A logo is not just a pretty picture, it is there to convey a message and hopefully turn into a recognisable brand. Not all of us are graphic designers but you will be able to turn your idea into an effective and attractive logo by simply following some basic steps. Alternatively there are many web sites that you can use for designing your logo and several of them are free. But do keep in mind the famous quotation “you will never get a second chance to make a first impression” – never a truer word said!

With that in mind, here are some dos and don’ts and useful tips that will help when designing that stand-out-from-the-crowd logo.

  • Your logo should be easily recognised and importantly, memorable. Think about the Nike Swoosh logo – on the face of it, nothing special really, but it conveys the message and it is transferable to just about anything.
  • Remember that images may look great on paper or PC but can it be transferred to embroidery? If you are creating your logo on the computer then reduce the size to about 100mm to see how visible the finer details are.

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  • Look at some famous brand name logos like McDonald’s, Tesco, Waitrose etc. and try to understand how the icon, icon plus words, or just words alone in some cases, project the company’s message.
  • Keep your logo simple, either in a single colour or maybe two although there are many colours to choose from. Aim for the logo to have the same effect when seen in back and white as well as colour. This will give you a good indication of whether the logo will be noticeable. It could be cost effective for some garments to be embroidered in black rather than a full colour version. It is easier to complete your design in black and white first as it is easier to add colour later.

embroidery

  • If using more than one colour, do make sure they are a good contrast to each other as shades similar will not translate to embroidery well.
  • Stay away from amusing fonts or shadowing and outlines as the results will not be as effective. It is advisable not to have the font any smaller than 6-8mm high on chest logos and choose a font suitable for your business. Don’t use any more than two font types in your design.

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  • Avoid the usual clichés in your design such as ‘speech bubbles’ ‘light bulbs’ etc.
  • Try to avoid clip art as that gives the immediate impression of ‘amateur’
  • Really fine detail can be a problem such as thin lines. These can of course be embroidered but most likely will not be very visible.
  • Make sure that the company name is readable at a reasonable distance.
  • Once your design is finished, make some different sized mock-ups. Try them on various items such as letterheads, business cards etc and if you have a vehicle print a huge example and attach it to the vehicle. Gather comments from your staff and visitors.
  • Once you are happy with your design, put it away for a spell then look again. Quite often if you leave it alone for a week or so, something immediately springs to mind.
  • Save your logo image in various formats, e.g. jpeg, bitmap, vector etc so that you will have the exact format your supplier requires.

A logo is a crucial part of a company’s brand and identity, and has a major impact on a company’s public perception.  A logo is perhaps one of the most important branding investments a business can make – so don’t rush it.

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