Designing A Logo

Discover why designing a logo can be the difference in making
a home-based concern into a professional enterprise.
And it doesn't have to cost a small fortune!.

What is a Logo?

A logo is a name, symbol, or trademark designed for easy and definite recognition—a means of identification.

Logos have been around in one form or another since human beings began creating things.

From prehistoric cave dwellers to ancient Greek artisans some kind of markings or symbolic sign will be found on or beneath their work to identify the individual, clan or "house" that created the paintings or piece of work.

Most written languages evolved from pictographs or symbolic pictures used to represent things, people or ideas.

The most obvious example can be dated back to Egyptian hieroglyphics, where pictographs (logos) that symbolized everything under, and including, the sun. Later, every king or royal officer had a personal pictograph to identify themselves in the form of an official seal.

Medieval families also made use of pictographs in their coat of arms, with each element of design symbolizing something important about the family character or ancestry.

A logo or identifying symbol used in a business or organization to convey a meaning and establish an identity must be recognized at a glance in as little visual space as possible.

Why Bother Designing a Logo?

When running your own business, it's important to take image into account. Presenting a well designed logo or image to the public affects how people see your business.

It can also give you an important sense of professionalism, and help you to see your business efforts as legitimate.

When you are designing a logo your are creating a unified business identity (letterhead, envelopes, business cards, and other promotional material) can be the difference in making a home based concern into a professional enterprise. And it doesn't have to cost a small fortune!
The following are a few good reasons why you should bother designing a logo:

  • Your logo provides a good first impression.

    First impressions are tremendously important, especially if you want the public to perceive you as a professional jewelry designer. A good first impression creates a solid basis for a lasting relationship. If a negative impression is established in a person's mind, it will be extremely difficult to overcome.

    Your logo is a visual representation of your business, and at times this may be the first contact between your business and the public. Even if your work is beautifully displayed, the logo on your Hang tags, showcards, flyers, business cards and brochures will help to convince the consumer that you have a quality product produced by a professional jewelry designer and not by just a hobby-crafter.

  • Your logo describes who you are.

    When someone sees your logo in print, he or she makes a judgment about WHO YOU ARE. It's an automatic reaction and it can't be stopped. Whether you give visual clues about the type of jewelry you produce or try to convey a sense of professionalism, people will form their own opinions.

    A logo communicates information to the public, giving people a visual impression which suggests a set of ideas and attitudes about the business. As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words." By judiciously designing that picture, your logo can convey in a single glance what might otherwise require a lengthy explanation.

  • Your logo helps you stand out from the crowd.

    Every jewelry business has it's competitors. Most consumers that go to crafts shows will walk around and look at everything first, then go back to buy. At a craft show you may not only be competing against another jewelry designer or another jewelry artist you are mostly likely competing against every other craftsperson there.

    Designing a logo helps emphasize the aspect of your own identity that best separates you from you competitors. Many customers may not purchase anything from you at the show, but if they like your work, they will take a business card or brochure home along with many other ones that they have also collected. Your logo and promotional material must stand out from the rest, reminding the customer of the quality of your work.

  • A logo also serves as a visual aid.

    People tend to forget a name by itself. Of the thousands of words and visual images that intrude on people's minds every day, your business image must stand out.

    This means it must do more than get attention; it must possess some unique or interesting character to ensure that it is remembered. In the distinctiveness of its design, your logo will increase the likelihood of that happening.

    Later, if your customers are satisfied with the product or service received, their feelings of satisfaction will attach to your logo. Every time customers see that logo they'll be reminded of your service. The symbol, the name, and those feelings of satisfaction will always go together.

  • Your logo identifies you as a going concern.

    As the handcrafted jewelry industry is expanding more and more hobby jewelry crafters are exhibiting in craft shows and selling their work to retail shops. Because this marketplace is growing more and more sophisticated, everything possible must be done to convince potential customers that yours is a solid, reliable, quality, and thoroughly professional operation.

    This is an especially crucial factor in the success of any new organization. Shop owners, buyers placing custom orders and past customers need to be convinced that you are not just a hobby crafter and that all orders placed will be filled with same quality and reliability on a continuous basis.

How Do You Go About Designing A Logo?

A good way to start designing a logo is to begin translating your thoughts about your business into visual form start is with creative doodling.

Scribble down the different ideas that come into your head. Think of the message you want to get across and the graphic or style you want to give the public an idea of what it is that you do.

If you feel that you are not an artist and cannot draw then take your doodles to a graphic artist for refinement to help you design a logo.

If you own or have access to a computer, there are many excellent graphic programs available to help you in designing a logo and prepare promotional materials. Most of these programs have a library of clipart and different fonts that you could choose from.

Choosing Your Typestyle

In some cases the primary part of a company logo is some kind of visual symbol or graphic. The name beside it is secondary.

In other cases, the name is given equal status with the symbol.

Many times, however, the name itself is the logo.

If your name or the name of the business is your logo, then the typeface or stylization of letters is of supreme importance.

Conveying your image is dependent upon the right choice of lettering.

While designing a logo you should be exploring typestyles as you doodle, exploring the different styles and the arrangements of type.

Take a look at the typeface samples shown on the following pages. There are, beyond these few dozen, literally thousands of other typestyles, each with a more or less different feel. New typefaces, some showing only the tiniest difference from previous styles, are being introduced everyday.

When designing a logo, your job is to find or design for yourself the letter style that best expresses the image you're trying to convey.

As a contemporary artists you would not use an antique typeface; nor would be wise to select a modern typeface if you design a line of vintage jewelry.

Typestyles are usually broken down into three distinct categories: Classic, Contemporary, and Decorative.

Contemporary typestyles generally have no serifs — that is, they have no crossbars at the ends of the vertical strokes; while classic styles do have them.

Decorative styles are something else again, they can be either serif or sans-serif.

Classic or typefaces with serifs suggests a less modern image and can be perceived as classy, conservative, timeless or downright old-fashion. Where as sans-serif or contemporary typefaces convey a more modern and progressive image.

You must be careful in using decorative typestyles when you design a logo, as the eye must work a bit harder to see the actual letter amidst all the decorative embellishment. The more words set in the typeface the harder the eyes must work. Because they are so stylized, decorative typefaces are used exclusively where the business name alone is intended to be the logo. They rarely work in conjunction with a graphic symbol or other pictorial. When placed alongside a symbol of some kind, a highly-stylized letter will almost always end up competing with the symbol instead of complementing it.

Laying It Out...

Once you find a logo design you like, lay the elements out in a 2" x 3½" format of a business card.

If the design works in this small format, it will probably adapt well to your other uses (letterhead, envelopes, hang tags, order forms, etc.).

Check to make sure there is enough information (name, address, phone number) that the right elements are emphasized, and that the information can be seen and read clearly.

When you are designing a logo, ask yourself these questions: Is there too much information? Not enough? Should certain aspects have more emphasis (larger type, darker print)?

Copyrights, Trademarks...

Trademarks and copyrights can protect your business name or logo design from rivals who want to copy it.

They also let you know if a name or logo is already being used.

Trademarks protect words, designs, phrases, drawings, pictures, shapes, mode or wrapping or packaging, or a combination of the above, while copyright prohibits people from copying original writings and drawings.

When designing a logo, keep in mind that you can't copy images associated with other products. In other words, if your name is MacDonald, you can't use a version of the "golden arches" to promote your business.

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