What exactly is a Logo?
Seems a simple enough question doesn’t it? But do we truly understand what a logo is, what it is used for and what it says about an individual or business? To understand this further, it’s important to know what a logo is NOT.
A logo is not a selling tool. It does not sell the business directly nor should it be there to explain what a business does in great detail. A simple Google of, ‘What is a Logo?‘ returns:
“a symbol or other small design adopted by an organisation to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc.”
By understanding this we can start to see that a Logo Design is really a form of identification. A device used by businesses to identify themselves, their products and their services.
To try and bring life into this concept, try to think of it like this. You’ve just been to the shop for your morning paper and as you’re returning home, you see a famous person walking towards you on the other side of the street (OK – for this purpose, you’re posh and live near famous people!). You recognise them because you’ve seen their face in a magazine, or on TV. This is similar to how a logo works for a business! Your logo is the ‘face’ of your business. It’s how you identified that person and it’s how people will identify you.
However, as mentioned earlier, a logo is a form of identification and not a description of your business. So with this in mind, even though you recognised the person on your street, you don’t know anything about them. You don’t know what they do, what they believe in, in fact you don’t know anything about them or their personality.
This is where branding comes into play. A business identity or branding is like your personality. It supports the logo by explaining the finer details of what you do, who you are and what you stand for. Ideally a logo should be instantly recognisable and become memorable, however to know more about the business, you must understand the brand.
The Power of a Logo Design
3 Stripes, The Colonel, The Golden Arches, a Swoosh!
Even without the help of an image, it’s likely the majority of people know which companies are associated with the words above. I bet you’re picturing the logos in your head right now (Go on, admit it, I’m right aren’t I?). This illustrates the power of a good logo and brand identity. Granted this type of brand loyalty and memorability doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of hard work goes into building a strong identity like this, but it does show what a well designed logo and brand can ultimately lead to.
It would be impossible to make a logo tell the whole story of a business, but the power of a well designed logo and how it can be ultilised shouldn’t go unnoticed. Lets go back to ‘The Golden Arches’ for a moment. I know it’s going to be hard, but imagine McDonalds doesn’t exist (I know that’s the same as saying don’t think about something and all you can do is think about it, but put the Big Mac down and concentrate!). Knowing this, if you were shown ‘The Golden Arches’, would you even consider that they had anything to do with a fast food chain or even just food for that matter? The same applies for the ‘3 Stripes’, would you think they were associated with sports apparel if you knew nothing about Adidas? Each of these companies, along with others, have chosen a symbol which has nothing to do with what their company does and made it their own.
Logo File Types
If you’ve ever worked in a marketing or PR department and work directly with designers or printers, you’ll have probably heard the words “Please can you provide a high-res version of your logo” or “Do you have an .eps of your logo?” – sound familiar? So why is this, why can’t they simply use the logo from your website?
Without sounding too much like a round from ‘Family Fortunes’ – if you were to ask a group of 100 people to name a digital file type, the most common answer will probably be a .jpg (or .jpeg if you’re loyal to early Windows programs), which stands for ‘Joint Photographic Experts Group’. Jpg, along with .png, .tiff, .gif and .bmp (amongst others) are also known as ‘Raster’ or ‘Bitmap’ images.
‘Raster’ file types or ‘Bitmap’ images have a dot matrix data structure, which is usually made up of a grid of coloured dots known as pixels, or points. These are made visible to us by various media such as a monitor or paper (if printed). They are the preferred method when working with photographs and all images you find on websites are this format. In addition to this, when photos are taken with a digital camera or scanned, the resulting files are also raster images. They are usually fine for digital use, such as websites, but due to a limited, or set number of dots per inch (dpi), unless they are scanned or captured at a high-resolution, they do not work well in all printed projects, as they do not scale well. The image below illustrates what happens when you scale a bitmap/raster image compared to a vector image.
When someone asks for a high-resolution version of a logo, they’re usually referring to a ‘Vector’ format, such as an .eps (‘Encapsulated PostScript’). Vector images are made from lots of lines, curves (or paths) and coordinates which ‘make-up’ an image or shape. These points are relative to each other, therefore they can be scaled infinitely without loosing quality. This makes them perfect for printed projects, especially large scale projects.
For one reason or another, it’s common for a business to not be in possession of a high-resolution version of their logo design, especially an .eps format. This is usually due to a compatibility reason. Professional software such as Adobe Illustrator are used to create, edit and view this file type, which a standard business is unlikely to have.
At Pair Creative we can provide a professional ‘Logo Tracing’ service, whereby we will take a standard .jpg (or any raster format) of your logo and create a vector version of it, allowing you to scale and use at any size in any print project. Our ‘Tracing Service’ doesn’t stop there. You can provide us with a sketch of anything you like, a logo, a shape even a floor plan and we will vectorise it for you. If this is a service you would like to use, please get in contact with us for further details.
Whether you’re a start-up business or an already established company, the way you appear to the public matters. Therefore it would be a wise decision to invest in a new Logo Design, or update your current one.
The question is, how do you choose a logo designer to take on this project? Here are a few things we think are important for you to consider when making the choice.
- Testimonials – What experiences have other customers had?
- A Good Design Process – Can you see a pattern of good working structure?
- Realistic Pricing – Sometimes cheap isn’t a good thing!
- Customer Service – Do they appear professional and willing to advise you?
- Appropriate Questions – Do they show interest in you and your business?
- A Good Portfolio – What other work have they done? (not just logo design)
Here at Pair Creative, our designers are able to help you and your business with all types of Graphic Design and Website Design work, such as Logo Design, Branding, Vector Tracing and many other services. Why not contact with us to see how we can help you.