Designing Your Own Logo
So you’re thinking about designing your own logo.
You’ve developed and tested your recipes endlessly, you’ve walked through all the stores (and then some) to look at what’s in the marketplace, and you’ve sourced ingredients that are up to your standards. Compared to all that work, what’s the big deal about one DIY logo?
Ask a dozen people what they think of a logo, and you will get a dozen different responses. The answers probably all sound pretty good too, because a good logo reminds people of a lot of things. Knowing that a logo can mean many things to many people, here are some pointers to guide you on this journey, and some questions to reflect on about how your logo will relate to your business and to your customers.
Let’s get your creative juices going!
First, define the purpose of your logo.
Will your logo be for your company? A specific product? A family of products? All of the above? Are you focused on a specific type of product with a variety of flavours and tastes or a wide range of products that share common values?
Business implications: Be sure to define your logo’s use clearly right from the get-go. Getting this wrong will be costly – not just in terms of redesign and reimplementation, but you will have to work hard to regain any traction and recognition you may have already had with the original logo. Strive to design a logo that is flexible enough to adapt to your business strategy, even as it evolves.
- Do I want consumers to remember the product or the company? (Think carefully as this will influence all design decisions!)
- What are the core values of my product/company? (Make a list. Try to narrow it down to three.)
- How many product ideas am I planning to pursue in the short- and long-term? (Map them out. Try to distill them to those that are most realistic to achieve.)
- If I have a number of different products, how might I organize them into “families”? (Be creative! Go for unusual concepts!)
Next, explore your designs in context.
We all have seen logos that we love – they are usually great (and successful) because they tie together the product, the philosophy and the personality of the company or product in a memorable way.
However, just as you need other people (especially those with a sensitive palate!) to taste test your recipes, your logo needs feedback from those with an expert eye for design and business.
What’s more, you can’t just show the logo in isolation like a piece of art (although that is a great starting point). You need to show it in context so that you are forced to think about how the logo will work on packaging, your website, etc.
Do you have an existing logo that you’re not happy with? Figure out whether it’s the logo or the way it is being used that’s the problem. Solutions to design problems are often small adjustments, just like the ratio of ingredients or the balance of spices in a recipe.
Business implications: If everything around the logo is designed in harmony to reflect its spirit, the impact on consumers is amplified – especially if it is chock-full of personality! However, the “follow-thru” that is needed often falls into the lap of the food entrepreneur who may have more pressing business operation priorities. If you think your current logo is underperforming, is it a bad logo or does it just need a little makeover?
- When your logo appears on its own, does it tell the story of your product or company?
- Is your company’s “voice” reflective of your logo and vice versa?
- What are your marketing channels and strategies? How, where and when will your logo appear? Does it work for or against it?
In the end, the devil is in the (production) details.
Two contexts in which your logo will appear – the packaging of your product and your online presence – are worth talking a little more about.
If you’ve gotten this far with your logo, you’ve done a ton of design work. It would be a terrible set-back to find out that your artwork isn’t prepared well enough for high-quality printing on your packaging or that it actually doesn’t look that great online. But you love the logo already! What will you do?
The reality is something you probably don’t want to face: you have to go back to the drawing board. How far back do you have to go? That depends on how close you are to your product launch date, how much time and money you have already spent, and whether the logo is actually “good enough” for now.
Business implications: Preparing design files is a technical process with the final media outputs in mind. Without getting too nitty gritty, something that looks good when you are designing it might cause trouble at the printing stage or lacks crispness once it’s reduced in size down to a tiny thumbnail on a phone. Run your designs by a creative professional that can help you point out potential pitfalls (believe me, they’ve seen it all) before you go too far down the wrong path.
- How will the logo appear on the packaging and other displays? (Will it look as good in real life as it does on screen?)
- Will it change depending on the device (desktop, tablet, mobile) or digital placement (social media, website, articles)?
- Who can I call on to help with production hiccups with my artwork? (Hint: it’s not your printer – unless you want to pay a lot more than you need to!)
So there you have it. Bookmark this post to help you think about your logo in a more holistic way and avoid some common pitfalls we see some clients experience before they come to us. Don’t feel discouraged, it’s the first time you’re doing this – and the fact that you are still reading this post is an excellent sign!