Whether you are a new business in need of branding, or your current branding needs refreshing or updating, your logo deserves the same thought and planning as your business does. Pertinent questions to ask yourself include:
Research shows that the most effective logos are painfully simple, (think of that famous “swoosh”). A single clean graphic is more effective and memorable than dozens of colors, drop shadows, Photoshop filters and complicated designs. Simple clean design also allows your logo to be updated without destroying your identity. Remember the rainbow-color Apple icon of the 80's? The uncomplicated, effective design allowed for updates to a more modern look, without destroying the branding that the company worked so hard to create.
The typography used in your logo helps to communicate who you are. A fancy script typeface is appropriate for a women's boutique, but would be a mistake for a wall-street investment bank. Some things to consider are the weight of the font, legibility (even at small sizes), style and color. Typography is a complicated art unto itself, but the perfect typeface will enforce and support other aspects of the logo and your image.
Color is an essential tool in communicating any message, and carries strong emotional perceptions for most people. Yellow is cheery and happy, but can also stand for caution. Green can denote money, nature or sickness! Gray can be solid and business-like, but can also appear dreary and gloomy. Red can be energetic and exciting, or dangerous and hostile. A careful analysis of the message you are trying to convey will dictate the color choices for your logo.
Your advertising and web site can (and should) change regularly to keep it fresh and updated, but it is imperative to keep your branding consistent. A valuable benefit of branding is recognition amongst your target market, and inconsistency destroys this recognition, appears unprofessional and dilutes your image. Typeface, iconic graphics and color should remain the same throughout all of your communication pieces including letterhead, web site, advertising, packaging, invoices and annual reports.