As a graphic designer, I’m pretty sure the most common question that I hear is “do you do logos”. My response is always “yes I do design thoughtful logos AND more”. The and is really important to me because I believe in order to create a cohesive message and a brand has a powerful impact you need to have more than just a logo.
There are all sorts of elements that go into creating a brand identity that goes beyond the visual- like your tone of voice you use to attract customers or your mission. However, as a graphic designer, I like to focus on the visual elements of creating impactful brands.
Reason 1: A Single Logo Doesn’t Offer Flexibility
Simply put a logo just isn’t going to cut it in today’s world. There are have so many different forms of media you as a business owner are present on. What works on Pinterest or your website isn’t going to have the same power on a business card.
Having an entire suite of brand elements for your visual identity will allow you the flexibility to place the appropriate graphic in the right place. For example, you will have a mark to put on top of an image as an overlay or simply reference your brand with a certain suite of colors that you become known for.
Reason 2: The Hard Truth- You Are Not A Big Company
A lot of designers like to use the example of Nike, Target, or other Fortune 500 companies as an example of why you need a logo. Now time for the hard truth- if you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur you do not need the same marketing strategy as a brand of that size. Let me repeat that what works for a large brand is not going to work in the same way for a small business.
Chances are you won’t be known for your logo- and that’s okay! Unlike a large corporation, people are not purchasing your product because of the swoosh logo on the tag or bullseye on the front of a building. As a small business owner, you’re a lot closer to your products people are purchasing.
Instead of having one graphic element (the logo) to gain the recognition you need more brand positioning. As the potential client is scrolling through Instagram they will start to recognize you for your editing style, graphics, consistent use of colors, or your products before they recognize you only on your logo.
Reason 3: A Logo Alone Cannot Create Consistency
Sticking a logo onto a picture does not create enough consistency. There needs to be more repetition of different elements for your company to become recognizable. We’ve established that your business is not the same as a Fortune 500 company, but you can certainly take a page from them on how to build a brand.
These brands have hundreds of pages of style guidelines they don’t just have a logo. These companies have an entire cohesive vision of who they’re speaking, how they are communicating, and how to use imagery, colors, brand elements in an appropriate way.
For a small business, it doesn’t need to be nearly that complex. The typical brand guideline I create for my brand clients is about 20 pages. This guide includes everything you need to create consistency across platforms and the logo usage section is only about 5 pages. That means that a logo is the only 1/4th of what you need in your toolkit to create a cohesive message.
The Bottom Line
While a logo is important, a logo alone will not create the impactful brand you want as an entrepreneur.
Check back in next week as I share the details for each of the elements you need in addition to your logo.
Shameless plug: I love going way beyond designing logos to create an entire visual brand identity just for you. To level up your business and have the elements you need to attract your ideal clients to learn more about our brand identity services here.