Saturday, September 22, 2007

First impressions count: what about your logo?

At the Prospect's Awards evening, I sat beside a gentleman who was unhappy with their company logo. I offered to help him in revitalising this, and got me thinking.

If you were to go for a job interview sloppily dressed, with hair unkempt, clothes dissheveled and looking like you not only need a bath but a shave as well, how do you expect to get that job you applied for. Even if you’re the most qualified, if the job is for an executive position, you should go to the interview dressed the part.

First impressions count for a lot. Likewise for your communication pieces.
If your brochure, business card, logo or other communication piece looks like it was done in matter of minutes on your word processor, what does that say about your company?

With the resources available today, there is really no excuse to get the communication piece done professionally. And, this doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Let’s take the logo as a starting point. This visual communication piece is the first representation of your company. While literacy is not a problem like it was two centuries back, when logos (or trademarks) had to really be very recognisable, as many people could not read, the logo should at least be memorable.

By memorable, I mean this must have some impact on the reader. Impact here also means legibility, right use of colour, visual appeal and so on.

Logo is a term taken from logotype, a symbol, used as a trademark or brand for a company or its products and services.Trademarks were, as the name implies, used by traders and merchants to identify themselves. Today, logos (trademarks) are used by all sorts of organisations, including governments, clubs, etc.

Logos and trademarks are not just mere words or symbols they are many things. This is specially a means of identity for an organisation, product or service. It is a means of differentiating these from others especially in the same field and, of course, a communication piece.

Logos communicate information to the reader things like value, origin, quality and so on.

Logos, especially trademarks, add value to organisations, products and services. They are valuable assets that are legal property. As such, many organisations spend a lot of time and money to protect their use.

As a communication piece, it should first be legible. Secondly, it should be memorable and stand out from the crowd. A quick logo, done on a word processor just won’t do.

Going back to the first impressions, what would a logo that looks quickly done and is not legible say to a prospective customer? Would you deal with someone from a company that really didn’t put too much thought into its logo? Does the logo appear like it was a backyard operation?

Wouldn’t you rather deal with a company that looked professional and smart? And, these are things that the logo will communicate to the reader.

So, if you’re considering updating your logo, why not get some professional help to get the job done right. At the very least, consider legibility, memorability, impact and remember this must make a good first impression to whoever reads this.

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