How Important Is Your Company Image?

 

How important is your company image and what portrays your company image?

There are many factors and facets of your business that represent your corporate image.  Even small businesses, such as a sole proprietorship should be concerned with their corporate image.  Having a positive image is critical to compete with your competitors.  Any negativity, poor spelling or poor grammar, old or dated material, incorrect information, amateur logo design, poor quality literature or promotional products could give your company a shady or a “fly by night” image, which is, of course, bad for business.

truck with peeling vinyl lettering on the side

This delivery truck has a section of peeling vinyl letting on it. Now, it's obvious that the word with missing letters is supposed to say "Lessons." However, upon first glance, it reads, "Less Service." What kind of company image does this broadcast?

Here are some of the aspects of a typical business that display your corporate image.

  • Outdoor Signs – Is your sign cracked, chipped, badly faded, or simply outdated,  such as an old logo?
  • Car Magnets – Vehicle magnets only last for a few years depending on the weather conditions of your area. High heat and coastal areas will typically decrease life span for magnets and they will fade, crack, or start peeling after a few years.
  • Vehicle Lettering – Just like car magnets, vinyl lettering and wraps on vehicles will fade, peel, or bubble over time and should be replaced.
  • Outdoor Banners – Vinyl banners when exposed to the elements will eventually rip and fade.
  • Yard Signs – Yard signs are meant for short-term use and not for long-term use, so when they start to look bad, toss them out and replace them.
  • Business Cards – Don’t go with cheap card stock or a printer who has a poor quality print. Some small time printers don’t print in a high resolution and the print actually pixelates and becomes blurry. Also, the thin, cheap card stock gives your company a cheap look and can create a poor image. Use extra thick card stock and high quality printing. For the biggest impact, take advantage of full-color printing. And by all means, don’t print your cards at home with card stock that you buy from an office supply store. That is the quickest way to deter possible clients.
  • Brochures – Brochures should be a quick showcase of your company or your product/service. Don’t be too wordy or people won’t read them. Don’t use clipart from word processing programs. Make sure you have a professional brochure design. Paying for design fee is a necessary investment to get the most impact from your brochures. Take advantage of full color printing for the best result.
  • Flyers – See comment above for brochures. The same principle applies for flyers.
  • Logo – A logo design is crucial for any business, large or small. Even a one man show should have a logo design that helps identify your firm uniquely. It fosters a professional look and feel and helps create trust with potential clients. This is another area where you have to pay for professional design. Unless you are a graphic designer, the general rule is to avoid designing your own logo. You should, however, let your graphic designers know all about your ideas. Then let the designer use his/her creative juices to create a masterpiece.
  • Promotional Items – If you plan on buying cheap promotional items that don’t work or look bad, DON’T. It’s better to not buy any at all. Cheap and non-useful products do more harm than promotion. A cheap product that doesn’t work or breaks quickly promotes a cheap image of your company. You don’t want your customer’s last impression of you to be when they read your company name on the item as they toss it in the trash. Buy useful, good quality promotional products that customers will keep and use frequently. This will continually remind them of your company, and they will tend to recommend your business to others.
  • Business Forms – Spell check and proof carefully for grammatical errors prior to printing. If forms have an incorrect address, phone number, email, logo, etc., print new forms. Do not just scratch out the incorrect data and write in the correct information. That looks tacky and unprofessional. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • Website – You should have a nice, clean web design with updated content. Your website is an extension of your company and promotes you 24/7, either positively or negatively. Make sure every link works as expected, and that customers see you at your best. Like logo, brochure, and flyer design, your web pages are probably another area that, unless you are a registered computer geek, you need to pay an outside professional source to get the best results. This will pay off in the long run.
  • Social Media Pages – Post only appropriate information on your company pages. Monitor them frequently in case you have to remove any inappropriate comments, and update them as often as you can to keep your fans or followers engaged. Let your customers see your personal side (after all, it is social media), but know where to draw the line.
  • Email Correspondence – Double check emails for spelling, typos, and grammatical errors. If you send out an email newsletter, make sure you have a nice looking design that compliments your website, printed literature, business cards, and logo, tying them all together. It’s important to have a uniform look for branding purposes. This adds a level of professionalism to your business that many small to mid-size companies fail to do.
  • Direct Mail Pieces – Use only good quality material with professional layouts. Always check for errors prior to printing.

The list above is by no means meant to be complete, but rather a list of the most common areas where a little effort can reap big rewards in polishing your company image.  Anything that has your business name or logo on it should represent your company in a positive manner that is consistent with your branding, no matter what size your business.  By keeping a professional and consistent image, you will build your business much easier and have a smaller chance of losing potential customers due to a poor first impression.  So now the question is, “What does your company image portray to potential customers, and what are you going to do about it?”

More Logo NO NO’s

 

Another Logo No NoFrom the years of doing logo design and PR work for many small businesses, I have become a sort of logo snob. Actually I’m a Logo Bully. I see so many logos that are created by non-professionals or by claimed “professional printers” that are so amateur looking that my 7-year daughters could have designed them just as well. Any printer worth a dang (I’m being nice) should be able to not just print but also design. In the printing world, whether you are printing signs, full color printing, promotional products, or custom apparel, it all starts with design. I so often see printed brochures or business cards and the logo printed on them is pixelated, which means blurred. This is because the file they printed from was low resolution and not print quality to start with. Therefore, you have the garbage in garbage out phenomenon. If you start with a poor file you will ALWAYS have a poor outcome. The most important part of any print job is the digital file and design.

A quality printer should be able to help with logo design in a professional way. If I see someone wanting to print a logo that is sub-par and looks amateurish and unprofessional, I will always make suggestions for improvements. Sometimes business owners will take my suggestions and sometimes they won’t. Driving down the road, yesterday, I saw the truck (pictured above) in front of me with their “logo” printed on the truck. Now I know of this company and they have been in business for over 25 years and do great work; however, their logo definitely needs improvement. I wonder how many people have opted to go with a competitor company just because the competitor had a better front (logo). Here are some of the suggestions for improvement of this logo:

  • Improve the spacing for the logo. There is way to much space between the dolphin and the text. I would imagine the reason to be that the “designer” used a non-graphics program such as Microsoft Word to design this layout. Microsoft Word is a word processing program, not a layout tool; therefore, you have very little control of the spacing. Any quality printer should have made suggestions to better improve this layout prior to printing . . . unless this was the printer who laid it out. . . Yikes!
  • There is no design correlation. Nothing is really tied together. The various pieces of text and imagery do not have a smooth flow. It’s like every pieces is just a separate random piece. Logos should be designed to be one unit, not a series of unites. It’s okay to sometimes use images unrelated to your business (such as the dolphin for a plumbing company); however, the image to fit within the design layout. Do we call this company only if dolphins are jumping out of our toilet?
  • The phone number doesn’t jump out at you when looking at it. It is a much lighter color and smaller than the rest of the “logo pieces.” Therefore, it gets lost. If your vehicle graphics are going to have a phone number, it should be a call to action and really stand out. The purpose is not only for recognition, but also as a call to action. You want phone calls so make sure the phone number is visible.

Do you have a logo that needs a face lift? If you have some good qualities about your current design but just need a better flow and layout for your logo, we can do a logo face lift for you.. However, if you just want to scrap your old design and get a more modern and professional design, we can do it. They don’t call me Logo Bully for nothing. Not only am I hard on other designers’ logos, but I am also hard on my own designers. We only produce top quality logos that will compliment your business well and portray that positive image for your company.

If you see a poor logo design or want your logo critiqued for suggestions on improvement, be sure and send them to us.

 

10 Reasons To Have Your Logo Professionally Designed

 

In the world of business, image is everything. If you want your business to be successful, it is extremely important that the image of your company is professional, simple, yet effective. The image of your company begins with your logo. Your logo is something that you should proudly display on everything possible both internally with your employees, but also externally with your clients and potential clients. While some may be a little harsh, below are just a few reasons why you should leave the logo design to the professionals and not try to put out your own finalized design.

Reasons To Have Your Logo Professionally Designed:

  1. Professional Look – Let’s face it, you are not a designer, so don’t try to design your own logo. We certainly want to know your ideas for the direction of the logo though. We recognize you are an expert in your field, so let us know what you have in mind and we will do the rest.
  2. Prevent A Cheap First Impression – Using programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Word, or even Microsoft Works all have the same look and that is “Amateur”. If your logo displays an “amateur” quality, than your potential clients will get the impression that you are an amateur and pass on your company for the competition.
  3. Prevent A Damaged Company Image – A bad or cheap logo design job can cause a lot of damage to your company image. It’s better to not even have a logo than to use a poor logo design. Spend a little money upfront and it will pay off big time.
  4. Get A Better Response On Your Literature – Everyone knows that when branding, you should include your logo on everything possible. However, it’s not all about how many you can distribute, but the response rate you get. Having a more professional look will help increase your response rate and increase your bottom line.
  5. Keep Up With Logo Trends – Being in the logo design business for over 12 years, we have learned strategies that work and ones that don’t. Like any industry, there are taboo tactics and we are well versed on them. We can deliver classic or modern logo designs to fit your business.
  6. Capture The Mood Of Your Business – Designing logos is not about slapping your business name above a piece of cheesy clipart. It’s about capturing the mood of your business and portraying a warm and inviting image to your company.
  7. No Clipart – We design 100% custom logos. There will be no royalty free clipart inserted into your design that you will find in thousands of other logos around the country. Your logo will be completely custom and completely unique.
  8. Big Look For A Small Business – Truth be know, most people would prefer to do business with a small company; however, they trust the resources of large companies. Having a professional look with a nice logo design will give you a bigger look and help your business.
  9. Logo Longevity – Your logo should be designed to last for a long time, so it shouldn’t be too trendy or ultra modern. However, it can have a little flair to meet the current times. With our experience, we know how to effectively design for longevity.
  10. It’s Much Cheaper Than You Think – We have logo design packages for much cheaper than you think, starting at only $149.
Your business is extremely important to you, so make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your company image. This begins and centers around strong branding with a professionally designed logo. If you currently have a less than par logo, don’t wait any longer to upgrade to a professional look.

Is Your Logo In Need of a Facelift?

 

Your logo is the face of your business. It is often the first image people see pertaining to your business and, therefore, the first impression potential clients get from your business. It is extremely important to have a professionally designed logo to represent your business. With all of your competitors so easily accessible through the internet, a good first impression is critical. Your Microsoft Word designed logo will no longer cut it. You must have a logo that accurately describes your business and a logo that doesn’t look like an amateur designed it. We have been designing logos and doing completely custom graphic design for over 12 years. We understand the importance of branding, whether for small, medium, or large business. Below is a listing of a few of our logo design packages we offer to help give your business that professional look it deserves.

Express Logo Design Package

Express Logo Design Package

Basic Logo Design Package

Basic Logo Design Package

Bronze Logo Design Package

Bronze Logo Design Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Logo Design

Silver Logo Design

Gold Logo Design Package

Gold Logo Design Package

Platinum Logo Design Package

Platinum Logo Design Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Pitfalls to Avoid When Creating Your Logo

 

In the world of graphic arts, you get a lot of jokers who think they can design because they took a course in college. The art of graphic design takes years of experience to cultivate along with a creative mind. There are many factors and forethought that should happen prior to your logo design phase. In the planning phase, it is important to know what you want your logo to portray. It’s best to have it descriptive of what your company offers, because, let’s face it, very few businesses have a worldwide known brand like McDonalds. Since we don’t all have that recognition, it makes it more important to design our logo in a way that speaks about our business, so that when it stands alone, it actually markets for our company.

When designing a logo there are certain rules of thumb you should live by. Below are just 10 pitfalls to avoid when creating your business logo:

  1. Do Not use drop shadows around text. These are the shadows seen just below text as in thedrop-shadow example. Some of you reading this are looking at the example and saying to yourself, “I like that look”, but resist the temptation. This is an outdated method and used by amateurs. It also doesn’t print well on many promotional products since shadows are not solid colors and rather a gradient. While drop shadows have their place in graphic design, try to avoid them in your logo.
  2. Stay away from outdated fonts such as Comic Sans, Brush Script, and Times New Roman. Theseoutdated-fontsfonts are overused. If you look at an graphic artist’s portfolio and you notice the same fonts being used over and over, you can assume that he/she is not very creative. Custom fonts work great, but are very time consuming to create. There are thousands of fonts out there, so choose well. Make sure it’s easy to read and follows along with your business theme.
  3. Don’t use Microsoft Clipart or WordArt. These are sure signs of an amateur. All of the clipart looks the same whether it’s a donkey or a bicycle. These don’t fair well with logos. If you will be using clipart, be prepared to pay a little extra to buy a nice professional piece of clipart. In most cases, I still advise against clipart in your logo unless you make some modifications to make it unique.
  4. Avoid using contrasting colors. There are some color combinations that just clash and there arecontrasting-colors1some that you eye just can’t read when together. Pick with one color palette and stick with that through your design. This goes not only for your logo, but for any design, regardless if it is business cards, brochures, or any other designs.
  5. Don’t have an abnormally tall or wide logo. You will want to use your logo for branding using all kinds of items, so it always best to stick with a square, round, or a rectangle design. If you go too tall or too wide with your logo, it will have to shrink down very small to fit in areas with height or width restrictions.
  6. Don’t center everything. This is another sign of an amateur. While some things do have to be centered, everything doesn’t. Left justified is a great starting point for the eyes and sometimes right justified is called for.
  7. Don’t use low resolution images. While you may have a tiny little blurry picture of something that you just must have in your logo; however, if you don’t have a nice high resolution version, you logo will not look good. Every time your logo prints on any item, it should print clean and free of blurriness or jagged edges. This all starts with having a good resolution from the start for any elements used within the logo design.
  8. I mentioned earlier to not use Microsoft clipart in your logo design, and now I’m saying don’t use Microsoft Word to design your logo. This is a word processing software, not a design software. You can’t design worthy logos for businesses using this program. Plus, printers don’t use Microsoft Word to print from, so it will have to be completely redrawn in a graphics program.
  9. Avoid strokes in your logo. Strokes can adjust in thickness when re-sizing, so avoid them when possible. Use only vector graphics that will not change proportions when they are re-sized. Sometimes this adjustment in proportion of the strokes are not recognized by those making the change and can lead to problems with your imprint.
  10. Don’t use too many fonts. A good rule of thumb is not use more than 2 different fonts. One for any text in the logo, and a different font if a tagline is included. Using more fonts than 2 makes the logo look messy and amateurish. Sticking with only 1 or 2 fonts will help your logo to look neat and clean and portray your company better.