Those of you that have been following the trials and tribulations of the development of a logo for Flourish, my new branding, graphic design and marketing services business, on this and my own blog know how much hard work we put into getting it right.
And those of you that can read between the lines probably know how much I wanted to just put the finished logo in a box and forget about it. Designing your own logo feels a little like childbirth – you’re pleased with the end result but you wouldn’t want to go through it again. Of course, most of us do forget the pain and go back for more!
So I chuckled to myself when a friend emailed me and asked: “Great, I see your logo’s done. What next?”
“Well where do I start?” I typed back. “Erm… the stationery, business cards, website design, exhibition stands, brand manual, email signatures, folder, postcards, ‘leave behind brochure’… I could go on, but you get the picture”.
Designing a logo is just the start of it. The impact comes from everything we do around the logo, the identity we build and the image we create.
Most small business owners will invest in having a logo designed, but they often don’t see through the whole process. They take the logo and throw together their own stationery, “knock out” some leaflets or take up that offer from a friend to design their website.
Their brand identity doesn’t reach its full potential and they miss the opportunity to create the best impression. At worst, the homemade designs undermine all the hard work they’ve invested and that hard-worked-for impression goes by the wayside.
It’s only by designing several pieces of marketing literature, perhaps a website or some stationery as well, that you can build up a true picture of what fonts, colours, imagery and illustration styles really work for your identity.
We’ve test-driven several fonts and illustration styles before we’ve settled on the ones we’re using. Why? Simply because, when you put them into practice you find some don’t work as well as you’d hoped.
And I’ve found that my “extra stuff” – the fonts, quirky illustrations and the photos we’ve used – are what I love more than the logo itself. It’s the “heart” stuff, the magic, which blends so well with the sensible “head” decision of my logo. But you can’t have one without the other.
So if you can afford it, you should definitely have your logo designed by a professional. But from experience, I’d also strongly recommend you set aside some budget for developing the whole identity. It will make such a difference in the long run.
Fiona Humberstone, Flourish design & marketing