Your fist impression on a customer might be through a phone conversation, a meeting, an ad, letter, or even word-of-mouth. Whatever it is, you only get one. From that instant, the customer will start to form opinions about your company based on what he or she sees and hears. That's why it's so important that the impressions you give on paper need to be just as good as those you give in person or on the phone. Any materials associated with your business, such as ads, business cards, and letterhead, need to have a professional image that will stick in the minds of potential and current customers.
Your printed materials need to tell the customer a lot. Think of what they might say about your logo and letters. Are they professional? Neat? Sophisticated? These are adjectives they will associate with your business. You don't want those adjectives to be amateur, inconsistent or sloppy.
Your logo will tell the customer about the history of your company, as well as who you are and what makes your business unique. Over time, the visual image will become forever intertwined with your name. Can you think of Coca-Cola without that famous logo? What if they hadn't put in the effort to get a great logo in the first place? They did, and so should you.
Like the Coca-Cola logo, a custom corporate identity should be clean, identifiable and loaded with imagery that depicts your company. Everything from the color to the font to the use of special effects should be considered in finding the best logo to convey your business' message. A designer will consider these aspects as well as style, size and shape in creating an effecting logo.
Of all characteristics, perhaps color is the most important. Colors have been studied for their effects on the mind. Fast food restaurants love the colors red and yellow for their appetizing appeal. Financial companies and banks choose strong traditional colors, in dark blues and reds, to communicate a sense of steadfastness, confidence and accomplishment.
The style of the logo is the next most important factor, for it will determine the overall feel of the graphic. Do you want your business seen as traditional or trendy? Fashionable or low-price? Inclusive or exclusive? All these ideas can be wrapped up in your logo, with the right designer to do it.
If you want to include text, such as your company name, the font is an important part of the style.
No matter what you're trying to say to the public, as well designed logo is the first step in that communication. It's a powerful, and too-often ignored, part of creating a strong business identity. As an individual, we don't realize how much power these little graphics have on us. But corporations know, and that's why they spend so much money every year to have the best logos they can. A strong identity is part of every successful business, and it should be part of yours, too.