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This class will help you build a true business identity. To brainstorm business logo ideas, you'll take a close look at your business and identify what makes it unique. Next, you'll learn to translate those distinct qualities into a relevant business logo design that sets you apart from the competition. Finally, you'll explore the different ways you can use your new company logo design to create high-quality color business documents in-house. 1. Brainstorm logo ideas by exploring your corporate identity How well do you know your business? In this lesson, you'll take a close look at who you are and what your business offers customers. You'll also explore the various factors that contribute to a corporate image and see how to incorporate those into logo design.
2. Basic business logo design In this lesson, you'll learn about the various types of business logos that exist, and take a look at the pros and cons of each. You'll also learn how to evaluate a potential business logo design and understand the best way to determine if it communicates your message.
Welcome to business logos 101!
Brainstorm logo ideas by exploring your corporate identity
This class will help you build a true business identity and teach you how to design a logo. You'll take a close look at your business and identify what makes it unique. Next, you'll learn to translate those distinct qualities into a relevant logo that sets you apart from the competition. Finally, you'll explore the different ways you can use that logo to create high-quality color business documents in-house.
3. How to get a logo: business logo design services and more When it's time to design your logo, you can do it yourself, hire a professional, or use an online business logo design service. This lesson shows you how to create a simple business logo, and helps you consider important logo factors if you decide to work with a professional. 4. Using your new business logo design After you have the perfect logo that conveys who you are and what you do, it's time to get it out into the world. In this lesson, you'll learn how you can use your logo in all types of business marketing materials, the majority of which you can create in-house.
How well do you know your business? In this lesson, you'll take a close look at who you are and what your business offers customers. You'll also explore the various factors that contribute to a corporate image and see how to incorporate those into logo design.
Keep your organizer with you at all times
What this class offers you
This class introduces you to the concept of building a business identity largely through creating and using a unique logo. Along the way, you'll have the
This class is designed for SMB (small to medium-size business) professionals who want to get a new company logo. You don't have to be a designer to complete this class -- you'll get plenty of business logo help along the way to make a new logo a reality.
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opportunity to create or have someone else create a logo for you. Here's what to expect in the lessons: Lesson 1: You'll learn what a logo is, how to evaluate your business to prepare for a logo, and how to determine your ideal customer. Lesson 2: In this lesson, you'll explore logo design elements, including a brief history of logos; learn about different types of logos; and then begin planning your company. Lesson 3: This is the lesson in which you get your logo, by creating your own, using an online service, or going through a freelance designer or ad agency. Lesson 4: This lesson shows you several ways you can include your new logo in marketing materials and business documents.
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Each lesson is accompanied by a short assignment and quiz, which are designed to help you more fully understand the numerous concepts covered in this class. You should also use the message board -- your virtual classroom -to exchange questions and comments about class topics with other students and the instructor, share your expertise, and offer feedback to make this class more enriching. Throughout this course, we provide Flash examples. To view these examples, you need the Adobe Flash Player. Keep an eye out for notes with links that say "See how to ____" or something similar. Some of these files are very large (10 MB or so) and may take a while to appear or download if you have a slow connection.
Let's get started with the topics in Lesson 1. Read on.
Before you plunge in, you need to know what a logo is and what it can do for your business. The ideal logo is a graphical representation of your company. It translates, across cultural divides and language barriers, who you are and what you can give your customers. It represents the qualities that define your company -- your company's brand -- and stands for something larger than itself. You want a logo to incorporate all the elements of a business that matter and present them in a clearly recognizable image that makes an immediate connection. It's a tall order, but you can do it. Let's be clear: A proper logo is a lot more than your company's name written in a font that's included with Microsoft Word. If that's all you've got right now, don't even think of skipping this class.
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A pervasive logo -- one that you see all the time -- gets a lot of its power from the fact that you see it everywhere. A recent survey of three-year old children showed that although almost none of the toddlers could read and very few could identify all the letters of the alphabet, all of them -- without exception -could identify the McDonald's logo.
Logos are everywhere, and most of them are forgettable. Make yours different by giving it depth and meaning. Convey a message about your company and
the products or services you represent. Take your time as you go through this class and get to know your product, your customers, and the relationship between the two before you create your logo. Don't rush into logo design. Put off ordering the new letterhead. Tell the web design firm to shelve the project for a week or two. Make do with what you have while you carefully complete this class.
Who are you and what do you do?
If you want your logo to effectively communicate who you are and what you do, you've got to know precisely who you are and what you do. That sounds obvious, right? However, far too many businesses can't articulate what makes them unique. Are you in that majority? Can you think of five features of your company that set you apart from your competitors? Ready to get started? Let's take a good look at who you are and what your business delivers. In 10 words or less, what is your business? Examine the essence of your industry and what you provide to customers.
Using these examples as inspiration, write a short sentence about who you are and what you do. Don't agonize over this sentence. Fine-tuning comes later in this lesson. For now, just put the facts down on paper. Here are some more examples: Go ahead and write your sentence now, before you continue. Keep that sentence in mind as you go through the rest of this lesson. I run a dog-walking service that caters to working professionals who care about their pets. My law firm handles employee rights and harassment cases. My brother and I are skilled, conscientious housepainters.
You can -- and should -- revise or edit your sentence as you work through this lesson. Be sure to write down your revisions. Don't trust your memory. Stop and think for a moment about what people want, in general, when they work with any new business. Some of the qualities you naturally value as a business owner are integrity, honesty, leadership, and innovation. Does your sentence reflect your commitment to one or more of those qualities? Do you think it should? Jot down your thoughts.
Identifying precisely what you do is the first step, and you can't proceed until you've done that. But there's more. Once you have a basic sentence in place,
you've got to hone and refine it. How do you do that? You identify and articulate your USP (unique selling proposition). Your USP is what sets you apart from the competition. It's what you've got that no one else has. It's the answer to your customers' eternal question: What can you do for me?
What can you do for me?
Reliable Fast Honest Conscientious Professional Experienced
That's the question you're going to answer next.
You're about to learn a secret far too few business people understand. When you describe your business to other people, you need to focus on the benefits you provide to your customers. Most people, when asked to come up with a list of benefits, come up with features. For example:
None of those is a benefit, however. The difference is that a feature is merely a description -- a fact -- about a product or service. A benefit tells potential customers how your product or service will improve or enhance their lives. Let's take a look at how you move from feature to benefit: 1. Write a sentence that describes who you are and what you do. "I'm a trustworthy accountant who works hard to manage money," for example. 2. Ask yourself, as your potential customers will, "What can you do for my company?" 3. Answer that question: "I've been an accountant for 15 years, and I can manage your money effectively."
Are you still not sure whether you understand the difference between features and benefits? Don't move ahead until you've mastered this concept. The Small Business Administration has an informative article, Product Basics , on its website.
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Now you're on the way to a benefit. This statement answers the customer question "What can you do for me?" In this case, the benefit you can offer, at its most basic, is: I can expertly and reliably manage your money. That's what you want to convey behind your messages, behind your logo.
Never assume that customers will make the leap from feature to benefit alone. Always tell them exactly what you can do for them.
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Take a few minutes now to work on your sentence again, and be sure to write down your revised version before you continue.
Meet your ideal customer
Once you feel confident you know how to write about the benefits that you offer your customers, make sure you're pitching the right benefits to the right customers. Let's go meet that person and really get to know him or her. You need to know who your customers are; you sell to them every day. However, if any of the following are true for your company, it's time for yet another round of questions and answers to help you determine exactly who your customers are:
Write down your gut reactions to the following questions. Don't stop to analyze -- you'll have plenty of time to go back and do that later. For now, just write what comes to mind as you answer these questions: Now set that sheet of paper aside and take a fresh sheet. For the next 10 minutes, write a description of your ideal customer -- the person you want to attract. Go into as much detail as possible. Here are some ideas to start you off: After you finish, read what you've written. How does your ideal customer description match what you wrote about the person who most often buys your product? If the two are fairly similar descriptions, you're on target. If they're not How much money does your customer spend in a day, and on what? How old is your customer? What does your customer do for a living? Is your customer married or do they have children? What type of clothing does your customer wear? Who buys your products or services? Why do they buy your products or services? How do customers pay you: checks, cash, and/or credit cards? What do your customers like best about you? Why do customers choose you over your competitors?
Noticed a slight slump in sales Haven't started selling yet Are still fleshing out your business plan Are just now thinking that maybe you don't know your customers and that's why your business has never really taken off
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similar, you've identified what could be a key problem.
The statistics you compile on your ideal customer are a crucial part of creating your logo. You can't market to someone you don't know well, so your job this week is to immerse yourself in the life of your ideal customer. You want to know your customer's age, income, address, hobbies -- everything -- as well as you know yourself. Obviously, once you've spent some time thinking about your ideal customer and concentrating on what matters to that person, you'll want to revise your customer description sentence accordingly.
Now that you've learned about what you need to consider before you begin your logo design, it's time to learn a little more about how you can express your company through graphical representation.
If you approach this project carefully and give it the thought and consideration it deserves, you'll come up with a logo that endures the test of time. In Lesson 2, you'll learn about basic logo design criteria, various types of logos, and tips for gathering your logo's elements. Before you move on, do the assignment and complete the quiz for this lesson. In addition, check the message board and share your thoughts and findings with your classmates. When you're done, you'll be coming into logo design from a position of strength and knowledge.
For this assignment, answer the following questions twice. The first time, answer them as quickly as you can -- just write down the first answers that pop into your head. Then, go back and answer the questions a second time, but answer them as you think your ideal customer would answer. Take your time on the second pass. Finally, compare the two documents, and think about what you learned. Here are the questions: What's the most important thing you know about your company or product? Describe your products or services in three sentences. What's the most important thing for your logo to convey? Where do you want to see your logo? What colors should be in your logo? Why? Is there anything specific you absolutely want to include in your logo? Why? Is there anything specific you definitely don't want to include in your logo? Why?
A) B) A) B) A) B)
After you've finished, share your responses on the message board. True
Question 1: True or False: You should design your logo quickly and efficiently to save money and begin marketing. Question 2: Which of the following are examples of product benefits according to Lesson 1? (Check all that apply.) C) D) C) D) Question 3: Which of the following do you need to know to design a logo? (Check all that apply.) Our hot chocolate comes in powder and liquid forms. Our hot chocolate can help you lose weight. Your favorite colors Our hot chocolate can be made in under a minute, which saves you time. Your USP Our hot chocolate is made with four primary ingredients. False
A brief history of logo design
Basic business logo design
How to use the latest design software
Your ideal customer
In this lesson, you'll learn about the various types of business logos that exist, and take a look at the pros and cons of each. You'll also learn how to evaluate a potential business logo design and understand the best way to determine if it communicates your message. In Lesson 1, you clarified who you are, what you do, and what you do for your customers. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different varieties of logos you can work with. You'll see examples of each type of logo, so you can think about what will best represent your business. But before you start viewing examples, let's go over a short history lesson on how logo design evolved. During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, new processes allowed manufacturers to produce goods more efficiently. Products were distributed across a broader geographical region than had previously been possible. Businesses that had once held a monopoly in their industry were now suddenly threatened with competition. Savvy business owners quickly realized that they needed to give their customers a way to easily recognize their products. Manufacturers began to include some sort of symbol on their packages, products, and labels. The symbol was designed to be immediately recognizable, so that no product name was necessary. Over time, some manufacturers added a company or product name to their design. The logo was born and quickly gained broad acceptance.
Elements that make a good logo
Next, let's learn about elements that make a good logo.
Fast forward to today, when logos overwhelm us from every direction. If there weren't names attached to all but the most pervasive, you'd never know which product went with which logo. So, most companies these days tend to emphasize the design of the name rather than a specific image.
Logo design is a special skill, and there's no one definitive method that is better than the other. All good logos, however, have a few things in common. When you're designing your logo, aim for something that: Keep these goals in mind while you consider your options in this lesson. Isn't trendy and doesn't need to be redesigned each season Will look good even in black and white and reduced to fit on a business card Is adaptable enough to fit on different products or marketing pieces Is integrated into your overall marketing strategy.
Before you decide the best type of logo for you, make sure you know when, where, and how you plan to use your logo.
Although logos represent one image, they are, in reality, a number of elements pulled together to create one image. Select the strongest elements possible to design a memorable logo that'll set you apart from your competitors. The following are important parts of an element and how to use them to your advantage:
Typeface: Clarity is key in selecting your typeface. If you spell out your business name, it should read easily, whether it's large or small. You also need to make sure your typeface aligns with your message. If your message is friendly and service-oriented, consider a softer typeface with rounded edges. If your message is high-tech or cutting-edge, consider a sharper typeface with more angles. Images and shapes: It goes without saying that any images and shapes in your logo should enhance, not detract from, your business name. Incorporate these images and shapes so that your logo communicates your message in an aesthetic, unforgettable way. Colors: Colors stimulate senses and arouse emotions, so select this element carefully. For example, red screams for attention, but not necessarily in a good way. Red fire trucks represent an emergency situation that gets the heart pumping, generally with anxiety. Research color psychology on the internet to ensure that you're using the right color to represent your business.
Logo design issues to consider
In addition to strong logo elements, consider a few other factors, too. Taking a moment to see if your logo has a clean, professional look will benefit you in the long run. Consider:
Colors: Your logo should look good in black and in color. Be cautious of using too much of a gradient if it interferes with the most prominent element of your logo, or won't reproduce easily in various media. Legibility: Whether in black and white or in color, your logo should always be legible. Does you logo look just as good on a business card and your website as it does on letterhead or a billboard?
Type of logos: glyphs, alpha-glyphs, alpha-numerics, and combo logos
Logos are divided into four major categories:
Now that you understand the elements of a good logo, read on to learn about specific types of logos. Glyphs Alpha-glyphs Alpha-numerics (or logotypes) Combo logos, which (not surprisingly) combine one or more of the other three types
Rebranding: Consider rebranding only under special circumstances, such as the merger of two companies or if your logo needs an update. Decide whether you need a partial or total rebrand of your current logo, remembering that too much of a change can confuse customers and make you unrecognizable.
Give your new logo a test run
Glyph comes from a Greek word that means carving (think of hieroglyphs). In
If you're just getting your feet wet in creating your own marketing materials, HP has a how-to guide that will help you along the way, whether you need a full tutorial or just need to brush up on some tips.
typography, however, a glyph is simply a graphical representation of a character or group of characters. As mentioned, most companies need to have a name included in their logo, but there are a few exceptions. Think of the Microsoft Windows, Apple, Pepsi, and Nike logos. Those logos have that instant recognition factor and don't have text associated with them. Unless you're a professional designer with years of training and experience, don't attempt to fashion a glyph for your company on your own. When they're done correctly, glyphs make a huge statement about your company and what you stand for. But when executed by an amateur, a glyph may not send the correct message to your customers, or worse yet, send a message that isn't true to your business offerings. Figure 2-1 shows an example of a glyph logo. Figure 2-1: A glyph logo for Diablo Networks. Glyphs are also called symbols, icons, pictographs, or emblems.
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Glyphs are best for large companies with a global -- or at least national -presence. If that doesn't describe your business, one of the other types of logos may be a better choice for you.
As you might suspect, alpha-glyphs are graphics that incorporate one or more letters from a company name. The letters are manipulated to present a sense of what the company does. One example is the Toyota logo that appears on the front of its vehicles and on the navigation for its website. Another example is the logo for Studio Z Creative Services, shown in Figure 2-2.
Figure 2-2: An alpha-numeric logo for Studio Z Creative Services.
Alpha-numeric logos (also called logotypes) are the most prevalent type of logo in the modern world. You see these just about everywhere you look, because they're often considered easy to create. Essentially, you take your company or product name and use a font that
Like glyphs, alpha-glyphs can look careless and potentially convey an unprofessional image if they're done incorrectly or designed by a nonprofessional. Think carefully before selecting or creating this kind of logo.
distinguishes it from everything else out there. You can trademark the spelling in that particular font and use it as a logo. Examples of this type of logo include: Coca-Cola Google eBay
You can probably name at least half a dozen more without breaking a sweat. These logos are popular, in part because just about anyone can slap one together in minutes with any desktop word processing program. You, of course, would never do such a thing, right? Figure 2-3 shows a familiar example of an alpha-numeric logo.
Figure 2-3: HP's alpha-numeric logo.
As stressed in this class, a logo is much more than just a little design or your company name written in a fancy font. A professional designer can spend weeks -- or even months -- perfecting the combination of an emblem and text to create a company or product logo. And sometimes, a slogan --also called a tagline -- is also included in the final design. Examples of this type of logo include: The idea behind these "combination logos" is to drive home the brand along with the specific product. One plays off the popularity of the other. McDonalds, I'm loving it Sprite, obey your thirst
Just because you can type your company's name in a cool font doesn't mean you have a logo. Professional designers agonize for hours over these logos -- and for good reason. If you make one for yourself, be professional about it and be certain it's how you'll want your business to be represented for years to come.
As companies and brands grow, logos do sometimes evolve. In addition, when logos are used around the globe and in a variety of marketing materials, consistency is crucial. That's why, once you have a logo, you need to precisely articulate the standards for creating and using that logo. Take a lesson from large corporations, and write up a document or booklet that details proper usage -- color, size, placement, spacing, and so on -- of your logo. Be sure to also detail what constitutes improper use.
It's tempting to think that detailing your logo specifications is overkill, especially if you have a small business. Don't fall into that trap. Considering even the finest details before creating or selecting your logo can reduce the number of revisions needed and save you money in the long run.
Evaluate your potential logo
Now that you understand the essentials of logo design, find out how to evaluate your potential logo. That's covered in the next section. You'll probably want to use an alpha-numeric logo or a combination logo that incorporates your company name and some sort of emblem. That's the best, safest bet for most small businesses. Done correctly, your logo can become an important part of your intellectual property and can offer real value to your business.
How do you know whether you have the right logo? Well, you have some options. The first step -- and what you'll be doing for this lesson's assignment -is to look at a lot of logos in your general industry. What works for you? What doesn't? Remember the ideal customer you identified and try to design a logo that will appeal to that customer. Ask some of your coworkers their opinions about your competitors' logos. Go back, once more, to the sentence of the benefits your business offers that you've been writing and rewriting since Lesson 1. Write another draft. Look over your answers to Lesson 1's assignment and make sure you still stand by all your answers. The prep work is almost done. You're just about ready to plunge into the fun stuff -- but it'll be a lot more enjoyable if you actually take the time to do it right.
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After you've reviewed Lesson 1's assignment, sit down with a fresh piece of paper and write a statement that explains what you're looking for in a logo. Write it in your own words, and speak plainly. Don't try to embellish your description -- just say what you really mean. You'll need that description in Lesson 3, so keep it someplace safe.
Getting feedback on your logo elements
Now that you've completed the basics of gathering your logo elements, why not take a moment to get some feedback? Use the message board to ask your fellow students what they think of your initial ideas. Provide the following information: Your business name The sentence from Lesson 1 that you just revised, stating your USP and the benefits of doing business with you. Any tagline or slogan you'd like to incorporate into your logo design Briefly state how you envision your logo. Include your thoughts on potential typefaces, images, shapes and colors you'd like to use.
This is an opportunity to get some constructive feedback from your fellow students on what you're considering for your logo design. You'll learn more about the specifics of creating your logo in Lesson 3.
In this lesson, you learned about the basics of logo design and the different types of logos. In Lesson 3, you'll plunge into logo design, so your hard work will pay off! See you then! Before you move on, do the assignment and quiz. Be sure to stop by the message board to check in with your classmates. Who knows? Maybe some of them are your ideal customers and you can get their feedback on your ideas.
Your assignment this week is to get out and look at logos. Try to look at examples of each type of logo studied in Lesson 2. Write down what you like and don't like about various logos. Don't rely on your memory; put your thoughts on paper. Try to find logos in your industry to examine. After you've written down your thoughts, solicit opinions from at least three co-workers or business associates. Compare their thoughts to your own. Are you inside your customer's head yet? Go back and answer the questions from Lesson 1's assignment again, carefully. Set aside all your paperwork and write at least one page detailing what you want in a logo. This assignment isn't something you can do in 30 minutes. However, if you take the time to complete it properly, you'll be ready for Lesson 3, and you'll be much happier with the logo you end up with. Question 1: True or False: Most logos originally were symbols without any text. A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) True False Is trendy
Question 2: A good logo has which of the following characteristics? (Check all that apply.) C) D) C) D) C) D) Question 3: When designing your logo, you should do which of the following? (Check all that apply.) Question 4: Alternative names for a glyph include which of the following? (Check all that apply.) Icon Symbol Font Trademark Select colors that complement your company's message. Rebrand yourself annually, for a fresh, new look. Select a typeface that's legible, whether the logo is large or small. Ensure that the logo images don't detract from the company name. Is adaptable Looks good in color or black and white Is part of your marketing strategy
Four ways to get your logo
How to get a logo: business logo design services and more
Welcome back. In Lesson 2, you learned about the various types of logos available, and you probably made some decisions about what you're looking
When it's time to design your logo, you can do it yourself, hire a professional, or use an online business logo design service. This lesson shows you how to create a simple business logo, and helps you consider important logo factors if you decide to work with a professional.
for. Now it's time to go out and get your very own logo. But how do you do that? You have the following options:
Each method has advantages and disadvantages, so let's take a look at each, starting with creating your own logo.
Creating your own logo
Create the logo yourself Find an online design website that offers personalized service to the masses Hire a freelance designer Hire a full-blown ad agency
Designing your own logo is definitely the least expensive option available, and you don't have to spend time trying to communicate the details. However, you may find that it's difficult to translate your vision to a logo if you're not a professional designer. Worse, you may find that you get what you pay for -and when you pay nothing, that bargain price might be reflected in your new logo. If you have a good friend who offers to design your logo for free, be careful. The old "you get what you pay for" caveat applies here, and are you really going to feel comfortable criticizing a close friend, especially if he's doing you a favor? You may be better off politely declining the offer, explaining that you don't want to take advantage of your friend's time and talent.
If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can find some free online clip art, and with a minimal amount of ability, you can manipulate it into a workable design that you can use for a logo. Remember, however, that this is your business. Do you want it to have a homemade feel? Maybe you do -- maybe that's exactly the right image for your business. However, if you're trying to prove that you can compete with larger firms in your industry, the clip art logo won't likely represent the professional image you want to convey. In this case, you need to know your way around graphics software.
Understand vector and bitmap graphics
A representation of a digital image can be created in two ways: vector graphics and bitmap, or raster, graphics.
One of the advantages of using vector graphics is that they're resolutionindependent, which means they maintain their quality whether they're enlarged or reduced in size, as shown in Figure 3-1.
Generally, you use drawing programs to create vector images and painting programs for bitmap images.
Vector graphics use points, lines, and other geometrical objects to create the image. Common vector image file formats include EPS (Encapsulated Postscript), AI (Adobe Illustrator), and CDR (Corel DRAW), among others. Bitmap graphics create images with dots, or pixels. Common bitmap file formats include TIF (Tagged Image File), GIF (Graphics Interchange Format), and JPEG or JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), among others.
Figure 3-1: A vector graphic maintains quality even when enlarged.
Additionally, vector images are generally smaller and require less memory than bitmap images. Figure 3-2 shows the same graphic created as a bitmap. See how jagged the edges are?
Figure 3-2: An enlarged bitmap graphic tends to break down into pixels.
Another versatile and popular file format is PDF (Portable Document Format), which is viewable and printable on virtually any computer. Not every graphics software package has a tool or feature for creating PDF files, but many do.
Your graphics software options
If you're creating your own logo, you have several choices of vector graphics software, depending on your needs. You can easily find the following software packages online and download a free trial of the fee-based packages before you buy: Adobe Illustrator is popular software used by many graphic designers. With its enhanced features comes a relatively high retail price tag of about $600. This is a good investment if you have an in-house artist who designs for a variety of media. CorelDRAW is also a vector graphics editor that has more power than free and lower-priced applications. This software comes as part of the Corel Graphics Suite and retails for approximately $400. Inkscape is a free vector graphics editor application that has many features similar to those of Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw, without the robustness, additional tools, and add-ins. You can download the application free-ofcharge from the Inkscape website.
Find unique fonts online
Back in Lesson 1, you were warned that just typing your company name in a font does not make a logo. That is true; however, if you're looking to create an inexpensive, fast logo, one way you can accomplish that is to purchase a unique font set and use it to type your company name. That way, it's not something that just anyone can reproduce using their own copy of Microsoft Word.
Should you select this type of logo, you can find affordably priced fonts online at:
Using an online logo design service
LogoMaker lets you create your own logo from more than 10,000 icons and a variety of fonts. Once you design your logo in this easy-to-use program, you must pay about $50 to receive your logo in vector format (.eps), high-quality bitmap (.jpg), and a bitmap version with a transparent background (.gif). You can show off your logo by ordering business cards, letterhead, clothing, and promotional items from LogoMaker.
Linotype fonts.com ITC Fonts
One step up from designing your own logo is to work with an online service that does it for you. Read on. A relatively new development in the design world is the advent of online design services. These companies provide fast-turnaround logo design at low prices -to the tune of a professionally designed logo in three to five days for under $300. Some of the questions you should get answered -- from the company's website, from a representative over the phone, or via online chat -- are: How many concepts will you provide? How soon will I see something? What happens if I dislike everything you've done? Will you give me my money back? Will you redo the work at no expense? Can I make suggestions before you design a concept? Do you do anything other than logo design? Can you show me samples? Can I speak to past and/or current clients? How long have you been in business? Are you approved by the Better Business Bureau?
It's fairly easy to find an online logo design firm. Type logo design into your favorite search engine and see what appears. One such company is Logoworks, which uses at least two designers for each logo, incorporates your company-specific information in the design, and allows for revisions based on your requests. Pricing is reasonable too, ranging from $299 for a basic logo to $599 for a complete corporate package that includes stationery, business cards, and several logo concepts from which you can choose. If you order the $299 package from Logoworks, you get your final logo in JPG (for web) and TIF and EPS (for print) formats, and you get a free email signature line template that includes your logo. Print and web logos use different formats because they use different resolutions. Print logos need to be high resolution or they look blurry. Web logos can be lower-resolution images.
Figure 3-3 shows an example of a logo created by Logoworks for an editorial consulting company.
Figure 3-3: Example of a logo created by Logoworks.
Online design service pricing is usually less expensive than working with a freelance designer, and turnaround time is generally much faster. Using this type of service can be a great way to get a design quickly without spending a lot of money. Online solutions may be the best-kept secret in the small business world. They enable smaller companies to compete directly with larger ones because they have a professional look that people automatically trust and appear as trustworthy as much larger organizations. When you're researching online logo services, avoid websites that sell you ready-made logos rather than designing you a new logo from scratch. Consider how you'd feel at a trade show, for example, if another company shows up with your logo on their products.
Working with freelance designers
Now that you've gotten an overview of online logo creating services, learn about another option: a freelance designer.
Working with a freelance designer requires more of an investment in time and money than creating your own logo; however, it also has important advantages. Professional ad agencies create logos for a living and have the knowledge and expertise to support their creations. Let's look at a few ground rules you should be aware of when dealing with a freelancer: Expect to make a down payment of 10 to 30 percent of the total project estimate: Freelancers live on sporadic income, and most have been burned by unscrupulous types in the past. Fees vary, but an experienced designer will still likely cost less than an ad agency: Less experienced designers have lower rates; however, they might not have the skill and training necessary to get the job done. Tell the designer what you're looking for in your logo: You'll find out how to do this later in the lesson, but basically, don't expect a designer to be a mind reader. You've got to give her something to work with. Spell out the terms of your agreement clearly -- in writing: You don't need a 12-page contract written in legalese, but you should commit to paper what everyone's obligations are for the project. Be especially clear on revisions. Are they included in the fee?
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A few other situations to be aware of when you're working with a freelancer:
Generally, designers create up to two rounds of revisions for free; additional work is charged at an hourly rate.
Some freelance designers are actually moonlighters who are employed fulltime by day and take on side projects to complete at home in the off hours. If that's the case, you may not be able to reach your designer during the day. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, as long as you're aware of it. If your designer works alone, no one answers the phone when he's out at a meeting or working to meet a deadline. Just be aware that your calls and emails may go unanswered for a day or two. Ask the designer about his policy for returning messages. If your designer collaborates with other professionals -- a freelance copywriter or a printer, for example -- she may request that you pay for their services directly and not through her. There's no real problem in doing so, as long as you address the issue up front.
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Working with ad agencies
Know what to expect as you move into a relationship with a freelance designer and be willing to manage the project in a more hands-on manner than with a professional agency or online logo design service. Speaking of professional agencies, the next section covers tips for working with an ad agency to design your logo.
If you can't find a freelance designer you like, or if you're just wary of doing business with an individual, you might want to look into an advertising agency. Depending on the size of the agency, a project manager may be assigned to your account, and you may or may not meet the designer who will actually work on your logo. Ask to meet the person designing your logo. If the agency refuses and you're not comfortable with that, walk away. In many cases, several designers will likely collaborate on your logo. That's good and bad. Good, because more creative visions mean more ideas. Bad, because sometimes too many cooks can spoil the broth. Agencies also ask for a deposit up front. The fees here are significantly higher than with freelancers because of the overhead involved in a business. Just as you would do when working with a freelancer, make sure you have a written contract that details everyone's obligations. The agency probably has a standard contract written in heavily legal language. Resist the temptation to just sign this contract at a meeting with the agency without reading it. Ask for a copy at your first meeting, and take it with you. Read it carefully and be certain that you understand it. Who will own the copyright to the images? (More about this later.) Are there parts of the contract you dislike or can't agree to? Suggest changes, and be prepared to walk away if you can't live with the results.
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If you have many large projects to handle, an agency may be your best bet because they're equipped to handle multiple accounts and can likely help you work out schedules and other details accordingly.
Questions you should ask the designer
If you decided to work with a freelance designer or an agency, there are some factors you should consider before signing on with anyone. That topic's covered next.
Ultimately, is one of the options presented in this lesson better than the others? Not necessarily. It depends on you and your business needs. Only you know your budget, time constraints, and comfort level. No matter what you decide, however, you need to talk to the designer you're working with, and you need to be able to communicate effectively. Be sure to ask your designer the following questions: Can I see your marketing materials? She should have at least something to show. Be wary of a designer who has absolutely no materials of her own.
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Tell the designer exactly where and how you want to use your logo so he can make sure to give you the proper formats.
It's reasonable for your designer to retain portfolio rights; however, you should not share equal rights with your designer, nor should you let her retain rights to your logo.
Do you handle print and web projects? He might have a partner who handles one or the other. That's fine, but you probably want to have just one point of contact for the project. Who owns the copyright on completed projects? You should own the rights to your logo, but your designer will want to retain portfolio rights so she can use your work as a sample of her ability. In which formats will you deliver the logos? For logos you can print, you want EPS and TIF formats, and perhaps a PDF version of your logo. If you plan to use the logo on your website, you need logos in GIF or JPG format.
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The key to working successfully with a designer is to supply as much detail as possible up front about your preferences, including samples of logos you like and the reasons why. When you receive a proof of your logo from the designer, carefully review the work and jot down notes about elements that you want changed. Have co-workers and business associates review the logo and offer feedback. Review the logo again a day or so later (if possible) to make sure you've covered everything. This'll help the revision process go much more smoothly and efficiently.
In this lesson, you learned the different avenues by which you can obtain logos. In Lesson 4, you'll learn the many ways you can use your new logo in marketing materials you can produce in-house -- without any special training. Before you move on, do the assignment and quiz. In addition, come by the message board and share your experiences as you go through this process -and learn from the wisdom your classmates have to share. See you there.
At last, the moment you've been waiting for: It's time to get a logo. For this assignment, do one of the following:
If you've got a good eye for design and know your way around a vector graphics software package pretty well, create a logo for your company. You can also use online logo creation software, such as LogoMaker, if necessary. Visit Logoworks online and at least two other logo creation service websites you find by searching on your own. Take notes and compare the websites' offerings. Order a logo from one of the websites. Contract with a freelance designer or ad agency. Contact at least two freelance designers or ad agencies. Look at their work and listen to what they have to say. They should have a price list and a website you can peruse. If you decide to contract with a designer or agency, which would you select if money were no object? How far is your budget from your first choice? If you're very close, see if you can reach a compromise. Otherwise, go for the closest second you can afford -- but commit to it fully.
Ask all the questions presented in Lesson 3 when you speak with potential designers or review online services. If you think of more questions to ask -- or have experiences to share -- post them on the message board.
A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B)
Question 1: True or False: Vector graphics maintain resolution quality when reduced or enlarged. Question 2: Which types of logos are the most expensive? C) D) Do-it-yourself logos Logos designed by freelance designers True You Logos designed by ad agencies True False
Question 3: True or False: You should never create your own logo. Question 4: Who should own the rights to your new logo? C) D) The designer No one False
Logos designed by online logo services
Overview of marketing materials
Using your new business logo design
You and the designer, sharing equal rights
After you have the perfect logo that conveys who you are and what you do, it's time to get it out into the world. In this lesson, you'll learn how you can use your logo in all types of business marketing materials, the majority of which you can create in-house. Welcome back. The Lesson 3 assignment was a monumental step for you -acquiring a logo for your company. This lesson shows you various ways you can incorporate your logo into business documents and marketing materials. If you decided not to create your own logo and are waiting for your artwork to arrive from an online service, freelance designer, or ad agency, you can follow along with a sample logo and replace it later with your actual logo.
What's marketing collateral?
After you have your new logo, it's time to get it out into the world. You do that by creating company marketing collateral, such as brochures and business cards, that present a cohesive, unified image that truly represents your company. This section quickly covers the various marketing collateral you might need, and how you can get those materials into the hands of your potential customers. The different types of marketing materials include the following: Letterhead is the marketing name for company stationery. It features your logo and your company's name (if that's not part of the logo), address, and typically your phone and fax numbers as well. Business cards are the wallet-size cards you exchange with clients and colleagues. In addition to your logo, your business card will have your name and contact information. Tri-fold brochures are made from a single sheet of paper folded in thirds (so
Marketing collateral is a catch-all term that includes brochures, sales papers, letterhead, business cards, presentations, and other printed materials you give to clients.
Now that you know the basic types of marketing materials, you'll find out where -- and how -- your logo comes into play.
Customer touch points
it only has two folds, but who's counting?) to fit inside a normal #10 envelope. These brochures introduce information about a company or a single product. Glossy brochures are the 4-, 8-, or 12-page (or more!) brochures printed on glossy paper. Think of an auto manufacturer's brochures promoting a car, or a new home booklet provided by a developer. Data, product, and spec sheets are all names given to the double-sided information sheets that are used to show at-a-glance features and benefits of a product or service. White papers are typically five to eight pages that present a problem in a given industry, and then position your product or service as a solution to that problem. Presentations are generally based on a series of slides and can be about your company, a product, or line of products. They can also be used as a form of internal communication. Press releases are sent out to the media to announce new developments in your company. Used properly -- and sparingly -- press releases can be a great way to get your name out to the public. Websites are prime candidates for logos, and serve to provide marketing information about your company, as well as product and service information.
Customer touch points are simply the many ways you "touch" your customer during the average business day. You do this with business cards, letterhead, brochures, and websites, along with interactions by phone and through your instore salespeople and sellers in the field.
Effective logo use
From the print and electronic perspective, your logo is your representative -- or goodwill ambassador -- when you're not present. This is why it's imperative that you have a logo that's aesthetically pleasing and looks professional, no matter what medium it's presented in. In the next two sections, you'll learn how to use your logo to its fullest potential and how to maintain logo integrity. You should incorporate your logo into all of the materials discussed in the previous section, as well as create a document that outlines the rules for how your logo should and should not be used, as discussed in Lesson 2. That document can help ensure that all your marketing materials, regardless of where they're produced, present a unified image of your company.
Your logo should be on every piece of paper that leaves your office, as well as on most of the paper you use internally.
You also want to make sure that you design (or redesign) your website to reflect your new logo. Sometimes, you can use the same designer who created your logo to design your website (not all designers do both print and web work, however). You can also use your logo in other creative ways, such as: Even if your designer can't create your website, she should provide you with a version of your logo that you can use online.
Before you start putting your logo out in the world, you want to be absolutely sure that it's unique -- and protected by copyright laws. Visit Corporation Service Company (formerly NameProtect, Inc.) and Nolo to make sure you're properly covered.
If your employees wear uniforms, put your logo on your shirts. If you carry clipboards to client sites, wear hard hats, or have other tools of
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Establishing logo guidelines
Are you eager to start creating all these materials? Well, before you rush out to re-hire the designer who crafted your logo, take a look at the next section where you'll learn to make all those important papers by yourself -- even if you have absolutely no design training. Now that you've worked so hard on your logo, you need to plan ahead to stay true to your new look. Consistency will help you ensure you're offering an accurate, professional portrayal of your organization each and every time customers see you. Logo guidelines can help you achieve this. Fonts (types and sizes) Specific colors Where and how the logo will be placed on letterhead, business cards, electronic presentations, website banners, and so on Specifications for taglines or slogans that comprise part of the logo; generally, these elements are not used independently of the image
the trade, imagine how good they'll look emblazoned with your logo. You can order pens, note pads, and other giveaway items with your logo on them. Leave them everywhere you go and use them at trade shows to lure people to your booth. Have decals made for your car and other company vehicles.
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Establishing logo guidelines means you're establishing quality control. Once you determine how your logo should and shouldn't be used in different media, you'll be able to control the quality of logo presentation in the marketplace. Guidelines for logo use include: This includes specifications for the white space around the logo that'll help display your logo in the best light.
Professional online templates
Your logo guidelines can be simple, or you can provide highly detailed instructions for logo usage, depending upon the size of your company, whether you allow business partners to display your logo in their materials, and other considerations. Microsoft, for example, provides detailed logo guidelines to participants in its Microsoft Certified Professional program. You can view the guidelines by visiting the Microsoft.com website and searching for Microsoft Certified Professional logo guidelines. The next section walks you through the process of adding your logo -- or a sample logo, for now -- to some marketing collateral. Read on.
Once you have your logo, how will you create professional marketing materials with little or no design ability? Use professionally designed templates that you can tweak as necessary. You can customize with your brand-new logo, and print and produce in-house, saving you thousands of dollars while getting a complete, professional look in a short time. You don't need any special training or expensive software. In fact, you can do everything with the Microsoft Office software products you probably already have. In this section, you'll take a look at three simple projects: Business cards Letterhead Presentations
If you want a basic PowerPoint tutorial, go to the Microsoft Office PowerPoint website. You can also find dozens of books on learning how to use PowerPoint -check your local library or online bookstore for PowerPoint For Dummies and similar titles.
Create business cards
Visit HP's Business templates & images - business cards section and take a look at the business card templates offered. Click any thumbnail to see a larger version of the design. If you like what you see, download the template, and open it in Microsoft Word. Add your new logo, customize the text, and you're good to go. Demo 4-1 shows you the process step by step. See how to download a business card template file and customize it. When you're ready to print business cards, don't use regular paper. You can buy business card stock from several vendors, including HP. Many companies make paper optimized for inkjet and laser printers. Be sure your business cards have a clean edge (instead of a perforated edge) and they look professional. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can create a customized business card in Word. Just follow these steps for Microsoft Word 2003: You'll need a logo file to work through these examples. You may download this sample logo file and use it for practice, if your logo is still on the way.
Make the most of your logo
Now that you've created your business card and letterhead with your logo, choose a printer that will create professional-quality collateral at a price you can afford, like a top-of-the-line HP inkjet. » HP Business Inkjet 2800 series
1. Open a new, blank document and insert your logo. (Select Insert > Picture > From File, navigate to your logo file, double-click to insert it, or highlight the file name, and then select Insert.) 2. Save the document, and then resize your logo to fit on a business card. 3. Add the name and contact information you want to feature on the card. 4. Select all the text, select Tools > Letters and Mailings > Envelopes and Labels, and then click the Labels tab. 5. In the Envelopes and Labels dialog box, click the Options button. The Label Options dialog box opens. 6. Select the printer information, the appropriate label products, and product number. For this example, select Avery standard and 8371 Business Card, as and then click OK. 7. Make any changes you need on the Labels tab, as shown in Figure 4-1.
Figure 4-1: Labels tab.
Before you run off 200 cards with a typo, print a single copy on regular paper and proof it carefully or have someone else proof it.
1. When you're ready, click Print to print your business cards. It's that simple.
If you think business cards are easy, letterhead is even easier. Visit HP's Business templates & images - letterhead section. Click a thumbnail image to see a larger version of a template, and then customize it with your new logo, or the sample logo for this lesson, and relevant content. To create customized letterhead, follow these steps: 1. Look for letterhead templates with a logo placeholder. 2. Click the area marked Place Logo Here to select it, as shown in Figure 4-2.
Figure 4-2: An HP letterhead template displaying the logo placeholder.
Demo 4-2 walks you through the process of customizing an HP letterhead template. See how to customize an HP letterhead template.
1. Select Insert > Picture > From File, navigate to a logo file, and then double-click it to insert it into your new letterhead template. 2. Change the default text to reflect your company information. 3. Save and print copies as needed -- or print a stash to keep on hand and use whenever necessary.
After you have business cards and a letterhead, you'll probably begin to feel more professional. Now all you need are the tools to create a presentation that'll demonstrate your professionalism to others.
Create a presentation
If you've never used Microsoft PowerPoint, you'll be happy to discover its interface is similar to that of Microsoft Word, so it shouldn't take you too long to familiarize yourself with this powerful program. If you've used PowerPoint before or think you can figure it out on your own, go to HP's Business templates & images - presentations section to browse the professionally designed templates HP offers. Demo 4-3 shows you how to use PowerPoint to modify an HP presentation template.
See how to modify an HP presentation template in PowerPoint.
PowerPoint slides should be based on a master slide on which you set the format for the entire presentation. That's what these templates are designed to do. They provide a cohesive look for your entire presentation -- and by extension, your organization -- that inspires investor confidence and puts forth a trustworthy company image. Set a standard master slide that you can use for all your company presentations. Make minor changes to differentiate between different departments -- for example, a pale green background for financial presentations, a pale blue background for HR presentations, and so on. Maintaining a unified look helps drive home the message that your company can compete with larger firms. Next, celebrate your new look.
The major difference between an amateur-looking presentation and one with real pizzazz is the template design.
Celebrate your new look
Now that you have a logo you're happy with and marketing collateral designed to showcase it, make sure you get that image out into the world, where it can help your business grow and earn recognition -- and money -- for your company. The following are a few tips for using your logo to maximize your company's presence: Customize envelopes for your outgoing mail. Find templates on HP's Postage & Shipping - envelopes web page. Figure 4-3 shows an example.
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Figure 4-3: The main portion of an envelope template from the HP website. Include two business cards in every outgoing envelope, so the recipient can keep one and pass one on to a friend. Personalize notepads with your company logo. When you jot down notes or reminders for a client, your logo will be a subtle reminder of your professionalism. Have your IT (information technology) manager or resident computer guru install your logo as a company-wide screen saver. Also, instruct employees to create email signature lines that incorporate your company's logo and their pertinent information. Add new marketing materials to your business regularly. Evaluate the materials you're using at least twice a year to make sure they still accurately reflect your business and its goals. Remind employees that every document leaving your office should be triplechecked for accuracy. You don't want your logo on pages full of typos and other mistakes. Take pride in the professional appearance you've come to embody. By now you have the knowledge to completely revamp your entire corporate
image. With your new logo, you can create professional marketing materials and establish a business identity that represents the ideals -- and ideas -- you care about. That's a lot to accomplish in a short time, and you should be proud of the work you've done. Congratulations.
In this lesson, you learned how to incorporate your logo into marketing materials and many other business-related items to help present your brand to the world. Before wrapping up this class, be sure to complete the assignment and take the quiz for this lesson. If you have your new logo and already added it to your website, post a link on the message board so your classmates can see your finished artwork. Don't hesitate to post any last questions or comments -- or jump in and offer advice to your classmates.
Using your new logo or this sample logo file, follow the links presented in Lesson 4 and design a business card, letterhead, a presentation template, and (optionally) an email signature. After you've completed this assignment, share your work with the rest of us. A) B) A) B) A) B) A) B) A) Letterhead Brochures True True
If you hit any snags or run into any problems, go to the message board and post your questions. Your classmates and instructor will be more than happy to offer help, advice, or share experiences. Question 1: Which of the following are examples of marketing collateral? (Check all that apply.) Question 2: True or False: Customer touch points are only those interactions that occur at your place of business. Question 3: True or False: You can create professional marketing materials on your own, without a designer. Question 4: To get the most impact from your logo, you should do which of the following? C) D) Question 5: True or False: Logo guidelines are crucial to maintaining logo integrity. True Use it sparingly. Use it in all your communications. Don't use it on merchandise -- it looks like a sales pitch. Keep it off the internet to avoid identity theft. False False Presentations Business cards
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