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     9 Keys To An Effective Logo

The right logo, with the right CHARACTERISTICS, will boost your visibility, credibility and memorablity -- which means more business for you! These characteristics include:

Consistency means a common THEME in the use of your logo, tagline, materials. Repetition of similar elements, used in the same or similar ways, helps people to remember who you are and what you do.

Memorability allows your logo to stay at the forefront of your potential clients' minds. That way, they'll THINK of you next time they have a need.

Meaningfulness is the method by which your logo can SPREAD the message about the distinguishing characteristics of your business, and tell your business's story.

Uniqueness helps you STAND OUT from the crowd. For example, if everyone in your industry uses a particular symbol (i.e., travel agencies often use globes in their logos), try to use something else -- that way, your logo doesn't just look like everyone else's.

Professionalism is crucial -- in the QUALITY of the graphics, the printing, and the paper on which your materials are printed. Using home-printed business cards or clip art for your logo will make your buisness look cheap.

Timelessness in your logo will ensure that you don't have to REDESIGN your logo in just a few years and that your investment and equity in your design will be lasting. Designing your logo based on your brand definition instead of on current design trends will make your logo last longer.

Contrast means a difference between the colors in your logo -- and not just in terms of HUE (the color itself), but in terms of VALUE (the darkness of that color) as well, so that it translates well either to black and white or greyscale and colorblind people are able to see the difference in color.

Unity brings together the different elements in the logo. The logo must fit together as a single UNIT, and not just appear as a jumble of elements pasted together. It's often best to have a logo fit within a circular, triangular or rectangular shape so that it visually appears to be one unit. It's also important for the size of the logo icon to relate well to the size of the name, and to make sure that one isn't bigger than the other, so that they seem to belong together.

Scalability allows you to RESIZE your logo to any size -- so that your logo looks equally good on both a business card and on a sign for your business (or a billboard!), and at every size in between. Your business's name should stay legible as you scale the logo to different sizes ? be sure that your designer chooses a font that is easily readable.

Having a professionally DESIGNED logo can really give your business a jumpstart and helps your business get the attention -- and clients -- you need to succeed.


Erin Ferree is a brand identity designer who creates big visibility for small businesses. Her workbook, "Design a Website That Works", will walk you through all of the questions that you need to answer in order to create the best possible website. Visit her site at www.elf-design.com.

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