying for a complete branding strategy. Yeah, then it’s worth paying more. But for the graphics work itself, not worth $800.

One option between the two extremes is to crowdsource your logo design. That way, you get more choice. Set your price high enough that designers will want to compete for your business. Hint: that would be $10 – $25 more than most other people. That way, you keep a lid on your costs, and you get lots of choice.

Important tip: be very clear about what you want. You can get 100 designs that are way off the mark if you don’t describe exactly how you want to position your brand. Or you could get so many great designs that you’ll tear your hair out trying to decide. Then you’ll look like me. That’s a happy problem to have (I mean having too many great designs, not looking like me).

Put the logos to the test

How do you know that a logo is good? Here are five tests you can try.

First, determine if it communicates the feeling or quality you most want to get across. That might be trust. It might be elegance. It might be durability.

Second, ask yourself if it sets you apart. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? Does the logo help communicate this? Not every logo will, but if you get one that does, that’s a bonus.

Third, does it pass the color test? If part of your branding is “natural”, does it have lots of green and blue? I wrote about branding with red, and how that invokes passion, danger, action and other emotions.

Fourth, does it pass the favicon test. A favicon is that tiny image you see above the URL in your browser’s address bar.

favicons

Is the logo recognizable when reduced to favicon size? If it is, congratulations. It will also be recognizable from a distance. And on mobile devices. And if you want to add it to the corner of images. And just generally, it will be easy to recognize pretty much anywhere.

Fifth, does it pass the era test? Or is your logo so last year? These days, everybody is going flat design. If you logo isn’t flat design, you risk looking dated. If that’s your branding, that’s fine. But most people will want a logo that keeps up with the times.

If you follow these three strategies, you should have a much better logo than if you just wing it. By “better”, I mean, more effective. By “wing it”, I mean… “Hey, I like that!”.

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3 Responses to “3 fundamental strategies to get a winning logo”

  1. Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA (3 comments) Says:

    This is great advice, David.
    I’ve never crowdsourced a logo, but we’ve designed hundreds of them. The logo needs to truly provide a sense of the firm – or the product- to the user. It amplifies the brand’s capabilities- so the choice IS critical.

  2. Ravi Roshan Jaiswal (1 comments) Says:

    Hello David,

    Logo designing is not an easy task and I have seen many people fall into it. They are not satisfied with their design. The strategies which you have defined here is worth to know. A logo of any brand is a first side of attraction among people, so it should be should be designed very well and attractive in look.

    If your logo pass the fevicon test, looks great near the URL of your address bar. I have many sites don’t have favicon, that not looks proper. It means they need to read this post. Really a complete information to design a winning logo. I will keep remember it and share this knowledge with my colleague.

    Thanks for sharing.
    – Ravi.

  3. Loretta (1 comments) Says:

    Fiverr isn’t all bad, though. I can whip up a decent quick graphic for a blog post, but I’ve hired a few more difficult ones out on Fiverr with good results, especially for the hand drawn types of illustrations. I guess it really depends on what type of artwork you need there. 99designs.com used to be a good go-to place for crowdsourcing logo work. I haven’t used them in awhile, but they seem to still be doing well.

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