A logo is a graphic representation of your company's identity. It is composed of a symbol, illustration, and / or typography (sometimes called a "logotype").
A logo should:
1. Attract attention, and then leave an impression
2. Create a look that is unique and distingishable
3. Reflect the overal "feel" of the company it represents
4. Promote a feeling of authenticity and professionalism
What is a corporate identity system
In designers' terms, a corporate identity is a defined system of graphic elements that represents your company. In layman's terms, it's how you create your company's "image." The unique look of your logo should be integrated throughout all the elements of your business materials: business cards, stationery, packaging, signage, sales kits, media advertising, promotions, ect. An identity system lays out guidelines to ensure consistency. It should include, color and paper selections for printing, layout and design of stationery and promotional materials, secondary logos or icons for websites and packaging, etc.
I'm just starting my business, why do i need a logo?
Businesses eager to open often give little thought to their identity.
With so much to get done, designing an appropriate logo hardly seems like a top priority. However, this oversight can prove to be a costly error in the long run.
A new business must compete with established companies. A quality logo is one of the easiest ways to gain creadibility and professionalism right from the start, when you need it most.
A new business usually has to attract customers away from competitors. A distinctive logo stands out in peoples minds, and is much easier to remember than a name alone.
A logo adds visual appeal to any document or website, and increases the impact of your promotional materials.
Eventually, the time will come when the need for a professional logo is evident. Having already begun to establish the presence of your company, you now risk diminishing your existing brand equity. Additional money will have to be spent to promote the change or introduction of your logo, in order to avoid loss of business due to confusion.
Do i really need a professional designer?
Everyone wants to save money. You are probably thinking you could design a suitable logo yourself, afterall, it's your company. Maybe you know someone who is into art, or should have an employee competition. True, these alternatives may save you a few hundred dollars now, but how much are you damaging your company's potential for success in the long run?
A professionally designed logo is a one time expense that will reep benefits for the life of your business. Think of the money you will spend promoting your company. If your logo does not truly represent your company, you are spending money to project the wrong image, and you know image is important. That's why you are already spending a significant amount of money each month on office space, receptionists, advertising, business attire, presentations, lunches, etc. - all to make sure you project the right image. Designing your logo is no place to drop the ball.
Not only does your logo provide the first impression of your company and a recognizable look to ads and products, your logo will be advertising for your company all the time. Everyplace it exists, people will see it--from signage to the bank teller who handles a company check. Your logo and identity are always working for you, make sure they are saying the right thing.
Surveys have shown that corporate image materials such as letterhead, envelopes, and business cards are more important to conveying a company's prestige than how long your company has been in business, the location of your headquarters, charitable activities, or the number of employees. Only a company's annual report conveys more prestige.