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Guide to Logo Design

Guide to
Logo Design
Love your new logo
Everything you ever wanted
to know about logos and how
to get a design perfect for
your business.
Table of Contents
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

Do I even need a logo? ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. 4

Why you need a strong brand (part 1) ............................................................................................................................................................... 5

What makes a great logo? .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 6

Why you need a strong brand (part 2) .............................................................................................................................................................. 7

Logo design best practices ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

Which type of logo is right for your business? ....................................................................................................................................... 9

Less is more: The power of negative-space logos ............................................................................................................................. 10

The benefits of a negative-space logo 12

The colors of success ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 13

Which colors to pick? ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 14

Orange and Black 14
Yellow and Brown 16
Red and Green 18

The Nike logo lesson .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 20

Beware of free clip art ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 20

Picking the right font ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 22

Who will design your logo? ................................................................................................................................................................................................ 22

The risks of crowdsourcing 22
What to look for in a logo designer 24
How to pick a logo design firm 25
Get better results from your logo design firm 26
The Deluxe Difference 27

Your logo design budget ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 27

But how much should it cost? 28

How to make the most of your creative brief ........................................................................................................................................... 29

How well do you know your brand? 29
Filling out your creative brief 31

Lessons from great logo design disasters ..................................................................................................................................................... 34

The 7 do’s and don’ts of logo design ................................................................................................................................................................... 36

When is it time to refresh your logo? ................................................................................................................................................................... 39

Refreshing your logo for the holidays 40
Logo inspiration ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 42
The Dallas Cowboys logo — Still kicking after 50+ years 42
Case study: Deluxe helps the Akron Honey Company’s logo evolve for growth 43

I have my new logo. Now what? .................................................................................................................................................................................. 46

The power of your logo on promotional products ............................................................................................................................ 48

Developing your brand’s style guide .................................................................................................................................................................... 49

You put your logo where? ..................................................................................................................................................................................................... 50

Conclusion .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 51

Additional resources ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 52

Guide to Logo Design

Quick! Think of a famous logo. The Nike swoosh came to mind, no doubt, or the McDonald’s
arches, or the Starbucks mermaid, or the Mercedes emblem, or Chanel’s interlocking C’s, or
Facebook’s F, or the Olympic rings, or the Playboy bunny, or the Disney palace, or the CBS eye, or
the Rolling Stones lips, or….

We are awash in logos every day of our lives, and with good reason. In a mere glance, a good logo
tells us everything we need to know about a brand — what it does, what it stands for and what its
values are. A great logo gets firmly lodged in our consciousness and becomes inseparable from
the brand itself.

A logo is the cornerstone of every business’s branding strategy, no matter how large or small the
company is. Whether it’s a one-person lawncare service or a multinational conglomerate, a strong
logo conveys professionalism, quality and stability in one memorable glance.

In a world where busy consumers judge businesses in less than five seconds, where the first
impression is often the last impression, having a powerful logo is more crucial than ever before.
Customers grow to trust a brand the more they are exposed to it. A memorable, professional
logo that adorns a business’s signage, website, storefront, vehicles, stationery, business cards and
packaging is a solid step in building that trust.

Because it’s a central part of a business’s marketing strategy, a logo should never be a slapdash
affair, something hastily pasted together just to have something. The best logos are a smart mix of
the right graphics, typography and colors.

The good news is that obtaining a professionally designed logo that is perfect for your business
has never been easier. Read on to learn more about why your business needs a logo, what goes
into the creation of the perfect logo and what to do with your logo once you have it.

Do I even need a logo?

If you’re considering having a professional logo
designed for your business, but thought that you
may be too small to need one, you may be doing
your company a disservice. A logo is one of the
most important branding elements you can have
when marketing your business and is the key to
getting your business noticed.

All too often, small business owners think a

professionally designed logo is only for the “big
dogs,” and would simply be too expensive. Which
is why most owners are surprised to find out just
how affordable a logo can be.

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Guide to Logo Design

Consider your company’s logo as a business asset:

• Your logo allows people to associate a symbol or image with

your business, one that is both recognizable and memorable.

• Your logo acts as a calling card, since it is typically one of the

first things a customer sees when visiting your business. Even
if you do not have a brick and mortar establishment, a logo on
your website serves the same purpose — gaining your visitor’s
attention and establishing, at a glance, what you do.

Instead of resorting to short-term marketing gimmicks, it is more important to have a professional

logo designed that can withstand the test of time and represent your brand for many years
to come. If you intend to grow your business, a professional logo design is vital. Having a logo
designed by a team of professionals means that you will not only receive the benefits and
advantages of their experience and knowledge, but you will also receive the advantages of their
business acumen. Regardless of what direction you take, your logo needs to be a centerpiece for
your marketing, as well as the heart of your company.

Why you need a strong brand (part 1)

Good branding is more than just a strong logo. It creates a memorable impression of your
business that builds trust and anchors your advertising.

1. Branding improves recognition

Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonald’s or the eagle of the USPS.
As the “face” of a company, logo design is critical because that graphic will be on every piece of
correspondence and advertising. A strong logo is simple enough to be memorable, and powerful
enough to leave the desired impression of your company.

2. Branding creates trust

A professional appearance builds credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a
business that appears polished and legitimate.

3. Branding supports advertising

Advertising is another component of your brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, and a company
risks being pigeonholed and losing their ability to expand into new markets. Too broad a focus,
and the company fails to make an impression in the minds of would-be customers.

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Guide to Logo Design

What makes a great logo?

The Nike Swoosh, the Coca-Cola cursive and Apple’s apple: Great brands have great logos. These
logos convey the brand’s message to millions of people every day, just by being visible. If your
company is looking to make an impression and grow in the marketplace, you’ll need a logo.

But creating a logo is about more than eye-catching pictures. There are many things to consider
when choosing the right logo for your company:

1. Talking text

Unless your logo is internationally recognized like Nike or

Apple, adding your name to the graphic is crucial to building
your brand awareness. That means you’re going to need some
text. Simply being legible isn’t enough. The words you include
in your logo also represent the look and feel of your brand.
Skilled graphic designers know how to use different fonts to
convey different meanings and emotions to their audiences.

2. Eye-catching color

Colors aren’t just for sports teams. It’s important to choose

your colors wisely because they can have a big impact on
your company’s future business success.

Start by remembering that certain colors convey certain

emotions, which we talk about in greater detail below.

You don’t need to have any color at all. A great logo should
look as good in black and white as it does in any color shade.
Think, again, of the Nike swoosh.

Simplicity is king when it comes to selecting colors. That

usually means limiting your color selections to three or fewer;
a single color may be all you need.

3. Creating a great graphic

When most people think of a brand’s logo, they think of

the graphic. A strong logo should look good on mastheads,
stationery, apparel, advertisements and the web.

Graphics that possess these qualities are usually

professionally created, not clip art. They are also scalable
and usually simple. Perhaps most importantly, a good logo
graphic is also timeless. Your company is going to be around
for generations, and so should your logo.

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Why you need a strong brand (part 2)

Good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and
motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier.

4. Branding builds financial value

Companies who publicly trade on a stock exchange are valued at many times the actu-
al hard assets of the company, often because of the branding of the company. A strong
brand can guarantee future business. The greater a company’s devotion to build its brand
value, the better the financial return from its efforts.

5. Branding inspires employees

Many employees need more than just work — they need something to work toward. When
employees understand your mission, they are more likely to feel that same pride, and will
work to achieve the goals you have set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company
logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.

6. Branding generates new customers

Branding enables your company to get referral business. Would it be possible for you to
tell a friend about the new shoes you love if you couldn’t remember the brand? The most
profitable advertising source, word-of-mouth referrals are only possible in a situation
where your company has delivered a memorable experience to your customer.

Logo design best practices

A logo serves as the face for a company, and getting it right makes all the difference in achieving
the recognition and market position you want. Think about the logos that resonate most with you.
They probably share some similar characteristics:

Clean and simple

One glance at the world’s most famous logos can remind people of feelings and associations
related to those brands and their experiences with them. A simple and uncluttered symbol for your
business can trigger automatic positive human responses. After all, many children recognize
logos before they learn their ABCs! Keep it clean to portray certainty and stability.

Three-second hook
A potential customer should be able to catch on to the meaning of your business logo design

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Guide to Logo Design

within three seconds of first glimpse. Making people work to decipher your logo creates a lose-
lose situation. Customers and suppliers lose interest, and you lose ground to competitors. Find out
if your logo communicates effectively by asking for honest evaluations of design options prior to
choosing one.

Memorable and motivating

The world’s best logos have a knack for imprinting on the brain and triggering action. When
people see a well-designed logo, especially after experience with the brand, they quickly recall the
experience and seek it again.

Just as strong in black and white

Logos containing multiple colors and fonts tend to
appear cluttered, which can distract viewers and
make it hard to understand the intended message.
Logo designs that rely on multiple colors can also be
very expensive to print, possibly making letterhead
and other collateral more challenging and pricier
to produce. Well-designed corporate logos are
recognizable — and stay strong — when printed
in black and white as well. Make sure yours is too,
especially if you plan to advertise in print.

Effective at any size

Your business logo needs to appear on all your
company communications, which means different
sizes and formats must render the logo consistently
and professionally. It should appear as perfect on
huge billboards as it does on tiny and mid-size
applications; scalability is imperative, especially when
pens or lanyards are part of your marketing mix.

Timeless, not trendy

When creating or updating your logo, be sure to keep it classy. If you choose to follow a fad or a
trend when designing your company logo, you may end up limiting its life. It’s tough to support
current messaging with a dated and irrelevant logo.

Show, don’t tell

Many famous logos appear without the company name, and a well-designed logo is recognizable
after a certain introductory period without the company name.

Designing a simple logo that attracts your target customers and motivates them to buy your
product or service may seem like an easy enough task, but a professional designer can add vital
expertise and insight to your final design. The pros make a living by creating effective logos,
which means all the training and experience they gain from working on other projects can benefit
your business logo! Enlisting the help of a professional design team also ensures you avoid many
common mistakes that amateurs often make.

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Guide to Logo Design

Which type of logo is right for your business?

You have to weigh many variables when considering the look of your logo. It needs to
communicate what your business sells, as well as who you are as a company, what you stand for
and what consumers should expect from you.

If you’re just diving into logo design, you may be unsure where to even begin. Here are four types
of logo designs to consider:

OfficeMax, Home Depot and Walmart all
represent the most commonly used type of
logo — the wordmark. Typically, this type
of logo relies on text, typeface, and unique
typographic treatments to express the
brand’s identity. Because there are no graphic
elements to convey messaging, the text is
often exactly literal, stating the name of the
company and sometimes even what it does.

Wordmarks work best for companies whose names describe what they do, or for those with a
distinctive name, even if it’s not yet a household word. This type of logo can be cost-effective
for companies with limited marketing budgets that need to focus their efforts on building name
recognition. It can also help associate your brand name with products or services more concisely
than a symbol might.

Think of a lettermark logo as a monogram for
your business. Like a wordmark, a lettermark
is entirely text, but rather than the entire
name of a business the logo relies on initials
to represent the brand. Lettermarks can be a
simple monogram or an anagram. CNN is an
example of a monogram lettermark logo — it
uses the initial letters of the company’s full
name, Cable News Network, to create the logo.

Lettermarks are great if your initials look better in graphics than your full company name. They
can also allow you to create a visual link between subsidiaries and parent companies. A word of
caution, however: Lettermarks often work best for companies that have sufficient existing brand
recognition; otherwise it can take time to educate consumers on what the lettermark means.

Departing from the use of text alone, a brandmark is a symbol,
often abstract, to highlight an aspect of the product or service the
business sells. The symbol represents the company by association
and relies on the design’s ability to evoke emotion in a viewer. For
example, the Nike swoosh implies motion, the perfect representation
for the company’s line of athletic shoes and athletic wear.

A brandmark logo works well if you need an emblem for your product, or if your name is too
long, generic or lacking in personality. From a business standpoint, a brandmark can be effective

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globally in areas where a company’s name may not translate well. It can also allow subsidiaries
to associate themselves with parent companies when they’re not able to use the parent’s name

A marriage of a brandmark symbol with a
wordmark, iconic logos are also known as
combination logos. Elements may be used together
or separately, tied closely or loosely. This type of
logo can be very effective in communicating both
what a company does and what it stands for (its
corporate personality). Mastercard Worldwide and
Dunkin’ Donuts are examples of iconic logotypes.

Although some of the most-recognized logos in

the world are iconic logotypes, this form of logo can actually work well for startups and small
businesses with tight budgets, whose names may be distinctive but not yet widely recognized.
This type of logo is very effective in communicating brand identity, so choosing an iconic logotype
may require less marketing to gain recognition for the logo.

Less is more: The power of negative-space logos

A great logo packs a punch. If you want a design that is memorable and clever, you might consider
following the lead of companies like Toblerone and NBC, and trying out a negative-space design.

What is negative space?

In design, negative space is the background or area around the subject in an image, while positive
space is the subject itself. Simply put, negative space is empty and positive space is filled. In the
Toblerone logo, negative space creates a bear in the
peak of the mountain. In NBC’s logo, the body of the
network’s famous peacock is created by negative
space around the multicolored feathers.

On the most basic level, negative space emphasizes

and defines the edges of the positive space — it shows
us where one shape ends and another begins. But negative space can serve more than just this
simple practical purpose when it’s used thoughtfully. As many creative logo designers have shown,
the “empty” areas of a design can be as dynamic as
the areas that are “filled.” Just take a look at the famed
FedEx logo.

It’s just the company name, right? Actually, the white

negative space between the orange “E” and “X” is
shaped like an arrow. Yes, all of these years that arrow
has been hiding in plain sight thanks to the clever use of
negative space.

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Negative-space logos show up in different ways:

Hidden image
Negative space is often used to incorporate
subliminal images into logos, like the FedEx logo’s
arrow. The sly inclusion of secret elements makes a
seemingly straightforward design a little bit more
interesting. Check out the Hershey’s Kisses logo and
you’ll find that the negative space between the “K”
and the “I” is shaped like a sideways Hershey’s Kiss
candy. Go ahead, tilt your head to the left and you’ll
see it.

The World Wildlife Fund’s panda logo is an optical
illusion. The panda’s white head and torso are just
open shapes formed using negative space. But the
black positive space provides the viewer with enough
information to make sense of the image — through a
phenomenon called the law of closure, our brains fill
in the gaps and we see the curves of the panda’s back
and head even though they aren’t actually there.

You can use those empty areas around and between
letters to stylize text. The white “S” in the USA
television network logo is actually curved negative
space between the black “U” and “A.”

Double entendre
A double entendre design highlights multiple
aspects of a company’s identity by carving out a
hidden element into positive space. The Guild of
Food Writers logo is a black fountain pen nib, a nod
to their profession. But, look a little closer and you’ll
notice that the negative space that forms the tip of
the nib is shaped like a spoon.

Now that you’ve seen negative space in action, you might be ready to experiment
with your own logo. But before you do, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

• Consult with a design expert

Draw inspiration from these negative-space logos but consider asking a skilled graphic
artist to create your logo for you. In addition to translating all of your ideas into a

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Guide to Logo Design

professional, eye-catching logo, experienced designers like the logo design experts at
Deluxe have the technical know-how to ensure that the logo will function across every
marketing platform that you use. Whether you print the logo on merchandise or display it
on your website, emails and social media, a professionally designed logo will be something
that you can be proud of.

• Any changes should be appropriate to your brand

The arrow in the FedEx logo wasn’t just squeezed into the design because it looked cool,
and it certainly isn’t there by accident — the logo wouldn’t have won more than 40
design awards if either of those things were true. FedEx is a courier delivery service and,
according to the logo’s designer Lindon Leader, the right-facing arrow symbolizes speed
and precision. Like the FedEx design, the best negative-space logos are created with
purpose and reinforce brand values and identity.

The benefits of a negative-space logo

1. Boost brand recognition by engaging viewers

Negative-space logos are so powerful because they grab and hold our attention. They call
for participation, inviting the viewer to engage with them, study them and uncover subtle
layers of meaning. A design that customers have spent a few seconds studying (as op-
posed to just glancing at) is a design that sticks in their minds.

2. Simple but creative

One thing you’ll notice about all of the above logos is how modest the designs are — they
consist of only a few shapes and colors. Yet each one of them is visually compelling in its
own way. Consumers respond to and remember simple logos. A negative-space logo can
be simultaneously uncomplicated and unique.

3. Fun!
Negative space logos are just plain fun! How great did it feel when you spotted that
Hershey’s Kiss? It’s important to nurture the relationship you have with your customers
and increase goodwill toward your brand. A fun, inviting logo is one way to do so.

Meet our designers

Our expert in-house designers take the time to learn about you and your business.
Our goal is to create a logo that perfectly represents your company.


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Guide to Logo Design

The colors of success

Google the words “impact of color on mood” and you’ll get millions of results. Humans have
spent a lot of time, and generated billions of words, trying to define how we respond to color.
Interestingly, you would have a difficult time finding anyone who credibly argues that color has no
effect on us at all.

In the world of marketing, color is a key consideration for all visual materials. Corporate marketers
spend thousands of hours and millions of dollars evaluating the psychology of color and
marketing, for everything from the order buttons on the company’s online sales portal to the card
stock for executive business cards. Your small business may not have those kinds of resources, but
you can still incorporate some basic color sense into your logo design.

Making color choices is a foundational step of logo design. You want to foster an identity that will
be so easy to understand and so relatable that seeing the color alone will be enough to bring your
brand to mind for consumers.

As you provide your designer with initial direction in the earliest stages of the logo-design process,
keep in mind these five key color considerations:

1. Keep it simple
The most successful logos are simple in terms of colors. In fact, two of the most basic colors —
black and red — are used most frequently; 37 percent of top logos include black and 34 percent
feature red. Think of some of the most successful logos in the world, such as Pepsi, Coke and
Starbucks, which use just one or two colors. Would those logos be as memorable if they were
many-hued? Or would more colors detract from their visual impact?

2. Know what emotion you want to evoke and which colors will do that
What emotion do you want your logo to evoke in customers and prospects who view it? Identify
the key emotional message you want your logo to communicate and choose colors to convey
that emotion. For example, black communicates strength, elegance, simplicity and power — all
emotions that resonate when you’re marketing a luxury item. Blue is calm, strong and dependable.
Think of how many bank and tech companies incorporate it into their logos. Red is exciting,
youthful and daring — hence its role in so many beverage makers’ logos and packaging. Here are
some more snap emotions created by colors:

• Red: bold, loud, sexy, edgy • Blue: professional, calming,

• Orange: creative, cheery, fun, trustworthy, dependable
youthful • Black: powerful, strong,
• Yellow: cheery, sunny, optimism masculine
• Green: growth, organic, • White: pure, innocent, clean,
instructional, environmental, health simple, crisp
• Purple: wise, blissful, spiritual • Brown: rural, historic
• Pink: flirty, youthful • Grey: neutral, calm

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3. Know your target audience and what colors are likely to resonate with them
Color relatability can be generational and gender-specific. While both men and women say blue
is their favorite color and brown their least favorite, women also like purple, whereas men don’t
care for it at all, according to some number-crunching by Kissmetrics. On the other hand, men are
slightly more partial to black. So if you’re marketing a line of luxury products aimed at men, black
and blue might be smart logo color choices, whereas purple and brown might create negative

4. Choose colors befitting your brand identity

This point relates back to emotion. Your brand identity is tied to the emotion you want customers
to feel when they encounter your brand and your logo. When choosing colors for your logo,
consider who you are as a company. Are you a steward of the environment? Green speaks of
responsibility. Are you a trailblazer? Orange creates an impression of aggressive energy. Choose
colors that evoke emotions that fit your corporate identity, whether it’s serious sophistication
(black) or light and whimsical (yellow).

5. Choose colors that will make your logo look good wherever you use it
To maximize its impact, your logo should appear everywhere — from your stationery and signage
to packaging and products. As you’re choosing colors for your logo, envision how those colors
will look in every channel where you might use it. Will the colors play as well online as they do
on a billboard? Or will that vibrant red you love in large format look like a ketchup smear on your
business card? Test-drive different logo colors in different real-life marketing situations.

Of course, if there’s one hard and fast rule of marketing, it’s that there are no hard and fast rules.
This is true of color selection in logo design, too. Sometimes the safe choice will be the wrong one,
destined to fail, and the risky choice — the one you’re just not sure about — will lead to success
beyond your dreams.

Which colors to pick?

The color scheme of your business’s logo is a critical part of its design — not only will it make your
logo pop, but it also increases brand recognition by more than 80 percent. But which colors
should you pick for your new logo? Is it simply a matter of preference, or is one color combination
a better fit for your business than another?

There are general cultural associations and assumptions that most of us make when we see certain
colors. Color psychology is the study of these general associations, and it examines how color
affects human behavior, moods and feelings. In logo design, color psychology is often used to
influence customers’ perceptions of a brand and also to support brand messaging.

To understand how color works in branding, let’s explore different combinations of colors typically
considered “holiday” colors: orange and black (Halloween); yellow and brown (Thanksgiving); and
red and green (Christmas).

Orange and Black

To get a sense of what orange and black convey when they’re paired up, let’s first examine what
the two colors represent and the emotions they evoke individually, as well as how each is typically
used in branding.

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Orange is the color of traffic cones and safety vests for good reason — it stands out. Companies
looking to show off should consider incorporating the bright and vibrant hue into their logos.
Orange is thought to represent playfulness, creativity and excitement, which is why it is often used
by children’s brands and companies hoping to appeal to young people, such as the kids’ cable
channel Nickelodeon. Orange is also believed to stimulate an appetite or thirst — likely due to the
color’s connection to citrus fruits — and is accordingly used by food and beverage brands like
Fanta and Whataburger. Because it’s the color of sunsets and fire, orange can signify warmth. In
branding, orange is linked to good value.

Mystery and darkness are perhaps the most obvious associations with the color black — especially
during October. But black also signifies elegance, timelessness, sophistication and prestige. As
a result, you’ll frequently see black used for high fashion or luxury brand logos — Tiffany & Co.,
Chanel and Gucci are a few notable examples. Black is a strong color. It represents authority, and
can give customers a sense of power, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons why sports brands
like Nike and Umbro have black logos.

Orange and black are a striking combination — just look at a monarch butterfly or a tiger to
see how incredible this pairing can be. Exciting, energetic orange plays off of sophisticated and
reserved black. This type of contrast can be very powerful, conveying nuances of your brand’s
personality while evoking multiple emotions from your audience. Look at a few famous orange and
black logos to see how the two colors work together:

What orange and black say about Amazon:

This company is dominant but approachable.

Established in 1994 as an online bookstore,

Amazon has become an e-commerce leader.
One of the reasons founder Jeff Bezos chose the
company name was to imply size: The Amazon
River is Earth’s biggest river and
was to be the “Earth’s biggest book store,” per its original tagline. The black used in the company’s
logo underscores the power and authority that Bezos was hoping to convey.

The orange arrow beneath the company name has a double meaning — it connects the “a” and
“z,” implying that Amazon can deliver everything from A to Z, and it’s a smile, with the tip of the
arrow being a dimple. According to a press release issued after the logo was unveiled, the Amazon
arrow-smile is intended to “communicate the company’s mission of being the most customer-
centric company in the world, most notably by depicting the ultimate expression of customer
satisfaction: a smile.” In this case, a playful color like orange emphasizes the customer-friendly
image the company wants to project.

What orange and black say about Discover:

This is a company that you can get excited
about because it empowers you.

Black is perfect for a credit card company

like Discover because the color represents power and stability. The term “in the black” means that
something is financially sound. The orange, spherical “O” in the logo — reminiscent of a sun — adds
energy and excitement, and emphasizes all the possibilities available with a Discover card.

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What orange and black say about Penguin

Random House: The company is timeless but fresh
and innovative.

Book publisher Penguin Random House formed

after the merger of two long-standing publishing
companies, Penguin Group and Random House.
Their orange and black logo was created in
2014 as part of the company’s rebranding. The black text is a reference to typewriter ink and the
importance of the written word to the company. Because black can signify timelessness, the color
here evokes the company’s rich literary history. The two strips of orange bookending the wordmark
represent creativity, and the continued vitality of the brand.

What orange and black say about Black + Decker:

This company produces powerful products that are
suitable for everyone.

Black + Decker manufactures power tools,

hardware and appliances — products that allow
customers to control their own home improvement
projects or that make life a little bit easier. Aside
from the fact that “black” is part of the company’s
name, the color works for the brand because black
empowers people. Orange suggests that the company’s products are for everyone; you don’t have
to be an expert to use them.

Looking at the examples of well-known orange and black logos, you’ll notice that they don’t
strictly or even overwhelmingly favor one industry. And yet, the color combination is a fitting
reflection of each brand because the designers paid close attention to what these colors signified.

Yellow and Brown

Yellow and brown are a great autumnal pairing. They’re the colors of fall leaves and Thanksgiving
decorations. But stripped of that festive fall context, yellow and brown may seem like an odd color
combination — or are they?

First let’s see what they mean on their own.

Yellow is the color of sunshine and the classic smiley face, so it’s probably no surprise to learn
that it represents optimism and hope. But this stimulating color also signifies logic, confidence,
progressiveness and creativity. In darker, more golden shades, the color is said to embody luxury,
abundance and prosperity. Though yellow can be a good match for any brand — companies as
diverse as McDonald’s, Sprint and National Geographic have incorporated it into their logo designs
— it can be overpowering, and is often paired with a less intense, contrasting color. Too much
yellow, particularly bright yellow, can cause anxiety.

Brown is modest and neutral, but don’t write it off as dull. Brown is a stable color and, accordingly,
represents structure, dependability and support. While it may not be a natural choice for many
(or even most) brand logos, it is the perfect fit for a financial institution like J.P. Morgan, and other
businesses that need to be seen as reliable and secure. Of course, brown is more than just a no-

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Guide to Logo Design

nonsense color — it’s also warm, soothing and wholesome. Hershey’s and M&M’s use the color in
their logos to evoke both the delicious chocolates the companies produce and a sense of comfort.
Brown can convey an earthiness that works well for brands associated with the outdoors.

Yellow and brown probably aren’t the first two colors that pop into most of our minds when
thinking about logo color schemes. In fact, a recent color preference study showed that only
3 percent of people listed yellow or brown as their favorite colors. While that data may seem like
cause for concern, it shouldn’t be — remember that a color’s popularity has very little to do with
whether or not it’s appropriate for your brand. To see just how powerful and effective this color
combination can be, take a look at these famous yellow and brown logos that represent their
brands perfectly.

What yellow and brown say about UPS: This is a

company that you can trust.

Established in 1907, UPS is one of the largest parcel

delivery services. The company also has one of the most
recognizable logos: the brown and yellow shield. While
most companies are happy to employ their brand colors
on their website, packaging and other promotional
materials, UPS’s brown is so entwined with the brand’s
image that the color was invoked in the company’s former
slogan: “What can brown do for you?” The brown in
the UPS logo represents security — your packages are
safe with the company — and the bold yellow inspires
confidence. A shield, in and of itself, represents honor and protection. A yellow and brown shield
accentuates those noble qualities.

What yellow and brown say about Cracker Barrel:

This company is wholesome and customer-friendly.

A Southern cuisine restaurant and gift shop chain,

Cracker Barrel has a down-to-earth aesthetic that’s
modeled after old country general stores. The
company’s website states that they strive to greet
everyone who walks through their doors with a
“warm welcome” and “good meals at fair prices.”
Their mission statement also references “simplicity”
— it’s a quality they pride themselves on. Cracker
Barrel creates an enjoyable experience for its customers by honoring a bygone era, and its logo
affirms that. Brown emphasizes that homey traditionalism, while the yellow gives the design a pop
of energy and joy.

What yellow and brown say about Gevalia: This company

values tradition but is forward-thinking.

Gevalia is a Scandinavian coffee roaster. Like Cracker

Barrel, the company’s brand revolves around its rich
heritage. The Gevalia website explains that the company
has spent the last 150 years mastering the perfect cup of

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Guide to Logo Design

coffee, and they intend to continue their tradition in America. So in addition to being the color
of coffee beans and a seemingly obvious choice because of that, the hardy brown of the logo
is a reflection of the brand’s history and staying power. Yellow serves a practical purpose — as a
brighter, contrasting color it helps the brown wordmark stand out. Yet symbolically, yellow could
be a very simple way of conveying a sense of optimism. Coffee is usually enjoyed first thing in the
morning, after all. And since the company is dedicated to developing the perfect cup of coffee,
yellow could also be a reference to innovation; Gevalia is always looking to the future.

Choosing a unique color palette for your logo may be the thing that makes your company stand
out, so don’t shy away from unlikely or unpopular combinations like yellow and brown.

Red and Green

Red and green are the go-to color combination when you want to deck the halls. But would the
pairing work for your business’s logo? Do we roll out the purple carpet or paint the town yellow?
No, of course not. It’s red that we turn to when we want to describe anything that’s bold, flashy,
wild or exciting, which is why companies that need to do a little grandstanding should give the
color a shot. Big brands in the retail and entertainment industries like Target, Kmart, Netflix and
CNN — brands that rely on huge numbers of people tuning in and taking notice — have red logos.
Obviously, most of us know red as the color of passion and romance. But love isn’t the only feeling
the color can stir up: It’s also an appetite stimulant. Take a second and think about a few of your
favorite fast food chains. Chances are high that most of them have red in their logos.

Does your brand promote healthy living? If so, then you might want to consider going green when
designing your logo. As the color of plants and nature, green signifies freshness, health, growth
and renewal. Accordingly, companies like Whole Foods, MorningStar Farms and the Sierra Club
communicate their eco-friendly and health-conscious values, in part, through green logos. Green
is also linked to luck (think four-leaf clovers) and tranquility. In America, green is associated with
money and wealth, so it works well in logos for financial service companies like H&R Block.

With red being an appetite stimulant and green signifying freshness, this color combination has
historically been popular in the food industry. However, the colors’ food-specific associations are
really just a starting point for these companies. If you take a look at a few famous brands with red
and green logos, you’ll notice how the combination is able to communicate each one’s unique,
multifaceted identity.

What red and green say about Chili’s: This company knows
authentic Tex-Mex cuisine.

The Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chili’s has changed its logo

several times since the company was founded in 1975, but its
color scheme has remained the same throughout the years.
Though the color choice here is appropriate because the red in the company’s logo subliminally
makes mouths water as the green implies that the restaurant uses the healthiest ingredients, the
pairing also works for Chili’s for a much more clear-cut reason: The chain is called “Chili’s” and chili
peppers are red and green. It also doesn’t hurt that red, white and green are the colors of Mexico’s
flag, signifying an authenticity in the restaurant’s menu items.

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Guide to Logo Design

What red and green say about Quiznos: This company is

renowned for fresh and bold Italian food.

According to the Quiznos website, the company is “bold”

and “dares to be different.” So it’s only natural that they would
use an eye-catching color like red to represent the audacious
spirit of the brand. And because Quiznos also prides itself on the “uncompromising quality” of its
natural, ethically-sourced ingredients, green is a logical choice.

Taking a page from the Chili’s playbook, red and green were also likely used for a more
straightforward reason: The creation of the submarine sandwich is tied to the Italian-American
community of the early 20th century, and the Italian flag is red, green and white. Red and green
were a great choice for the Quiznos logo because the combination emphasizes the brand’s mission
statement and the heritage of its product — a branding double whammy!

What red and green say about Mountain Dew: This company
walks on the wild side of nature.

Even though Mountain Dew is an artificially flavored soft drink,

its brand identity is linked to nature. Right away, a name like
“Mountain Dew” evokes images of the great outdoors. But this
isn’t the tranquil, organic side of nature — it’s more extreme. Early commercials did emphasize
leisure with a jingle that went, “Give me a mountain and nothing to do. Give me the sunshine, give
me a Dew.” But in the years since, Mountain Dew has been repositioned from a beverage befitting
a sedate stroll into the energy booster you drink before climbing Mount Everest.

PepsiCo, which owns the brand, calls Mountain Dew “the original instigator,” and Greg Lyons,
PepsiCo’s senior vice president of marketing, said in an interview with BuzzFeed that all
Mountain Dew products should deliver a “physical and emotional kick.” Taking all of this into
consideration, green works for Mountain Dew’s logo because it nods to the brand’s connection to
nature. However, it’s the red that brings the kick that’s so central to the brand persona.

When designing your business’s logo, you may find that a particular color scheme stands out as an
obvious fit for your brand. But that obvious choice becomes the perfect choice when the meaning
behind the colors reflects your brand’s voice, persona and values.

Have fun experimenting with common and uncommon color pairings, but remember to pay
careful attention to what those colors might suggest about your brand to current and would-be

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Guide to Logo Design

The Nike logo lesson

Carolyn Davidson was a struggling college student in 1971 when Nike co-founder Phil Knight
offered her $2 an hour to do design work for the fledgling company. She spent 17 hours and
was paid $35 to design the simple swoosh that in a 2015 Siegel + Gale survey was ranked as
one of the world’s most-memorable logos.

Davidson’s story has much to teach us about logo design:

1. A great logo doesn’t have to cost a lot

Most would agree that Knight had a stroke of good luck in hiring Davidson and buying her de-
sign so cheaply. Today, it’s even easier to get good logo design at an affordable price, thanks
to services that can take a small company’s brand concept and use it as the foundation of
logo development.

2. Logo development is a collaboration

Davidson created the design, but Knight offered feedback and direction — and ultimately
made the decision to run with the swoosh even before Davidson felt it was a finished product.

3. Logo development is a process

It took Davidson many hours and iterations to arrive at the design Nike ultimately chose. And
the development of the logo didn’t stop there. Until the mid-90s, the logo actually had the
word “Nike” atop the swoosh. Now, the swoosh stands alone.

4. You just never know what could happen

Not every company will see its logo achieve the iconic status of the swoosh, and a small local
business may not want or need to be globally recognized. But a well-conceived, great logo
could become the welcome face of your brand.

Beware of free clip art

It’s a new day and you’re ready to launch your business. You’ve developed a solid plan and you’re
ready to dive into the development of a new logo for your company. You call a business meeting
and discuss it amongst yourselves. You’re on the cusp of making the decision to hire the “Greatest
Design Firm Ever” when your business partner says, “There’s so much clip art on the web. Why
can’t we just use something like that? Plus, all the stuff on the web’s free, right?”

You’re tempted. It would save the company some money and a clip art logo will be good enough,
right? Unfortunately, if you chose that path, you’d be wrong on both counts. If you look at the idea
of using clip art for a logo objectively, you might find that it could cost you more than money. Even
if you only use it during the startup phase, you could lose brand equity, which could be costly to
your entire business.

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Guide to Logo Design

Clip art logos, or how to sabotage your identity

Logo design is an art form. It is the identity of your company distilled into an elegant mark that
tells a story in one glance. It is a mark that comes to mind whenever your company name is
mentioned. Think of IBM, Apple and AT&T, and you can immediately envision their logos. Is it wise
to create your logo with generic clip art culled from the web?

The development of your logo should be taken seriously. It is not a graphic that should be thrown
together with unoriginal visuals. It should be created with insight into what your business means,
yet be easily recognizable and memorable.

Logo design is not a simple process. Its foundation is based upon the research and understanding
of your company, which are then combined with the designer’s understanding of form and
function, the impact of negative and positive space, and the power of abstraction. When a
designer brings these elements together, the result should be extraordinary.

But clip art is FREE!

First, not all clip art is free. There is also the misconception that
if an image is on the web, it’s public domain or free for use by
anyone. This simply isn’t true. There are almost always copyright
issues associated with clip art and images from the web.

In many cases, clip art, whether free or paid for, is available for
use by anyone and everyone. Clip art provides a cookie cutter
solution for a design. Consider the following scenario:

You’ve purchased a piece of clip art from a popular clip art website. You use it for
your logo and everyone is happy that you’ve saved the company some cash. A week
later, you do an online search to see if you have any competitors. You scroll through
the results and click on a page. You can’t believe your eyes. They’ve stolen your logo!

But wait. They didn’t steal your logo. They simply went to a clip art website and found an image
that they thought represented their company. It just so happens that they chose the same one that
you did.

These examples are just a few of the issues you could run into if you decide to use clip art for your
logo design. Ultimately, using free clip art constitutes devaluing your own brand, with unforeseen
consequences that could devastate your business. So, if you think it’s cheaper to use clip art, you
may want to reconsider.

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Guide to Logo Design

Picking the right font

In the same way that colors send a message, so do fonts. If you plan to include your busi-
ness name in your logo, which most companies choose to do, you’ll want to pick the right
font. Here’s a quick breakdown of fonts and their implied meaning. For more information,
check out this infographic.

Script fonts: elegant, affectionate, creative

Serif fonts: traditional, reliable
Sans serif: stable, steady, clean
Modern: strong, stylish
Display: friendly, unique
See a font online that you like? Use an online tool like WhatTheFont to identify it. Just
upload an image and you’ll find out the fonts that are used. Plus, you’ll see a list of fonts
that are similar to it.

When it comes to fonts, there are more to choose from than what Microsoft Word or
Google Docs offers. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to pick a common font like
Times New Roman. You can even download new fonts right to your laptop. Check out
1001 Free Fonts to find fonts for every style.

Who will design your logo?

A friend, a neighbor, a relative, a crowdsourcing site, a professional design firm — what’s the best
option for getting your logo designed at a price you can afford? Although your friend, neighbor or
relative is rarely the best choice (unless he or she is a professional logo designer), crowdsourcing
and professional design firms each carry their own risks and opportunities to be aware of.

The risks of crowdsourcing

Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

You’ve heard that saying before but these days it seems a little dated. Why? Because we as a
society are very pro-crowd these days. Flash mobs were big for a while, reality shows love the
popular vote, and crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe routinely launch million-
dollar projects. You can even get $50,000 just for trying to make potato salad if your timing
is right.

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Guide to Logo Design

And then, of course, we have crowdsourcing as a bidding process that allows a customer to see
work from numerous applicants before deciding which one will ultimately receive the contract and
the job everyone is vying for.

If you’re a small business looking to design or redesign your logo, you may be considering
crowdsourcing as an avenue to an affordable design. And you may think there are no negatives
involved with this pursuit. But before you start the big race, take a step back. Three or more are
still a crowd, and when it comes to redesigning your logo, crowds can be a bad thing. Here’s why.

The wrong kind of interaction

Proponents of crowdsourcing argue that one of the benefits of the process is the interaction that
occurs between the involved parties and the way thoughts and ideas grow and shape themselves
through mutual inspiration. Here’s the problem, though. As the “client” in this process, you will
have minimal impact on this interaction. Your role is, after all, to simply award the contract to the
most worthy party, meaning you’ll have to choose the person who gets closest to what you want.

And the idea that designers will bounce ideas off one another to help them grow and take shape?
Take that with a grain of salt. Remember, a crowdsourcing model only allows for one winner, and
that means all of the other designers involved in the competition are doing what will ultimately
become free, wasted work. It’s unrealistic to expect designers to reach out to one another and
offer ideas that will help their competitors oust them from the competition.

Who are these faces in the crowd?

Crowdsourcing is open to anyone, and that means the term “designer” will be thrown around
pretty loosely when it comes to the work submitted for your project. Working with an established
firm guarantees you will work with a professional designer. In a crowdsourcing model, however,
you have no such guarantee. You wouldn’t trust your next surgical operation to someone just
because they love to watch “Grey’s Anatomy,” so why trust your logo to someone who just
purchased Photoshop?

The copyright conundrum

Crowdsourcing’s appeal as a great big sandbox where everything is possible is also one of its
biggest hang-ups. The sandbox itself is completely unregulated and that could spell danger for
you if the logo design you choose violates any existing copyrights. Even the savviest company
can’t recognize the origins of all designs, and you could award the contract to a designer pedaling
copied work, only to learn about it through subsequent legal proceedings.

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Guide to Logo Design

You might not get their best work

The saying “You get what you pay for” certainly applies when it comes to crowdsourcing. When
you partner with an experienced logo designer, you know the trained professionals on staff will
make your design their top priority. With crowdsourcing, however, your design will be finished
when they have time for it. Research shows that only 15 percent of crowd workers use this system
as their primary income source. More than two-thirds say they do it as an extracurricular activity or
to earn a little extra cash on the side. Your logo design is worth more than that.

There’s also a chance you may be offered secondhand work. Designers who lose out on another
logo design project invested time and effort into the bid and, because of that, may be hesitant to
let that go. So what do they do? Some of them keep their old work and offer it up as new ideas for
the next company looking for a logo design. Companies like yours.

Again, your company’s logo deserves more than some simple cast-offs from other design efforts.

They won’t understand your brand

Your brand is your identity. It’s how your customers recognize you, and with that brand there is a
certain reputation to uphold. Pursuing logo design through crowdsourcing ignores the importance
of understanding your brand because designers are simply being asked to pop in and offer an
idea. There is no creative brief, no engagement and no feedback from you to guide them. They are
simply creating ideas they think look cool; your brand should require much deeper involvement
than that.

What to look for in a logo designer

Two’s company, and your business and the right logo designer can make for perfect company. So
how do you find the right one?

Start by avoiding any designer, whether through crowdsourcing or some other channel, who
exhibits the traits mentioned above. A professional logo designer will effectively communicate
with you one-on-one to understand your brand and its needs. Your designer will also help you
define your target market and analyze any early attempts at a logo that you, or someone else, may

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Guide to Logo Design

have already designed. Most importantly, an experienced professional designer will take the time
to listen to you and gauge your intentions for the design before rendering concepts that satisfy
those wishes. Expect your designer to meet your needs, instead of your having to choose from
their offerings.

Throughout the drafting process your designer should communicate with you early on, introducing
concepts when they are basic enough to be to your liking but advanced enough to show a
definitive direction. Lastly, they should offer you multiple options for your selection as the final
logo, each one incorporating your vision in a distinct way.

An experienced logo designer will have an advanced understanding of the connotations that
colors carry. They will know that blue is associated with trust, loyalty and dignity, while red is
associated with passion and power. They also know how to establish visual balance and alignment,
proximity and contrast in their designs. When searching for a true design professional, make sure
their website offers plenty of information about their skills.

Lastly, nothing speaks louder than the final products a professional designer creates. A quality
logo evokes emotion with its text as well as its image, representing your brand creatively and
accurately. A professional logo designer will use the right kinds of fonts, colors and imagery
to permanently and positively reinforce your brand in the minds of prospective customers.
These traits make a professional designer the perfect companion for your business, without the
headaches of all those crowds.

How to pick a logo design firm

Here are four key criteria to keep in mind when looking for a logo design shop:

1. Review their portfolio

Find out if the logo design shop you’re considering has a diverse portfolio of logos. Their portfolio
should give you a strong sense of their attention to detail, creativity and aesthetic preferences. It
should also show you that the design shop has successfully worked with clients in a wide range of
industries. If a logo shop isn’t willing to show you an extensive portfolio, you may want to move on
to your next option.

2. Ask about in-house or outsourced designers

Ask if the logo design shop works exclusively with in-house designers, or if it outsources its work
to freelancers. A shop that employs its own designers maintains greater control over the creative
process, allowing you to make suggestions and request revisions as the design progresses toward
completion. As a result, you will typically receive a business logo that best meets your objectives
and aesthetic preferences. Conversely, if the design shop outsources work to freelancers, you will
likely have fewer opportunities to refine your logo design to make it fit your business branding

3. Request client testimonials

Ask the shop owner for testimonials from past clients. A professional design shop should be more
than willing to provide you with feedback from past customers, even going so far as allowing you
to contact past clients for first-hand feedback. Testimonials also give you a sense of whether a
logo design shop will work to meet your needs based on how past clients describe their service.
A logo design shop that will not provide testimonials might not be the right choice for obtaining
such a critical branding tool.

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Guide to Logo Design

4. Inquire about the number of revisions you’re entitled to

Inquire about revisions when discussing your ideas with a logo design company. Although you
undoubtedly hope that the artist will get your logo right the first time, you might need to request
changes along the way to make sure your logo perfectly fits your business image. Making sure
your logo design shop is open to providing revisions can help prevent you from getting stuck with
a logo that falls short of your expectations.

Get better results from your logo design firm

So you’ve decided to create a unique brand for your business and — after carefully weighing the
options — you’ve selected the right person or company to design your new logo. Before you jump
headfirst into colors and fonts, it’s important to equip your logo designer with a clear vision of
your business.

After designing more than 70,000 logos for businesses, Deluxe has identified the most crucial
interactions between the logo designer and a business owner. Here are four steps to getting the
best results.

Step 1: The creative brief

Take the time to complete a proper logo creative brief. The brief should answer questions about
your company, your style, your brand and your marketing mix.

While answering these questions, think about the important elements you want to convey. Also,
think about how you plan on using your logo — both now and in the future. It’s important to
consider, at the beginning of the process, how your logo will appear on different applications (e.g.
websites, promotional materials, T-shirts, billboards, checks, invoices, etc.). Your logo should be
created to be suitable for every use while building lifelong brand recognition, no matter its size or
color. We discuss creative briefs in greater detail below.

Step 2: Direct consultation

Take the time to speak directly with your logo designer. The creative brief will get them a long
way down the path to understanding the type of logo that you need, but working directly with
the designer to review your creative brief and any ideas you might already have regarding colors,
usage and more will bring them that much closer to your company’s ideals and values.

Step 3: Provide constructive feedback

Through the logo design process, you will be presented with concepts to review. These will either
be very rough concepts in the initial design phase, or could be the near-complete designs after
several design revision rounds.

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Guide to Logo Design

When reviewing the initial concepts, choose the elements from each design that appeal to
you most. Conversely, elements that are truly against your brand image should be called out
immediately. This will allow the designers to create unique combinations of the best elements from
each concept into something that really reflects you and your company.

Don’t limit yourself to “yes”/“no” or “like”/“don’t like” responses. By providing constructive

feedback about specifically what you like or don’t like, and why, your designers can continue to
refine the concepts to get closer to the final, perfect logo.

Step 4: Imagine your logo in use

While working through the final revisions, try to imagine what your logo will look like on various
applications, from letterhead to business cards, mobile to desktop websites, embroidered or
printed T-shirts, to banners or signage. It’s important to remember that your logo needs to be
flexible, so — for example — simplicity of design is crucial if you need to have a logo portrayed
both big (on the side of a vehicle) and small (on the side of a pen).

The Deluxe Difference

At first glance, it may seem as if Deluxe’s logo design services resemble crowdsourcing. After all,
you’re connected to at least two experienced designers who will begin creating designs tailored
to your business. The difference is that Deluxe walks you through the process of writing a creative
brief detailing your logo project and how it will fit with your business; that gives the designers
a clear idea of what you’re looking for even before they start. Additionally, customer-directed
revisions are built into the design process. Most importantly, all our designers work in-house at
Deluxe, on the same team. They want you to be thrilled with the logo you ultimately choose.
Rather than competing with one another, they can collaborate and share ideas when necessary,
making sure the logo you ultimately pick is exactly the one you want.

We love our customers!

And they love their logos — rating their experience and final logo an average
of 4.86 out of 5 stars.


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Guide to Logo Design

Your logo design budget

Whether you own a startup or established business,
having a professional logo is beneficial on many
levels. It builds trust, increases awareness, creates an
emotional attachment — and ultimately, can deliver
new customers.

But how much should it cost?

While the range of logo design prices covers a broad spectrum, if you’re not in the graphic design
industry, it may be confusing to know what’s reasonable since the price varies by designer. Logo
designers are free to charge whatever they wish. Some may choose to charge extremely high
prices while others may choose to charge rock-bottom prices just to get business. To avoid
confusion, try to stay within your price range and pay a price that makes you comfortable. In the
end, the price should be fair and equal to the time spent on the task.

A reasonable logo design starts at $200

One should expect a simple logo design to cost approximately $200. A simple design is typically
a logo with a well-defined company name and mark. Intricate patterns and complex lettering may
increase the price of the logo. The finished design should be clear, unique and professional. The
definition of simple will vary from person to person, which is why it is important to find a designer
who works with their customers throughout the design process. An experienced designer will be
able to produce good work if they have clear instructions. The designer should provide at least
four concepts for this price and two rounds of changes if the customer should need them.

A more complex design warrants a $400-500

price tag...or more
A logo design with intricate patterns and fonts typically
costs twice as much as a simple design. Expect to pay
around $400 for a design of this type. The increase in
price will also include extra services, including up to
10 original logo designs to choose from and unlimited
changes until you are pleased with the results. A
reputable company will provide concepts for business cards, envelopes and letterhead as well. You
should also expect to receive a minimum of three concepts for each type of stationery.

An experienced business logo design company will have more than one designer working on
a project. Simple jobs require two to four designers, and complex jobs require a larger team of
designers. A team is necessary because each custom-made logo needs fresh ideas. If one designer
were working on a large number of logos daily, he or she would eventually run out of ideas. With
multiple designers, a company can produce quality logos and concepts continuously — a great
perk to keep in mind when choosing a logo company. In the end, a high-priced company with one
designer is no match for a reasonably priced company with multiple designers.

And finally, consider the reputation of the designer or logo design company. Look for guarantees,
samples of previous work and positive reviews. Also, find someone who is willing to hear about
your unique business — whether it’s via an initial phone conversation or by completing a helpful
creative brief, you want to be sure you designer cares about what sets your business apart.

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Guide to Logo Design

How to make the most of your creative brief

The process of designing a logo is an extensive one, with practically limitless choices in regard
to color, font, layout and image. It is further complicated by two factors: what a client expects to
receive and what a logo designer expects to give them when they craft the finished product. To
try and mitigate these factors, it’s important to write a logo design creative brief that establishes a
clearer picture of what the finished product will look like.

Before starting a creative brief, however, you need to have a clear idea of what your brand is.

How well do you know your brand?

Brand values can be simple: Quality, Innovation, Speed, Trust, Affordability, Uniqueness, Fun, etc.
Brand execution usually isn’t quite as simple. But it can be, with a bit of forethought and some
practice. It’s well worth the effort.

Here are a few questions to help you determine if you currently understand your company’s brand
and the impact that day-to-day behaviors can have upon it.

Question 1: Do you have brand standards?

Simple items, such as picking a consistent font and color that you use on all of your
communications can go a long way to establishing your brand.

Here’s an exaggerated example: If you were an investment advisor who is responsible for taking
care of your client’s financial future, would you want this to be your font?

Or this?

If you, as a potential customer, saw these, would they inspire you to trust them with your
retirement fund? No, unless you’re really in search of a “funky financial advisor.” (No one is.)

On the flip side, if you are trying to brand yourself as the low-cost alternative to your competition,
having really fancy letterhead with a stodgy or prestigious looking font can actually work against
you, such as:

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Simple elements such as fonts and colors can inspire or devalue your brand. Do you want to be
more corporate? More fun and fanciful? Creative or trustworthy?

Question 2: How do you address your customers (or clients)?

A very formal brand will always refer to their clients by their last name and appropriate salutation,
such as “Dear Mr. Smith,” or “Dear John Smith.”

A moderately informal brand will often refer to their clients by their last name, unless directed
otherwise by the customer: “Hello, Mr. Smith,” or “Hello, John.”

An informal brand will usually refer their clients by their first name: “Hi John.”

Beyond that, what do you call the people who buy things from you? Are they customers, clients,
patrons, etc.? A simple wording change can impact how formal the relationship is between you
and your “customer.”

Think about how “One of our premier clients” has a completely different feel to it than “One of our
favorite customers.” Which is more appropriate for you and your company?

Question 3: Could you pick a pen?

Imagine you’re looking at a collection of different
promotional pens. If we asked you to pick the pen
style that best represents your business, could you?

More often than not, business owners have trouble

picking a pen. Or they pick the wrong one.

If you truly know your brand, it’s almost intuitive: you

pick the right pen based on the size, color, weight
and quality that just fits your company.

If your company relies on trust, don’t pick a fun and

funky pen or the cheapest pen. If your company
appeals to the playful side of a person, don’t pick the
most basic and corporate pen you can find. If your
company is known for getting things done right, keep
it simple but high quality.

To practice this take a look at everyday items such as furniture, artwork, even coffee cups and ask,
“If I had a waiting room, would I want this to be what my potential customers saw?” As you get
better at answering that question, you will get better at instinctively knowing your brand.

Question 4: Do you live the brand every day?

Keeping a professional image is important if you want to portray a professional brand.

This also applies to any part of your business that your customer will encounter: your storefront,
your logo, your vehicle, your employees and so on. Everyone and everything that connects you
with your customers needs to match with the image you are trying to convey.

Take a few days and pay attention to everything that your customers see and hear during your

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interactions with them. Now play a game of “Which of these things are not like the others?” to find
the points of contact that might not fully support the image you’re trying to create.

The overall benefit of having a strong brand is that your customers and potential customers will
know what to think of you and, more importantly, when to think of you.

Every small business owner can become his or her own brand champion. You probably already
know most of what makes up your brand — you just need to give yourself time to think about it,
and then get used to taking it with you every day.

Once you have a thorough conception of your brand, you’re ready to fill out your creative brief.

Filling out your creative brief

Creative briefs require you to know which direction you wish to take your brand. A professional
logo design service will then ask you a series of questions about your preferences and come up
with a brief that suits your needs. Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. Be ready to discuss your

business and ideas

Professional logo designers know

that each industry has a certain
expectation when it comes to their
corporate branding marks and
logos. That’s why it’s important to
be prepared with solid information
about what your business does
and the industry that it operates in.
These things will help formulate an
image in your designer’s mind of
just which colors, fonts and styles
should be used when developing
your new image.

The reason this is so essential

is largely due to how each type
of industry brands itself. Banks,
for example, need logos that
communicate stability and trust
with their customers — they are,
after all, holding their money. But
other industries, like online retail
stores or content providers, can be
more daring and adventurous with
their logos. They’re not held down
by centuries of tradition and the responsibility of handling billions of dollars on a daily basis. Their
needs and missions are different, and they communicate that in their logos.

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You want a logo that represents your business’ best face: the trust customers should invest in
your brand, the fun they should have with your product. Discuss these goals of your business in
your logo design creative brief and you’ll be surprised just how far your mission can affect the
successful design of your logo.

2. Be ready to pick colors, fonts, layouts and more

Even though the type of business

you operate and the industry you’re
working within may determine
many of the design cues that your
professional logo designer will put
to work, it doesn’t determine every
aspect of your company’s eventual
branding. Even within serious
industries, logos vary greatly based
on the type of image a company
wants to put forth.

One of the best examples of this can

be seen when the Bank of America
logo — a creative take on the
American flag — is contrasted with
the logo of competing Wells Fargo.
Its logo is a simple square with the
company’s initials emblazoned in
a serif font. Both companies are
big banks doing serious financial business, but they have different things to communicate. Bank
of America is on the side of the everyday consumer, while Wells Fargo’s logo harkens to their
message of 19th century founding and brand continuity.

So it is with your own brand. You can easily specify things in your logo design creative brief that
make your company’s logo unique — even among competing brands in the same industry. You can
select colors that are different from those typically seen on most brands, and you can choose a
font outside the norm to really draw attention. It’s all in how you want to do business and who you

It’s a good idea to have in mind just how you want your business to come off. Have you been
around a long time and want to convey that to your customers? Or, do you want to indicate that
you’re something different — more fun, more agile, and ready for the 21st century economy? Fonts
and colors can convey these things quite effectively.

3. Be ready to indicate how your logo will be used

Your primary business might be done online, or it might be done via paper mailings. It could even
be based out of a brick-and-mortar retail or office location. These things all affect how a logo
is designed, so you’ll want to indicate on your creative brief just how this design will be put to
use once it’s finished. This will help to ensure that it doesn’t look out of place on the company’s
brochures — even if it looks great on the website.

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A creative brief gets the ball rolling on really great logo design, and any professional logo design
service will establish this document and agreement with you before they get to work on your
company’s new branding and logo. What this brief means for your company’s future is entirely
up to you: It depends on what your business does, how it does those things, and how it wants to
communicate with customers about its services and image.

Be prepared to discuss and document all of these things, and you’ll end up with a beautifully
designed logo that takes your business to the next level and lasts for a long time to come.

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Lessons from great logo design disasters

A well-designed logo is priceless for a company. On the other hand, a poor logo can push potential
customers away from your brand, reduce your sales and hurt your business. Some companies have
experienced both ends of this spectrum by mistakenly replacing their popular existing logos with
new branding that proved itself ineffective and even upsetting to their customer base. Here are
seven examples of companies that did just that:

1. Animal Planet
Animal Planet’s classic and very popular logo featured
an elephant under a small planet earth in the upper
corner. When the channel rebranded, they changed
their logo to feature their name with the “M” in animal
turned sideways. Viewers saw the text as a jumbled
mess that, ironic for the station, looked unnatural.
Despite the criticism, Animal Planet has so far stuck
with their rebranding.

2. SyFy
The Sci-Fi Channel attempted to be hip by changing its logo
to the text-friendly SyFy and asking people to “Imagine
Greater.” Unfortunately for the channel, no one could imagine
why a company would change its name to the slang term for
syphilis. Many viewers walked away from the station, hurting
the ratings for several shows.

3. Tropicana
Tropicana is known for its iconic straw in the orange,
and when the company replaced that logo with a glass
of orange juice and its name running sideways along the
carton, customers were outraged. The backlash was so
severe Tropicana’s sales dropped 20 percent. After just
one month, the old logo was restored. Customers said
the new packaging was ugly and Tropicana President Neil
Campbell said he “underestimated the deep emotional bond”
consumers had with the previous logo.

4. The Gap
Letter size matters, as The Gap found out. After two decades
of using a logo that featured the word GAP and a blue
box, the retailer decided to lowercase its name and use a
smaller, offset box in the upper corner. The response was
swift. Critics called the rebranding effort uninspired, and
consumers had more choice critiques to offer on social
media. The Gap returned to its previous logo just two weeks

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5. Capital One
The swoosh may work for Nike, but not for Capital One.
When the company decided to rebrand its logo, it opted to
add a swoosh in 2008. Capital One sought to appeal to a
younger generation, but the element was seen as a fad from
a decade earlier and made Capital One look more dated than

6. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut’s business has expanded beyond pizza, and
the company tried to alter its branding to reflect that
by shortening its name to The Hut. Customers were
unimpressed and critics pointed out that by dropping Pizza
from the name, Pizza Hut failed to show customers what it
offered them. Pizza Hut reversed the decision shortly after.
“Pizza Hut is not changing its name,” said Brian Niccol, Pizza
Hut’s Chief Marketing Officer. “We are proud of our name
and heritage and will continue to be Pizza Hut.

7. Radio Shack
Add Radio Shack to the list of brands that failed when
trying to shorten its name. Like Pizza Hut, Radio Shack
attempted to become The Shack to reflect its wider
product offerings. The company also eliminated the formerly iconic R with a circle around it, but
the change was met with backlash. The new logo did not draw in customers who were already
turned off by the company’s history of high prices and poor customer service, and the new name
and logo did not last long.

These seven examples show how important it is to design a logo that works the first time — and
then stick with it. While each of these companies failed in their logo redesign, part of that failure
can be attributed to the immense popularity of their initial logo.

They got their logo design right the first time. Working with a professional designer can help
ensure your company gets its logo design right the first time.

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The 7 do’s and don’ts of logo design

Still with us? For a quick rundown of what to do, and not to do, in your logo design, look no

1. DO your first designs in black and white

The right color can make any logo pop, but it’s useful to know how that same logo looks in black
and white. Here’s an easy test: print a copy of your logo in black and white and see what it looks
like. If the logo appears fuzzy or illegible, you need to go back to the design drawing board.

2. DON’T add too many colors

Color is a good thing, of course, but when it comes to logo design, keep it in check. To make sure
your design isn’t too busy, take the image and shrink it on your computer; if it looks blurry in this
iteration, it’s time to cut some color.

3. DO disconnect images from text

You may think your logo is the perfect marriage of icon and text, but if you can separate the icon
from the text, all the better. In today’s social media world, nothing gets shares like an icon. If you
make your logo shareable, you make it an icon.

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4. DON’T pick the wrong font

If you’ve fallen in love with a font because it looks great on the screen in front of you, test your
relationship by seeing how it looks in other scenarios. Take it in from a distance or see how it looks
when merged with the other fonts in your printed materials or on your site. If your newly selected
font looks great in all of these settings, it just may be the font for you.

5. DO drop the drop shadows

Drop shadows may be a cool concept, but they make for especially heavy files that send
incorrectly or don’t send at all. They can also create display problems and cause your logo to
look off when printed. The minor graphic impact they offer simply isn’t worth it.

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6. DON’T use clip art

You’re trying to design a logo and you found the perfect little graphic in clip art. Now you’re done
and it was easier and more affordable than you ever thought possible. But here’s the problem:
clip art is essentially community art and your easy, affordable solution is there for anyone else as
well. That means while you’re trying to build your brand identity with your new logo, someone else
could be doing the same thing with the same art — maybe even in the same industry. Additionally,
the clip art means you can’t trademark it. Don’t trap yourself in the situation of an expensive
rebranding effort; build your logo the right way the first time by opting for unique logo design, not
clip art.

7. DO avoid unnecessary words

Wordiness doesn’t work in logo design. To create a memorable, shareable logo, you need to
simplify everything. Separate the company name from the icon, opt for fewer words, and focus on
the logo itself. Do so and you will see the benefits.

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When is it time to refresh your logo?

Maintaining a current, up-to-date logo is so important. If your business already has a logo, it is
important to regularly ask one question: “Does my current logo present the image that I need it
to?” If your logo no longer makes you answer an enthusiastic “Yes!” to this question, it’s time for a
fresh, new look.

1. Are you still using your initial, hasty design?

When you first opened the doors to your

business, your logo may not have been
a crucial factor. Sure, it was set up as a
branding method, but people were going
to come into your place of business for
the product or service, not the logo. So
you may have just thrown something
together quickly. You may have even
gotten design help from some of your
family and friends.

However, once you’ve established yourself in the industry it’s a good idea to update your logo. We
recommend putting your logo in the hands of professionals who will take your existing logo and
transform it into something that truly reflects your brand.

2. Is your logo design outdated?

Your logo design is a visual

representation of everything your
company stands for. Has it become
dated or taken a back seat to other
images that represent your company’s
identity? When you survey customers
and examine the competition, is there
confusion about what you do? A good
logo design should communicate something about the nature of your business, product or service.
So if this vital component is out of step with your message and customers, it’s time to bring it up
to date.

3. Has your company changed?

This is one of the most important areas to consider when

you want to update your logo. Since you began your
company, you have likely evolved not only in the way you
do business, but in the products and services that you
sell. If this is the case, then an updated logo could help
reflect your company’s evolution and paint a more accurate
picture of what your business provides. This approach
could help you get attract a lot of new clients that you may
not attract with your current logo.

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4. Is your logo design too complex?

In many cases logos are overdone and

over-designed, making it difficult for
customers to discern or understand your
brand. It’s one of the reasons why, when
logos are changed, there is almost always
a reduction in font or colors. If you feel
that your logo is overdesigned, it may be
time to update to a more simplistic logo
— one that will be memorable to your
customers while accurately representing
your business.

As a small business owner, it’s important to assess your logo after your business is up and running.
If any of these considerations ring true to your small business, it may be time to consider hiring a
professional logo design team to update your existing logo.

Refreshing your logo for the holidays

Unveiling a special holiday logo gives your business an even stronger presence during the holiday
season. Not only is a seasonal logo eye-catching, but it’s also a way for you to connect with
customers through the shared spirit of the holiday season.

With professional logo design services, revamping your logo for the holidays is a simple process.
Even if you do the revamp yourself, a well-executed seasonal logo maintains the recognizable
brand of the original, but with added touches that reflect your business’s approach to the season.
It lets your customers know you’re celebrating, without alienating customers who may not
celebrate in the same way.

A seasonal logo presents promotional opportunities

Your business likely holds several promotions throughout the year to coincide with the holiday
calendar. These might include Black Friday or Small Business Saturday events, Hanukkah or
Christmas sales, or year-end parties. Your seasonal logo is the perfect way to guide customers
toward those promotions while festively celebrating the holidays they’re tied to.

The altered logo immediately clues them in that something special is going on with your brand,
creating excitement and a desire to stick around to learn more. In this way, seasonal logos go an
extra step in helping advertise your promotions during the busiest time of the year.

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A seasonal logo promotes new initiatives

Holidays aren’t the only time you can decorate your logo, however. Many companies also try to
raise awareness for particular causes at specific times of the year. Consider Earth Day in April,
where even huge corporations like UPS and Wells Fargo highlight their adherence to green
business standards, or October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which inspires companies to
pink-ify and add ribbons to their logos.

For your business, a Christmas-themed logo could lead to an announcement of your charitable
giving to organizations like Toys for Tots. Or a patriotic revamp for Veterans Day could culminate
with a charity drive for veterans’ services. Seasonal adjustments to your logo draw customers’
attention to the change, and give you the perfect reason to announce something about your
company that might not be obvious from the logo’s original design.

Building a strong brand, a brand anchored by a strong logo, is a key component in running any
successful business. Even after that brand has been established, a company that evolves with the
seasons — while remaining true to its core image — stands out among the competition.

Need a holiday twist?

Stand out and showcase a special cause or occasion
with a perfectly designed, eye-catching logo.


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Logo inspiration
The Dallas Cowboys logo — Still kicking after 50+ years
In 1960, the Dallas Cowboy football team joined the NFL as an expansion
team. Since then, the Cowboys have racked up five Super Bowl
Championships, more than a dozen Hall of Fame players, three stadiums, and
eight different coaches at the helm. One thing that hasn’t changed is their
iconic lone star logo.

Jack Eskridge (right), one of coach Tom Landry’s first hires, redesigned the
existing logo in 1964 by adding a white border around the blue star, giving it a
3D-effect. It has stood ever since. Jack Eskridge

In an era where most NFL teams are changing their logo every decade — and
reaping the benefit in merchandise sales — the Cowboys are an anomaly worth
noting. Let’s take a look Mr. Eskridge’s logo to better uncover its four enduring

1. Simplicity
While not a completely solid shape, the lone star’s
singular image is one everyone instantly recognizes
and identifies. Even preschoolers are able to master
drawing a five-pointed star at an early age. And like
any great logo design, the less complex it is, the
longer it will stand the test of time.

2. Color
While blue is one of the most popular colors in the
NFL (half the teams use it in their logo), the Cowboys
are only one of two teams who use it for their entire
logo. With emotional associations such as power and
dependability, blue was certainly a great choice for
the team to position them more firmly in the minds of
their fans...and foes!

3. Symbolism
Representative of Texas as the “The Lone Star State,” the Cowboys’ logo is a symbol that pays
homage to Texas’s history and unifies all citizens of the state. The lone star is a great example of
the power of symbolism in logo design: It resonates with a large market and rallies those people
together around a shared vision. Rooted in history, it is a symbol that is both timeless and relevant
for all generations, ensuring that it can withstand another 50 years.

4. Shape
Used on everything from helmets to football fields to storage facilities, the blue star logo is
as versatile as it is dynamic. Its star shape can be expanded to the size of a football field or
contracted to the size of a collector’s coin without losing its proportions. No matter its size, its
shape is easily recognizable from all sides and viewing angles, and perfect for TV viewing.

So how long will the Cowboys stick with their lone star look? Only time will tell. Until then, let’s
marvel at the longevity and memorability of “America’s team” and their enduring logo design.

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Case study:
Deluxe helps the Akron Honey Company’s logo evolve for growth

Wesley Bright is not the kind of guy to watch the world go by — in fact, he wants to change it.
So, in 2013, he purchased a long-empty lot in his Akron, Ohio, neighborhood, with the vision of
transforming the space into an urban apiary. Committed to the goal of bringing more business
to Akron, and the desire to educate children about the benefits of bees and their honey, Wesley
bought two hives and launched the Akron Honey Company. Three years later, his honey
consistently sells out in local stores. Recently, he competed on the CNBC show “Cleveland Hustles,”
and he received an investment offer that he turned down because it meant taking his business out
of Akron, the place he was committed to helping.

The problem: A brand that couldn’t flex for growth

Even though Wesley decided not to take the investment deal, he knew he still needed marketing
help. While committed to staying in Akron, his dreams for growing the business include opening
a customer-facing cosmetics production facility experience that combined products, place and
people; and expanding his product offering into personal care, including skincare and haircare
products. From a branding standpoint, his logo’s bold simplicity worked with his raw, local honey
products, but did not lend itself as well to the more feminine market of skincare products. Wesley
looked to Deluxe to help him transform his visual identity into something as big as his aspirations.

The plan: Bring femininity to the Akron Honey brand

The Deluxe team set out to create a plan to support multiple
product lines and to position Akron Honey for growth beyond
Akron. The primary challenge would be to create a more feminine
version of the company’s logo, while maintaining the visual
familiarity of the original look and feel. The new logo also had to
work well across the raw honey products, the new skincare product
labels and any future expansion opportunities that Wesley develops.
From the outset, the team strongly recommended not using two
different logo designs between the product lines as this would not
set him up for building a strong and consistent brand. Original logo

The process: Moving beyond the comfort zone

The first step in the project was to assess Wesley’s current logo
design and pin down exactly what was making Akron Honey’s brand
feel masculine.

After some discussion, the logo design team isolated it to three key factors:

• Thick, black lines

• Hard, square shape
• Heavy font

The team also discussed the lack of association to honey in the logo design, noting there were
no shapes or visual cues. Establishing a stronger connection would be even more critical when
expanding the product line beyond raw honey. Not only was it important that the new logo feel
more feminine across his skincare line, it needed to communicate the product feature — honey —
at a quick glance.

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So the team got to work exploring new shapes, icons, font weights and palette colors, keeping in
mind the need to stay true to the visual familiarity of the original logo.

Logo concepts: Round 1

The first round of concepts kept the logo as simple and
clean as possible, while introducing a honey-related
visual cue and lighter weights for the font and lines.

Wesley was initially excited about Concept 2, but then

had doubts. Our logo design team often encounters
this type of reaction during redesign projects. Small
business owners typically have an initial excitement
for new logo designs, but over time, they tend to veer
back toward what is familiar, which was true for Wesley.
“People really like my logo and there is this sense of
alchemy that is conveyed by the square box and the
thick lines. I don’t want to lose that,” he said. The other
factor? For most small business owners, their logo — their brand — is an extension of themselves,
and rightly so. To do something different feels like a big risk.

Logo concepts: Round 2

In response to Wesley’s concerns, as
well as a vision he had for incorporating
a clover illustration, the team explored
other ways to incorporate a feminine
touch without changing the original logo.
With this option, Wesley could continue
using his current logo on raw honey,
but add the clover illustration across his
skincare labels.

After seeing this option, Wesley decided

to embrace change. He had a vision for
his company’s expanded future and he
knew it meant making some bold moves.

Logo concepts: Round 3

In the end, Wesley chose the concept he originally loved: Round 1, Concept 2. But now he wanted
to explore bringing a double stroke and honey-toned colors into the logo. The logo team created
several design options to find the best color and line combination.

Round 3a

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Round 3b Round 3c

After landing on the right color combination with Round 3c, the team played even more with
varying line thickness until they got it just right with option B below:

Putting it into practice

With the logo finalized, it was time to bring it to life on Wesley’s new raw honey labels, and start
designing the labels for his new skincare products.

The results: The sweet spot of Akron is even sweeter

With a new logo that works well with both raw honey and the new skincare line, Wesley’s brand
is stronger and better than ever. He is primed to grow his business in Akron and beyond, while
staying true to his mission of not just selling product, but making people and places better.

Read the full case study about Wesley’s Akron Honey Company.

Final Logo

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I have my new logo. Now what?

Once your strong logo has been developed and created, it is absolutely necessary to have a solid
plan on what to do with it. You could have the most innovative, memorable and creative logo in
history, but it will only be as good as how you promote it across your business.

A good logo is based on instant recognition. For instant recognition, your logo must become a
familiar sight to your customers. The familiar is welcomed by our subconscious before we ever
even realize it. This is why logos are such an important part of effective branding and one of the
most efficient flashes of advertising!

Here’s what to do with it:

Keep your logo consistent

The golden logo rule is to treat it
with respect. This means always
making sure it’s looking its best.
Consistency is the foundation of
branding; therefore, your logo
must always look the same. Its
appearance should not be varied from paper to screen, or from large to small. Different sizes
should not distort the design. The integrity of the logo is lost when there is change.

Later on down the line, a well-established logo can be played with a little, if it’s branded enough
to be recognizable with the changes. A perfect example is the ever-changing Google logo. Clever
little design changes reflect seasons, holidays and other notable events, yet the Google logo
remains undoubtedly recognizable.

Include it in printed materials

All of your important business material should feature your logo. Business cards, signage,
promo material and letterhead should be a driving force in branding your logo. Any type of
correspondence at all is not only an opportunity to use your logo, but should be considered a
necessity. In the end, any point of contact with your customers and employees should be labeled
with your company’s logo.

Display your logo across online properties

Your logo has just as much digital worth as it does in
the real world. In fact, many business logos are far more
branded online than anywhere else. Wherever your business
is online must also have your logo attached. Whether it be
Facebook, a paid advertisement, or your Google Business
listing, never exclude your logo. Do not forget the incredible
power of the internet.

Your website should reflect your logo just about anywhere

a visiting user can navigate. This is an incredibly effective
tool for creating recognition. Just like your website, any
and all online correspondences, like emails, should include
your logo. You want to saturate the minds of current and
potential customers with your company’s memorable

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Add your logo to packaging and promotional products

Any type of packaging or promotional merchandise should also feature
your logo. A calendar, a pen, a bag, whatever it is, should not be a missed
opportunity to brand. Wherever you would put your name is a likely place
that your logo belongs. Ultimately you want your logo to speak your name
without words. The only way to make that happen is to make sure it’s seen
with your name enough to eventually be recognized without it.

Any wearable promotional product, like a T-shirt or jacket, is a worthy opportunity to have
someone else brand your logo for you. This is a great way to get free advertisement and branding,
as well as show your customers and employees your appreciation. Any chance to brand, and at the
same time offer a gift, is a win-win situation.

Showcase it on your company vehicle

Take note of any opportunities where you can place your logo
on the side of a vehicle. Logo-labeled vehicles get attention
by a large number of people, making it a great avenue for
advertising. Truck and car decals and magnets are incredible
branding and marketing tools.

If your employees wear uniforms of any kind, your company

logo should be incorporated. Important visual opportunities like direct customer contact points
should always include the logo. Even an inclusion on a name tag can be an effective way to brand
your logo.

Ultimately, every form of advertising must include your logo. Marketing material, business listings,
special offers — anything that you use as a way to communicate with customers should have the
logo. Take every opportunity you can to creatively apply your company’s symbol and watch how
your brand starts to grow.

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The power of your logo on promotional products

T-shirts were once considered underwear. Due to their comfortable fit, they were adapt-
ed into outerwear, and grew in popularity. The market quickly branched out to T-shirts
with collars, patterns and different types of fabric. Then tiny animals began appearing
on the upper left side or on the pocket. Those early insignias caught on with the public
and the market for T-shirts burgeoned. Businesses developed their logos and advertisers
jumped on the bandwagon. Today, nearly every article of clothing has a logo either inside
or visible on the outside, turning customers into walking billboards freely advertising their
favorite brands.

Logo exposure benefits the business

Placing your logo on T-shirts is only part of the overall promotional process. Ideally your
logo will be featured on other promotional products such as cups, pens, keychains, tote
bags, toys, magnets and business cards. By utilizing all of these opportunities, you maxi-
mize your chances of being seen and remembered by a potential customer.

Companies should consider giving samples of their product to a targeted group of people
who will likely become repeat customers. Exhibiting at trade shows and handing out free
items generates good word-of-mouth. Those who receive your free samples will happily
use and share them with their friends or colleagues. While advertising in magazines or
newspapers can be expensive, promotional items provide the benefits of reusability, lon-
ger lifespan and low one-time cost.

Name recognition and relevance

Each time someone sees your logo in public, they should be reminded of the products,
services and reputation of your company. This has the effect of increasing your brand’s
perceived value. A customer wearing an emblazoned T-shirt, using a branded pen and
sipping from a mug with your logo is saying, “I proudly use this product.”

Customers purchase on promises

The use of logos on promotional items has become a way of life that illustrates the confi-
dence a company has, presenting itself as well-established and capable of handling long-
term business. The logo indicates, “This company will be around for a long time.”

A promise is made by the advertisements we see and on the products we use; the cus-
tomer relies on the business’s brand to deliver quality, value and competent service. The
logo is a symbol of that promise, and is endorsed by those who wear it.

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Developing your brand’s style guide

It’s time for your brand to stand up and be recognized! As your business permeates the market
and becomes better known, it’s important to have consistent branding. By creating a style guide,
you can make sure your brand is always properly represented both internally and externally.

What exactly is a style guide?

A style guide is a set of standards for the visuals and copy that are associated with your brand. It
ensures consistency across the organization — no matter how large or small — which presents a
clean, smooth image to your market.

Putting together a brand guide doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are seven elements to think about
when developing your own.

1. Business mission or essence

Your style guide should start with a description of the essence of the business. What is your
business, and what does it stand for? How does it look and feel? One way to convey this is to look
for a series of keywords that help convey that essence in a clear, visual way. For example, you
might describe your brand as “modern, friendly and a trusted advisor.” Be honest in your style
guide and explain what your business is about in clear language that’s easy to understand.

2. Logo
Your logo design is the visual heart of your company’s brand identity. It establishes everything
from your color choices to the overall feel of the brand. Your style guide should include several
versions of your logo in different sizes and file formats, as well as any guidelines dictating how and
where the logo may be used. For example, if you have multiple taglines for your company, the logo
might only be used in combination with specific ones.

3. Logo limitations
Often, brand style guides have a number of restrictions on what can be done with the logo. Some
aspects to think about include changing the color, stretching the logo, changing the size, using
the logo with specific background colors, changing the edging or cropping the file. Be clear on
which modifications are allowed, and which ones violate brand guidelines. This helps reinforce
consistency in the way your logo is used and displayed publicly.

4. Fonts
A brand style guide outlines which fonts and sizes are considered the company standard.
Sometimes multiple options are given, and in some cases there may be a list of forbidden fonts.

5. Voice
For any copywriters or marketing professionals
working with your brand, voice guidelines are
helpful. For example, a financial institution
might choose to describe its brand as
“Extremely formal and conservative, with
data-heavy copy and an academic tone.” This
would be very different from a small business
that chose to describe itself as “A down-home
brand that uses simple sentences, storytelling
and country language to appeal to a rural
lifestyle audience.” Take the time to clarify the
tone and voice of your brand copy.

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6. Colors
Brands typically have an associated color palette. These may be general, such as “our colors are
green and gold” or more specific referring to standard RGB color numbers. In some instances,
certain colors may not be used: “Our company never uses the color white in any of our materials,
either as background, font color or imagery.”

7. Images
Are there certain types of imagery that fit with your brand style? For example, you may wish to
avoid stock imagery. If your business does work primarily in urban areas you might wish to limit
the use of images in rural or suburban landscapes. Provide clear guidelines to simplify selecting
photos for creative materials.

Establishing consistency
Developing a brand style guide is an important step in establishing consistency with your brand.
Over time, this consistency both builds brand recognition among your target customers and
enhances trust with the market. Once you’ve developed your brand guide, share the final version
with all your employees and revisit the document annually to see if any revisions or updates are

For more on style guides, check out our five-step process for creating one.

You put your logo where?

You just had your logo created and you know what? It looks pretty amazing. So now you
want to splash it everywhere. It’s on your windows, your business cards, your stationery,
your website and, of course, the products you make and the paperwork that goes with
them. But you want to put it a few other places as well, because, after all, you really love
your new logo.

Here are some other creative places to add logos:

Address labels Mugs

Beverage containers Packaging
Bikes Pens
Bracelets and jewelry Picture frames
Candy jars Smartphone cases
Clothing Stickers
Cookies or cupcakes Tissue paper
Flash drives Tote bags
Magnets Water bottles

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Guide to Logo Design

Starting the process of logo design is exciting! You’re making many important decisions
that lay the foundation of your unique brand story. We hope our Guide to Logo Design
helps you consider not only all the elements of a logo, but also how to communicate
your likes and dislikes to a designer. The more clear you are on what you want, the more
successful you’ll be at getting a logo you love.

Wishing you much success,


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Guide to Logo Design

Additional resources
Stop, thief! Eight steps to help protect your logo design and brand

Let’s start building your brand (webinar)

Define your WOW! factor (webinar)

Three essential elements to a professional logo design (infographic)

Twelve ways to create a logo design you’ll love (infographic)

Deluxe professional logo design services

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