Hiring a Professional Logo Designer
What makes a company stand out? Is it a unique product that no one else in the industry is selling? Is it dedication to providing round-the-clock customer service? Is it a history of contributing money to charity?
All of these are certainly true, but in a more basic sense, what makes a company stand out is simply its logo. For something that is essentially just a small illustration, it can exercise a remarkably powerful influence on consumers.
To illustrate, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Apple, Nike, or McDonald’s? Before you even start thinking about what these companies are about, your mind will conjure up an image of the half-eaten apple, the iconic ‘swoosh’, or the yellow ‘M’ against a red background. This is the power of the logo.
If you are a business owner yourself, coming up with a logo to represent your company should be one of your top priorities. And unless you are also a designer, it is advisable to leave the task of bringing your vision to life to a professional logo design company.
Doing this has several benefits over trying to create one on your own, or leaving the job to amateurs, and we will cover the most important ones in the rest of this article.
1. To Establish Your Brand Identity
Think of a company as an entity that has two key features. One is its internal structure, which is a kind of mechanism for producing wealth. The other is its outward appearance, the image it projects into the public sphere. The marketing discipline of branding is primarily concerned with the latter, namely with the process of forming and disseminating the company’s image. And a logo is a key element of this process. The purpose of a logo is to encapsulate your company’s brand identity into a simple, reproducible form, so it can be used as a visual shorthand for representing your company to clients and customers.
2. To Make Your Products And Services Recognizable
In a hypothetical world where marketing never took off as a commercial activity, there would be little means of distinguishing between various products and services that society produces. One can of tuna would look like any other, and consumers would have no means of telling them apart, even if they came from different factories. Now, imagine adding a logo of your favorite seafood brand to one of the cans. Suddenly, the can without a logo will look boring and nondescript, whereas the one with a logo will immediately jump out at you. The point should be obvious – having a logo is crucial to make customers notice your products and services.
3. To Set You Apart From Your Rivals
We will extend our example from the previous paragraph, and ask you to imagine that a competitor of yours now has their logo on the other can of tuna. We are now back to square one – the cans are indistinguishable insofar each of the has a logo plastered over it. This is where the element of competition comes into play. In order to make your can stand out, your logo has to be better at identifying your product than the one your competitor is using. And a professionally designed logo will always look better than a doodle by an amateur, so make sure that your company only uses the former.
4. To Build Trust With Consumers
A logo is not just an image. It is also a symbol, and symbols have meaning. Take the symbol of the cross. For a non-christian, a cross is just the intersection of two lines. For a believer, the cross represents the very core of their faith. A logo rarely inspires such adherence, but it will nonetheless communicate some sort of message to people that are aware of it. And the message your logo should be communicating is one of trust. And if your customers associate your logo with a sense of trustworthiness, they will be more willing to do business with your company.
5. To Communicate Complex Messages
Logos are used to build trust, but they can also transmit more specific messages. In this sense, a logo is a means of describing the thing it is associated with, whether it is your company as a whole, or a particular product or service your are offering. Take the famous Nike ‘swoosh’. For one of the most famous logos ever created, the ‘swoosh’ is rather minimalist in its design, but only on first glance. The ‘swoosh’ resembles a ‘tick’ used to mark the completion of a task, conjuring forth images of success. It also evokes a sense of motion due to the a variation in thickness, another idea which is in line with Nike’s brand identity.
6. To Enhance Your Aesthetics
While a logo is arguably the most prominent visual element of your company’s aesthetic, it is by no means the only one. Equally important are your choice of color, font, and website layout. The question then becomes: which element should you develop first? There is no one answer to this question, but we would like to argue that by opting to first design your logo, you will make it much easier for yourself to come up with the other two. Our reasoning is the following: a logo combines all three of the aforementioned aspects of your visual aesthetic in a neat little package. It has a specific color scheme, it often includes some form of writing, and it’s overall shape is a good starting point for developing the layout for a website.
7. To Create a Legacy
If you sit down and sift through a book on medieval illustration, you will find a lot of images that resemble logos of today. These so-called heraldic symbols were used to identify various institutions, guilds, and families. More importantly, a heraldic marking was a sign of legacy – it implied that whoever wore the mark came from a long line of descendants of good repute. And your company logo can also work in this fashion. Once your company gets established as a reputable name in your industry, its logo will slowly start accumulating value over time. Eventually, your logo might even outgrow your company, becoming a true symbol of its own.
As you can see, a professionally designed logo can bring substantial benefits to your company. Whether you are trying to differentiate yourself from competitors, raise brand awareness, or communicate more effectively with consumers, a logo can help you achieve these goals, all for the price of a single illustration.
A logo serves as the storefront of a company in the simplest way possible. Getting a logo done is indeed an intricate task, a logo designer puts their heart and soul in the process and strives to create an identity that can be easily detectable from a branding expert to the 5th-grade student. In a nutshell, it’s a first impression that reflects the entire idea of a brand and sticks out a like a sore thumb.
A brand pulls out all the stops to make its logo as the face of their company, which is definitely not an overnight task. It requires constant repetition, perpetual promotions and many other efforts to acquire the desired goal. Then why does a brand have to retire their established custom logo design and go back to the canvas for redoing the strokes? Why don’t they just skip such a daunting task where they will have to go through the intimidating details all over again? Well, sometimes a fine-tune in the logo design gets inevitable. Whether you want it or not, you will have to take on the design journey for the sake of your brand replenishment. Except for the most iconic ones such as Nike swoosh, almost every brand’s symbol had to undergo some kind of reform in their original design.
Here we are going to look at some of the most famous logo designs journey – who have really raised the bar with their new and improved logo redesigns. Let’s delve into the before and after comparison of the well-known logo redesigns and see what we can learn from their tremendous success.
Logo History: Since the food chain’s opening in 1958, the company’s logo has undergone drastic redesigns several times. Started from a mascot logo in which Pete was holding the words “Pizza” and “Hut” in both the hands, the logo has come a long way to represent the slanted hut image as the central element of its brand identity.
New Logo- The Improvements: Pizza Hut decided to keep up with modern trends at the same time kept their design’s legacy intact. The logo has been known for its slanted roof not only in its logo design but also on their outlet’s building. Therefore they kept the primary identity untouched in the design. On the other hand, they took a smart move to simplify the color palette of the logo while emphasizing the color red which has a psychological connection with appetite and hunger. As compared to the older version, the logo has been tweaked to maintain the flat look and feel, which is quite trendy nowadays.
Logo History: A free and paid email marketing service started in 2001 with the monkey head as their original logo which was kept by the company until 2005. In 2006, the email marketing company decided to streamline their animated logo and went for a complete overhaul by replacing the monkey head with the typography ‘MailChimp.’
New Logo- The Improvements: The current logo redesign doesn’t even appear as an obvious redesign at first glance. However, upon close observation, you will be able to identify the subtle pinches in the design. The logo has been further simplified and has been given a lighter look. However, the original energy is kept the same as it used to be. But there is a clear difference in the typography which has been optimized over the years to improve the readability.
The logo is the prime example that tells us how one can breathe a new life into the brand identity without going overboard. Designer Jessica Hische has shown here how a low-key redesign is done while keeping the real essence unaffected.
Old Logo: Speaking of the iconic logos, you can’t skip mentioning the classic Starbucks logo and its redesign journey. 1987 Starbuck’s logo displayed a woodcut illustration inspired by the Greek pottery. The original version sported the Starbucks siren as fully topless holding the prominent fishtail. However, the logo underwent a drastic modification in 1987. In the 1987 version, the siren’s frontal upper body was covered by her long hair, however the fishtail was slightly cropped.
New Logo- The Improvements: For the new logo, the designers decided to get rid of the outer circle, and the name has also been dropped from the disc. Before the recent tweaks, designers opted for the symmetry until they realized that they don’t want the siren to be perfect as a Barbie. After numerous brainstorming sessions, Starbuck’s logo design team settled on one point that perfection is not something they want for this logo. Hence, they added a few rounder details and opted to keep the siren’s personality as it used to be; mythical, mysterious and worldly.
Old Logo: Target came up with their unique logo in 1962. The logo initially kept 3 red and 3 white rings with the company name written boldly across the bullseye. In 1968, Target attempted to give a more contemporary look to the bullseye logo. However, in 1989 the company temporarily removed the bullseye image from the logo and kept the wordmark “Target” in bold Helvetica.
New Logo- The Improvements: Since the beginning, Target’s logo has managed to stand out due to its outstanding choice of color. Other than that, nothing can be wiser than representing a brand name ‘Target’ with the actual Target in its logo. As far as modifications are concerned, Target has reduced the number of rings, whereas the circle within the circle has always communicated effectively to the global audience. Not to mention the minimalist circle design creates an image of reliability, attention, trust, and strength. Besides, their perfect choice of color matches perfectly to the core values, vision, and purpose of the corporation.
Old Logo: Google original logo was designed in 1998. The designers used a standard font for the company name. Until 2009 the logo remained unchanged, after which the company decided to alter the shades in the letters. Fast forward to 2004, the company made a few subtle changes in the letter spacing.
New Logo- The Improvements: The simplicity of Google’s logo is the winning factor which makes its brand recognition game stronger than others. The sophisticated yet straightforward wordmark combined with the thoughtfully chosen primary and secondary colors gives the design a wow-factor that many other fails to adopt. The current logo is a flat design with sans serif typeface. Despite several minor changes, the logo has always owned and retained the classic feel with bold and playful colors and laidback typography.
Your logo is the face of your company. Sometimes, the face needs a makeover so that it can be conceived by the newer audience, at the same time, relate with the existing target audience. All the logo redesign examples mentioned above opted for the flat design trends with the bright colors. Not only this, but they decided to tone down the intricate details to modify the logo designs into a memorable yet timeless symbol that’s bold and recognizable from a distance. Remember, as your company grows, your logo should not remain the same as it used to be when the company was initiated. You will have to rebuild a consistent, robust and identifiable brand identity that resonates with the existing as well as potential customer base, which is only possible with an impactful logo redesign.
How to Know It Is Time for a New Logo
One question we get all the time here at Go Media is: “How do I know it’s time for a new logo?” Today, our President, William Beachy, is addressing this complicated issue.
Here are some points to consider should you be wondering if it’s time for a new logo:
What is your current brand equity?
Whether you realize it or not, your customers know you by your current look, so whether you do a brand refresh or redesign, you need to consider what are the implications are / how your customers are going to react to this change. If you have a sterling reputation and everyone loves you, your customers may not react well to any drastic change. If you decide you want to move forward with a new look, you may want to consider that this brand refresh be a small step in an evolution of your overall appearance. This will ensure you don’t lose that recognition factor.
Starbucks has done a great job of this – they’ve been slowly tweaking over a very long period of time – so much so, that the changes are almost difficult to recognize. If you have a bad reputation, the rebrand could be a good thing. For example, airlines that have had major tragedies have completely rebranded to change their look and reputations. Sporting teams with long histories of losing have rebranded themselves, built new stadiums and hoped that that will usher in a decades of winning. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
What will the impact be?
Consider that changing your branding may impact a lot of your sales collateral, your website. It’s going to take a lot of work (and money) to replace these items. If you’re ready and your brand needs this update, however, you do not need to make the investment up-front. For example, you can update your website first, then worry about your brochures later down the line.
What number of modifications are you looking to make?
There are many components that make up a brand – the mark (what people call the logo), the logo type (the name of the company), the color scheme, and all the collateral elements around that. Sometimes, the mark, the logotype and the color scheme look great and it’s just the collateral elements that looks dated. When you update the collateral, everything suddenly looks much better. Sometimes, however, everything does need an update. It just depends on the quality of the branding work.
How will your staff react?
Ask yourself how the family, ownership and staff will react to a refresh/re-brand. Many times, there will be intense backlash within the company itself in regards to a re-brand. If the branding was created by the company’s grandfather on the back of a napkin, there is often a lot of history and heart there. So if you move forward, you really need to explain to your crew why the re-branding needs to take place and keep them engaged in the process. Other times, a re-brand could bring a big moral boost to the company. Either way, keep your employees engaged and you’ll be much better off.
Now that you’ve considered those points, here are some quick do’s and don’ts when considering a new logo.
Do consider a new logo if if no longer reflects your company’s persona.
If your business has been in business for a long time, and your type treatment/mark no longer feels modern or beautiful, that is a great opportunity to do a brand refresh.
Do consider a new logo if if the branding is just bad: Ugly, overcomplicated, not easily recognized from a distance, etc.
If the brand clearly needs to be rebuilt, we will do the work. In these cases, we often mine design elements from the company’s history. These often help us bring bring their past to the present. In this case, we educate the company about how to introduce the new brand to the company’s customers/clients to ensure there is a smooth transition.
Do NOT consider a new logo if your branding is simply boring you.
If you want to do a refresh/rebrand only because you’re you’re sick of staring at it everyday, resist the urge. Keep in mind that your customers aren’t looking at it as often as you are. They might only see it every three months, six months, every year. Brand consistency is very important. So, just being bored with your brand isn’t a good reason to change it up.
We hope this information helped you to know when it’s time to contact Go Media, the Cleveland logo design firm you know and trust, to help you create the new logo and branding you’ve been jonesing for.
Watch our Facebook Live on this topic:
How to Build a Brand
What is your brand? Who is your brand? And why should we care? Developing a brand is more than just your logo. A brand represents everything you are as a company. Everything that you say and do shows your prospective customer who you are. It’s your “dress,” the way you talk, your slogan, your signage, your messaging, how clean your offices are, company uniforms, your collateral materials and so much more.
To build a strong brand presence, it’s important that you ask yourself three very important questions –
What is my positioning statement? (Where is my space in all of this clutter? What does my company offer that no one else does? Why are we special?)
What is my messaging platform? (Why should anyone care? What’s in it for my customers?)
What’s my brand persona? (Who is my target customer? Who is my company?)
Close your eyes for a minute. If you had to talk about your company as a real person. Who would you see? Try to imagine your company as a movie star. Is your company Brad Pitt or Morgan Freeman? Someone young and hip? Old and stodgy? Middle aged and reliable? What about your customer? How do they communicate? How does your target customer like his coffee? You should live and breathe your brand persona so much that that answers to questions about your brand should roll off of your tongue. “Duh!” You should be telling me, “We’re an almond latte kind of company!” Or maybe you’re a tea company, or a pop company. We can’t answer that for you–only you can. This is the first question of many you should ask yourself about your brand persona.
Once you figured out your brand personality, it’s time to start working on the visual components of your brand. When creating your brand, it’s important to take its various components into consideration: logotype (the word), mark (commonly referred to as a ‘logo’,) and color scheme.
- The logotype is a distinct font that represents your company. It should be meaningful to your brand. Bold, curious, flirty, simple–fonts speak visually to your prospective consumer and should be an extension of your brand persona.
- The mark, or the symbol, supplements the logotype. If your brand is edgy, be edgy! If your brand is laced up, be more formal. However, always remember that your mark should (not too be too cheesey) help you make your mark on all things visual. It should work well in black and white, not just in color. Additionally, you should be able to use this mark on any design work–print or online. Think about how it will be displayed on social media, on eblasts, on brochures, on t-shirts, or on uniforms… just to name a few visual outlets.
- The color scheme. It should use one or two primary colors, one accent color, or colors of differing value. Creating a strong brand color scheme will facilitate your brand’s flexibility across print and online, and it will also help make your brand visually appealing.
Once you figured out your brand personality, it’s time to start working on the visual components of your brand. This begins with your logo.
Putting in the resources to craft up a quality logo cannot be underrated. Also, we’re going to get on our soapbox right now and tell you that for the love of all that is good in this world, please don’t think that once you have created a logo, you are done. So many brands focus on just this one part of their visual identity. While the logo is vital to a brand’s identity, it isn’t the only visual piece of the puzzle that helps set you apart from your competitors. Your logo, my friend, is just the beginning of your visual brand identity.
Let’s say, for example, you want to create a brochure so that you can tell the world how amazing your company is. Where should your logo appear on the brochure? What kind of header will you use? What kind of typeface will follow? What size font do you plan to use? What kind of photography or imagery will be included? What’s your white space/copy ratio? What kind of voice are you using in the copy? Does the piece feel simple or intricate, casual or fussy? You see, it’s not as easy as you might think to release a brochure. Just like your logo, this brochure should exemplify who you are as a brand–it’s an extension of who you are. Your customers should immediately see and feel the synergy between your logo, your chosen imagery, your words, and YOU. This thought process holds true for every single piece of collateral that you release…no matter how big or how small.
It seems daunting to live up to your brand persona in each and every piece you release. That’s probably why, time and time again, we see a brand that looks and feels different on various pieces of collateral. Maybe you’re using different designers or firms or heck!, maybe an in-house designer is adding his or her flair to your logo, or whatever piece you’re currently creating. Creating a Brand Standards Guide can help keep things consistent. On the Brand Standards Guide, include an example of the mark and logotype. Include fonts. Include colors in RGB, CMYK and Pantone. Include best practices such as uses and spacing. And finally, include example designs. Sometimes, we even see sample copy on a Brand Standards Guide. A solid Brand Standards Guide helps ensure that no matter who is helping push your brand, you’re all pushing the same brand–not spin offs of one another
In no way are we saying that each piece has to look identical. We’re a creative firm–we’d never tell you to go for visual boredom, or ask you to turn into a boring machine spitting out identical pieces, one after the other. Instead, we’re saying that visual consistency is vital to your brand. By following these tips, your customers will create a stronger connection with your brand that they can trust. Trust = repeat business, which, at the end of the day, is what we all want.
Questions? Get in touch! We’d love to help you no matter what stage of the brand process you are in. We can’t get enough!
Très Chic Salon Branding
Go Media was approached by stylist Katie Skillman, who was on a mission to turn her passion for hair education & styling into her dream business – a Cleveland local salon known as Très Chic. During the early stages of the brand development, we explored influences from French cinema, fashion, and even some understated vintage looks. At the base of it all, we knew the goal was a strong, classic and elegant identity that held up to its name Très Chic, meaning very stylish.
Throughout the branding process, we explored several potential applications for the identity. Everything from a business card and service menus, to the signage on the exterior of the building. Because of this, the Très Chic identity consists of a handful of logo variations to account for those various needs. You can find their signature TC scissor mark sprinkled across their marketing materials or featured on aprons worn by the stylists.
To see more concepts and learn more about the project:
Knowing when to increase your design budget
The graphic design of your business is intricately tied to your overall company’s image and branding strategies. The last thing you want is to use outdated logos or designs that make you look unprofessional. Let’s face it, though — design work can be expensive. You may already have a design budget and are wondering if or why you should increase it.
Designers spend untold hours creating the perfect balance for your brand. Most businesses are on a budget and working in the extra funding for design is tricky. There are a number of reasons why you should increase your graphic design budget, and things you should keep in mind as you make this important decision about where to spend your business’s cash flow.
1. Branding Matters
You might be able to hire someone off Craigslist to do a logo design, but how will it tie into your overall branding plan? You also may not know how skilled the designer is until you receive the finished project. Good design takes into account every aspect of your brand and your goals for your business. It costs more than just a one-off logo design, because that logo is going to perfectly match all the other aspects of your branding.
For an agency that creates a design focused on your branding, expect to pay between $15,000 and $50,000. Costs might be slightly lower if you hire in-house or use a smaller company or freelancer to do the work. You’ll need to increase your budget to reflect this price range, but understand that you’re paying for more than just a design. You’re also paying for branding, which ties into your marketing.
2. Hourly Rates
Whether you’re hiring a professional agency, in-house designers or contracting a freelancer, understand that these services require a lot of skill and are in high demand. The median hourly wage for graphic designers is $22.90 per hour, and one with added experience or skills will command top dollar. Plan to pay the hourly rate that will allow you to hire a designer with at least a few years of experience in the industry. In design, you often get what you pay for.
3. Don’t Underestimate Time Involved
Non-designers sometimes have a hard time estimating the time it takes to create a truly brilliant design. There is far more involved than simply throwing a logo together, for example. The designer must spend time studying the brand and getting a feel for the overall messaging and style of the business.
The graphic designer then searches for the perfect font or unique designs for the client. Other elements must be pulled in, and then the entire design will go under a microscope to see what elements need adjusted, how well the positive and negative space balances, and if colors and styles match. Allow the designer to give you a ballpark estimate instead of guessing how much time a project will take.
4. Make a Good First Impression
It takes a lot of work to get visitors to your site. From the second they land on your home page, they are evaluating everything — from how visually pleasing your site is to whether or not you seem trustworthy. In one study, it took a mere 50 milliseconds for people to decide whether they liked the look of your site.
Well-done design explains what your company is and does and leaves visitors with a positive impression. Pay for the best designer you can afford, so your first impression has power.
5. Value Your Time
Imagine that you’d like to create a design for a new website, but you have no idea how to put one together. How many hours would it take you to come up with the perfect design? You’d have to learn coding, figure out how colors work together, choose a palette and a hundred other little things. Your time is worth a lot of money. How much do you value your time? Consider this when planning your graphic design budget. An experienced designer can complete the work in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn how to use Photoshop.
6. Consistent Look
In today’s competitive marketplace, brand recognition is vital. A brand that is presented with consistency is about three to four times as likely to be seen, likely due to the number of times a consumer has to view your brand before they remember it. Spending more on your graphic designs allows you to ensure everything has a consistent look that aligns with your brand’s goals.
7. Count Design as Marketing
The typical established business sets aside about 10 percent of income toward marketing, and design should be included in that budget. New businesses may want to allot more of their income toward marketing as they work to build a base. One way to increase your graphic design budget is to look at it as part of your marketing efforts.
8. Color Matters
A professional designer understands the psychology behind color and how people come to recognize and relate to your brand on a subconscious level. Color impacts brand recognition by as much as 80 percent, with colorful logos being more memorable than ones with little personality.
If your brand doesn’t yet have a basic brand color palette, then you’ll want to work closely with a team made up of graphic designers and marketers. This will allow you to choose the color that shows your company’s personality and also speaks to your target audience.
Graphic Design Budget
It’s challenging to figure out how much you need to set aside for graphic design. Costs can vary widely by project type. Make a list of the high-priority projects you’d like completed first, so your graphic designer can focus on those. Adjust your budget as you go along and keep in mind that a designer is experienced at estimating how much time should be spent on a specific project.
I am passionate about branding and have learned a lot while helping businesses develop their brands. There is a lot more to a logo than just your company name and there are some important factors to keep in mind when branding, or rebranding, your business:
Trust a professional
Don’t go into the logo design process blindly. You should have a clearly defined idea of who your company is, where you’re going, the audience you’re serving and the vision you’re trying to convey before venturing into the logo design process. Once you’re ready, it may be tempting to go with a designer who’s the least expensive, because identities are pricey, but it’s important to hire a professional. We’ve been trained to do more than push pixels and can help you narrow down ideas, show you new options and help you maintain your brand direction.
There are 7 different types of logo marks to consider.
Discuss with your designer the option that works best for you.
1. Lettermarks (monogram logos)
2. Wordmarks (company name logos)
3. Pictorial marks (logo symbols, no words, works best for large companies)
4. Abstract logo marks (a specific non-recognizable abstract design that represents your business)
5. Mascots (think sports teams)
6. The combination mark (logo comprised of a combined wordmark or lettermark and a pictorial mark, abstract mark, or mascot)
7. The emblem (badges, seals, crests etc.)
Consider whether or not your idea can be executed.
Your logo might look great on a billboard, but when we shrink it to a postage stamp size, is it still working? Answer some of these questions before choosing your mark:
1. Does it translate from small to large & vice versa?
2. Does it work in black and white? (Your logo MUST be able to translate to greyscale!)
3. Can it work as a PNG? (transparent background)
4. Does it convey my brand’s identity?
5. Is it balanced or is it too detailed?
Lets talk details…
It doesn’t matter if your logo is unique or intricate if nobody can tell what it is. Have you thought about adding your tagline, address or other information to your logo mark? There are times you may want to have those extras on your mark, but they should not be on your standard, every day logo. You can have these ‘companion pieces’ created as extras to compliment your logo and use them as needed.
Stop Following the Fads. Be a Trendsetter.
Fad is, in one word, short-lived. Trends have a much longer lifespan than fads. In fact, they can continue to be fashionable for years and even decades. Digging into what is now and fun is fine, but consider how will it impact your business in 1 to 2, even 5 years. What does a watercolor splotch have to do with your business? Why is there an ilustration on your mark that has nothing to do with your business? Is there a reason for the over the top flourishes at the beginning and end of your name? Your logo should mean something to you. Avoid adding things just to add them; know when you know it’s time to edit yourself.
Setting trends and setting yourself apart means you don’t have to be overly obvious with your mark. If you’re a preschool, your logo does not have to look like it was written by a child. It should convey childhood and immediately let you know it is for children. Keep in mind, it is not targeted to children, it’s targeted towards their parents. Know your audience!
Avoid simply using your business name.
Think you don’t need a logo and can get by with just typesetting your business name? Think again. This gives off an unprofessional air and doesn’t translate across all media. Your name will be written in so many different types, that it will not be instantly recognizable like it would be if your logo mark was standard across all materials.
Are you guilty of being a fad follower or are you more of a trendsetter? Help drive your client’s specific direction with these helpful logo tips. Have more to add? Let me know!
You don’t have to be hip, trendy, or in an arrantly dynamic new market to pique our interest here at Go Media. We love the challenge of working with clients who have a long history in business but are in need of what I like to call a Marketing Makeover. This could amount to any number of things: from re-imagining a logo, to a complete brand refresh, to freshening up your communications with copy that sheds new light on your business while adding a singular twist to the ongoing dialogue you enjoy with your customers.
Fact is, there are many seasoned and vibrant company’s out there looking for a little TLC, commercially speaking. From re-introducing you to the world with a beautiful, new, fully responsive website, to employing a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy [complete with SEO and social media marketing], the potential for engagement with your audience is staggering nowadays.
And from our perspective here at Go Media, there are few things more rewarding than taking the scattered brand assets and outdated communications of what we like to call a legacy company with a notable history and updating them for today’s marketplace. The process is kind of like treating you to a long weekend at the spa while we rummage through the attic of your house for old family photos, heirlooms, and clues to your family history.
As a copywriter, I particularly enjoy the challenge of updating a company’s overall communication strategy. The task of casting a company’s vision in a new light with a fresh new narrative is one that I relish. And no matter how conventional, or seemingly mundane the subject matter, the prospect of making a company’s communication strategy comprehensible and appealing across new and different platforms (website, blog, social media, etc.) is exciting and should be handled with gusto.
Case in point, Allied Tool & Die [a 70+ year old, Cleveland-based manufacturer of metal stampings for Automotive, Medical, electronic, and commercial industries worldwide] approached Go Media in early 2017 requesting a marketing makeover themselves: new Web Design, Inbound Marketing services (SEO), Upgraded Logo Design, and comprehensive Copywriting Services. Fortunately, the good people at Allied gave us the keys to their “attic” and free reign to rummage.
The Go Media team went for a more acute, contemporary approach to an otherwise fixed industry traditionally accustomed to staying in their own lane. And like a duck to water, we dove in and delivered punchier communications for the pages on their website (Capabilities, Services, Equipment, etc.). Then we launched it all on an intelligently designed, fully responsive Go Media Designer Site complete with artful photos and video presented on a cinematic scale. Phew! Now that’s one stunning Marketing Makeover!
If you know of a company that you’d like to recommend for a Marketing Makeover, or you suspect the company you work for could benefit from one too, give us a nudge!
Shell, Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, Adidas. What do these four brands have in common apart from that the fact that they are behemoths in their respective industries? Distinct and instantly recognizable logos. These are just some examples from a plethora of instantly recognizable logos associated with brand names. How many times have we seen a similar image and have been instantly reminded of a famous brand?
Do you think this happens by coincidence? Absolutely not. These brands, as well as countless others, have worked diligently on the design elements to ensure a subconscious connection with their target audience. Yes, it’s true that they are huge names and have the business potential to back this up. But we can agree that some project a much deeper visual connection, and that is because they have worked consistently on the most striking feature of their brand identity, the logo.
One might argue that “the logo doesn’t make the brand, the brand makes the logo.” But there are many benefits your brand identity can achieve if you work on your logo and your visual branding.
Reasons Why You Should Focus on Your Branding and Logo Design
- Brand Identity
The business logo is the primary visual representation of your identity. Before anything, your customers and potential customers will see your logo and other aspects of your branding and even judge your brand on it subconsciously. Granted, some businesses have a distanced logo but most of the successful ones have a design which resonates deeply with the brand identity.
- The effect of color on buying decisions
Colors can garner strong feelings from the audience regarding your business and the value it adds to their lives. Similarly, using the appropriate color in your branding can influence buying decisions in a positive or negative way. The graphic below shows how different colors can prove to be major influencers for prospective buyers.
- Your Presentation Matters!
According to a research, 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it. In this digital era, where corporations cannot hide anything from its clients, entire reputations can be made and destroyed in a single click on social media. For this very reason, it is essential that you reinforce your corporate image with a logo that projects strength and positivity. A logo is effective when it’s aligned with your brand’s vision and message.
- Brand Recognition and Color
Research also suggests that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%. Suppose you see a certain color and it reminds you of a certain brand. This happens all too often. This is because successful brand logos are so deeply integrated with their brand image that the average consumer automatically makes that association.
- Poorly Crafted Logos Portray a Neglected Brand
A poorly designed logo or a fatal flaw in your design could be remembered for a long time. The initial reaction of existing and potential customers alike will not be a positive one. Consequently, every time they see this logo will reinforce the negative image. Remember, it takes a lifetime to build a reputation but only a moment to ruin it. Sometimes, even a well-established brand might be subject to humorous criticism regarding their new logos: Source: http://blowatlife.blogspot.com/2009/02/pepsi-logo-
Is There More To It Than Just Visual Upkeep?
Definitely yes. Premium design helps high-end brands stay ahead of the curve. With the popular market saturated with competitors, the industry leaders need to be seen as current and on-trend. When a brand achieves a certain stature after years of maintaining the superior quality of service; all it needs is repetition and reinforcement of its identity and perceived value to the customers. What better way to do that than with design? Therefore, the elements in your logo need to reinforce the perception that consumers already have in their mind about your brand.
To Cut a Long Story Short:
A brand’s style guidelines go a long way beyond what colors go into its website or the styling of the corporate brochure. It is a unique feature by which a brand can truly distinguish itself from the rest of the market; and what better way for a brand to do that than a cutting-edge logo which can turn out to be the very essence of its brand identity.
Work Hard. Live Easy.
We had way too much fun working with The Finch Group, local Cleveland real estate company, on their latest endeavor and we want to shout it from the rooftops, pun intended.
Designer Chris Comella comments, “Innova was a special project because not only did we get to walk the construction site months before its completion, and not only did we get to collaborate on some level with the architects and interior designers, but to us it represented a growing part of a community. Being able to work on that brand was a great opportunity, and we’re proud to see it standing tall in one of Cleveland’s most vibrant neighborhoods.”
The Finch Group sought Go Media to assist with brand development to help them establish a solid foundation on which to build their company in the Cleveland market as well as launch their new property. The newest addition to their portfolio is a 400,000 square foot multi-phase mixed income property in the Upper Chester Neighborhood of Hough – called Innova.
The Finch Group was in need of assistance with brand development, logo design, collateral print material design, building signage, exterior marketing design and print marketing design.
Contact Go Media about your next project!
Jack Frost Donuts‘ new Cleveland Logo Design – and brand new building – was unveiled to the public in a grand, re-opening over the weekend, complete with green screen fun, a new menu display, festive red and yellow balloons and upbeat music.
Steaming cups of fresh, hot coffee complimented the dozens of delectable delectable donut options for new and loyal patrons of the Old Brooklyn mainstay.
Customers clustered in the parking lot to catch a peek at the newly-renovated store, complete with exposed stone walls, sparkling quartz counter tops, spotless tile floors and a merchandise rack that stretched to the ceiling.
“Despite the windy and cold weather, the turnout was fantastic,” said Lauren Hudac, Go Media’s Account Services Manager. “We waited in a 30-minute line outside – totally worth it!”
The Pearl Road store, now emblazoned with a newly-updated bright new red-and-white logo design from Go Media, prides itself on the motto, “Every Batch Made From Scratch.” The baker has been in business since 1937, though it’s changed hands a few times. Fred Borkey is the man now at the helm.
Erin Rodeno, spokeswoman for the family-owned shop, said the store remodeling and the logo design brand refresh was an opportunity to ensure the entire atmosphere reflected the quality of the product.
“The branding and logo design needed to change because we’ve really grown as a company,” Rodeno said. “But we want to make sure people know: with Jack Frost, you’re going to get the same quality ingredients. New logo, but same taste.”
The grand re-opening showed the many different ways in which small businesses and retail stores rely heavily on logo design. It was incorporated in almost every facet, including:
- New Menu Screen
- Print Menus
- Business Cards
- Staff T-shirts
- Staff Hats
- Storefront Sign
- Signage on Store Siding
- Coffee Mugs
- Merchandise Mugs
- Merchandise T-shirts
- Merchandise Hats
- Merchandise Coffee Pots
Chris Comella, Go Media’s Art Director, said even though the store is venturing into new territory, it was important that the logo design remain true to the identity of the store – which is one customers have come to know and love. That’s called brand equity, and it was important not to lose it.
“If they had simply dropped every element they had before, it would have come as a shock to the community – and that’s not what we wanted,” Comella said. “From a strategic standpoint, we really didn’t want to stray too far from what they had. Our role is to help make their business better – not arbitrarily change it.”
The donut shop operated out of a re-purposed pizza shop nearby while the renovations were ongoing.
Rodeno said the hope is this will be the start of a revitalization trend in the neighborhood.
The grand re-opening took place on April 2. The store has since resumed its regular hours and operations, which is 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Learn more about Jack Frost Donuts at 4960 Pearl Road by checking out their Facebook page or by calling (216) 351-3638.
Contact the Cleveland brand refresh experts at Go Media by calling 216.939.0000 or contact us online.
A treat as dazzling as a Jack Frost donut deserves a logo that reflects its pure, sugary awesomeness. The Cleveland graphic designers at Go Media recently collaborated with the family-owned shop – an Old Brooklyn fan favorite since 1937 – on a brand refresh that modernizes the overall look while maintaining the iconic red-and-white that regulars recognize.
“People have come to know and love this brand because it’s been a neighborhood staple for so long,” Go Media Art Director Chris Comella said of the brand refresh strategy. “With that kind of an anchor, you want to revitalize, while keeping a part of the past alive.”
The brand refresh is being unveiled just in time for the shop’s grand re-opening party April 2nd, said Jack Frost Spokeswoman Erin Rodeno.
Every morning for nearly 80 years, the pastry artists have been busy baking fresh delicacies daily inside the same Pearl Road location. The old spot had been described by even the most supportive patrons as “funky,” “industrial” and even “weathered.”
“The building definitely needed an updated, new look,” Rodeno said. “We wanted to the store rise to the same level of quality as our donuts.”
And now, the sleek new shop mirrors the greatness of the goodies inside – more than 200 fabulous flavors in all. Going beyond the simple glazed, these confections are known for their creativity – festive themes, ornate decorations – and LOTS of creamy frosting!
“It’s still going to be the same great donut, “Rodeno said. “Everything is still baked fresh on a daily basis – nothing sitting overnight. But when you walk in, there are brand new tile floors, beautiful quartz counter tops, stainless steel shelving, a flat-screen television, a new coffee station, exposed stone on the walls. It truly looks beautiful – almost as beautiful as the donuts.”
It’s a restoration effort owner Fred Borkey Jr. hopes will spark the first of many local Cleveland business renovations on the block. While waiting out the construction, his crew has been selling their donuts out of a nearby re-purposed pizza joint.
Yet even with the storefront revamp, the brand refresh didn’t come without some reservations.
“There was a fear that if the branding changed, people would think the donuts were going to change too,” Rodeno said. “But in the end, it was really just time to do it, especially because of how much we have grown as a company.”
Go Media, she said, was “wonderful” in bringing that vision to life – while still keeping the look recognizable.
“All the work they have done – everything we’ve asked for – has just been beautiful.”
One element Jack Frost knew they needed to alter was swapping the prominence of the word “Donuts” for “Jack Frost.” Many decades ago, one could rightly argue the word “Donuts” was more important; People needed to know right away what the store was selling. Today, “Jack Frost” is a household name that people immediately associate with delectable, artisan-quality donuts. The branding needed to show that shift.
The “O” in particular got special treatment, an obvious play on its donut-like shape. In the previous brand, the “O” was white on the boxes, but gold on the outdoor sign. It was a large, standout feature in both variations.
“We knew this was an aspect we wanted to keep,” Comella said. “So we just gave it some love. They really wanted to stick with a more classic image.”
It’s this classic take on doughnuts, after all, that has won Jack Frost the avid affection of the neighborhood where the shop has so long resided. It was recently voted one of Cleveland’s Best Small Places by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2016, No. 1 for Best Donut’s on Cleveland’s HotList in 2015 and NEO’s Best Donuts in 2014.
“This was really a special project for us, “Comella said. “I’ve lived here a long time, my friends and I go there and Jack Frost really does have the hands-down best donuts in town.”
If You Go
- What: Jack Frost Donuts Grand Re-Opening
- Celebrate: Green screens, music, balloons and lots of sweet treats
- Where: 4960 Pearl Road
- When: Saturday, April 2
- Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Open for regular business that day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
- Call: 216-351-3638
Contact the Cleveland brand refresh experts at Go Media by calling 216.939.0000 or contact us online.
Boom! Energy Gel Branding
Carb Boom! Energy Gels, that is.
Carb Boom Sports Nutrition Inc., founded in 2000, has recently developed Carb Boom! Energy Gels, a fruit-based, high-carbohydrate product that, according to CEO Lammers and partner Mike Cousino, had a “cult following” among endurance athletes. The company was shut down a few years ago, and had “totally lost its way,” – that is, until Lammers and Cousino “cracked the code” in late 2013. Following in early 2014, Lammers, Cousino and five other investors relaunched the company as Boom Nutrition and began selling its signature product, the Carb Boom! Energy Gels.
With a continually growing market, Boom has a simple approach to reach their customers – sponsor as many events as possible and target the athletes who compete in marathons, half-marathons and triathlons. These athletes train quite a bit and tend to be very vigilant when it comes to what they put in their bodies. Boom carefully considered this sentiment and made a product whose packaging is almost as important as its ingredients. The natural fruits in Boom’s energy gels are “easier on the runners’ guts,” and they are popular with customers because they actually “taste like you’re eating fruit.”
Appropriately, Booms efforts paid off, and they are now the official energy gel of USA Triathlon. They are also the official on-course energy gel for the Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City marathons, in addition to the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. These sponsors have helped Boom get its products in Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, which are currently sold at four markets, and will soon be available at all of the retailer’s locations.
Boom isn’t only remembered due to their fruit-based, high-carbohydrate product though. They’re a known quantity and recognizable brand by their athletes because they are forward-thinking and market-savvy. Boom enlisted the help of a pair of Cleveland companies, Muse Content Group and Go Media, to help relaunch their brand. “You eat with your eyes first, and our packaging, if nothing else, sells great taste,” Lammers said.
With a year-over-year revenue that is up 860%, Boom plans to develop additional flavors and products that complement its gels. The energy gels are manufactured in California, packaged in Utah and distributed out of Boom’s headquarters in Middleburg Heights, but their Cleveland base hasn’t stopped them from locking up international distribution deals in Canada, France, Panama, Costa Rica and Brazil. With plans to “build a global brand” in the endurance sports marketplace, Boom hopes to have annual revenues “north of $20 million” in the next four or five years.
“We’re fighting well above our weight,” the company co-founder said.
Steps involved in Branding Process
Now that you’re fully educated on the difference between logo design and branding, you’re probably coming to a realization.
And that understanding might be something like this, “Bill, I really need more than a logo. I need a full Go Media branding experience.”
Wondering what that will look like? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
While each branding process is unique, the following examples will walk you through a typical experience.
1. In the first round of proofs, after research and the kick-off meeting, our designers are going to put together several possible brand directions. Each direction will include their thoughts and visual examples to explain the ideas behind the aesthetic.
2. Once a direction (or several directions) are selected, the team will begin to explore designs for your company. You may see a mark, logotype and supporting examples of the brand in use. Exactly what’s designed is based on your needs.
This example only shows four steps in our process, but frequently our branding process will have over seven rounds of revisions. We’re going to keep working until you’re overjoyed with your new brand.
4. Once you’re satisfied with the final brand, we package up your assets and deliver them to you through email as well as on disk. We can prep your assets in any file format you need. Your assets are yours to keep. We also keep a copy of all your brand assets on our servers for any future need you might have.
Still not satisfied? Want to see more? Check out our branding project, Trés Chic.
1. Exploration of many directions.
2. Further exploration of selected directions, including marks, logotypes, and supporting elements of your brand.
3. Refining the brand, dialing in on details, and exploring more applications including fonts, colors, mark and logotype.
4. Design is finalized and assets are packaged and delivered to the client.
So, that’s it in a nutshell.
Sold? Ready to start your branding project with Go Media?Request a Quote for your next Logo Design Project. Or give us a call! 216-939-0000
Brewing Company Branding: Boss Dog Brewing Co.
Brothers Josh and Jason Czernek (and Mom) visited Go Media looking for a Cleveland design firm who could help bring their dream brewery to life. Their concept revolved around the name Boss Dog Brewery — Discovering how best to visualize the brand’s voice, aesthetic, and most literally how the dog looks, was the first step in getting this brand up and running (no pun intended).
Go Media’s Art Director, Chris Comella, reflecting on his work, which encompassed everything from mascot, print and logo design, to branding and illustration, typography to brand management, noted one of his biggest rewards connected with the Boss Dog Brewing Company project.
“One of the things we focus on in our design process is presenting multiple concepts. This allows us to get really creative, while at the same time vet different approaches to achieving our goals. With this project in particular, the three concepts approached visualizing the dog (which was a main focus for this brand) in different ways. The final product is a photo-realistic stance, whereas the other two options were a more iconic version, and an illustrative version. Although it’s simply one facet of the brand at large, being able to guide the client through those options and end up in a place that’s custom tailored for them is a very enjoyable experience.”
Designer Carly Utegg reflects on the project fondly, “We started off the project with a photo shoot of the clients beloved dog Stella. Once we were certain that Stella would become the face of the brand, this unique opportunity to bring her into the studio was one we couldn’t pass up.”
While this experience filled the office with laughter, Chris admits, “In terms of what was most challenging specifically, I’d have to say the photo shoot. It’s not easy under those bright studio lights, but Stella pulled through and got us some great shots to work with.”
At the end of the day, the tight-knit team was proud of their results.
“One of the main goals with the Boss Dog brand was to portray our canine mascot in a way that wasn’t overly masculine, notes Carly. “Finding this balance was something we worked through during the branding process, exploring a range of styles until we decided on a silhouette as the best solution. What we have as a end product is a brand that while it has a workman or firehouse feel to it doesn’t cross the line of being overly bold and masculine. I think this identity will serve them well and I’m excited to watch the identity grow as we continue to work with the clients on applying it to their various applications in the near future.”
From all the tail wagging, we can tell that Stella is happy with the results. The Boss Dog crew and Go Media can certainly cheers to that.
Updated Cleveland Browns Branding
Our recent post, “New” Browns Logo Leaves Cleveland Graphic Designers Deflated” collected expert advice from local authorities on the matter including Julia Briggs, CEO and creative lead at Cleveland design firm, Blue Star. Julia is responsible for logo development for Ohio Lottery: Keno; Classic Lotto; Pick 3, 4 and 5, and more, Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland and the State of Ohio: Red Treehouse, Dwellworks, and more.
Julia’s full interview is included below. Enjoy and be sure to catch the full story, featuring fellow experts William Beachy, Wilson Revehl, Chris Comella, Aaron Sechrist, and Todd Radom here.
Cleveland Browns Branding Interview with Julia Briggs
The new Cleveland Browns logo design has been harshly derided in some circles for being underwhelming or, as some have put it, “just oranger.” Do you think that kind of criticism is unfair?
I do think it is fair criticism at this point because the Browns set themselves up for this issue. Regardless of whether the new look is good or bad, the execution of the project and reveal wasn’t done well at all…and that is too is part of the organization’s brand. Brand doesn’t just stop with the logo and color way.
Is there anything about the new logo that “works”? If so, explain.
The logo isn’t bad – because ultimately it’s the same logo we’ve had for — forever. So I can’t really say it doesn’t work.
I do credit the Browns organization for taking care to listen to the fans who asked them to push the look and feel forward while respecting the tradition — with a lot of emphasis on NOT changing the helmet.
But then there comes that moment where you stop listening and call on experts to help make the right decision. There’s that quote by Henry Ford — “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
I wonder how Henry Ford would have handled the logo change for the Cleveland Browns.
Is there anything you would have done differently if you had tackled this project?
I wouldn’t have announced this reveal as a new logo. I would have had my PR team announce it as a refresh or an update. Using the term NEW LOGO sets up the expectation that you will be releasing a NEW LOGO.
You will always have a group of people who won’t like the change regardless, because change is hard. However, now the Browns have a group of people who don’t like the change AND another group of people who are dumbfounded by the lack of change. That’s a lot of disappointed people.
Do you think this logo design change was ultimately the best decision for the team?
Personally, I believe change and trying to grow and stay relevant is always good.
But my in this case, my concern is that Cleveland will have to live with this new change for five years. NFL rules state: Once a team does change their logo they are under the NFL’s five-year rule which prohibits any other uniform changes for the first five years after an initial change.
Someone in this town had the opportunity in their hands to make a bigger impact and couldn’t make it happen – again. I think that’s what this Logo Change represents to Clevelanders today.
Anything to add?
It’s moments like these that make me cringe. The design agency tapped to do this work is at the mercy of the people who cut their check. But they get to go down with the sinking ship — when and if the ship sinks. The public may see it as a lot of time and money spent on little return. And then the rest of the design community gets tethered to that ship, too, by association.
Let’s hope the Cavs win the NBA championship this year and we can just forget about this whole fiasco. For more Browns branding info, be sure to check out other interviews by our Cleveland graphic design team!