Creating a logo is one of the most important decisions you will make when starting your own business. Before taking steps into this branding endeavor, you probably took for granted the arduous process that logo creation demands. You see these images day in and day out without thinking twice about the thought, time, and investment that went into perfecting these brand mascots. Without doing your research ahead of time, creating a logo that you can live with for the long haul will be challenging at best.
The holidays offer an exceptional time to start looking into what works and what doesn’t. With store shelves stacked from floor to ceiling and branding gimmicks literally exploding everywhere you turn, the holidays offer you the perfect classroom to determine what design elements you prefer and which turn you off. Conducting thorough research in advance doesn’t have to be dull and it will help you avoid changing your logo down the road. Here is how to concur the store aisles to research your logo design.
1) Color: What does it say to you?
There is certainly no shortage of color at this time of year which allows you to hone in on what draws your attention and what washes out into the background. Deciding on one to two colors to use for all of your branding needs is the best way to begin making decisions. When you peruse the aisles you may find that certain colors you are typically drawn to don’t reflect or stand out as well as others. Don’t be stubbornly set on your colors until you play with a little trial and error and compare how they evoke certain emotions when placed next to the competition. The best way to do this is to snap photos of colors you see in the aisles that you find intriguing and compare them side by side. This will help you quickly eliminate colors you want to avoid and give you something to refer back to if you get stuck during the logo process.
2) Symbol: What works for the competition?
If you haven’t looked into what works best for your target market, now would be the time to do so. By comparing logos from your direct and indirect competition you will have a better idea of what route you want to pursue for your logo design. Snap pictures of logos that are used for similar products and services to the ones you offer and be sure to take notes about what jumped out at you. Understanding what design elements the competition had success with will help you stay on track when it comes to details you want to incorporate. Writing down your first impression will help you remember what your initial reaction was which could prove incredibly valuable when you start your design. However, avoid being a copycat at all costs which would give your brand a negative connotation. You want to learn from the competition, not mimic.
3) Overall Design: What do you love?
Once you have collected data on color, competition, and target market, pick three logos that you absolutely love and snap photos of each one. That should conclude your in-store research and allow you to analyze what you found in order to pinpoint what design elements you want in your logo. While looking over your top three logos pull out what it is that you like about each design. Is it the subtlety? Are you drawn in by the color? Or is it the intriguing shape? Putting down on paper specifically what you think worked with each logo will help you create your own hybrid logo that includes all of the design elements you love.
Research doesn’t have to be dull and boring. By using the store aisles as your classroom you will be exposed to a vast collection of logos and branding that will help you quickly determine what path to take with your own logo design.
Amber Schmechel is a business writer who focuses on topics such as branding, logos, and entrepreneurship. She is the Public Relations Director at www.LogoGarden.com.