How to Design a Logo for Your Printed Marketing Materials

Marketing Materials

Printed marketing materials can be highly effective advertising tools. Without a great logo, however, your flyers, brochures and business cards will fizzle rather than fan the flames you're hoping to create. If you've tried designing your own printed materials, and couldn't understand why they seemed a little "blah," your logo design may be to blame. If you think your logo could use some help, read on and you will discover how to design a logo that will help brand your business.

What's a Logo, Anyway?

Rome wasn't built in a day, and creating a winning logo design takes more than an afternoon. Sure, it may seem like a waste of your time, but the good news is that once your logo is done, it's done. The whole point of a logo is brand recognition for your company, so you don't want to change it once it's in the public eye, unless you have a good reason.

This said, you must understand what a logo is before you create one. A logo can consist of words, graphics or both, and must convey an image of your business. If your logo works, it is a visual representation of everything your company does and represents. That's a lot to do with one tiny logo, which is why we are spending so much time discussing it.

One Tiny Logo, One Giant Step for Your Business

You've learned what a logo is and might be feeling overwhelmed with what your logo is supposed to do. You might be wondering how something so small is going to pack such a punch. Fear not, because if you keep these four key qualities in mind when designing your logo, you'll be on the right track:

1. Straightforward

The best logos are simple. Think about various brand-name logos you've seen. Most are probably simple, consisting of the company's name and a graphic that conveys the spirit of the company, or even a graphic alone. Often, a company's logo is its trademarked symbol or phrase. To create your own logo, brainstorm what simple shapes, images, or phrases best relay what you want to communicate.

2. Flexible

Your logo needs to work in black and white, in color, on a billboard, on a website, on a flyer, and more. Just like the most popular kid you remember from high school, your logo should fit in every crowd. When you design your logo, try printing it against different colored backgrounds to ensure it will work wherever you place it.

3. Unforgettable

Work to create an engaging and unique design. Do not be tempted to use stock or clip art. How can you create a memorable image if it's not even your own? If you don't feel confident creating your own design, call in outside help. Even if you're not interested in hiring a professional graphic designer to create your logo, you can hire someone to draw up the image that's in your mind.

4. Timeless

Your logo will likely be around for a long time, so you need to think "Audrey Hepburn." Try to come up with a design that's a classic beauty and will convey the same message thirty years from now. Therefore, avoid imagery that's represents a fad. Just think about the seventies - enough said.

Going Public

There might be more to logo design than you expected, but it's worth your time and effort. If you can come up with the right design, you'll be one step closer to building a lasting brand. One final word of caution: before you start handing out stacks of flyers with your logo, invite your friends over, order a pizza and see what they think of your hard work. Getting honest feedback before you go to print can prevent you from distributing 10,000 flyers that include a Freudian slip or locking in a design that looks like a Rorschach ink blot!

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