February 24th, 2020
Guest Post by Christoforos Zafeiris With billions of users active on the internet, companies (regardless of their size, outreach, audience) are integrating digital marketing and building their brand identity. By creating websites, having social media accounts across different channels, and establishing an online presence, everyone hopes to attract a share of potential customers. All these efforts need to keep in mind one single, simple principle: respect the brand identity and make it memorable, authentic, and original. In this article, we will focus on three main pillars of building a brand identity that everyone will talk about: email marketing, social media, and customer satisfaction. Email marketing Email marketing is considered a tool that can bring the highest conversion rates for a company. There are a few free email marketing services, which can help you create engaging, brand-oriented, authentic templates to grow your conversion rates. Strong brand identity will boost brand consideration, credibility, customer loyalty, and customer retention. As brand awareness is only the first step in a successful brand strategy, you should make your brand identity clear in every marketing venture. Consistent style Newsletters, email templates and other tools of email marketing are an important part, which shouldn’t be seen as temporary opportunities for quick sales. You should make clear that there is a specific style and identity, throughout your email marketing campaigns. A simple email layout, engaging visuals, proper font, and typography, are key elements of your email marketing. Do not forget that it’s crucial to follow your brand colors to make clear even visually that it’s your email. Brand logo and hero image via GIPHY Your brand logo should be one of the main aspects of your email campaigns. As soon as anyone opens your email, the logo should be clearly visible. Your brand logo should be combined with an attractive hero image. The hero image is usually a combination of image and text, which can be static or dynamic. Based on your brand identity and the goal of your email, you can incorporate video, GIFs, a punchline, or your brand name. Call-To-Action (CTA) button Every marketing action has a clear goal and as such every email marketing action has a purpose. The purpose of an email marketing action is clear in the Call-To-Action button, or at least it should be. Your email template should be designed around your CTA button so everything will end up in the reader wanting to click it. The most-used CTAs include the following: On-screen CTA Single button Freebies opt-in Premium trials No BS: this direct, prominent CTA works well for companies with already prominent branding The CTA should contradict the colors of the email template and have a very clear, simple, single-worded CTA button. Respect your audience via GIPHY The prerequisite for someone to receive your email campaigns is that they have at least expressed their general interest in your brand. As such, you already have them somewhat engaged and do not need to be too extra or too pushy; instead, you should respect the boundaries of your audience. Your audience will associate your brand with a positive feeling and not emails as useless spam emails. The people you want to engage with will want to remain in your email subscribers’ list. Pro Tip: Email campaigns might easily be considered as spam by email software, so don't forget to run an email deliverability test to guarantee that your emails will be delivered to your subscribers. Social media strategy via GIPHY As time passes, more articles, researches, and posts focus on the interrelation of a concrete, comprehensive social media strategy with the brand identity of a company, business, or even a startup. Social media is an indivisible part of our daily lives, as they are used for communication, information, entertainment reasons and play a major part in experiencing reality. Even though creating and shaping a proper social media strategy has its obstacles, even has drawbacks, no marketing company or in-house team can deliver proper results without a social media marketing strategy. Set clear social media strategy goals The first step you have to take is to clearly set your goals of the social media strategy you are going to plan and execute. The possibilities available for creating posts on social media are practically unlimited and this might lead you to pure confusion. So, one of the most effective ways to shape your strategy is to consider which part of the funnel you want to address on each post and which target audience. Infographic vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com Define your metrics via GIPHY After setting your goals, and before creating your strategy, you should consider and decide on which metrics you will use to evaluate your actions. The KPIs (key point indicators) are crucial, as they will help you identify, analyze and reshape your strategy. The more usual problem with deciding your KPIs is that a lot of marketers tend to focus on vanity metrics (for example, likes on Facebook), which cannot indicate the real value of your strategy. If you wish to be efficient and result-driven, then finding the right KPI for each action is a key element. Avoid two things: firstly, to use metrics that most companies use; secondly, to use the same metrics for each aspect of your strategy. Consistent brand experience via GIPHY Yes, consistency is a usual buzzword for digital marketing. But what does it mean, really? Consistency in marketing means creating, shaping, and reforming your strategies and actions, based on a predetermined set of principles. Such principles can refer to content creation, visual design, social media accounts, customer experience, or user interface. This creates a challenge for the marketing team, as they need to think carefully about all these concepts. The best option is to use a social media management tool to clarify your strategies, goals, actions, desired results, and then be accountable by reporting them, even to someone who has no relation to the company. Channel adaptiveness via GIPHY Each social medium has its own brand identity, loyal users, and characteristics. As social media channels try to distinguish themselves, creating one type of content for all of them is clearly out of the question. To be efficient and let your brand identity be promoted everywhere effectively, you need to adapt your social media actions, based on the channel they will be taken. For example, Instagram is an image-based, video-based platform, and you should edit your images accordingly. Also, since you have set a set of consistent guidelines and principles, it will be easy and simple for your team to adapt to trends and new social media. A clear example of that is how the NBA uses Tik Tok to create funny, viral videos that grow the audience of the league. Currently, it has about 9.7 million followers and 174.7 million likes. Customer experience A part usually overlooked in the process of making brand identity unique and memorable is the customer experience. We define customer experience as any moment of interaction between a customer and the organization. A positive customer experience is defined by moments that bring out positive reactions, by customers who feel appreciated and can recognize the brand identity in each interaction. Good customer service can be highly impacted by your brand identity, but there are four stages that you should consider for making your brand memorable and unique. Consideration All consumers go through a phase of consideration before deciding the brand that they’ll choose. During the consideration process, your values should be clear to your possible customers. For example, Nike is a company with a clear brand identity, followed by a clear catchphrase ("Just do it!)) and most people will consider Nike when shopping for a brand new pair of athletic shoes. Nike has successfully branded itself using basic storytelling and emotional branding. Purchase via GIPHY The purchase phase of your product/service is a critical point of getting your brand identity through to the consumers. Why? Recognizing and understanding your brand identity will create an appropriate set of brand expectations. These expectations will be met by your customers, and lead to their increased satisfaction. But, if your brand identity is not clear and customers feel disappointed, they will not move on to the next stages of customer experience. Loyalty via GIPHY Customer loyalty, also referred to as customer retention, is the result of constant positive experience, based on satisfaction and value. The group of loyal customers you have can be a real goldmine of data. You can create and run target-specific surveys on the experience of loyal customers, based on their interactions with your company. Collecting and analyzing data about your customers’ interactions with your company lets you see what you are doing right and wrong, connect your buyer personas with specific services, and find out what maintains their loyalty. As clearly indicated by academic literature, a strong, memorable brand identity is strongly connected with customer trust and loyalty. Advocacy Now, to the last part of customer experience, turning loyal customers to advocates of your company. This used to be a tricky part, as people usually relate enough to loyal to a brand, but do not feel that emotionally attached to advocate for a specific product or brand. Nowadays, the tricky part is not to involve someone actively, as social media have made it easier for someone to share opinions. The challenge is to create an emotional attachment with loyal customers, making them “blind” to other offers and opportunities. As such, your brand identity has to be constantly reshaped, based on the recent trends and changes, while allowing your customers to feel invested in this journey of brand management. A very successful rebranding process, leading to the re-engagement of customers and to their turning into advocates of a company, is Aegean Airlines. The Greece-based airlines has recently unveiled its new brand identity. The rebranding process managed to strengthen the core values of its brand identity while making the locals feel more attached to the company. Final thoughts Developing a memorable brand identity in 2020 is not an easy, step-by-step process, but rather a multifaceted process, based on constant interactions, analysis, and transformations. If you wish to deliver results for your brand, you should make a clear list of goals and set your brand voice and personality. Your brand identity will then be easily integrated into your different strategies. You should focus on the three aforementioned pillars: email marketing to boost your conversion rates, social media to get your brand identity out there, and customer experience to increase customers' satisfaction and their lifetime value. Christoforos Zafeiris works as an SEO Copywriter for the email marketing software company Moosend. He has always been eager to change the narrative and influence trends with his words; thus, copywriting is the only natural choice for him. Besides that, he has been an enthusiast of human communication, long walks, and emotional storytelling.
Deciding where to outsource your brand's logo design is a big decision to make, and ultimately you need to go with your instinct. But you don't need to choose blindly. At Best Company, we believe data-informed decisions are better decisions, and we have some helpful data to present within the logo design industry. 1-star stats In a recent content analysis of all of our 1-star customer reviews for logo design, we found that the four main themes emerging from complaints are the following: Design quality — 52% of 1-star reviews mention this Payment and refund policies — 38% of 1-star reviews mention this Customer service — 36% of 1-star reviews mention this Treatment of designers — 25% of 1-star reviews from crowdsourcing platforms mention this Other common issues include delayed responses, recurring fees, and lengthy turnaround time. Read: 32% of Logo Design Reviews Are 1 Star: Here's Why Of course, even good companies get the occasional bad review. Sometimes designers drop the ball. Sometimes consumers have unreasonable expectations for turnaround time. And sometimes reviews are highly emotional. Regardless of why negative reviews were written, consumers and companies stand to benefit from being aware of them. Logo seekers can watch out for common issues and avoid truly problematic design companies, and companies can tweak practices accordingly and improve customer engagement to resolve issues that arise. 5-star stats So now you may be wondering: What about the great logo design reviews? What do they say about the logo design experience, and what can consumers and design companies learn from them? It turns out that the majority (56%) of all reviews left for logo design companies are 5-star reviews. Of those nearly 200 reviews, these specific aspects of the logo design company are given the most frequent praise (some reviews mention more than one): Quality of design or designer — 43% Customer service — 23% Turnaround time — 16% Multiple design options — 14% The design process — 13% Ability to make revisions — 12% Pricing — 8% Hard to choose favorite logo option — 4% Ultimately, nearly all of the positive reviews convey the excitement of obtaining a high-quality logo while highlighting what the company did best. And that information can inform the decisions and experiences of prospective logo seekers. Creating a 5-star experience The data from both the 1-star reviews and the 5-star reviews shed light on best practices for design companies as well as recommendations for business owners and others seeking design assistance. We reached out to logo design company reps to see what they do to provide a positive experience for clients. Design quality Design quality, the factor most likely to guarantee a 5-star review, comes down to clearly communicated expectations for the logo, vetting of designers, and allowing for multiple revisions to get the design just right. Communicate clearly A design brief is the best tool for clients to explain what they need and expect from a designer. It explains the exact purpose of the project, who the target audience is, information about the company, what your brand stands for, and the design requirements. Keep in mind that the best descriptions get the best results, and a design brief needs to be direct and detail-oriented. It is also helpful to include links to your brand’s social media accounts. When outlining design requirements, focus on defining the details as much as possible, such as measurements, expected file types, and your brand's style guide with the logo and color schemes. — Duncan Bird, VP of brand marketing and digital at Fiverr Include typography design The logo design process is an opportunity to improve or reinvent your brand fonts. Why? The majority of today's logos include a logotype, or a written text logo, not just a logomark (or symbol). A professional agency will consider hundreds of typography options, selecting a font that best fits your brand vision. It's an in-depth process that you don't want to overlook. — Caleb Leigh, CEO of Visuals by Impulse Craft a thorough design process We have found that by sticking to a solid five-step branding process, our clients walk away impressed with the process and final deliverables. Here’s how the process looks and works: Discovery — initial information exchange and learning about history, goals, and what the client knows about their position in the industry Workshop — interactive exercises to unlock insights that we can’t get through question/answer format. Includes card sorting to define voice/style/behavior for the brand, design barometer to get gut reactions on design preferences, and stick figure diagrams to learn about unique aspects of the company Research — secondary research to review competitors, digital and marketplace presences, and audiences, including a detailed report of insights, observations, and guidance for design and messaging Identity — work to develop the primary and secondary logos, colors, fonts, photography styles, brand statement, tagline, and elevator speech Brand guidelines — the completed guide and package for the client to use moving forward — Corey Morris, VP of marketing at Voltage Vet designers We have close to 40,000 logo designers from all over the world that design logos for our clients. Before designers can join our community they have to fill out a form with some personal information and a link to their online portfolio showcasing some of their previous work. If it doesn't meet our high quality standards they are not accepted. We only accept about 5 percent of all applications submitted. — Joe Daley, CEO and founder of LogoMyWay Retain the best designers We retain great designers by providing them with a great experience including friendly support, fast payouts, and improvements to the platform. We also deactivate designers that are harming the platform or lowering the community standards. This shows designers we care about the community. — Guillermo Condo, head of customer support at DesignCrowd Allow for multiple revisions Whereas a free logo maker may not give you multiple iterations and freelancers may charge separately for each request, we provide unlimited designs and unlimited revisions. Basically, we provide clients a design team for a fixed fee without them having to dig deep into their pockets. After the logo is done, they can request designs for other avenues like visiting cards, brochures, company profiles, flyers, social media posts, blog banners, and banner ads for social. — Dushyant Bhatia, founder of DesignOye Payment and refund policies Clients want to see that design services give them good value for their money. Clear pricing and guarantees can increase clients' confidence in a chosen company. Guarantee satisfaction At LogoMyWay, we offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your logo submissions. — Daley Be transparent We are clear about our refund policy, what our customers are paying for, and what packages include. And we offer discounts to the most loyal customers. — Condo Offer a full or partial refund Payments are typically collected after a client completes their online creative brief and we don't get too much push back from clients paying for the work upfront. We work refunds on a case-by-case basis, but most of the time side with the client. I think because of that, clients that refunded actually have come back later and started new projects. — Aaron Bernabi, president of LogoWorks Customer service Best practices in customer service include frequent communication, a dedicated contact point, willingness to correct errors, and a process that is intuitive and effective. Assign a dedicated account manager “At Logoworks we have dedicated project managers that work one-on-one with our clients and designers. It keeps the clients happy because the project manager can directly relay the clients questions or concerns to the designers, and it keeps the designers happy because they don't have to stop what they're doing to take emails or calls.” — Bernabi Prioritize prompt turnaround times We work on one request at a time which means that the brands need to ensure their brief is comprehensive and precise so that we can get them their request within one to two work days. In case of changes, the client may share his or her feedback via our chat dashboard with the account manager and the changes are incorporated within one working day. — Dushyant Fair treatment of designers For crowdsourcing companies, compensation can sometimes be a concern for designers. To keep designers happy as well as clients, they can offer higher compensation as well as options for selecting runners up and contest guarantees. Let designers keep their pay We pay each designer for their work, regardless of whether or not their design is chosen. We also think it's fair that our designers keep their pay, even if a project refunds. We've seen some sites that make designers return their pay if a project refunds. — Bernabi Let designers set their rates Freelancers on Fiverr set their own rates and create their own services, allowing them to price their services according to the value they place on their time and talent. Fiverr's new Logo Maker is also a way for designers to earn more by doing less, enhancing their sales and bringing more exposure, passive income, and a new audience. — Bird The best "problem" to have as a logo design client Many of the 5-star reviews — 4 percent of the total — mention a specific problem: that it was extremely difficult to choose their favorite logo out of the options presented by the logo design company, whether it was from an agency or a crowdsourcing platform. To get a better feel for what the top logo design companies have to offer, read their reviews.
Seventy-eight percent of people buy their gift recipient a physical object rather than a service or experience — but science has proven time and again that a material present matters less. For the freelancer in your life testing the waters of an ever-uncertain job market, you could be worried about whether they’ll sink or swim, and you want to give them the best advantages possible. Whether they’re new to working remotely or have spent years developing their freelancing skills, they need a support system that will help them grow. Here are services and experiences that can give freelancers an edge in the career world, many of them well within a tight holiday budget. While a new pen or a standing desk can be a thoughtful Christmas present, you’ll find that gifting an experience is more likely to land you in someone’s good graces. Online courses Is your freelancer breaking into digital marketing, but they’re stumped on social media? What if they’re a web developer who needs to brush up on Java? An online course can be a good alternative to returning to school to learn a new skill. Companies like Udemy and Coursera offer a wide variety of training courses, sometimes reasonably priced or even free. Some sites are even niche-specific, such as Udacity for technical training and Brain Sensei for project management. If your freelancer likes LinkedIn, you could even pay for their LinkedIn Learning subscription, which gives them access to a library of courses for $29.99 monthly, or $299.88 annually. Just be sure they don’t already have access through another one of LinkedIn’s subscriptions! When going this route, Lauren Kuchugurnyy of Comprehension Content recommends certified training: “Training can improve a freelancer's current work, and — if that training is certified — it can also advance a freelancer’s career prospects by providing credentials.” Conference tickets Networking is one of the most mystifying and scary parts of freelancing, but it’s an absolute essential. At a conference, freelancers can further their learning, meet potential clients and colleagues, and trick-or-treat for business cards and connections. A freelancer’s networking skills will only get better with time and practice, so they should take as many opportunities as they can to attend events in their field. Find conferences in your freelancer’s area and industry and buy them a ticket. Make sure you know whether they’ve already booked the event! Professional headshots Clients usually see a freelancer’s profile photo on social media or even some project bids, and an unprofessional photo could hurt a hopeful’s chances. Grainy selfies and bad lighting are naturally unappealing. Even if a client means to judge based on experience, the ubiquity of profile photos will probably inform their choice. Book a professional photoshoot for a freelancer, making sure that the date and time works for them. Working with a photographer who’s experienced with business headshots can even boost your gift recipient’s confidence. Graphic design services We’re in the age of aesthetics — presentation matters. So make sure your freelancer puts their best foot forward through strong digital presence. You can gift a freelancer logo design services to help them establish their personal brand. Most freelancers want to do this themselves and save money, but logo design doesn’t have to break the bank and it can be worth the cost. Sites like DesignCrowd and Crowdspring use crowdsourcing design contests to get their clients logos. Others like The Logo Company and Logobee offer design packages with an in-house team of designers. You can also hire a graphic designer to create business cards, stationery, and social media cover photos. These professional accents can put a freelancer a step above the competition, and so purchasing a design service — or giving your freelancer the money to do so — can be a great Christmas present. Resume writing Freelancers are constantly on the job hunt. Because of this, their social media profiles and resumes need to be perpetually updated and optimized. If your freelancer ever sends out their resume with a project bid or application, it could be worth having a resume writer or editor review their work. Top-of-the-line resume writers can optimize your documents to pass ATS scans and catch a hiring manager’s eye. They can teach you HR trends and timeless resume conventions that can make any freelancer more competitive. Social media auditing Many resume writers now offer to comb through your LinkedIn profile in addition to fine-tuning a resume, so this is something else you can help your gift recipient take advantage of. Buy them a package with social media review so they can highlight their best skills online without flubbing their digital presence. LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms for this type of audit. If your gift recipient doesn’t like writing or doesn’t know how to use LinkedIn, professionals can help. Virtual assistant services We’re getting to the pricier end of the list, so be aware that a virtual assistant doesn’t usually come cheap. But if your freelancer is booked out and struggling to complete their tasks, manage events, and respond to every email, a virtual assistant could be the perfect solution. Success in the freelance space comes with a tight schedule. Virtual assistant services are a great gift because they can manage client relationships and outreach while your freelancer keeps working. Make sure, however, that you hire from a reputable company or website! You'll want this VA to have a track record of success. Co-working space rental Employees working remotely should try out co-working at least once, even if it turns out it's not their thing. For those who don’t know, property owners can rent their office space to groups and individuals, often creating a melting pot of various companies and experts. For the small startup or aspiring entrepreneur, a co-working space is a solution that helps them network while getting them out of their home. Some people love co-working because of the connections they make; others like it because it’s cheaper than renting a building in an office park. For your freelancer, co-working can put your freelancer in the mindset for work in a professional environment and uplifting atmosphere. You can find thousands of co-working rentals online, and if your budget is sizeable for this gift, you can probably find something for the right price. Pro subscription to a freelancing platform Do you know what your freelancer uses to find jobs? Is it Upwork? Toptal? LinkedIn? Fiverr? Sometimes these platforms have add-ons and pro subscriptions that make it easier to get noticed by clients. For example, Upwork’s Freelancer Plus subscription lets you get a peek at competitor bids and allows you to bid for up to 70 jobs per month. Sites like Flexjobs require a monthly subscription for access to the job board. You can pay for a couple months of a subscription to help your gift recipient decide if it gives them an edge over the competition. Subscription to freelancer tools I would have loved for someone to pay my yearly subscription to The Chicago Manual of Style when I was editing. It was an essential tool for my work, and so a gift subscription would have been a thoughtful present. Likewise, many other freelancers have a tool or service that’s taking a monthly cut. From Adobe to Canva to ahrefs, nearly every remote worker has a subscription that’s necessary for their business. Do a little digging and ask what tools your freelancer needs and whether or not they have to pay up for them. Is the subscription yearly? Monthly? Can you gift one? This is probably a service they already use, so you know your gift will hit the spot. Laurice Wardini of ClothedUp seconds this idea: “Subscriptions for pro services would be my number one idea that I would love to receive as a gift. For example, I was been gifted an ahrefs membership for a year and it’s amazing.”
If you’re not inside the design world, you might not realize how quickly graphic design trends develop. As our world becomes more connected, trends rocket from the fringes to the mainstream quicker than you can say "Graphic Design Trends 2020." But unless your business relies on being at the forefront of graphic design, you don’t need to know every single trend that is coming and going. Instead, aim to focus on one or two ideas that you can easily incorporate into your existing branding or content output. An easy place to start using new trends is in your digital marketing. Social media graphics are much easier to create than a website redesign or a rebrand. Here are five trends that you can easily adapt to work for your company: Created using Venngage Infographic Maker 1. Muted color palettes Muted color palettes is an easy trend to jump on if you’re not ready for a big change, but you're still looking for a fresh approach to your designs. Graphic design has tended to lean towards the more bright and colorful end of the spectrum in recent years, with pops of bright (almost neon) colors dominating our screens. But in 2020, companies will take a more muted approach to their colors, favoring softer, less bright palettes. Muted colors is an easy trend to action your social output. By updating the colors you use on Instagram or Twitter, you can avoid making any big changes to the core of your business, but still be on-trend. You don’t even necessarily have to create a new color palette; you can take your existing brand colors and add black or white to each color to create a more muted palette to pick from. This way, any new content will still be recognizable as "you," but just a fresher, more on-trend you. 2. Authentic images Following the shift away from bright colors to more muted palettes, stock photos will also shift away from heavily constructed and edited to more natural and authentic looking. If you already have a stock library you use regularly, it might be difficult to put this tip into action, but if there’s wiggle room you should absolutely consider thinking differently about the stock photos you use. Instead of photos that are obviously posed, try to use stock photos that seem more natural and candid. Picking stock photos that are less heavily edited is a great way to embrace this trend too. Look for photographs that haven’t been edited to make the colors pop, or have had the contrast turned up. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself "Would my absolute coolest friend/favorite influencer post this photo on Instagram?" If the answer is yes, you’ve probably found a winner. 3. Abstract and dreamy illustrations The beauty of a custom illustration is that it will be completely unique to you and help you stand out amongst your competitors. Tech companies, in particular, have been quick to embrace the trend of using illustrations in their content, with places like Twitter and Apple using custom illustrations in their sites and stores respectively. In 2020, illustrations will move away from the more rigid and geometric designs that we’ve seen in recent years, and towards much more abstract and flowing illustrations. Think soft overlapping wiggly lines, blobs of color, and natural elements like leaves and flowers. Layer soft lines and drawings over each other to easily create interesting textures and illustrations. You can also incorporate squiggles and wiggles into your text or photo based graphics as a nod to the dreamy illustration trend. 4. Minimalistic designs Minimalistic designs are going to be huge next year for the exact same reasons that muted colors, authentic photos, and dreamy illustrations will be. A natural rebuttal to over crowded and busy graphics, minimalism is going to be big — especially in the digital sphere. Minimalistic landing pages are already taking over the tech world, and we can expect to see more mainstream companies taking stock. Plain white backgrounds with lots of white space in between the graphics and text is a great way to draw a reader’s eye straight to your call to action. We can expect to see minimalistic landing pages quickly become minimalist blogs, newsletters, and home pages too. The less stuff you have on your page, the quicker the page load time — an increasingly important metric to search engines and consumers alike. It seems unlikely that minimalism will fully extend to social media, where white space can often seem like dead space, but you can incorporate hints of minimalism into your social content by being mindful of not creating overly complicated or busy graphics. 5. Simplicity If it seems like all of these trends have something in common, it’s because they do. All of the top graphic design trends of 2020 lean towards being a lot calmer: More muted colors, softer shapes, and natural designs. This shift is completely understandable when you think about the most popular design trends of the last few years: bold, bright colors, highly stylized and edited images, and textures and layers being used to create complex graphics. 2020 will be the year of simplicity in everything from fonts to landing pages to graphic elements like gradients and shapes. It can be easy to want to over complicate your designs by adding more graphic elements or boosting the color of any photographs a little bit more, but by keeping simplicity in mind you can create much more modern-looking graphics. Alice Corner is a Content Marketer at Venngage who likes good design, social media, and visual communication. When she’s not writing about those things, she’s making videos about those things on the Venngage youtube channel.
The world of online reviews is polarizing. You love a company or you hate it — that’s why you leave a review. And this reasoning is why it’s not particularly surprising that 32 percent of our reviews for the logo design category are one-star reviews. If you have one negative experience with a company, you want to shout it from the rooftops. But what’s really informative — and sometimes surprising — is the reasoning behind these reviews. We want to save future consumers from the same headache, so here are our data and insights on the most common logo design complaints. *Because we will be reviewing general complaints, all specific company and reviewer names are removed. To better understand a specific company’s feedback, read their reviews. 52% of reviewers complain of poor design quality Most customers expected more bang for their buck; they wanted an eye-catching logo design that encompassed their brand message. It makes sense that quality is at the forefront of reviewers’ minds, and it’s the factor most likely to guarantee a one-star review if quality is poor. But a good logo design isn’t a shot in the dark, and poor quality designs aren’t unavoidable. Designers have portfolios for a reason. Here are some tips for avoiding this pitfall: If you’re researching a design team, look through their portfolio and see if their designs are up to your standards. If you can’t find designs related to your industry or similar to what you want, you could try reaching out directly to the team to ask if they have any examples of finished designs related to your company or idea. “Make sure that the contract they send you very clearly outlines the revision process,” Jared Cohen, Product Development Specialist of Falcon Marketing, warns, “and be wary of any companies that limit your number of logo revisions without switching to an hourly rate past a certain mark.” What you see is what you get. Don’t expect the designers to pull off a logo of much higher quality compared to their previous work. If you’re working through a crowdsourcing platform, research finished contests and selected winners. Are the designs good? Or does it seem like the client simply settled on the least terrible option? How much did the client promise for their contest winner? What other factors might have influenced their final submissions, such as a prize guarantee, a runner-up prize, or the client’s brand recognition? It’s a well-documented trend for crowdsourcing platforms holding design contests to yield poor quality submissions. Don’t be a victim of a site with amateur designers who provide bad concepts. But on the flip side, don’t offer insultingly low compensation, rude feedback, and few benefits for your contest winner(s) — more on this later. If you want to use a DIY logomaker, check with other reviewers and onsite info to see how customizable the templates will be. Can you add multiple colors? Adjust alignment? Use any font? It would be a shame to purchase a template only to realize later that it won’t allow you to transform it as expected. 38% of reviewers complain of refund issues Most refund guarantees, even “full money-back guarantees,” include fine print. Refunds may exclude posting fees or a percentage of the upfront cost retained by the company as a commission. Unfortunately, some companies aren’t transparent or forthcoming about this fine print, despite putting a money-back guarantee proclamation on their front page. In these instances, it’s up to you to read the fine print and reviews. Conversely, some consumers don’t perform their due diligence in researching the refund policy. It’s likely that many clients don’t think they’ll have to use it, and so they don’t pay attention to it. To avoid getting shortchanged in a refund, here are some pointers: Read your contract thoroughly. Not only will this help you better understand the refund policy, but it will also give you better information on turnaround time, the number of offered concepts, and what to do when dealing with an unresponsive designer. Ensure you’re working through a company with a track record of success. The goal is to require no refund for your logo design. Read reviews and look at the portfolio! Naturally, this won’t be able to save you from every mishap, but it’s a good tactic to avoid a bad refund policy. Know what fees are refundable. Some clients get themselves in trouble by outstepping the bounds of refundable offerings. Company FAQs often include information on what is refundable, so be sure to check this. If you’re ever unsure, clarify beforehand in writing what aspects of your purchase or package are refundable, and get a breakdown of your fees should you later need to dispute the matter. It’s unlikely you’ll work with a company that offers full refunds. “The amount that you can be refunded for shoddy work is also dependent on numerous factors,” Jaykishan Panchal of E2M Solutions Inc. explains, “and most likely you will need to offer some compensation unless the designer has refused to complete a project. . . . Unfortunately, just because you do not like something is not a reason to receive a full refund, especially if the designer put in a lot of hours to create a logo for you. Instead, it may be better to ask them for one last edit or to take their work to another designer and see what else can be done.” Read also: How to Use Animated Logos for Your Business [with Examples] 36% of reviewers complain of poor customer service We arrive at a universal complaint across all industries: poor customer service. Communication is key to a good logo design, and it’s understandable that poor communication in this industry is particularly frustrating. Some companies offer design services from creatives around the world, which can lead to language barriers and inconsistent response times. Other companies can’t be reached by phone, or their responses are delayed. And other companies can’t intervene when a designer on their freelance platform has failed to uphold a contract. Avoiding this one can be tricky. Sometimes it can depend on which medium you use to approach the company; other times it can depend on how well you explain the issue. Then again, there’s also the problem of a company’s fine print — some companies aren’t transparent about how they can help their clients if a conflict arises. While your results may vary by company, here are some tips to prevent a customer service mishap: Know what the company can fix. Some companies that host freelancers have disclaimers that they can’t intervene in all situations. If you’re worried that a company won’t be able to bail you out of a worst-case scenario, look for another service to help you. “If customer service is an essential factor in the logo design process or you have concerns about this issue, then it may be better to work with a design company instead of an individual,” Panchal suggests. “These businesses will have a designated department to handle any issues and answer questions you may have, which could result in a better experience.” Read reviews. At times, customer experience can be subjective. Read positive and negative reviews to see if the specific company you’re researching would give you a customized, positive logo design experience. Find available contact information and reach out to the company before you work with them. “Always before paying make sure to contact them to see how well and fast they respond and how good their customer service is,” Tzvi Fried, founder of Logomotive, says. “This is crucial as there will be a lot of back and forth for revisions.” Test out their response time through your chosen medium of communication. If you don’t like their phone trees or their automated responses, see what other companies can do for you. 1 in 4 reviewers of crowdsourcing platforms think they’re unfair for designers Clients aren’t always the ones being ripped off — sometimes it’s the designers. Keep in mind that our Best Company reviews include reviews from both designers and clients. If we collected data separately from the two groups, the negative response toward crowdsourcing platforms from designers may be even stronger and more statistically significant. So what’s remarkable about this is that even among a mingling of client and designer reviews, there’s a significant negative response to this method of logo generation. And think about it: if you became an expert in your field and were asked to apply your skills with no guarantee of compensation, pitted against hundreds of other experts for hours of your time, with the contest judge being a client who might not understand or respect your work, it makes sense that you could be unhappy. Designers beware: design contests might not be worth your effort. You’re likely able to tell whether a client will be difficult or dismissive based on their brief, so read it carefully. And make sure you’re working through a site that you think respects your time and experience. But an admonishment for clients: you could try harder to make your contests worth the effort. Here are some tips for getting better results from a design contest (it might not always be the fault of the company that you received low quality submissions): Provide high compensation. Know what’s a reasonable price for a logo. Choose higher-tier packages that allow you to give the winner a bigger payout. Choose runners-up. Some companies allow you to choose second- and third-prize winners that will also be compensated for their time and design. Make a clear design brief. Companies will allow you to give clear instructions for your contest. Use this time to discuss your brand, its values, its services, and any style restrictions. You might even be able to include a mock-up to get designers started. Provide helpful feedback. On sites where feedback on concepts is possible, be positive and clear. Instead of saying, “Change the font,” it might be more helpful to say, “Change the serif font to a bubblier script font.” Specificity will be your friend. And to be specific and helpful, you’ll need to know something about design yourself. You can read some of our advice on the logo design blog. Choose the Contest Guarantee option. Some companies will let you “guarantee” your contest, which means you will award a winner and will not ask for a refund or declare no designer eligible for pay. This assures designers that their time is much less likely to be wasted, motivating higher-profile creatives to submit their work. Thinking you’re going to get a special deal on a logo design is not recommended. As the saying always goes, “You get what you pay for.” Other concerns: delayed responses, recurring fees, and lengthy turnaround time Beyond these primary concerns, reviewers also complained about some miscellaneous issues that occur in the logo design industry. Some logo design companies have subscription services or hidden, recurring fees that frustrate their customers. Make sure you receive an invoice you can archive, so you can dispute any charges that aren’t documented. Because communication is so important for creating a good logo, it’s frustrating when designer response is slow. Between concepts, feedback, and revisions, the design process could take months. Be clear about what schedule you expect, and ask them to be clear about what schedule they can deliver. Read also: 7 Ways to Protect Your Company Logo The takeaway Reviews are an important element of consumer research. They can steer customers clear of truly dishonest or unhelpful services. They can also give consumers a chance to air their complaints in a public forum where they are more likely to be addressed. But keep in mind that not every reviewer understood their service or performed adequate research before jumping in; not every 1-star review is the fault of the company, and many companies respond to these reviews to quickly solve any issues. Putting some data into your decisions will help you better understand your choice, and that’s what we’ve done for you. Knowing these factors, your review of any logo design company is likely to be more well-informed and balanced.
Motion design is taking over the internet. Icons blink and move, pages fill with content as you scroll, and video content made up 67 percent of all internet traffic in 2016 — and its market share is only growing. While there are still plenty of pages and mediums where static content is appropriate, the eye is drawn to motion. Businesses should be using this human instinct to their advantage. An animated logo could get you more attention and conversion. . . if you know how to use one. Why would I want an animated logo? Marketing succeeds when we understand the needs of the consumer. If the natural inclination to prioritize viewing moving objects isn’t reason enough, there could be several other reasons your target market wants an animated logo: If you have a digital footprint, you’re in the right place for animation. “You would want an animated logo for your business if your goal is to target customers online,” Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO Strategist at LogoMaker explains. “Any e-commerce stores or cloud-based companies looking to showcase their brand in a modern light should consider this logo style.” If you’re competing in a packed industry, animation could help you stand out. “Today, with literally billions of people using social media sites, standing out is getting harder and harder,” Blogging Coach Janice Wald opines. “Marketers need online attention.” Lizzie Dunn, SEO Associate at Fundera, agrees. “As consumers are exposed to an increasing amount of advertisements and brands a day, you must go above and beyond to stand out amongst competitors,” she asserts. Janice Wald used the free tool Introbrand to create a video intro of her logo that is timed to music. If you need to communicate your brand’s unique services more effectively, an animated logo gives you more time and space to convey what makes you different. “Animation is a great way to help communicate your brand in a short and impactful way,” Nathan Hall, CEO of Simple Story says. “It can speak to certain brand characteristics, like playful and fun. Or it could be a signal to the world as to what your company actually does — picture an airline having their logo flying into frame.” Simple Story's own animated logo is elegant and professional. Pamela Webber, COO of 99designs, seconds this idea: “In addition to grabbing a viewer’s attention, it’s possible to incorporate an element of storytelling in an animated logo that helps communicate a brand’s personality. For example, when we recently animated the 99designs logo, we worked with platform designer Maryia Dziadziulia to incorporate a sense of creativity and playfulness.” It's amazing what a choice of motion can do. From a calligraphic brush stroke to letters bouncing into frame, how a logo moves can suggest how a business brands itself. 99designs' and Maryia Dziadziulia's logo exudes playful creativity. Where should I share my animated logo? So you’re convinced you could use some motion design in your branding. But where can you put this design so that it isn’t too distracting, but it will still garner attention? Most web platforms are becoming more open to a variety of file formats, meaning you’re less limited to a static image than you thought. Here are some places where an animated logo would be ideal: On social media — “You can share your animated logo around the internet,” Shane Naranjo of Sigil Digital Creative Agency explains. “The best way, though, is on social media platforms.” Sigil Creative has an animated logo for their Facebook banner. Did you know that was possible? You might be surprised to know that most social media platforms can handle animation in some form or another. You could pin the animated logo in a tweet on your Twitter account, or you could post it as a short video on your Instagram. Sigil Agency uses this as a Facebook banner, along with a few animated listings of their services. In promotional videos — “Animated logos are great for the intros and outros of your video,” Hall says. “It not only communicates who you are, but it tells the viewer what you are about right off the bat. Video is all about motion, so leaving your logo static on the screen for a number of frames would be unengaging and fall flat.” Dave Bloom, President of Bloom PR, seconds this: “Animated videos are an excellent relatively new visual that’s placed at the beginning and the end of a business video feature, no matter how long the feature video might be,” he says. “It’s an excellent way to brand companies in a colorful and visual way that has a 3-D look.” Bloom PR has animated several logos for video intros and outros. In fact, nearly any digital promotional material benefits from an animated logo. “Today you could have an animated logo that precedes your social media marketing videos, instructional videos, an app loading screen, digital signage, or even some companies use animated logos as their LinkedIn profile picture,” Shane Hebzynski, founder of 3 Cats Labs elaborates. You can use an animated logo in the place of many other motion graphics for loading screens and videos. When should I stick to a static logo? Animation doesn’t belong everywhere. Sometimes a page can feel busy if too many parts are moving, and you want to remember where your consumer will be focusing. There are some places where an animated logo doesn’t belong: E-commerce product pages shouldn’t overwhelm a user. “One place that you may want to keep logo animation out of is a product page or shopping experience (unless the transaction is complete),” Dunn warns. “You don't want to risk distracting the user away from a buying experience with an animation front and center.” Formal situations call for a traditional, static logo. “You should not include your animated logo on any digital PR material,” Strasenburg advises. “Press releases are much more formal and should therefore include just your static logo.” On images and media where your logo acts as a watermark or credit, animating it will distract from the media itself. “You would still use a static logo on documentation, as a watermark or branding on a photo, traditional signage, and where we commonly see logos,” Hebzynski says. When you’re a new business and when you’re on a tight budget, animated logos might not be your priority. “There are times when a static logo will serve the needs of your brand better, especially if you’re a new brand,” Webber suggests. “Your static logo is important for building quick, instant brand recognition in your customer base that will be invaluable in the long run. Equally, if your budget is tight, consider sticking with a classic fixed logo — hiring a good animator is an investment.” Who should I hire to create an animated logo? You might be wondering where you could find someone to make an animated logo. Not all graphic designers have the skills necessary to animate, and you might not have anyone on your team who has experience with motion design. But you have a few options for where to look: “There are really three types of agencies that you'd turn to for an animated logo,” Hebzynski explains. “An animation studio, a video production agency because they often do VFX, and a creative agency (like 3 Cats Labs) that offers VFX or video production/editing services.” You could also find a freelancer with these skills, because some graphic designers now study motion design in conjunction with their more traditional services. 3 Cats Labs creates its own dynamic logos. But beyond an impressive portfolio and range of VFX skills, you need to find a designer or company that can tell a story. “It is simple to find someone who can animate, but be sure to invest in a partner who can turn a five-second logo animation into truly valuable asset that can communicate what your brand’s all about,” Hall warns. For this reason, you might even want to work with the same designer or team for multiple projects. Discovering a designer who you feel "gets" your brand is essential to consistent design that will speak to your audience. This logo from Simple Story will instantly make you think of fresh water. Being clear about the direction you want to take with your logo can also help your designer execute your vision. “Work closely with them and ensure you give the creative working on the project a really clear brief about what you’re looking for to ensure a successful outcome,” Webber advises. Wrapping it up Can you see why animated logos are gaining popularity? They're fun, magnetic, and unique — not to mention perfect for many digital platforms. It makes for a great video intro or outro, and video content is on the rise. If you're looking for a way to enhance your brand's visibility, you might consider hiring a logo design company, team, or individual to create an animated logo for you.
Creating the perfect logo comes with immense pressure, but the issue only compounds when you have to juggle multiple design elements. Making a cohesive logo that balances a symbol and wordmark through its shape, size, color, and branding could takes dozens of drafts, piles of money, and days, weeks, or months of time. So ignoring the issue can be tempting. You might consider slapping your company name on a white background and closing the deal. Or, you might decide that a picture is worth a thousand words and use a symbol to embody your startup’s new brand. After all, Apple gets away with it, right? But instead of running from your problems, you can learn more about the tools in your toolkit. While you can employ a variety of logo types for your brand, typography is an important element of many effective logos. Typography has its own ability to establish your brand alongside color, spacing, symbolism, and the other various design elements that comprise a logo. So how important is typography in your logo design? And how can it affect consumer brand recognition? Let’s dive in. How important is typography in logo design? Symbols only become recognizable with time. You may think it’s sensible to start with a wordless design, especially with minimalist logos being one of the most popular design movements of 2019. But very few companies achieved their success through picture alone. Shell, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Nike are all recognizable through their symbols, but they had their own trial periods of a word/picture combination, sometimes for decades. It was only after their brands caught on that these companies began to forego the wordmarks in their marketing. For example, Nike’s 1978 logo still had a wordmark to strengthen brand association with their symbol. But now, they’ve dropped it. Unless you’re a brand well loved by millions of customers, you’ll probably need a wordmark or lettermark in your logo. “People tend to remember logos that they can absorb and remember quickly,” personal branding coach Danica Norton says, “so something they can read does the trick a lot more effectively than something they have to figure out.” As owner of logodesigngroup.com Richard Williamson opines, “Typography is the most important part of logo design. Too often, we think of the illustration or image as the logo, but without the words, logos are largely meaningless.” There are rare exceptions to the rule, but most companies start with their name or initials somewhere in their logo. Adding onto this, Holly Mullinax, art director of The Symphony Agency, explains that “logotypes also often stand the ‘test of time’ as they are not burdened with trendy or gimmicky imagery.” The more elements a designer adds, the more difficult it is to create a balanced and cohesive design. If you want a timeless look, you might need to incorporate your company name somewhere in the design. What will decide the direction for my logo’s typography? The ideal lettermark logo will vary based on the target audience, industry, company’s personality, and how the company intends to use its logo. Williamson says that your audience will be a key determining factor for your logo design, and he provides a couple examples: “The most obvious example of this would be military-related products and companies that use stencil-type lettering. See a stencil letter and you know there is something military being sold. Similarly, kid-targeted products or businesses . . . Cooper Black used to be a standard typeface in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it's often used for whimsical kid-oriented products today.” And you can see, with the two conventions swapped below, why understanding the needs and assumptions of your audience is critical. Then, you’ll need to consider whether your design will work for your industry. Mullinax notes, “The font you choose for a logo can add to or detract from the credibility of your brand. For example, an attorney logo rendered in a hand-written or display font may not convey the seriousness or professionalism that one expects when hiring legal representation.” If you looked at the company name below, you might assume it was from a more informal industry. But how would you feel about hiring an attorney with this font? It could be a rare exception where the user will successfully break the mold of their industry, but it could also be a case where they lose potential clients due to an inappropriate font. And then what about your company itself? Company identity lies somewhere between the audience and the industry, delivering its industry’s services to a target market that identifies with your brand. Pamela Webber, COO of 99designs, has an interesting example of a company using its own personality within industry conventions: “Zara was the recipient of an unusually enthusiastic level of criticism when it unveiled its new logo, partly because any rebrand tends to always create some drama, but also because it disrupted the fashion branding formula du jour. This new logo pushes back against the ubiquity of the lean, bold sans-serif font with plenty of white space that has taken over high end fashion in recent years — think Balmain, Burberry, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent, for example.” Balmain, Burberry, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent have all redesigned their logos in the past six years, and all of these changes have trended to the simple, black sans-serif. These design conventions are quickly becoming associated with luxury and quality. So what did Zara do differently? They still have the black wordmark, but they used a serif and mitigated white space. “It embraces a curvier serif wordmark that stands out from the crowd, is full of character, but also reflects its brand proposition of blending high street and high fashion brilliantly,” Webber continues. “Having defined itself as a market leader in the premium fast-fashion space, it makes sense that Zara took a typography trend and turned it on its head.” A good wordmark will allow you to be yourself within the context of your industry. You’ll need to consider how your logo will be used in your marketing and packaging. Designer Brit Casady explains, “Logos that are primarily in symbol form are most effective in applications where a larger logo or drawn-out text wouldn't be feasible. Almost every car model has a symbol of some sort on the back to represent the brand, whereas most storefronts are almost always a typographic logo so that people can quickly read it as they are driving by.” Will your logo be on coffee cups? Computer hardware? A retail location? A logo with a symbol and wordmark could work in tandem. Casady continues, “Even the storefronts usually have a shortened logo or symbol they use in different applications. For example, Target has their typographic logo (accompanied with the symbol of a target) on their building so that it is widely recognized. But, you will notice that on their products or clothing they will often just use the symbol.” Figure out your brand, industry, and target audience before diving into a design, so your logo will match your intentions. How can I choose a good font for my logo? If you want a starting point, Norton illuminates the different uses of specific font types for your audience: “If they’re contemporary or a bit more relaxed, a sans-serif will probably work best for your logo. If they’re a more serious bunch, a serif is likely the way to go. Script is more decorative and fun, while display is more bold and energetic.” She adds the disclaimer that these aren’t strict rules, and each class can have font families that break this mold. And if you want more detail about want to hunt for, here is Norton’s analysis: “Sans-serif fonts are generally wider and rounder, so they cause less strain on the eyes and take less effort to read. This makes them good for headers, or other places that require quick reading and absorption (this includes logos). “The opposite is true for serifs. The letters are usually thinner and the serifs guide the eye along, which makes them ideal for long bodies of text. They can work for logos, but only if the right font is used. “Scripts are popular for logos because they have a lot of personalities. However, they can be difficult to read. They’re a good choice if the word you’re using it for is short and easily readable. “Display fonts are created specifically to be seen from a distance, so they are very easy to read (if they’re not overly decorative). This makes them an ideal choice for logos.” If you want to learn the nuances of a specific font choice, there’s some forthcoming research that can help. Dawson Whitfield, CEO and co-founder of AI-powered design platform Looka, has been working on this task: “We recently sent out a survey covering over 2,000 fonts and found that not only do people have strong emotional associations with different fonts, but that some of those associations are things you might not expect.” Among the results for this soon-to-be-published survey are findings regarding a font’s formality, friendliness, technicality, warmth, and more. Most Friendly: Watermelon Script 91% Least Friendly: Neototem 26% Research like this can help you discover if you’re creating the right impression with a font, and it can give you a good baseline for what types of fonts evoke which feelings in a consumer. As Dawson pointed out, you won’t always be able to predict your audience’s assumptions. What typography mistakes can I avoid in my logo design? While there aren’t many hard and fast rules on the perfect logo font, there are some universal mistakes you can avoid. One typography sin is paying no attention to your tracking and kerning, filling a desired space with reckless abandon. “Don't squish letters together, overlap them, or crop them unless that is inherent to the name of the company,” Willamson says. “Unnaturally wide spacing, too, can be unreadable. Remember we read from left to right, top to bottom. Making the audience read otherwise can undermine the effectiveness of a logo.” According to Mullinax, some other obvious don’ts include “ignoring typography hierarchy, utilizing faux-bolding or faux-italics when a typeface doesn’t offer those font options, non-proportionally stretching fonts, using too many fonts or weights, [and] adding unnecessary effects like drop shadows and outlines.” You can see why paying attention to Mullinax's advice is important. And while some companies get away with it (looking at you, Coca-Cola), twirling scripts and boxy, geometric fonts can be difficult to read. “Some of the best logos around don't use showy typefaces with curly cues or large boxed characters,” Casady explains. These can get lost in translation, particularly if you have a global audience. Then there’s the mistake of trendiness. Companies always balance trendiness and timelessness in design, but sticking to what your audience wants in the present will hurt you in the long run. “If you do, your logo might look good for a year or two, max,” Norton says. “Then when the next trend comes around, you’ll be stuck with a dated logo or you’ll have to invest time and effort on a new one.” It’s no coincidence that many typography mistakes can be avoided by following basic design principles such as hierarchy, spacing, and balance. Wrapping it up If all this is confusing, the good news is there’s help available. There are many good logo design companies that will take your market research and transform it into a logo that reflects your brand. And of course hiring your own designer or in-house team is crucial if you plan on consistently creating your own content. A professional graphic designer who has trained to deliver quality assets can step in when you lack the skill and the no-know. But now, as you move forward with a basic understanding of design elements such as typography, you can have a more informed voice in the design process. Read also: The Shifting Faces of Gender Marketing: How Logos Tell the Story Disclaimer: This article is not an indication that Best Company is affiliated with any of the companies whose logos are displayed.
If you’ve spent any time considering your target audience, you’ve likely considered gender. And you’ve likely wondered whether it should be relevant in your design, given that many companies have received a slap on the wrist for their ham-fisted gender stereotypes. With minimalistic logo design on trend and with social attitudes leaning toward less gendered branding, we’re seeing more companies forego the stereotypes. But are they being bold and taking a stand, or are they shrinking into a new mold on a shelf of black-and-white, Helvetica-toting products? You might have similar thoughts about your own company. You could be juggling these questions: Do audiences still respond to gender marketing? Isn’t it unwise to target a large audience with your brand? Is gender-neutral branding a passing trend? Not how you’d expect, not always, and no. In that order. Is gender-focused marketing wrong? Gender-focused marketing isn’t entirely wrong, but it requires a level of self-awareness that may be difficult to cultivate. When you play with stereotypes, you play with fire. Using curved fonts and pink or using thick lines and blue might not always have the predicted outcome — blue is the favorite color of both genders, and typography also influences users with its readability and alignment. As Vince Bridgman of Novanym notes, “Although these design cliches can be employed with irony and wit, there’s a danger here of being narrow-minded and of pandering to tired stereotypes.” As for marketing with irony and wit, Matt Erickson of National Positions brings up this brand: Man Crates. Its logo plays on masculine stereotypes to the extreme: the utilitarian design mimics an imperfect stamp on a wooden crate, with blocky typography typically associated with the construction industry. The logo acts as a stamp for the crate packaging, wielding its rustic design to evoke a do-it-yourself, home improvement attitude. Man Crates has transformed this idea into a successful small business, but this might have been aided by how far they leaned into their stereotype for products that are traditionally gender-associated: golf balls, grilling accessories, knife kits. But traditionally gender-associated products are losing ground as being gender-locked. Take cosmetics as an example. As Shane Hebzynski of 3CatsLabs explains, “Cosmetics . . . [is] an industry which is strongly feminine because traditionally the products offered needed to attract women as customers. However, let's look at the Sephora logo. If viewing the Sephora word mark in isolation, it could be for anything and for anyone.” It has the classic black and white, the minimalist S-shape, and the simple font face. If its name were replaced with that of another company, a consumer would be unable to identify its target gender market. It could be that Sephora is a French-based cosmetics company, a culture that has long associated luxury with black-and-white simplicity. But Erickson, too, comments on the shift in the cosmetics industry: “Some of the biggest names in cosmetology on YouTube are men of various gender distinctions, many with their own thriving product lines.” These men haven’t been deterred by other feminine makeup branding. Many of these new-wave makeup artists lean into female design stereotypes (script fonts and pinks) or gender neutral design in their product lines. Companies started creating makeup lines designed to appeal to men such as Stryx and War Paint, but instead of a warm embrace, they receive a slew of negative feedback. Why is this? It could be that the industry captured an audience that enjoys breaking the mold of its stereotyped brands. Interbrand’s analysis of gender in marketing notes that a prime example of this is Harley-Davidson. Female riders are on the rise, and though the brand was targeted for men, they capitalize on this shift by offering riding courses and garage parties for the women eager to break into a traditionally masculine field. The logo’s geometric font, black background, and front-fender medallion shape are traditionally masculine design conventions. The takeaway of this information is that if you choose a traditionally masculine or feminine logo and brand, it might not play out how you expect. You could discover a wealth of potential with another audience that flocks to your brand because of its association with stereotypes of the opposite gender. And if you are opting for gendered marketing, you might need that irony and wit to carry the brand with poise. But instead of navigating this complex social situation, most companies are opting out of the gender-based market to create something more neutral like Sephora’s brand. What’s causing the de-emphasis on gender? Brands have to interact with their audiences more closely than ever before. And if a company does something embarrassing, foolish, or rude, everyone can talk about it with thousands of other people. If your company fails to be culturally conscious, it can have severe repercussions. Seventy-six percent of female consumers and 71 percent of male consumers believe gender portrayal in marketing is out of touch, meaning there’s a large market share that can complain about how you’re targeting a specific gender. “People are waking up to the reality that brands and products that target . . . sweeping generalizations can be lazy, inaccurate, and sometimes even damaging,” Bridgman explains. If the data on social attitudes isn’t a convincing reason for this de-emphasis on gender stereotypes, there are plenty of financial incentives. “A gender neutral logo is best when you're trying to reach a broad cross-section of people,” Hebzynski explains. A male-skewed brand is on average valued at $9 billion less than a gender-balanced brand. While targeting 50 percent of the population might create a more dedicated, niche audience, it could make you lose money and opportunity. By being both a smart PR and financial move, it’s no surprise that many companies are making the shift. How can I decide what’s best for my company? Phil Forbes from Packhelp offers this insight: “The role of gendered logo design comes down to the company that the logo is representing and its target audience. . . . It's ultimately up to a brand to decide what they want their branding to represent and who they want it to appeal to.” That can be a lot of responsibility, so it might not hurt to look to successful universal brands. “Apple, Sony, [and] Coca-Cola are all about as gender-neutral as it gets, yet are among the most successful brands on the planet,” Bridgman says. They take no gender cues. These logos don’t use heavy, geometric fonts or delicately scripted ones. And instead of pinks or blues we see monochrome, metallic, and Coca-Cola’s bold red. Sony’s font emphasizes readability with a traditional serif; Apple emphasizes brand recognition through a minimalist logo with silver coloration common in the tech industry; and Coca-Cola retains its century-old script to establish itself as a trustworthy brand leader. Their decisions were based on industry standards, color psychology, and brand values. Furthermore, they prove that gender neutral design is a timeless trend. Logo designers work to create eye-catching creations like these. As Bridgman goes on to explain, “Focusing on gender is a bad way to start a design brief, and usually indicates that the thinking is flawed.” What might be best for your company could involve focusing on your personality outside the mold of gender. How can I create a logo without relying on gender stereotypes? A logo design should be more than gender-focused or gender neutral. “By focusing on the characteristics of a brand rather than the gender, the target market can be reached without resorting to using gender stereotypes,” Bridgman advises. “Instead, focus on the qualities and characteristics that differentiate the client’s business from its competitors, research the market to avoid confusion or conflict, and most importantly: think about the audience as a group of individuals with needs, desires, and aspirations — none of which is defined by gender.” “Consider a brand like Halo Top,” Erickson says, referring to the low-calorie ice cream company. “They don't use words like ‘skinny’ or ‘lite’ and color their product based strictly on the flavor. So while 10 years ago there may have been a more overtly ‘female-based’ angle to their logo and marketing approach, the industry has shown that this product has buyers across the spectrum.” Many brands have taken the “gender-neutral” cue to mean unobtrusive, impartial, and sometimes bland. The movement is often associated with minimalism, but some companies lack the brand consistency and research to pull off their minimalist logo well. Erickson suggests to “keep it simple—start with a logo that means something to your product or brand first and foremost." It’s worth noting that men and women typically prefer similar types of logo styles for gender-neutral brands. And many industries have associated logo color schemes. A study from Venngage found that consumers prefer yellow-gray logos for technology companies, and green for finance companies. Companies might emphasize creativity within their industry over gender neutrality to achieve industry-appropriate branding and inclusive style. The designs can still be gender neutral, but they also stand out among competitors. Senior Product Designer at Netguru.com Miłosz Klimek suggests another brand that’s designed to stand out in its industry: “The Ordinary, a cosmetics brand that uses evergreen, clean, minimalistic design that appeals to all consumers regardless of their gender.” You could interpret this as the unobtrusive or bland minimalism we discussed previously, but the Ordinary skillfully uses typography to its advantage, with product packaging that looks like prescription labels. This enhances the brand’s credibility and makes it stand out among other cosmetics and skincare items, which are often criticized for their lack of scientifically-backed benefits. As Forbes says, “The sheer lack of detail in minimalism has let color play a bigger role in branding.” Emerging brands should understand the psychology behind their colors if they want a minimalist logo, or if they want to focus on the emotions a color elicits rather than the gender it might appeal to. How does this all play into the future of branding? In the future, we ‘ll likely see more brands advertising their unique values and personality rather than catering to a masculine or feminine audience. Fewer products are heavily gender-associated — such as the golf balls, grilling kits, and cosmetics mentioned above — so companies can enjoy a larger target audience and more freedom to express their brand within an industry. What can this mean for the future of your brand? If you’re just starting out, choose a designer who’s culturally conscious and aware of the latest social attitudes, and also one with a track-record of successful and timeless design. If you already have a logo, but you’re reevaluating your brand, you’ll also need to reexamine it in the context of gender with this information. How can you make your branding less of a stereotype and a better visual display of your solution for a human problem? We all want our logos to be timeless and universal: focusing on your real audience rather than an audience caricature is the best way to get there. Disclaimer: This article is not an indication that BestCompany.com is associated with or sponsored by any of the mentioned brands or companies whose logos are displayed.
Just like corporate logos communicate an organization's value and relevance, personal logos are representative of your personal brand. A personal logo is more than just a pretty image you slap on a website or resume. It can tell a story, signify your passion, and be a powerful statement of who you are and what you stand for. If you want people to recognize you and all you have to offer, creating and using a personal logo can be a major game changer. Often, having a unique personal logo can be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. Imagine that you are trying to choose between two restaurants. One restaurant regularly offers a wide variety of dishes while the other sticks to serving the same thing every night. Some people, maybe even yourself, might go for the one that serves the same dish every night since it’s familiar. However, many people would choose to eat something refreshingly different. This restaurant scenario is similar to how people treat personal logos. If you don’t offer any visual representation, you blend in with everyone else. However, if you create a strong, refreshing personal logo, you might just become the talk of the town. Examples of Effective Personal Logos Using a Personal Logo for Career Advancement Tips for Making Your Personal Logo To help you learn more about personal logos and the personal logo creation process, we asked several design professionals and enthusiasts to share some helpful insight and tips regarding creating a personal logo and leveraging it for increased brand recognition and career advancement. Here's an overview of some of the key takeaways: Use a personal logo in an online portfolio or on social media. Utilize a personal logo strategically in printed self-promotional materials. Look through a logo designer's portfolio to see what they can deliver. Have a clear brand identity before taking it to the designer. Think about not just yourself and your message but also your target audience. Get logo ideas from others in your industry. Look through highly rated logo design companies to find the best match for you. 8 examples of effective personal logos 1. Faith Fox, attorney In a market that is over saturated with attorneys, it was important to me to have a brand that stood out from the typical legal scales and monogram-ish logos many firms lean towards. The fox represented in my logo is standing tall, thinking, and surveying the area and land with an air of confidence which I believe is representative of my overall character as it relates to my legal abilities. Because my logo is distinct and memorable, I believe it leaves a person feeling good about me as a lawyer! The fox totem represents great wisdom and also happens to be my last name. 2. Karen Bullard, artist I desired a brand logo that depicted where my art studio is located, in a gorgeous rural area in Virginia with lots of birds. The color teal feels fresh and trendy and matches my signature icon. The broken border circle says hand-made — a perfect representation of my custom watercolor portrait shop. 3. Trevor Nielsen, designer I see a good logo as a strong anchor to a successful brand. Profile photos get outdated every few years. A logo can be more timeless than a profile pic. Plus, if it is designed well, it can be more memorable than a tiny image of my face. I designed my logo myself. I love logos that are built on basic geometric shapes and I wanted mine to be geometrically sound and simple, while still being easily visible as a “T.” It also helps the logo be scalable: this logo could be 15 pixels on a screen or 15 feet on a banner and still be legible at any size. 4. Alicia Baker, web designer I work as a freelance website designer and I’m an avid hiker, so I wanted a logo that would represent me to start building a brand with. My logo represents what I do for work as well as what I do in my personal time, so it shows people who I am right off the bat. 5. Sarah Sloboda, photographer I am an artist — a photographer and a writer who dabbles in other mediums — and I wanted my name to be more than a name. I fell in love with the idea of classic monograms and wanted to make a modern version. My design company, Bolton Design, made a whimsical monogram of my initials I can use on its own, or placed in the middle of my first and last name. Having a well-designed logo instantly took my name from just being a name to being an enterprise. 6. Serene Buckley, public relations consultant I had just started to make the leap to consulting officially and decided on the moniker WonBuck, a pun that speaks to many subtexts: 1. A solo Serene Buckley ― one “buck” ― going off on my own 2. A focus towards earned or “won” media 3. A nod to the now-famous quote by Bill Gates: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” It's a deer/buck profile created from the WB initials, designed by my husband, Conor Buckley. The logo plays homage to the simple, refined and timeless style of the New Yorker. I also have a very visual and very playful side, which the bright color choice symbolically communicates. It's fun and doesn't take itself too seriously ― a good and often necessary reminder to stay grounded during the tumult of a new career trajectory. 7. Kara Brook Brown, creative director I was a graphic designer and when I launched this brand I connected with indie brand developer Eric Kass. I was developing a new honey brand, and I wanted to stand out in the crowded market. I wanted to make beautiful things to make people happy. It didn’t hurt that I owned a graphic design studio for many years and inherently knew the importance of putting my best foot forward. Our packaging was our signature right out of the gate and our first wholesale customer was Anthropologie, who found us because of our package. There are so many other things that have to be right with a product, but it all starts with the way it looks. 8. Robin Diamond, publicist As a freelance publicist who wanted to establish a company, I felt that I needed a logo, branding, and website for potential clients as well as a place to showcase my work. I told my designer more about things I didn’t like than what I did and let her run with it. She presented two totally different options, and I chose this one as I felt it best captured me and my name, which is my brand name. While I was on the fence about using my last name, Diamond, as my company name, it was too good of a name not to play with. Plus, people knew me and my work by name, so it just felt like it made the most sense. I truly love my logo even after a few years. Read also: How to Use Animated Logos for Your Business [with Examples] 5 tips for using a personal logo for career advancement 1. Avoid graphics when submitting resumes online Seventy-five percent of hiring professionals are currently using or plan to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) or human resource management system (HRIS), so it's essentially a bot that first sees your resume. Keep this in mind when submitting an online application. “Because such systems may not be advanced yet, some might trip over fancy design elements and reject your application out of confusion,” explains Zety career and workplace expert Michael Tomaszewski, “meaning your resume won’t even reach a pair of human eyes.” Steph Cartwright with Off the Clock Resumes adds that many applicant tracking systems have evolved to simply ignore design elements — but applicants still need to be proactive to make sure the textual content of their resume is crystal clear. “Make sure you're not replacing important keywords with graphics and you have those details listed in text somewhere on your resume,” Cartwright recommends. To make sure your resume is ATS-readable, consider running your resume through Zipjob’s ATS resume test. 2. Incorporate a logo into a separate infographic for your interview When you go in for your interview, it may be appropriate to provide printed copies of an infographic resume in addition to copies of the traditional one you submitted online. Digital Ethos operations manager Calum Howarth explains that he is often impressed by candidates’ ability to display their skills and accomplishments in a way that is outside the box. “Since digital marketing is an industry that requires a lot of creative thinking, I'm often willing to hire ability over experience.” When Howarth was on the job hunt himself, he redesigned his resume to look like a Google search results page for a particular agency. The move was a great talking point in the interview, the agency loved it, and he got the job. While innovative visuals can’t replace meeting the requirements for a job, they can certainly help set the tone as you advocate for yourself. Now that Howarth recruits for similar positions, he explains, “I love stumbling across unique examples of creativity when I'm sifting through resumes. I'm always going to offer an interview to a candidate who has gone the extra mile.” 3. Keep your logo and other graphics in line with your purpose Weiswood Strategies president Emily Weisgrau is all for unconventional resumes as long as they help to tell the story of the person they represent in a clear, authentic, and compelling way. Weisgrau predicts we’ll see creative resumes continue to gain popularity alongside the accessibility of logo design agencies and infographic template makers. “The trick is to make them unique to each individual and not overwhelm them with so many graphics that you can't actually get the core information an employer needs to make a meaningful assessment of a candidate. If a personal logo, icon, or unconventional format gets an employer's attention and helps them to get to know a candidate better, go for it!” Executive branding coach Katherine Miller adds that hiring managers visually and mentally process resumes as they do websites, so “if your resume doesn’t quickly convey your value and isn’t memorable, your chances of getting a response is a mere 15 percent.” In Miller’s experience, industry-appropriate graphs, call-out boxes, and highlighted testimonials from previous employers are key to getting interviews. “These elements leverage the science of neuropsychology and subconscious processing marketers have exploited for decades,” she explains. 4. Take your job industry and role into account While it worked out great for Howarth in digital marketing, showcasing a personal logo may not be appropriate for all industries. Prepory Coaching Group CEO Daniel Santos says that industries such as banking, law, healthcare, and government are less impressed by graphically enhanced resumes and may even dismiss candidates that apply with them. Santos explains that individuals within creative industries like marketing, event management, or entertainment should consider adding a logo or other unique design element to demonstrate creativity and engage with prospective employers. Furthermore, he advises, “individuals applying to companies with forward-thinking cultures like unicorn startups, Airbnb, Warby Parker, etc. can also utilize design elements to catch the attention of HR managers.” Santos reminds job seekers that design elements such as a logo should be used to highlight your professional experience and skill set, “not to make up for the fact that you have very little to no professional experience.” Robyn Coburn, founder of Resume Review, echoes that sentiment. “Are you an entry-level applicant? If so, consider that personal logos might come off as a bit pretentious for many early-career jobs.” Cobun generally recommends saving personal logos for the marketing materials for your own B2B service company, so if you’re looking for work as a consultant, a logo makes sense. 5. Focus on leveraging your logo and other design elements primarily online Career coach Carlota Zimmerman believes that personal logos and other design elements are better suited for social media accounts and online portfolios than for resumes. “Save your design elements for your LinkedIn profile,” she advises. After all, that’s exactly what LinkedIn is for. “Feel free to cover your profile with illustrative displays of your talents, including photos, videos, classes you've taken, and badges representing the certifications and degrees you have.” If you do decide to display a personal logo from your online portfolio on printed materials at an interview, make sure they align. Dawson Whitfield, founder and CEO of Looka, emphasizes the importance of consistency and simplicity in printing. “If you're using a personal logo on your resume and on your website, those logos better match. If the logo you use on your resume can't print well or show up well in black and white, you're going to lose consistency points. 9 expert tips for making your personal logo 1. Natalie Stoner, owner of halofragmentia design studio Why create a personal logo: Personal branding is more important now than ever before. Developing a digital aesthetic can help with one's career, and in some cases can even make a career (think influencer marketing). A personal logo is not necessary, but it's a piece in a larger online persona that can make people recognize you and want to work with you. It adds polish. What to know before creating a personal logo: First, think classic. If you do choose a personal logo, it should be something that you'll want to keep or modify subtly over the years. Next, it must reflect the values you are trying to promote, unless your personal brand is clever and trendy, stick with something simple and chic. Personal logo tips: Think about what you want to say with your logo. Make a list of the three to five words that describe your personal brand. Are you fun, stylish, smart, zany, hard-working? You'll want to choose fonts and colors that reflect your values. Do a little bit of research on color psychology to understand the feelings different colors evoke. If you know what you are trying to convey, it is much easier to put together a logo that expresses it. Recommended resources: Logos are all around us. I like to spend time looking at logos for similar brands to make sure I am not doing anything too similar and get a feel for the way other organizations do things. Google image search can be very helpful. Get inspired by visiting Behance. Try designing with free tools like Crello and Canva. 2. Sara Abate Rez, graphic designer at MyPersonalBrand and brand and communications director at Ambience Design Group Why create a personal logo: The digital world has changed everything. In this free-agent, consultant economy, the brand is you and a personal logo will help you get your name out there, whether switching careers or starting a new business. What to know before creating a personal logo: You will need to really get to know yourself and what you stand for before creating a personal logo. The logo should capture the essence of who you are and express the type of product/service you can offer the world. Personal logo tips: Start by doing an audit of your unique skills, personality, passions, and strengths. There are several quizzes out there that can help you determine what work you are best suited to. Work with an expert who can give you honest feedback on how to best represent yourself through a personal logo as it is not always easy to see what makes you different and special in a crowded marketplace. Recommended resources: I would recommend exploring Pinterest for ideas on the type of look, style, colour scheme, fonts, etc. that you feel would represent you visually though your brand identity. Another good resource is our colour guide to see which colours represent you and your brand best. Read also: Your Guide to Typography in Logo Design [with Examples] 3. Heather Toler, owner and lead designer of Rva Creatives Why create a personal logo: The need for a personal logo is imperative. As a business owner, you need a forward-facing item that can help distinguish you from your competition and your logo will help do that. First impressions are everything, which is why brand recognition is something you should establish early on. Let your audience recognize and trust you through your logo system. What to know before creating a personal logo: As an identity designer, I often run into people who cannot clearly, in two sentences or less, tell me what they do. Knowing what you do and why you do it will influence every move you make, so if that isn't clear you need to revisit your "why" before sitting down and trying to get a logo off the ground. Personal logo tips: Start simple. Don't try to begin with over calculated options. Consider the aesthetic of other brands that speak to you stylistically. Remember printing costs for future products such as T-shirts when considering colors. Be yourself, represent yourself. This logo is an extension of your voice. Recommended resources: Books: Logo Design Love Video: "The Futur" Youtube channel Design Resources: Canva (phone and web app), Adobe Spark (phone and web app), and Over (phone app) 4. Kristen Dea, graphic designer at SEO.com Why create a personal logo: A logo can be a great way to add professionalism and recognizability to your name. We are in a world now where every person is a brand, and you will make more of an impact when you communicate who you are in a visual way. It will come in handy, especially on your social media accounts, website and resume. What to know before creating a personal logo: I would suggest doing research on what you're trying to communicate about yourself. It will be a deciding factor when choosing typefaces, color schemes, and symbols. Personal logo tips Avoid DIY design. A professional designer has the experience and tools to create a quality logo you can use long term. Choose a designer with a portfolio that matches the style you desire. It's okay to be inspired by other brands, but don't blatantly copy. Recommended resources: Pinterest and Behance are great for inspiration. You can go through an agency or a freelance designer. Some helpful sites to start your search include Freelancer.com, 99Designs.com and Fiverr.com. 5. Audrey Strasenburgh, SEO strategist for LogoMix Why create a personal logo: Creating a personal logo is a great option for those who are doing freelance work, are political figures, minor celebrities, or influencers. Personal logos will help others identify you, your work, and your industry without having to dig around for an online bio or ask you directly for more information. What to know before creating a personal logo: First, you shouldn't expect your first logo design to be your final version. Keep in mind that whatever design you end up with, that is how others will identify you, so you want to make sure that you absolutely love your final design. Second, you don't have to create a logo from scratch using MS Paint — there are resources that can make a professional design for you in a matter of minutes. Lastly, if you seek out logo design services, make sure you have a budget in mind and stick to it. Personal logo tips: Don't include more than three colors in your design. More than three can overwhelm potential customers and will send them running in the other direction. Choose a legible font. A fun cursive font may look great on a large banner, but it will look compressed and jumbled on your website or other digital media. If you must go with a cursive font, make sure the font size is large. Create a dynamic logo if you plan on using it for both online and offline marketing purposes. Dynamic logo designs include multiple versions of the same logo — some versions are more complex than others. For example, one version may include your icon, business name, and slogan; another version may include just your icon and business name; a third variation may just include your business icon. This allows you to scale your brand across different mediums. Recommended resources: There are so many resources that can help you create a personal logo. You can decide to hire a professional logo designer, you can hold a logo design competition, you can create your own logo using Adobe Indesign, or you can use an online logo maker like ours. If you're just looking for some tips or design inspiration, you can check out sites like Pinterest, Logo Design Love, and Logo Lounge. 6. Danica Norton, owner of dnca Why create a personal logo: You should create a personal logo if you intend on commercializing or otherwise profiting somehow off of your personal brand. You should also have one if you have any sort of audience or community that you engage with. A logo is a way for you to show your value in the simplest form possible, so make sure it stands out. What to know before creating a personal logo: Before you create a personal logo, take some time to reflect on what your personal brand is. Think of three to five distinct words that describe how your audience, customers, friends/family think about you and start from there. Is your brand professional? Casual? Educational? Feminine? Masculine? Do some research about what shapes, colors, and/or fonts best reflect your personal brand. Don’t pick something just because it looks nice. Really think about the feeling and the story behind the logo. Personal logo tips: Don’t go for something just because it is inexpensive. If you are going to have a personal logo, have something that is uniquely you. A nice looking font with some colors is not going to make you memorable, nor is it going to reflect on your personal brand. Recommended resources: That being said, there are inexpensive ways to get some value, especially if you are just starting out. Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are some places to start — just keep in mind that, although it is possible to get some bang for your buck, you do get what you pay for. Don’t be afraid to spend some money because this is an investment, not a cost. 7. David Sanchez, founder of Mammoth Web Solutions Why create a personal logo: Creating a personal logo is the foundation of personal branding. You should only create one if you're planning on leveraging your name or personality to promote a specific product or service. What to know before creating a personal logo: Make sure your logo is you. You want your logo to reflect your personality. Visually, it will be the foundation of your business, including Facebook/Instagram page, website, business cards, etc. Personal logo tips: Make sure all text is highly readable so everyone can read it. Make sure it's simple, and not complicated. Simplicity is beauty in design, so if people are confused, they won't take the time to figure out what your logo says or means. Make it original and memorable. Remember, you're creating a brand. You want the image to stick in people's minds, so use colors that stand out without being annoying. Recommended resources: Fiverr has hundreds of freelance graphic designers. Hire a marketing agency if you are getting a logo, website, and marketing services. You'll have a much better experience hiring a great company that can take on everything and communicate with each other well. If you want to make your own, use Adobe Illustrator or Canva. 8. Gogi Randhawa, founder of Msndrstd Creative Why create a personal logo: A personal logo can be the biggest tool in helping to create familiarity among your market and therefore cause people to take notice over time. Without it, you are climbing an uphill battle of getting your name recognized without any visual identity and that is an extremely difficult thing to do. What to know before creating a personal logo: Before creating a logo make sure it's relevant. Many times people not experienced in branding or graphic design just start and go with what’s cool looking to them, but a logo should be much more than that. It should give an idea of who you are, what you do, and who you are trying to reach. Ask yourself, “What does this say to people? Will they know what I do? Is it easy to read? Does it fit the style of my work?" Personal logo tips: Do your research first. Look to see what professionals in your industry are doing and take notes. By no means should you copy them but the more you look at logos within a particular industry, the more you notice trends that occur and often times those trends are what attract the right audiences for that particular industry. Recommended resources: You can do a search for "best (insert industry here) logo designs" or "logo inspiration for (insert industry here)." But often, if you are serious about your business, it’s best to hire a professional graphic designer that you feel comfortable with. You want people to take you seriously, and if you are an expert in your field, then you want people to come to you for your services, not do it themselves. Graphic design is no different. There are many experts out there. Don't hesitate to focus on what you do best and let a graphic designer focus on what’s best for your identity. It could save you a lot of heartache and trouble in the long run. 9. Chris Stapleton, owner of Noctis Real Estate Why create a personal logo: For those in an industry where they are required to differentiate themselves personally, a logo is the foundation to a broader personal brand. A logo is akin to a visual elevator pitch, in the sense that it is a simple visual reference that people can easily and distinctly remember. It should immediately bring to mind the value proposition and positive associations a person has with that individual and their business. From a design perspective, the colors, style, fonts, and visuals create the base for all other branded items for the individual’s business, making brand consistency easier and allowing that person to present themselves as more professional and polished. What to know before creating a personal logo: Before you set off on creating a logo, the first thing to know is that ideally, you will not change it in any drastic way once you have implemented it, so take your time and don't rush creating the final product. In addition, authenticity and timelessness are crucial. Read also: What You Should Know About Rebranding Personal logo tips: As I stated before, changing your logo in a drastic way is not something you should do unless necessary as part of a larger brand strategy. Therefore, create a logo that will not fall victim to ever-changing design fads and preferences and look "so 2017" only a year or two after you started using it. Regarding the authenticity of your logo, this is where you really need to identify key characteristics of yourself and how you do business to ensure the imagery you are using to represent you conveys the same characteristics. For example, if you create a vibrant, energetic logo that implies you're a bubbly and sociable professional, but you are actually a stern and monotone professional, that contrast can create dissonance for potential customers and make them less likely to do business with you. Lastly, when designing your logo think about the mediums and use cases of your logo. From Facebook and Instagram to email heads, printed brochures, billboards, etc, your logo’s layout and recognizability should work across various mediums and not be impacted by size, cropping, or configuration. Recommended resources: There are plenty of great resources to help you create a logo yourself or have someone assist you. Canva is a free tool that provides a very intuitive user experience and has all the elements you could need to create a good logo. The Noun Project is a wonderful resource for finding all sorts of icons and vector art. Fiverr and similar services are another great option if you want to find a graphic designer or freelancer who can help create a logo for you. Pinterest and Instagram are also both amazing resources to find logo inspiration as well as artists and designers who can create logos for you. Create your own path Ultimately, creating a logo and designing it are your decisions to make. Your personal logo should be something that you are proud to display. Clearly, there are several design resources you can look into to help you create your custom logo, so designing a personal logo can be a fun adventure rather than a burden. From color palette and design trends guides to logo maker templates, everything you need for a great logo is at your fingertips. If you are having a tough time figuring out where to start or you feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of resources available, consider checking out the recommended resources provided above as well as these top-rated logo design companies. Read also: 32% of Logo Design Reviews Are 1 Star: Here's Why
Guest Post by Shelley GrieshopSuccessful branding starts with a dynamite logo that promotes instant recognition. But even the best business logo can lose power and potential if you’re not careful. A compromised logo can give your company a black eye. The end result can be a loss of trust, authority, and sales. Here are seven ways to ensure your logo continues to represent you in a positive way: 1. Register your logo as a legal trademark for your business Obtaining a trademark gives you exclusive ownership and use of your logo. If you do not have the legal and sole right to your logo, it can be copied or similarly used by someone else to confuse customers and cut into your profits. You can complete the trademark process yourself; however, in some cases it’s advantageous to use the services of an attorney. 2. Pursue threats to your trademarked logo Monitor your competitors’ signage, especially advertising efforts by new startups, to stay aware of possible infringements to your trademarked logo. If you discover someone using your logo or something similar, a “cease and desist” letter may suffice to let them know you will not tolerate infringement. If that doesn’t solve the matter, you may have to resolve the issue in court. 3. Control your logo usage Only share the trademarked version of your logo with those you permit to use it for sponsorships, advertising or other purposes. This will deter them from pirating an unfavorable version. Ensure your logo is exclusively used by reputable sources in applications pre-approved by you. The use of your logo by unauthorized sources — even your own employees — can be harmful to your business. Use software programs such as Google Alerts that will notify you if your logo or name are used online. 4. Do not change the font or colors of your logo The only time it’s okay to alter your logo design is when you are making a permanent revision or update. This also applies to the use of your logo on social media channels where content is often less stringent. Consistency keeps your brand uniquely yours. 5. Make your logo scalable It’s essential that your logo can be resized to fit every needed application. Your logo must be clear and detailed whether it appears on a giant billboard or at the top of your letterhead. 6. Use it carefully in your marketing plan Choose high-quality promotional products when customizing giveaway items with your logo and name. Be sure to use items that make sense for your brand as well as the products and services you sell. 7. Get your logo out there Use your logo as often as possible. Frequent exposure of your logo reminds customers who you are and what you have to offer. Logo recognition prompts clients to place more trust in your company, which ultimately makes them feel more secure doing business with you. The bottom line Your logo is like your child. It’s important to keep it protected at all times. Your company logo lets customers know you are the authority for the products and services you provide.Follow these steps to safeguard your logo and your efforts will be rewarded with customer trust and brand loyalty.Shelley Grieshop is a creative writer at Totally Promotional. She currently writes blogs, edits company communications and gets to decide when exclamation points are really needed.