my-name-is-identity-recognize

Price tag: $2000

McDonald’s golden arches, Nike’s swoosh, Roots’ beaver—all instantly recognizable. These companies have spent equal parts time and money burnishing their brands and etching them in customers’ memories.

To ensure clients can easily identify you, make sure you create a logo that acts as your business’s signature.

What it is

A graphic representation of
a brand using distinct images, typefaces, and colours.

Why you need it

“A logo depicts what you stand for,” creating a positive emotional response, says Charles Dumont, a designer and marketing strategist with Seven2Eight Media in Saskatoon, Sask.

How it helps

Cory Pacione, creative director at Creative Juices, a design house in Fredericton, N.B., says a professionally designed logo makes a firm seem established and can help it stand out.

Good to know

Logo designers will need to know more than your favourite colour and font. Be prepared to discuss what you do, how and why you do it, your mission and vision, your target demographic, and your market advantage.

The designer will be looking to synthesize the information to express something essential about your business. “Clients sometimes try to say too much with their logos, or think they have to be literal,” says Ryan Duncan, a graphic designer with ICONIC Design in Barrie, Ont. You don’t have to be as direct as a gardener whose logo is a green thumb.

Dumont once worked with an advisor who was a former elite runner. The resulting logo showed a runner in silhouette on a track to symbolize a high-performance practice. The logo had a colour scheme of metallic silver (a great association with money) and blue (a conservative colour which implies the firm is well established and trustworthy).

Who can help

Graphic design and branding firms. Avoid websites that offer to design a logo for a few hundred dollars. They often require you to choose from a gallery of stock images. Not good if you’re going for originality: a competitor can pick the same one because you don’t own the copyright.

What you’ll Get

In addition to the logo, you’ll get a brand standards guide, which will detail acceptable logo formats (horizontal, vertical, angled); colours (standard and acceptable alternatives); and dimensions. Provide this guide to anyone placing your logo in advertisements, stationery, signage, client gifts and websites. This will ensure it always looks consistent.

Also, get the logo as a vector-based file. These files use a mathematical formula, so when the logo is sized, it’s scaled to the proper proportions.

The designer’s fee includes:

  • Four initial drafts
  • Three sets of revisions to the chosen logo
  • Brand standards guide

Originally published in Advisor's Edge