A little earlier than norm, for today’s biz column I wanted to concentrate on logos. Logos are key when it comes to your business. Not only do they serve as an instant reminder of your company, but they also provide a point of instant connection for customers. It’s a visual representation of who you are. This is the scary bit… in that one single graphic or font type that logo should incorporate all of your business ideologies in one hit. No pressure then!

If any of you guys have been following us you will know that recently we have been through a big rebranding exercise. Why you may ask, well because we are now producing our own label collection not just to sell in our store but we’ll be wholesaling out to other luxury brands around the globe. Seriously exciting stuff! We’ve already got a waiting list racked up, just from a few sneak peaks I’ve posted on Instagram. So potentially our brand could suddenly be catapulted to stores around the globe from Sweden to Australia, and our graphics just didn’t cut the mustard! I have big future plans for our own label. By the end of next year I want at least 80% of the products in store to be our own, so no more trade shows for buying other people’s stuff and no more copy-cat imitators! Yay hay to that.

Ahem. I digress.

We had cool fonts previously, but the logo didn’t say anything about what my brand is about, and that really is the whole point of your logo. If you look at the slide above you’ll see that our new logo (which I am pretty obsessed about) shouts luxury, heritage, tongue-in-cheek fun. Us to a tee!

The question is in a age where everyone has their own website, how do you create a graphic that stands out, that’s original, different and immediately nails your brand. This is what we did:

Make it distinctive

The most effective logos are ones that stand out: think Apple, WWF, Chanel. So you’ll be wanting to create something that is super distinctive and memorable.

Keep it simple

Being distinctive is all very well but in order for your logo to be instantly recognizable it will need to be simple. It will have to be downsized and used as a tiny image quite often too, so simple is key!

Make it versatile

You’ll see from our logo above that it’s a pretty versatile design. It will work across our whole product range from candles to plants to cushions. It’s also scalable; we could blow this up onto huge walls and windows and scale it down for labels that go on t-lights.

Make it Timeless

Make your logo future proof. Something I really didn’t want to do was create a logo that in a year or two would be out of fashion. I wanted ours to feel classic with an edge, not crafty, quirky, silly or homemade. Beautiful, eclectic but still rocking a little something which is what our brand is all about.

Make sure your logo communicates your brands position

It’s not purely about creating a pretty graphic. Your logo has to nail what you stand for. If you don’t think yours does – rebrand. You can do this at any time. If you’re not sure what exactly your business stands for, grab a glass of wine, pull up a chair and compile a dossier (very CIA, although I’m guessing there is no wine involved when those guys compile dossiers).  Ask yourself questions like who are you, what do you do, what’s your USP, what’s your message, what’s your demographic. Your logo should communicate all of this. Actually, this should inform every element of your biz.

Chose you typography carefully

Like your logo, your font has to say what your brand is all about. You don’t want to be changing it up all the time, because that’s not very professional at all. I veer away from anything too fashionable or too handmade. Nothing worse than a gimmicky font if you ask me, steer well clear of them. Not only are they not professional they don’t send out a good brand message. Look at your competition, drill down into what other brands have done and write down why you like it. Also remember this:

Keep the logo strong

Keep it memorable

Keep it effective

Also don’t forget to make it international, should you wish to take your business global that is – or just in case! Our logo is going to be used worldwide so its super important that it works in all cultures, stands out and reinforces what we stand for.

The biggest tip I can give is outsource the design of your logo. You should certainly brainstorm ideas and have a concept. No good having no ideas, because it’s your business after all and you should know about it more than anyone. So do your research, and take into account everything I’ve said, but then outsource. Trying to create something yourself when you’re not a graphics person is a big bad mistake I say. I know it may seem like the easiest way to avoid the cost of going to a professional design firm or a freelancer designer, but these guys will be able to take your ideas and make them even better. It’s their job.

We have an amazing graphic designer that designs all the graphics for everything we do across the brand, from the blog, to mail shots to the website. Plus if you’ve got an idea in the first place you’ve already cut the costs in half. Do the donkeywork, then spend the cash where it’s actually needed.

When you actually think about it your logo is basically the face of the brand and the foundation of all your promotional materials. Not worth skimping on I reckon!

 

Check out the weekly biz column archives for more tips and business advice.

For retailers, start-ups and budding entrepreneurs, why not try our London Retail Class, or sign up for the Online Retail Masterclass?

This is our ultimate A-Z guide for anyone thinking of starting their own business, or looking to take the next step in building their retail empire.

business