Monday, 02 July 2012 09:02

Logo Design Tips: Aicee's top 10 tips

Over the years, Aicee Technologies has been designing logos and accumulating articles and resources for its clients. Finally, they've released a concise set of logo design tips to help you along with your project, and ensure that you end up with a logo that will perfectly suit your needs. So without further ado, here are Aicee's top ten tips!.

1. Keep it Simple!

These are probably the best words of advice, and it ties into almost all of our upcoming tips. A complicated logo will not only make your logo difficult to reproduce and maintain, but you will also fail to engage your audience. The logo is the ultimate 'elevator' pitch to your potential clients and business partners. You don't have time to recite your entire business plan in an elevator pitch, and the same concept applies to corporate logo design.

Sometimes when a logo design isn't working out right, there will be an inclination to add elements and complexity. Often times, it's better to start over with a new concept or remove distracting elements rather than add them.

Simplicity isn't always an easy thing to achieve, as you don't want your logo to appear too boring or conservative. This is why at the end of the day it's best to leave it to the design professionals!

2. Engage your Audience

The logo design should above everything entertain and engage your audience. Your logo should not be so literal that the message is spelt out for them. They should be given the opportunity to discover the meaning and intention of your logo themselves. If people are able to discover the 'trick' of your logo within a reasonable amount of time, this will help to create a memorable and entertaining experience between you and your audience.

Too much abstraction will on the other hand work against you. If the logo is too obscure, the message that you are attempting to communicate will be lost, and so will your potential client. Remember, today's consumer culture is accustomed to very intense and stimulating media, and therefore you cannot be too demanding on your audience either.

3. Logo Longevity - Think Ahead!

The durability and longevity of a logo is worth considering. Although it's impossible to see into the future, it is useful to picture your company 10-15 years down the road, and think about what kind of products and services it will offer, if any at all! Even the strongest companies update their logo every 15 years or so, but often the changes will be subtle in nature. Very seldom will they take on a radical re-design.

There are many long-standing companies whose logos have stood the test of time. Type-based logos are good for this. The IBM logo is a great example. They offer a variety of products and services on an international level, and also provide research, design and consulting services. They've succeeded in communicating all of this through their logo, but we think they are due for an update very soon!

For small start-up companies, it may not be the end of the earth if you decide to change your logo after even a few years, depending on what transpires with your company. But it's always nice when a logo design is able to stand the test of time.

4. Vector is Better

Although it's tempting to use detailed illustrations and complex 3d effects in a logo, chances are that it will not serve you well. Clean, crisp lines with very limited colors are almost always more effective than an illustration or complex 3d rendering. A well-drawn vector-based logo will provide you with the contrast and balance that is so important in logo design. New capabilities in vector based programs can now give you the illusion of a 3d effect without losing contrast, using tricks such as the canter effect.

5. Adaptability - Be Ready for Change

Your logo should be flexible enough to adapt to every business situation. If a logo is too literal or specific, you may have a hard time using it when catering to different markets.

Generally speaking, the best thing for small business start-ups is to have an icon and logo-type designed at the same time. This will allow you to use the logo as a stand-alone image, or use it along with the type-font name as well. Often times, companies will use only the icon on its products and packaging materials. This is a common practice among software companies and book publishers.

6. Make it Memorable

A great logo design will embed itself into ones sub-consciousness. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but for a logo to be memorable it needs to use simple lines and be very easy to recall from memory. A good test to ensure that your logo design is memorable is to show it to a friend and ask him/her to retrace it a week later. A good design should use a recognizable shape or element for it to be easily remembered.

7. Relevance - Keep your Products and Services in Mind

A memorable logo is great, but it should also get your customers to start thinking about the products or services that you offer. You should ensure that the logo relates to your business in some shape or form. Yes, the monkey can sell just about anything from cigarettes to cell phones, but there's a limit! Isn't there?

8. Choose your Colors Wisely

Colors can play a very important role in logo design as they can illicit different feelings and emotions from us. Interpretations of color may vary depending on age, gender, and cultural demographics, so your choices of color should be carefully considered depending on your target market. Also, colors tend to follow trends, just like in fashion. So a new, vibrant company may want to follow the current trends, whereas a bank may want to stay with a more conservative color set that will work well for them over a long period of time.

Try to keep your selection of colors down to two or three. Too many colors will increase your cost of production and make it more difficult to reproduce.

One interesting idea that we've seen used is to change the color of the logo on things like business cards and stationery depending on the market segmentations of the client.

9. Keep it Unique

This should be straightforward. You want to be sure that your company is easily identified among your industry and competitors. Be sure to carefully research your industry and target market before embarking on a logo design. You need to know and understand the common styles of your industry, but you also need to make sure that you don't infringe on anyone else's trademarked logo.

10. Versatility Pays Dividends

One of the most important attributes of a good logo design is versatility. You want to portray a consistent image across all of your marketing materials, including signs, letterhead, business cards, products lines, and web sites. Often times, a complicated logo design will work fine on a website or billboard, but when you shrink it down to fit on a pen or coffee cup, the illustration or lettering will become illegible. Your logo should also work well in black and white.

You may often find that start-up companies and even well-established law firms will not consistently brand their logo across all their marketing materials. For example, they may have their logo on the front door of their office, but will end up using something different (or nothing at all!) on their website. In order to build brand recognition you need to market your logo and image as consistently as possible. Be sure that when you're having your logo designed that you receive all the file formats necessary for use in your various marketing channels

Published in Blog

Are a Developer and visiting aicee.net you might want want to go through our Web site design tips to help you design a better Web site and promote your Web site. You will need to know a few things so your site will be fun, not annoying. Make it so it can be viewed and enjoyed by everyone who comes there.

You probably realize that there are a lot of really neat things you can do on your web page that will make it stand out, but did you know that the overuse of these things will not only make it stand out, they will aggravate your viewers so much that they may never come back. 

Browser Problems

Not everyone uses the latest versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer so not everyone will be able to see everything you do if you use scripts or other things that are not supported by older browsers. Test your Web pages on different browsers to make sure they work. 

Frames

Frames look greate and they offer a certain amount of ease for the designer but they are not good for search engines and they don't offer your reader the options of bookmarking individual pages. 

Colors

Stick with standard colors. If you use bright colors people may not want to look at your page. Most Internet pages use the same colors for their links and read links. If you use something very different you may end up confusing your viewers. 

Blinking

Don't blink. With HTML you can make things blink but if you use this feature too much it will just be annoying. Along with the things you should not do I would also like to let you know a few things that you should absolutely do. 

Load Time

Keep your load time down. Don't put big graphics, or a lot of graphics on your page. If your site takes longer than 10 seconds to load then it is too big and people may not stick around to wait for the whole thing and will move on to someone else's site. 

Keep Current

Keep your information and links up to date. People will not return again and again to a site who's information is old and who's links are broken. Continually check your links and add new things for people to see. 

Site Map

Keep your viewers from becoming confused by putting up a Site Map on your site. This will help them to figure out where things are and how to get there. By doing this they will know what's on your site and may even want to visit all your pages just to see what they are. Then they will come back for more. 

Search Engines

One of the the most important things you can do to get people to come to your site in the first place, and to help them find their way back, is to continually sign up with and update your listings with search engines. To get you started go to my list of search engines to go to their sign up pages and get your site listed.

Published in Blog

Successful businesses don't just communicate with prospects and customers for special sales. Today, making your company indispensable is a vital key to marketing success. It's a terrific way to add value, enhance your brand and position against your competition. Here are seven relationship-building strategies that will help you transform your company into a valuable resource:

1. Communicate frequently

How often do you reach out to customers? Do the bulk of your communications focus on product offers and sales? For best results, it's important to communicate frequently and vary the types of messages you send. Instead of a constant barrage of promotions, sprinkle in helpful newsletters or softer-sell messages. The exact frequency you choose will depend on your industry and even seasonality, but for many types of businesses, it's possible to combine e-mail, direct mail, phone contact and face-to-face communication to keep prospects moving through your sales cycle without burning out on your message.

2. Offer customer rewards

Customer loyalty or reward programs work well for many types of businesses, from retail to cruise and travel. The most effective programs offer graduated rewards, so the more customers spend, the more they earn. This rewards your best, most profitable clients or customers and cuts down on low-value price switchers-customers who switch from program to program to get entry-level rewards. Whenever possible, offer in-kind rewards that remind your customers of your company and its products or services.

3. Hold special events

The company-sponsored golf outing is back. With the renewed interest in retaining and up-selling current customers, company-sponsored special events are returning to the forefront. Any event that allows you and your staff to interact with your best customers is a good bet, whether it's a springtime golf outing, a summertime pool party or an early fall barbecue. Just choose the venue most appropriate for your unique customers and business.

4. Build two-way communication

When it comes to customer relations, "listening" can be every bit as important as "telling." Use every tool and opportunity to create interaction, including asking for feedback through your Web site and e-newsletters, sending customer surveys (online or offline) and providing online message boards or blogs. Customers who know they're "heard" instantly feel a rapport and a relationship with your company.

5. Enhance your customer service

Do you have a dedicated staff or channel for resolving customer problems quickly and effectively? How about online customer assistance? One of the best ways to add value and stand out from the competition is to have superior customer service. Customers often make choices between parity products and services based on the perceived "customer experience." This is what they can expect to receive in the way of support from your company after a sale is closed. Top-flight customer service on all sales will help you build repeat business, create positive word-of-mouth and increase sales from new customers as a result.

6. Launch multicultural programs

It may be time to add a multilingual component to your marketing program. For example, you might offer a Spanish-language translation of your Web site or use ethnic print and broadcast media to reach niche markets. Ethnic audiences will appreciate marketing communications in their own languages. Bilingual customer service will also go a long way toward helping your company build relationships with minority groups.

7. Visit the trenches

For many entrepreneurs, particularly those selling products and services to other businesses, it's important to go beyond standard sales calls and off-the-shelf marketing tools in order to build relationships with top customers or clients. When was the last time you spent hours, or even a full day, with a customer-not your sales staff, but you, the head of your company? There's no better way to really understand the challenges your customers face and the ways you can help meet them than to occasionally get out in the trenches. Try it. You'll find it can be a real eye-opener and a great way to cement lasting relationships.

Published in Blog
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