Tag logos

Doing it right

Since the last post showcased an ad that didn’t quite send the right message, I thought I’d show and example of a local business that seems to be on the right track as far as their advertising goes.

A few months ago I started noticing some billboards going up for a local chiropractic clinic. (Full disclosure: they are not a client, and I have never talked with them about their advertising.)

SandStone Chiropractic Billboard

It’s a nice bulletin and you can clearly read it from a distance. Other than the phone number and location, it’s is almost as if they followed The Art of the Billboard to a tee. I like it when someone does something right, so even though they are not a client I got a feeling of satisfaction from knowing that someone else “got it.”

I was even more pleased when I drove past their location one Sunday and saw their sign out front.

SandStone exterior sign

They actually use their logo on their storefront sign! You would be surprised at how many small businesses don’t do that. This practitioner’s identity is further reinforced by the use of color; the color of the storefront lettering is similar to the billboard’s background color. Maybe they’ve read Who Are You?

Then one day I am thumbing through a magazine to verify that a client’s ad had ran correctly, and what do I find? You guessed it, an ad for SandStone Chiropractic.

SandStone Magazine Ad

I was thrilled. Not only does the ad look good, I immediately recognized it as being SandStone Chiropractic and mentally connected it with the billboards and the storefront. That’s one of the things you want to accomplish with your advertising, a coherent identity.

I am a little disappointed with the lettering for the business’s name; it is not the same font used in the billboards or the storefront sign. The art-deco look of the magazine lettering is not nearly as professional looking as the serif font used in the other ads. However, because the visuals are almost identical to the billboards (color scheme, practitioner’s photo), the connection is still made and the ad works.

Interestingly, the lettering appears to be the same font used for the logo icon, which is a stylized SSC. Perhaps this was the original logo and it was changed either for ease of reading or to perhaps give a more professional appearance? It might be interesting to learn how this logo was developed.

Despite the logo/lettering issue with the magazine ad, this appears to be a strong advertising campaign for a local business. I wish them great success!


Your logo’s back-story

A lot is involved in designing a logo, but it is well worth the investment.

Logo Design Love has a great piece by Brandon Moore on the three essential elements about a company that a logo design should reflect. Click the link, read the short article, and ask yourself, “Does my business’s logo do this?”


How much?

How much would you expect to pay for a nice suit? They aren’t inexpensive, but barring any trendy fashion whim (leisure suits, anyone?), a good suit will be last many years and many events. I don’t know about you, but I usually have to replace a suit because of my growing middle, not because I wore it out.

Now what about a tailored suit? One made specifically to fit you? You expect it to be more costly than even a really nice off-the-rack suit. After all, not only are you paying for the time and materials to make your suit, you are paying for the tailor’s expertise in fitting the suit to you and sewing the materials together in a way that makes you look your best.

Now, what if you require a suit that is not only tailor-fitted to you, but is completely unique? It can’t look like any other suit out there. When someone sees your unique suit, they must immediately think, “That is (insert your name here).”

When you ask a design professional to create a logo for your business, you are essentially asking for a one-of-a-kind, completely unique tailor-fitted suit for your company. Now do you see why a logo costs more than a couple of hundred dollars?

As a small business, you shouldn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars for logo design, but you shouldn’t expect to only pay a few hundred dollars for one either.

Back in 1980, CNN paid about $2500 for their logo. That is a small investment by business standards, but their investment has payed off handsomely. I promise you that they have gotten their money’s worth from it.


Smart logos

If you haven’t guessed by now, I love logos. Webdesigner Depot posted a great collection of logos. Click the link, have a look, and see if your small business’s identity could use a make-over.


And now for some great logos

Yesterday I sent you to a web site that showcased bad logos, so to make up for that, here’s a couple of places that showcase great logos. This Webdesigner Depot post has a collection of logos that contain a little hidden symbolism, and this Logo Design Love post from a couple of years ago illustrates how simple logos are best.

Getting a great logo for your small business isn’t difficult. It’s simply a matter of finding a designer who understands what you are trying to do.


Bad logos

We’ve talked about logos a few times on this blog. One of my favorite web sites is Your Logo Makes Me Barf. It’s a collection of bad logos from real companies. Sometimes it is good to learn from the mistakes of others.

Small business logos sometimes leave a lot of room for improvement. Budgets are often tight for small businesses, but the investment in presenting your business in the best light possible often pays off far more in the long run than trying to save money by hiring the lowest bidder, or worse, doing it yourself.

How you present your company to potential customers can have a huge impact on your business. Don’t skimp on your logo.


More than the sum of the parts

I read a post at LogoDesignLove that got me to thinking about logos and branding, as well as marketing and advertising in general. This particular post was about how the logo of a 150 year old French furniture manufacturer has evolved over the years. What’s interesting to me is that the logo history only goes back to the 1930’s. Isn’t a logo essential to managing a business’s brand? What did they do for the previous 70 or 80 years?

It’s possible they had a mark that was used before that time but it was not provided to the blog’s author. But assuming the history is correct, how did they build their business without our modern brand management? I can tell you how. They did it by maintaining a great reputation.

In all the marketing-speak that is tossed at small businesses, what sometimes gets lost is that all your marketing and advertising efforts are moot if you don’t offer a great product or service. It starts there; that’s the foundation. Built on top of that foundation is the experience your customers have when they deal with you. When you offer a great product or service along with a pleasurable experience for your customer, you have a great brand.

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

–Proverbs 22:29

A brand is far more than a logo or the name of a company or product. A brand is the reputation that precedes your company prior to a customer doing any business with you. A great ad for a bad product, or great marketing for a business that doesn’t respect its customers, is like putting whipped cream on an onion. You might fool people once with your shiny logo and slick ads, but you’ll still leave a bad taste in their mouth.


Just completed this logo

I thought I’d share this logo that was recently approved by the client. They’re a new company; website coming soon.

Mission Pools logo


Draw a line in the sand.

That’s what you’re supposed to be able to do with your logo. It should be simple enough to draw in the sand. Any more complicated than that, it may not print well in reduced sizes.

Here is a logo I recently completed for a logging company up in British Columbia. Its strong, dynamic, yet simple enough to draw in the sand.

It looks good as a single color as well.


More on Logos

I just finished up a logo for client up in British Columbia, and I’m just beginning one for a local start-up, so logos are on my mind.

Your logo is important.  It is the visual representation of your business. I’ve likened it to a signature, but its more than that. Just as we recognize a friend by their face, we recognize a company by its logo.

We’re more or less stuck with the face God gave us, but we can choose the face or logo for our company. You should choose a good one.

Now I’m not talking about looks or aesthetics. What one person loves may be detested by another, which is why we say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’m saying that your logo should last for the long haul and be useful in any medium in which its needed.

I’m always surprised at the mistakes that graphic artists make when designing a logo. Mistakes that compromise not only the purpose of a logo, but its usefulness as well.

Gareth Hardy at down with design has a list of the ten most common logo mistakes, complete with illustrations. Some items on the list are aimed more towards designers, but it is a good checklist for any small business to see if their logo is up to snuff.

If an item on Gareth’s list describes your logo, consider having it redesigned. You won’t regret it.


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