Your new business needs a visual identity

Okay … so you are starting a new business. You have registered your business name—so what’s next in the process?

Guest Blogger Rosa Piciocco, Graphic Designer and Creative Director of design studio Liquidink, discusses the importance of getting visual branding right for your business …

“Logo”, “visual identity”, “branding”, “logotype”, “symbol” what ever you choose to call it—you will need a visual identity that will identify and position your new business/product/service in the marketplace and will be unique to you.

Remember the saying: “A picture tells a thousand words”… well most people remember imagery before words so it is important to have a graphic that is associated with and represents your business.

Think carefully—exactly what do you want to tell your potential customers?

Remember, your logo is the first thing potential clients will see. This is your first opportunity to influence them. They will already be forming an opinion about your business so make sure the right thoughts are setting in their minds.

Three tips when thinking about your new visual identity.

1. Saving money on design could cost you in the long run.

So many businesses think that they can whip something up themselves or “insert clipart” type images and then, when the business is more established, plan to invest in a properly designed logo … wrong!

By using a “cheap” or “unprofessional logo” you could put your business at risk of appearing unstable at the onset.

What you need to be doing at the very start, in the planning phases, is to create a strong visible identity that will associate you with quality and credibility, and ultimately longevity in the marketplace. Cheap and template style clip art designs could imply “small time operator” to your potential customers and this is how they may also perceive your worth (can’t charge the big bucks then hey?).

You then need to apply your logo across all your printed collateral to give you consistent marketing materials that will brand your business. By investing in quality printed materials, you will give your clients the impression of stability which will show a quality commitment to your clients and hopefully imbue a trust that is otherwise difficult to achieve.

2. Your Logo needs to work across all platforms.

Okay … so this is not referring to train stations! What I mean here is that your logo will not always have the opportunity to be viewed in its originally intended format—which may be on a white background with several colours. It may have to appear on a website in a very small size or in a black and white publication. One crucial point of quality logo design is that it should be flexible and adaptable across a wide variety of formats. Remember, it could appear on:

Fax, Invoice, Quotes;
Embroidery on a uniform;
Vehicle signage;
Trade banner;
Newspaper ad.
So you should ensure that when reduced considerably, your logo does not become indistinguishable, e.g. text that cannot be read.

Your logo needs to work in the following formats:

Black and White (grayscale format),
Reversed out of a dark background colour,
In small scale size (for e.g. as part of a sponsors panel at the bottom of a website or billboard).
3. Retain your original logo artwork on file.

Once your logo has been professionally designed, ensure that you receive a copy of your logo in various reproduction formats, such as vector, jpeg, png files along with a list of your logo colours and font so that you can file it for future reference and use.

If you need to provide your logo to a printer/supplier you are then able to give them quality original logo artwork rather than having them “scan your logo from your business card” and “guess your colours”.

Do not have a “that will do” attitude towards your logo’s reproduction. Remember each time it is seen, it is a visual representation of your business.

If you have a bigger budget, consider commissioning a logo guidelines manual so that you can ensure quality reproduction of your logo in all promotional situations across your business. This will give you a guide of how to apply the logo to a vehicle, on building signage, in a print format, etc. to give your logo stability and consistency in the marketplace.

Rosa Piciocco, B.A. Graphic Comms, majoring in Advertising, is Creative Director of Melbourne based Design Studio: Liquidink. She has 20 years experience as a Graphic Designer and has worked with clients such as Motorola, Dorf and Black & Decker.

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