In today's Guest Column, Pat Malloy from Free Logo Services writes about the importance of logos and provides tips on everything online merchants need to know to help them create an effective one of their own. He discusses what makes a good logo, provide 7 ways a logo design can help build your brand, reveals 9 places where your logo should appear, and provides resources to learn more about creating an effective logo, with specific tips for eBay, Etsy and Shopify sellers.
When you hear the term "brand identity," it's likely your mind goes right to large corporations with huge marketing departments and an equally large advertising budget. But creating a brand for your business isn't something that just large corporations should do.
Even small businesses can benefit from having an attractive logo design and identity. And, it's especially important when you're selling your product online because you don't get the benefit of face-to-face interaction with customers.
But, before diving in, we should look at what exactly a logo is - and why it's important. Start by asking yourself the question, "What is a good logo?" A good logo should:
- Inspire trust and admiration;
- Be describable;
- Be effective (in both color and black and white);
- Be memorable;
- Be scalable.
Then, ask yourself questions about your brand - what you want it to convey, how you want to appear in the market, and how you want to appeal to your target market. Consider these questions:
- How do you want your customers to feel when they shop with you?
- What makes you who you are? Exceptional customer service? Eco-friendly products? Low cost? Something else?
- How are you unique? What makes someone want to do business with you instead of the competitor?
Four Design Guidelines for Online Merchants
One of the most important things to keep in mind while designing is that some online merchants have specific sizes, pixel size constraints, and aspect ratios that your logo should adhere to. Knowing this before you dive into the design can save you a lot of time and stress in the long run. Below, you'll find some of the top online marketplaces and helpful hints to create the perfect logo on each of these platforms:
Etsy - An Etsy banner must measure 760 pixels wide and 100 pixels high in 72 dpi. Anything different will appear distorted when you upload it to your storefront. When you've put the finishing touches on your logo, save it as a .jpeg, confirm the size is 760x100, and you're good to go! You can "read more here": http://www.ehow.com/how_5956764_create-banner-etsy-shop.html.
eBay - All logos created for eBay should measure 310x90 pixels and should be saved as a .jpeg, .bmp, .gif, or .png. Read more here.
Shopify - When designing a logo for Shopify, a good size guideline to follow is 250x100 pixels. Many designers believe your logo should never go beyond 450 pixels wide and 120 pixels tall. For best results, your logo should be saved as a .jpg, .gif, or .png. Read more here.
Paypal - When working with Paypal, your logo should have a maximum size of 750 pixels wide and 90 pixels high, and be saved as a .gif, .png, .jpg, or .swf. Paypal also recommends your image be saved on a secure server (https) and uploaded to the site via its URL. Read more here (via Yahoo Merchant Solutions).
Seven ways a logo design can help build your brand
After you've decided these things, it's time to create a logo and start building your brand. Here are some of the top ways a logo can help your brand:
It increases loyalty - Having a well-designed logo will make customers feel happy to be associated with you. Everything from the shape of the logo to the colors you choose are important to helping your customers get a good feeling about you.
It raises confidence - Since you're selling your products online, it's likely you don't usually meet with your customer in person. Having an attractive, well-designed logo can help build confidence in your brand - and you.
It drives brand recognition - When you have an attractive logo on your website, Facebook page, Flickr account and other social media sites, your customers will continually see the logo and associate it with your brand and the feeling they get when they buy from you. Remember, visual communication is one of the most powerful types of communication out there.
It increases sales - A positive brand image associated with a positive experience will keep your customers coming back for more. Give them a great first impression with a well-designed logo and it's much more likely they'll come back.
It helps you stand out from your competitors - With an increasing number of consumers buying goods online, it's more important than ever to stand out in this competitive marketplace. A great logo can help you do just that.
It tells your story - Whether you're a one-person operation or a team of creative professionals, a logo can help tell your customers (both current and prospective) what you stand for and what they can expect when doing business with you.
It helps increase your followers and friends - As an online merchant, positive customer experiences are more likely to be shared among social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp. Face it - nearly every website today has a "like" or "tweet this" button. When you have a well-designed logo and identity, people want to talk about you and share their experience.
Nine Places to Add Your Logo
Sometimes it can help to have a list of places to add your logo. Here are 9 to get your ideas flowing:
1) All your packaging, invoices and inserts
2) Business cards
4) Print mailers and postcards
6) Social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc.)
7) Favicon (the icon displayed in the browser address bar when someone visits your website)
8) Email correspondence and blasts
9) Tshirts, bags, etc., for gifts and giveaways
As you can see, having an attractive business logo can benefit your business in many ways - online and offline. Consider the above tips when creating your brand identity and trust us - you'll reap the benefits tenfold!
Further Business Logo Design Resources:
Here are links to some articles with more information on designing your logo.
1) Logo Design for Entrepreneurs: 17 Ways Your Logo Impacts Your Business - Link to article
2) 10 Ways Logo Design Makes a Small Business Look BIG - Link to article
3) Logo Design for Bloggers: 32 Ways Your Logo Builds Your Readership - Link to article
4) 14 More Logo Design Articles - Link to website
About Pat Malloy
Pat Malloy believes a getting a great logo is like hiring a great employee - the results will go beyond what you pay! Pat's the lead writer and designer for Free Logo Services, makers of free logo creator software that lets you design a logo for free.