Your logo is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. Think of McDonald’s golden arches or the Nike swoosh-these two impressive logos embody these companies well. But many companies still skimp on developing this key identity piece.   Your company logo increases potential customers first impression of your business. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.   Embroidery For You STL uses embroidery thread spools and the color purple in our logo in an attempt to become top of mind and memorable to customers and potential clients.  Your logo can quickly and graphically express many parts of your business.

Logo Types

There are basically three kinds of logos. Font-based logos use specific print styles that makes them distinctive.  think of Disney, IBM, Kraft Foods, or Sony.    Then there are logos that depict what a company does, such as when a house-painting company uses an illustration of a brush in its logo. And finally, there are abstract graphic symbols-such as Nike’s swoosh, or the social media buttons (FB, Pinterest) that become a part of a company’s brand.

“Such a symbol is meaningless until your company can communicate to consumers what its underlying associations are,” says Americus Reed II, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who’s conducted research on the triggers that lead consumers to identify with and become loyal to a brand. Creating a mental bridge or image for your clients takes time and money. The Nike swoosh has no real meaning outside of the years of marketing efforts that have transformed the logo into an “identity reminder” for an athletic lifestyle.

Getting Started

Before you begin creating your logo, determine the message you want your logo to convey. Try writing a one-sentence image and mission statement to help focus your efforts. Stay true to this statement while creating your logo.   Here are some additional tactics and considerations that will help you create an appropriate company logo:

  • Look at the logos of other businesses in your industry. Do your competitors use solid, conservative images, or flashy graphics and type? Think about how you want to differentiate your logo from those of your competition.
  • Focus on your message. Decide what you want to communicate about your business. Does it have a distinct purpose? What makes YOU unique in relation to your competition? What’s the nature of your current target audience? These elements should play an important role in the overall design or redesign.
  • Make it clean and functional. Your logo should work as well on a business card as on the side of a truck. Keep in mind, what works in print media, may or may not work in thread media.  A good logo should be scalable, easy to reproduce, memorable and distinctive. Be sure to create a logo that can be reproduced in black and white so that it can be faxed, photocopied or used in a black-and-white ad as effectively as in color.   For embroidery, Embroidery For You STL, can make the logo any color(s) you need OR to coordinate with different color apparel.
  • Your business name will affect your logo design. If your business name is “D.C. Jewelers,” you may wish to use a classy, serif font to accent the letters (especially if your name features initials). For a company called “Lightning Bolt Printing,” the logo might feature some creative implementation of-you guessed it-a lightning bolt.
  • Use your logo to illustrate your business’s key benefit. The best logos make an immediate statement with a picture or illustration, not words. The “Lightning Bolt Printing” logo, for example, may need to convey the business benefit of “ultra-fast, guaranteed printing services.” The lightning bolt image could be manipulated to suggest speed and assurance.
  • Don’t use clip art. For a logo that is distinctive, do have a graphic artist create your own original design.   Embroidery For You STL will need this artwork to digitize your logo for embroidery for your business logo wear. 
  • Avoid trendy looks. If you’re redesigning your old logo, you run the risk of confusing customers.   One option is to make gradual logo changes.  Don’t make multiple logo changes. Instead, choose a logo that will stay current for 10 to 20 years, perhaps longer.

Watch Your Colors

One thing you need to be careful of as you explore color options is cost. Your five-color logo may be gorgeous, but once it comes time to produce it on stationery or in screen printing, the price won’t be so attractive. Nor will it work in mediums that only allow one or two colors. Try not to exceed three colors unless you decide it’s absolutely necessary.  Embroidery For You STL does NOT charge for multiple colors or color changes.

Your logo can appear on a variety of media: signage, advertising, stationery, decorated apparel and promotional items. Remember that some of those applications have production limitations.  Also, look at your logo in one-, two- and three-color versions.    A design can look completely different in color variations.     For custom embroidery, keep in mind if your logo is navy blue, you do NOT want to have the logo embroidered on a navy blue shirt.

Hire a Designer

Find a graphic designer who’s familiar with you,  your industry, and with your competition. If it an high expense, remember that a good logo should last at least 10 years. If you look at the amortization of that cost over a 10-year period, it doesn’t seem so bad.     Try to get the logo right the first time, you will use it daily to represent your business.   Your logo is the foundation of all your promotional materials, so this is one area where spending a little more now can really pay off later.  To have your logo digitized by Embroidery For You STL, there is a one-time fee.   In the future, you will only have the embroidery fee.

Using and Protecting Your Logo

Once you’ve produced a logo that represents and describes your company’s mission at a glance, make sure you trademark it to protect it from use by other companies. You can apply for a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site.    After being in business for three years, Embroidery For You STL discovered there was another embroidery company called “Embroidery For You” in Sydney, Australia.   We quickly added the “STL” to our company name.

Then, once it’s protected, use it everywhere you can-on business cards, stationery, letterhead, brochures, ads, your Web site and any other place where you mention your company name. This will help build your image, raise your company’s visibility and, ideally, lead to more business.