If you are starting a business in Maryland, or thinking about it, you have probably done some initial research that confirms that there is a market for the products or services you plan to offer. You’re encouraged by the possibilities, and the next step is to make sure the customers you know are “out there” will hear about you and come to your door.
The initial steps you take are the ones that are critical to the growth and ultimate success of your business. The “branding” of a company is essential today. There is no substitute for the detailed planning and groundwork that sets the stage for success. Part of that initial effort is creating a logo that sparks interest and encourages action.
As a Maryland-based company, you can tap into local enthusiasms and preferences when designing a logo. You should find ideas galore – the seaside and the Chesapeake, the water and the popularity of boating and fishing, the rich history, rural agriculture and the importance of local, fresh produce. and naturals, the sports of Baltimore and the naval history of Annapolis. Inspiration surrounds you.
1. Know your audience
The key, of course, is to correctly identify your target market and align your product promotion with its intended consumers. For this to happen, you need to have an understanding of your product line and your business goals. But you should also try to define your ideal client.
Whatever you plan to sell, try to develop an initial customer profile that defines your audience and its cultural, educational, and economic character. Your logo design should reflect this character. In a competitive space, it is imperative that a logo be able to “speak” for the brand, reflecting its value and sending the same message over time as the business grows and expands, adding new products and services.
Research your demographics in different ways. Solicit feedback from friends and family about your product lines. As you work on logo design, solicit feedback from associates and the types of customers you hope to attract. Use blind research studies or comprehensive questionnaires if possible to gauge the need and possible reaction of customers to what your business offers.
2. Send a message
A captivating logo will tell a story. Whether you want to project an image of stability or innovation, high style or whimsy, playfulness or serious business, your logo will help define your brand. Think seriously about the image you want to project. You’ll want your logo to stand out, but how it stands out from other brands is key to the message it conveys. Start with a sketchbook and take the time to experiment with different design concepts.
Think of a logo like “Communication 101”. Try to design a logo that requires no explanation. If the message is intuitive, you have a winner.
At this point, you should also know your competitors’ logos. Study them with a critical eye and evaluate the varied messages they convey. Keep your message fresh and distinctive. As you doodle and evaluate design possibilities, the best options will emerge and you and your team can begin to narrow down your favorites.
3. Keep it plain and simple
The basics of logo design are clear. Whether you choose a logo that uses words, graphics, a stylized design, or a combination of elements, it should be as simple as possible. It must also be scalable and adaptable, allowing it to be used on a variety of surfaces and in different sizes. It might be helpful, while you’re still designing a logo, to compile a list of possible logo uses – from packaging to building signs, business cards to billboards.
A unique and memorable logo offers the opportunity to make a lasting impression. Great logos that stand the test of time are invariably the most simple, timeless, graphically interesting and instantly recognizable designs. No one will ever mistake Twitter’s bird for another brand, and Coca-cola’s smooth script is never mistaken for another soft drink.
Some branding experts recommend adopting a logo that’s as visually interesting in black and white as it is in color, while others suggest experimenting with different background colors and contrasting borders for different uses. This may be a matter of personal choice, but you will need to consider your options carefully.
If you are using two or more colors, make sure the tone and intensity are compatible.
4. Choose the best colors
Color psychology also plays a role in logo design. Color motivates in many ways. It can inspire confidence, provoke, soothe and reassure, encourage action, or promote a wide range of emotional responses. Color combinations can be subtle or vibrant, and the use of specific colors – black and gold, for example – can suggest luxury and stability, while primary colors indicate youthful exuberance.
Color is arguably the most important element of logo design, although the choice of typeface or font is also critical, especially when combined with a symbol.
Color perception changes with hue and intensity, but the following emotional reactions to color are well documented:
- Red attracts attention and signifies strength and power. It is perceived as warm, friendly and positive, but it can also warn of danger.
- Yellow is rich, uplifting and enlightening, perceived as youthful and energetic. Depending on its saturation and tone, it can also induce anxiety or apprehension, and it can be considered showy or unsophisticated.
- Blue is generally considered serene and conservative, the color of loyalty and integrity. It’s a universal favorite, and in its brighter iterations, it’s fresh and modern. Navy blue or blue-gray, on the other hand, can be considered tasteless and old-fashioned.
- Green is the color of money, nature and security. It is a color most often associated with harmony, balance and growth. It complements other colors and pairs well with white and black for a serene yet distinctive look.
- Purple can be used creatively, but with caution. Some see purple as helpful and idealistic, but it’s also sometimes seen as immature and impractical. It is, however, a color traditionally associated with wealth and royalty.
- Orange is another option to choose with care. Although he can be refreshing and confident, he is sometimes seen as pessimistic and superficial. In business, however, because it is a combination of red and yellow, orange can suggest affordability and energy.
Start designing your logo
The final step in the logo design process is to have your logo designed. Here you have a few different options depending on your needs and budget. Below are some of your options.
Automated logo design tools – If you need a logo that is quick and cheap but still looks good, you can go design your logo with a logo maker. These are online tools – many of them AI-driven – where you simply add your business name and choose your design options and the AI designer will create your logo.
Independent platforms – One of the most popular ways to design a logo is to make it freelance platforms. This option is more expensive than automated logo tools but the quality is better and your logo will be more unique. You can expect to pay between $50 and $100 to have a freelancer design your logo.
DIY tools – Some people prefer to design their own logos. However, unless you have an eye for design, it’s not an option for everyone. There are many websites like Canva which allow you to create a DIY logo for free using drag and drop design elements.
Get the design
Starting a business is very exciting, and designing a logo is one of the first steps in bringing your new business to fruition. Nothing like seeing your logo for the first time. It’s a rush!
However, while designing a logo is exciting, it’s important that you don’t let excitement cloud your judgment. Your logo is a key part of your brand identity and you need to view it with an unbiased eye. So make sure the final design looks professional and represents your brand and business. However, if you use the tips above, you should end up with a logo that matches perfectly.