Don’t make these mistakes with your logo

Posted on April 26th, 2022 to Branding

Your brand is your business!

It’s the first thing people see when looking at your website, marketing or packaging. It’s what attracts their attention – it’s what they remember. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success when designing a logo for your brand.

As you begin to build the brand that will come to identify your business, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 – Relying on freelance designers

With the rise of freelancing and platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, it can be tempting to cut costs by relying on freelancers (or that one friend who studied graphic design in college). Don’t get us wrong: freelancers can be great!

There’s lots of talent out there, and they can be perfect for certain projects. But when it comes to building the visual identity of your business, it’s risky to rely on hourly freelancers and the instability that comes along with them.

Too often, companies bounce from one designer to another and end up with a brand that is no longer cohesive. This can lead to:

  • Confusion. Confusing customers, even subconsciously, can change how impactful your brand is.
  • Headaches for owners and managers. Who wants to go through endless rounds of revisions? Or constantly search for a new designer every time you need creative content?
  • Unnecessary costs down the road. If you cut corners on the initial investment of your brand identity kit, applying different formats or navigating a rebrand can become a lot more expensive.

Whether you hire someone full-time, work with an agency, or both, it’s best to prioritize for the future. You want to work with someone that’s there for the long haul!

Mistake #2 – Failing to dial in your creative process

Communicating the vision in your head to a designer – in a way that allows them to accurately depict said vision in their work – can be challenging. For this reason, it’s important to go into design utilizing a proven creative process that ensures your ideas are communicated and captured. This should include sufficient rounds of revision to dial things in exactly the way you want.

A quality creative process allows you and your designer to explore different directions and styles, helping to identify the parameters of your brand and guide the message you are communicating to your audience. The last thing you want is to pay for several rounds of unplanned revisions just to end up with something you aren’t happy with.

Mistake #3 – Creating a brand that is not unique or identifiable

Any good creative process should include background research to make sure your brand and logo are unique to your business. The cannabis industry in particular has a bad history of trademark issues, but it’s also important to make sure your name is unique enough to show up in search results.

Due diligence on existing brands can help make sure that yours doesn’t get lost in the noise – or worse – land you in legal hot water.

This process starts with the name of your business, continues through the design of your logo and is reflected in your marketing materials (including your website). If your brand:

  • Doesn’t leave an impression
  • Is hard to find online
  • Is too similar to existing companies

Then you’ll likely have trouble differentiating from competition as more dispensaries open in your area.

Mistake #4 – Designing a logo without considering applications

While you may only need a business card and email signature with your logo to start, it will eventually become the visual identity for everything your business does:

  • Your website, social media, signage, packaging, apparel, merchandise, products, videos and more.

It’s important that you design your logo with those eventual applications in mind – this way everything remains consistent and ‘on-brand’ as the nature of your business evolves.

Developing a logo that can easily adapt across these use cases is a key consideration for making sure your brand can grow with your business. This means you need live-art files (.svg, .ai, .eps) so the image can scale for big signage. For example, make sure your logo isn’t so detailed that things get lost in smaller use cases like social media icons.

Mistake #5 – Failing to set sufficient style guidelines

In reality, the creative process involved in developing a logo should never leave you with just one logo.

What does this mean? Well, you’ll need variations of icons, wordmarks and lockups that can be used in different ways. For example, think about how the Nike name or the Swoosh can stand on their own, or they can be combined in stacked/horizontal arrangements. Setting up style guidelines lays out a road map of flexibility and cohesiveness for your brand in the future.

What’s a style guideline?

Every brand should have fonts and color palettes to ensure things are cohesive and recognizable across different channels. This is useful if you ever need to change designers too! Bigger brands may also consider things like image treatments, gradients and patterns that can be used for in-store design, product packaging, social media and more.

Make sure your logo represents YOU!

The key in all of this is to not only make sure your logo looks great and is adaptable, but that is also represents who you are. Not what you sell. But WHO YOU ARE. Normalizing cannabis + removing the stigma that comes along with working in this industry is hugely important to us.

If you have questions or would like to chat with a designer, reach out to us!

Continue Reading: 5 Logo Types and How To Use Them

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