What is your brand identity?
Although it can include many things, three basic components of your brand identity are your logo, your typeface and your colors.
In this episode we are going to talk through Step One – creating your logo, and then next week we will talk through Steps Two and Three, your typeface and your colors.
Step One - Create your Logo
Your logo is like a dating profile picture for your brand. People will make assumptions about your brand within seconds of seeing your logo, so it’s important to really get it right. There are some key points to keep in mind when designing your logo.
We're going to walk you through it all, so you nail your logo, and create something that you love and that truly represents your brand.
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Welcome back to SHEcorporated ONE STEP Empire podcast!
Last week we used your customer journey map to turn strangers into your biggest fans. We looked at all the touch points with your customers and potential customers and started planning out how to make each one count as well as use that information to improve all aspects of your business.
If you haven’t worked through the previous episodes yet, you’ll want to go back to Episode one and start there as each episode will build on the last and walk you through getting your business started with one step each week.
The next two episodes are going to be part one and part two of creating your Brand Identity.
What is your brand identity?
You brand identity generally encompasses the visual aspects of your brand that identify it and distinguish it from others in your market. This can include many things, but almost always includes colors, fonts and logos.
The sky is the limit to what you can include in your brand identity, but to keep things simple, and keep you moving forward, we are going to focus on the basics.
Three simple steps to creating your brand identity. Your logo, your typeface and your colors.
So, in this episode we are going to talk through Step One – creating your logo, and then next week we will talk through Steps two and three, your typeface and your colors.
Step One - Create your Logo
Your logo is like a dating profile picture for your brand. People will make assumptions about your brand within seconds of seeing your logo, so it’s important to really get it right. There are some key points to keep in mind when designing your logo
The shape of your logo plays a big role in how people interpret your brand identity. Studies have shown that the overall shape of the logo – either circular shaped or more angular shaped, influences how people perceive your brand.
Shapes that are more angular tend to be associated more with harder, more durable features. They are often associated with characteristics like power, innovation, and respect.
More curved and organic shapes bring to mind softer traits like kindness, warmth and friendliness.
So think about what you want the overall “feel” of your logo to be, and what shape communicates that best.
2. Keep it simple:
Make sure your logo design is simple and easy to understand at a glance. Studies have shown that the busier the logo, the less effective it is, as the brain has to work harder to interpret all the information it is seeing. So trying to cram all that info into your logo is actually making it harder to understand, not easier.
Your logo will also need to work in various sizes and applications, so the simpler it is, the clearer it will be when reduced to tiny sizes like for your webpage favicon.
First of all, make sure it works in black and white
You want to work in black and white for two very important reasons:
a) The logo should have a strong design foundation. If a design works without the color it will work with it, but the opposite isn’t always true.
b) You will need to use your logo in one color at some point. There will be times when you need one color art and some logos that aren’t designed with that in mind just don’t work when you try to convert them to one color later, because you lose any shading, or colors that overlap, for example.
It’s also really important to get your final logo choices in front of as many eyes as you can for feedback. Visual interpretation is subjective and everyone will see a logo and interpret its meaning a bit differently, so it’s really important to get others to look at it, especially those that will be in your target market, and make sure that it is truly getting across the message you intended, and doesn’t have a meaning you were not aware of yourself.
I’ll give you an example – several years ago, I was naming a jewelry brand I was working on for a client. The brand was focused on a rainbow gemstone, and the big selling feature of the stone was that it was prized for bringing good fortune to it’s wearer. I liked the name Karma and thought it had the right feel. If it had been just myself involved, I probably would have run with that as the name. However, I pitched it to our Marketing Manager and he thought it was ridiculous, and asked why I would give it such a negative name. I was confused, but to him Karma was a negative, like “Karma is going to get you” Neither of us was right or wrong, the key here is that if that was his perception, it was likely the perception of many others and not a good choice for the name, so we moved on to other options.
Once you have nailed the design of the logo there are a few other things you will want to keep in mind.
Make sure you have options.
When you finalize your logo make sure you get all the versions of the file you need for various uses, so make sure you have the one color version (one color means one solid color – no gradient or shadows) the full color version, and then make sure you have a version that will show clearly on dark backgrounds as well as one that will show on light.
For example if you look at our SHEcorporated logo, the body of the logo is a yellow and the text around the circle is a deep grey. That looks great on light backgrounds but when we want to use it on a dark background the dark grey text isn’t readable. So we have a second version of the logo where that dark grey text is reversed to white so it pops on the dark background.
Another consideration is the width and height of the logo and whether you need some options there as well. A wide logo is great for letterhead and page footers, but it may be too wide for many other applications, so you may want to have second version where the components are stacked to change the design to a taller more centered version. It’s incredibly useful so that you have the right shape to fill the space you need to fill better.
So how do you get the actual logo designed?
You may decide to design the logo yourself or work with a professional designer. I would suggest for something this important, that you have a graphic designer make up the final files. But even if you are using a designer, you still want to go in with a fairly clear picture of what you are looking for.
It’s a great idea to play around with some sketches yourself or with a design tool like Canva to see what you like and what you don’t. Then you have those preliminary drawings to get you started with the designer and it will save you a lot of back and forth (and money). You can work with a graphic designer locally, or you can find someone quite inexpensively on sites like Fiverr or 99 designs.
Once you have approved your final logo, the last step is to make sure you get the final files in a few different file types. You need the original vector logo, which the editable original art file. You also would want to have a .png file with a transparent background, so you can pop it onto your website or into designs cleanly, and not have a big white square around it. And then many people will have a jpeg and other versions as well. But the vector file and the .png are the ones we find most people use most often.
So that’s your one step for this week. Spend some time working through what you want your logo to feel like, what you want it to look like, and how it can best convey the message you want it to send. Then start drawing it out – doesn't matter how rough your drawings are, it’s just important to get it out of your head and on to paper. Or get into canva – it’s a free tool, if you don't use it already, go sign up and you can mess around in there and try some options out. Once you have got that preliminary idea, find a designer and work with them to get a logo you love, that truly represents your brand.
Next week we are going to move on to the last two steps in creating your brand identity, choosing your typeface and colors. So, make sure you meet us back here next week for that!
So hit us up @shecorporated on social and we’ll see you back here next week.