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  • Outdoor Signs – Is your sign cracked, chipped, badly faded, or simply outdated,  such as an old logo?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.

 

What Most Designers Don’t Consider With Logo Design

 

A logo for a business is a critical component for branding and every business, no matter how small, needs to brand themselves. You may only brand yourself locally, or you may brand your business regionally, nationally, or internationally, however, your logo is a vital part of your company image. Therefore, a lot of thought should go into this process. Logo Design is not slapping your business name under a piece of clipart. Clipart should never be used in a logo, as everything should be completely custom and unique. There are many “graphic designers” who claim to be designers with years of experience; however, many only have what I call tinkering experience. They have played around with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator and think they are now graphic designers. That would be like a nurse who has a few years of experience saying, I think I’m going to be a doctor tomorrow. You will know amateur designers if they offer some kind of ridiculously low rate such as $100 for 5 designs or anything unreasonably cheap. With these cases, you will get regurgitated designs which either use stock clipart or rejected designs from past clients. Just know that great design and effective ad layouts take time.

When designing a logo there are many aspects such as color combination, to keep in mind to create a visually appealing logo and most experienced graphic designers can do a decent job with this. However, I want to make light of a few key areas that most inexperienced graphic designers fail to take into consideration when designing logos for companies, which can cost the client dearly in the future with increased or ineffective printing costs.

Key Logo Design Elements That Most Graphic Designers Fail To Consider

  1. Height and Width of Logo – You have to think of how logos are used for business. Logos are printed on apparel, letterhead, business cards, promotional products, brochures, postcards, etc. In my days the the graphic design business, I have seen many logos that are very wide or very high. And while they may look great on the computer screen, don’t forget to think about the practicability of that height/width aspect. When doing printing on most items, there is a maximum imprint area and if your logo maxes out on width way before it maxes out on height, it will print very small. Sticking with a square, circular, or small rectangle, will help to make sure the proportions of the logo print well on most media.
  2. Logo Colors – You can get really crazy with colors in a logo and use many different color that make the logo look great. However, is this the practical thing to do? When printing on paper products such as business cards, letterhead, brochures, and postcards, full color is always an option. But what about printing newspaper ads or printing on promotional items? Full color is not always an option, and if it is an option, it can be much more costly. If you choose to have a full color logo design, make sure you have a version designed that can also be used to print in a spot color form as well as a black/white version.
  3. Small Details – Logos can be designed with great detail and look amazing; however, what happens to those details when your shrink the logo down in size. If you plan on printing your logo on products such as promotional pens or other promotional products, will your logo lose detail at small sizes? Really detailed logos will actually bleed together when pad printed or screen printed if they are printed too small. So really think about the long term aspect of your logo. Ideally, the simpler the logo the better. Look at some of the big brands such as Apple, McDonalds, or Nike. All of their logos are incredibly simple, yet very powerful.

During the logo design process, I urge you to think about all of the future issues you might have with actually printing your logo. Will the shape of your logo fit on most items that you will print in the future? Are you willing to pay more in printing costs should your logo be full color? Will your logo print well at small sizes? Good designers can design nice looking logos, but only great designers can create both beautiful logos AND practical designs.

If you want great Logo Design, check out some of the packages below:

Basic Logo Design Package

$195 Basic Logo Design Package -3 Unique Designs-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)-1 artist working on your project

Bronze Logo Design Package

$295 Bronze Logo Design Package -4 Unique Designs-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)-Business Card Design with your new logo-Black/White version of logo-2 or more artists working on your project

Gold Logo Design Package
$495                                      Gold Logo Design Package      -6 Unique Designs
-Up to 2 Revisions of Selected Design
-Supplied in 5 Popular formats (.eps, .ai, .pdf, low res .jpg, high res .jpg)
-Business Card Design with  1000 full color business cards
-Letterhead Design
-Envelope Design
-Black/White version of logo
-Style Guide
-2 or more artists working on your project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Face Lift For Your Logo

 

Does your logo need a face lift?  Have you been using the same logo for over a decade?  Are you using one of the taboo fonts in your logo such as Times New Roman, Brush Script, Helvetica, or Comic Sans?  Are the 80′s calling wanting back their color combination?  Did you design your logo with Microsoft Word or PowerPoint?  If you answered yes to any of the questions above, your logo may be in need of some updating.  Just like websites, encyclopedias, and reference books need updating, so does your logo.  The times change quickly and so do your potential clients’ taste.  If your potential money spenders see your logo and it reminds them of something ancient, it could be a turn off for them.  However, if you have a sleek, modern logo design that fits both with the current times and with your business, it will intrigue them to look further at your company.  Business is all about first impressions.  With so many competitors, it is vital that you hook your clients early and give them no reason to look toward any other competitors.  Once you get them, treat them fairly and take care of their needs and you will gain their loyalty.  Your logo is the face of your business so make sure you are promoting your business in the best way possible.  Have a professional take care of your logo design and leave Word and PowerPoint for drafting letters.  The better your logo looks, the better your promotional products will look.  And, the better your promotional products look, the more response your will receive and your marketing campaign will pay off.