Powerhouse clothier The Gap recently gave their quintessential logo a facelift, causing uproar in the online community. The “new and improved” logo has been compared to clip art (ouch), and definitely doesn’t have the same recognition factor as the brand’s classic logo. Some have suggested that the new logo is a publicity stunt designed to help the ailing retailer gain some marketshare (the new logo even has its own Twitter account – revel in the snarkiness here: http://twitter.com/gaplogo). And with this morning’s announcement that the brand will revert back to its original logo, thanks to the outcry, it seems more likely than not that this whole fiasco was orchestrated.
Whatever the outcome of The Gap’s logo misadventures, it brings to mind an important question for businesses of any size: what’s in a logo? Think of your logo as the face of your brand. Ad graphics and marketing pieces will change (like your clothes do – we hope), but the logo is here to stay. It will make a cameo on virtually everything your brand touches – from printed advertisements and business cards to physical products, store shelves, websites, and even social media. Whether it’s tiny or dominating, your logo serves as the pointer back to your brand. Your logo can affect a customer’s perception of your brand quality, your professionalism, and how you stack up to the competition.
For a small business, investing in your logo is a must. Don’t hesitate to call in the professionals if you don’t have an on-staff graphic designer. Finding a freelance designer is well worth the investment to find the right “face” for your business. Even if you aren’t design savvy, a couple of basic guidelines can keep you pointed in the right direction when it comes to selecting a winner. Namely:
- Classic always trumps overly trendy. “Right now” will be “yesterday” before you know it, and constantly changing your logo can erode your brand recognition.
- Clean and streamlined is a must. Focus on a key image and company name, and leave overcrowded designs to businesses besides yours.
- Keep in mind that your image has to translate in sizes ranging from tiny to overpowering. Depending on your business, your logo could be included on everything from miniscule product labels to billboards.
- Choose the colors carefully, as your logo’s colors will likely affect everything from website design to product packaging. Plus, it’s possible that your logo will appear in grayscale at some point, so be sure to review how that looks as well.
- Don’t be afraid to nitpick over the details, or go back to the drawing board if the results just don’t jibe.
Thinking about a logo redesign? The advice above is just as essential, because change can be a tough pill to swallow, as we’ve seen with the Gap.
Got a minute to spare? Test your logo-indentifying prowess with this online quiz. It’s a great way to see firsthand just how important a logo is.
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