• Logos: Branding and What Makes Them Great


You might ask yourself, “Is it really necessary to hire a professional to design a logo?” And “What would I need it for; I am just a small business!”

The truth is, your logo is a great way to brand your business and make it easily recognizable in your community and beyond. Starting with a basic logo is great! However, when you are ready to grow your business, having consistent branding throughout your marketing materials is key.

But how do you even begin to design or decide on what makes a great logo?

Let’s start with colors. 

You should try to choose 2-3 colors for your logo, but not more than that. More than 3 colors makes your logo too busy and can be too much for customers to quickly retain. The goal here is to capture your customer’s attention before they move onto something else.  If you like a lot of colors; consider adding colorful images or graphics to your website and marketing materials.

Next, while thinking about your business, go online and research logos.  Jot down what elements you like and what you don’t. By looking at other logos, you might discover that you like fonts that are bold instead of a script such as the FedEx logo or you might discover that you like a more traditional looking logo such as Harvard University.

A good logo should:

  • Be timeless and simple
  • Resonate with your customer immediately (and be memorable)
  • Be scalable: it should look good at any size or on any device
  • Be relevant: it should easily represent your business by industry or values

What are some examples of great logos?

  • Amazon. The yellow arrow makes a smile and a subtle statement by starting at A and pointing to Z. They carry everything from a to z. Very clever!
  • Coca-Cola. The script is flowing and simple, a nice timeless way to represent their brand. The red is bright and energetic, the way they want their customers to feel.
  • Volkswagen. The typography on this logo is ingenious. It looks like a design, but if you look closely it’s the V and W stacked. Very powerful and quick to recognize.


How about examples of not so great logos?

  • Verizon. It’s boring and doesn’t really explain anything about their business. The check mark and the Z? Why are those elements highlighted? Do they really need both? It’s over-complicated and boring at the same time.
  • Capital One. It has 3 different fonts, and a corporate swoosh. What does that boomerang represent? Banks are tough to design for, but still…
  • JCPenney. The red box and blue box? What do the boxes mean? How do they represent their century-old, household name? Designing without a purpose is worthless.


When you work with your designer

Make sure you tell your logo designer everything you are thinking for your logo! Tell them about your business and the overall look or message you are trying to achieve. Your designer will sketch out their ideas and then digitize them for your proof. It can be hard to visualize what it might look like in the discussion process, so don’t be afraid to ask for minor changes once you see the draft!

Once you’ve found your new logo and are satisfied with your business’ new branding, the design is approved and completed. Your designer will provide you with several types of digital files for use on your marketing materials, signs, and more!

Here is a breakdown of typical files and their uses.

  • .eps file or encapsulated postscript: This is a vector version of your logo, which means it can be re-sized and maintain its shape with no blurred edges. This is a great file to use for signage, clothing, promotional materials, and marketing materials.
  • .jpg or Jpeg: The jpg is the most widely used format because it looks great both on screen and in print. This file can be used universally on a variety of materials. A jpg is a rasterized graphic, though, which means if you stretch it too much, the edges will get blurry. This file type also typically comes with a solid background (not transparent).
  • .png  or Portable Network Graphics:  This is the best file format to use on your website. It can have a transparent  background and is compressed. The png file is an updated version of the gif, and offers more colors to work with. This is also a rasterized graphic, however, which means you can’t stretch it too much.

With all that said, know that your logo will help you brand your company. Your logo is your calling card, representing your business, your employees, and the message you want customers to understand about who you are. Taking the time to come up with something awesome is worth it!

ThriveHive combines easy-to-use tools and expert guidance to help businesses stand out and get found online. Learn more about our guided marketing and advertising solutions here.

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