Information about Branding

Our designers have more than 10 years of professional experience creating hundreds of unique and memorable brands.

Revival Bar Animated Logo Design

A good logo must be unique.

A good logo must be memorable.

A good logo must be versatile.

Branding is an aspect that many businesses neglect yet it is highly critical for success in today's busy market place. Your brand says a lot more than just your business name. It should capture the essence of what your business is about and what sort of business you are. Branding is a lot more complicated than what some people think as it is not easy to convey the values, industry, personality and professionalism of your business in a simple and attractive logo. You should be proud of your company brand and feel good about it every time you see it. When people see a quality logo they instinctively know that your business takes itself seriously and is both professional and successful. Just like yourself, you dress appropriately for your workplace and so should your business.

What makes a good logo?

If you have never been involved in branding before it is a good idea to consider what actually makes a good logo? This infographic displays the spheres of influence behind what can make a quality logo design.

Simplicity The first critical aspect of a quality logo is that it is simple. Look at all the globally successful brands and they are remarkable simple; Apple, Nike, Twitter, Facebook. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose by complicating a logo design.

Contrast Along with simplicity, contrast is important. If you have a light yellow logo it will stand out against a dark background but not a light one. If it relies on a dark background then it is not versatile.

Versatility A good logo should work in a variety of situations it may find itself. Black and white, on-screen, printed one colour, embroided, sign-written, on a pen etc. A common mistake is to make a logo to suit a single purpose (like a website) only to find that it does not work for something you had not originally considered (like printing).

Memorable A good logo should be recongizable as yours. When someone sees your logo for a second time they should know that they have seen your business before. A very common mistake is to see a logo you like and think ‘I want my logo to look like that.’ If it looks like another company brand then it is not memorable and it is not original.

Originality The lack of originality affects a brand in every way. A logo sole purpose is to identify your company. If the logo can be confused with another business then it is not doing a good job.

Timeless Leave trends to fashion. A good logo does not rely on a popular trend to look good. Look at Coke Cola, their logo is relatively unchanged since 1885. Simply brilliant.

Balance At the centre of all this is the composition balance of the design. A common mistake is making a logo which looks cool all alone on a white page, but just never sits correctly when in actual usage. For example, if your logo has a symbol which sticks up twice as high as the typeface, then when placed inside a fixed area the logo can only be as big as the largest part. Poor balance will often make your logo appear too small, or off-centre.

logo design branding christchurch

Choosing a logo designer

If you shop around you can find places offering very cheap logo deals. Statements such as: 'Free Logo Designs with Business-Cards', 'Logo's in 30 Minutes', '10 Logos for $20' and the like should all be avoided. The reason for this is that branding your business is not something that should be found in a Christmas-Cracker. It is a serious business and anyone offering deals like these are not serious about professional branding. Consider the points below:

1. How much real branding experience do they have? Driving photoshop doesn't count as experience.
2. Are they making your brand scalable so that it will look just as good on the side of a building as on the side of a pen?
- Complicated highlights and drop shadows won't scale nicely across these distances.
3. How will your logo look in a single colour print, or as a photocopy or scan?
- Any drop shadows and excessive fades will not look good.
4. Is your logo going to be in vector format? If it's given to you in pixels you are in trouble. Vector is scalable. pixels are not.
- If your pixel based logo only fits nicely onto a business card size print then that is the size it is staying!
5. Is your logo going to be simple in colour form? Having lots of colours in a logo might look cool on screen.. but printing 10,000 letterheads in full colour is going to cost more than 1 & 2 colour jobs.
6. Have they used Pantone colours? If so will they provide you with a CMYK colour conversion for digital printing and RGB colour conversion for your website?
7. What sort of market research will the designer make before creating your logo? Will it associate you with your industry yet separate you from your competitors?
8. Will the designer be around in the future to help your incorporate this logo into all your future requirements? Or just leave you, files in hand, to find someone else to convert the logo into a web format, etc.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about, and without even considering the aesthetics of brand development! But relax because creating your logo is an exciting time. For new businesses it's a thrill to see the face of your business for the first time and be confident that you can enter the market place with a logo design that won't let you down.

Activate Design has more than 14 years experience creating logo designs for successful businesses across all industry sectors. Many of our design clients have become multi-award winning businesses.

Understanding the logo process

When you are in the market for a logo it is wise to understand as much about logos as you can and we are here to help. When purchasing anything, the more you know it, the wiser decision you can make. The subjective nature of design along with all the different price points for logos - it can be quite overwhelming. Here are some fundamental questions we think help you take the first steps.

How much should a logo cost? The cost for a logo design should be a fixed price that you have agreed to spend. This will obviously depend on your budget and how important you think a logo is to your business. If you are thinking; ‘Just whip up a bit of a logo that looks nice’ then you can pay very little. However if you are thinking; ‘I need a professionally branded identity that will be an asset to my business and I will not take any short-cuts when it comes to areas critical to my business success.’ Then you will be prepared to invest a little in your logo design.

What am I actually paying for? You are paying for someone to come up with a creative solution to a problem.
This will take them (A) an amount of time and draw upon (B) an amount of experience. The cost is therefore a combination of A + B.

How do you know if a designer is going to do a good logo for you? The best thing to do is look at their portfolio of work. How many logos have they designed and for what sort of businesses? Have the logos stood the test of time? Are those businesses successful? The answer to these questions will provide the trust that they have the skills and experience, or not.

How do I know if the logo is actually any good? Do you just decide based on your thoughts about it? Maybe ask some friends? Obviously you wouldn’t run with a logo that you hate. But sometimes it is just hard to be sure, logos may not be your area of expertise and your friends might not be the target market. The best thing to do is talk it through with the designer. They live and breath logos everyday so chances are the design is a certain way for very considered reasons. Let them explain the design to you - question them about any thoughts or concerns. If their explanation of the design shows that the logo really has been well thought-out and executed - then yes, it ought to be a good logo.