As I look around my desk I ask myself, “how many different logos stand out? Do I recognize the logo on my Bic pen? What about the logo on my Logitech mouse or keyboard?” Everywhere we look, brands are boldly displaying their logo for better brand awareness. A law firm should be no different with how it views and uses a logo. The question for all businesses should be, “Is my logo memorable, timeless and does it capture my company’s message?” If not, it might be time to spruce it up or get a new logo that stands out in the crowd.
Practicing law is your 9 to 5 career (we know, more like 9 to 9), not graphic design. But who says you shouldn’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to a clean logo appearance? If we break down designing a good logo, there’s 3 critical steps to make a design great. If we can find a font that sets a brand’s tone, create a memorable symbol, and ensure the design is functional, we are set up for logo success. A good starting point would be to download a trial of Adobe Illustrator and begin creating your next timeless logo!
When selecting an appropriate fitting font for your logo, pick one that matches your firm’s tone. There are two different font types to choose from, serif and sans serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are geometric letters with no end strokes. These fonts have a modern flair and look fantastic on screens. Serif fonts have little accents, or serifs, on the ends of the letters. These fonts are seen as a bit dated but still look great in print. Though both are great on their own, they work better when mixed together. A great visibility trick that many graphic designers use is to choose a serif font for the larger text and a sans serif for the smaller text. Check out free, commercial-use fonts on FontSquirrel for great fonts to download and use for your logo. Whether a company is going for a clean and professional logo or a bold and impactful logo, font choice is the first place to set the tone for the remainder of a logo.
Symbols in logos, when used correctly, can become the most memorable feature. If a firm currently has a symbol in use, it’s wise to make certain it meets the following criteria:
Is the symbol?
- Clean and Simple
- Using design rules
- Not using clip art
If the logo’s symbol can check all of those off, then skip to the next paragraph with confidence. If it lacks in a few of the categories, let’s see what can be improved? Logos should always be clean and simple. For example, Apple went from having an intricate, rainbow apple as their logo, to a more sophisticated chrome apple. Simplifying can tie a logo together for a more professional look. Would you consider your logo to be original? This question could be directed to all law firms that are still using legal scales or columns in their logos. What else could represent your company without using “typical legal icons”? This is where utilizing design principles can bring new ideas to the table. Using balance, contrast, and other similar elements to spice up your ideas can create something more abstract. If you get to a point where you’re stuck and need a fresh approach, check out Behance for additional artwork inspiration. Always remember, when using a symbol, choose a design with a memorable purpose.
Last, let’s be clear the design is functional on all media. This means it should be simplified by eliminating drop shadows or gradients. If you decide to keep these elements in your logo, make sure it’s a vectorized version that can be used in standard printing and may be printed on products. Also try printing your logo out extremely small and very large to ensure that it’s visible in all sizes. One of the most important elements to remember is a logo should always be vectorized, not rasterized. A vector is a mathematical formula that can be rescaled over and over again and never lose resolution. Rasterized images are measured in colored pixels and will lose quality when resized. When a logo is vectorized, the best way to save it with transparency is to save in a .png format. This will ensure the image can be saved without a white box around it, which is what happens when a transparent image is saved as a .jpg file.
Naturally this isn’t every step that goes into creating a great logo but a good starting point. In our next blog, we’ll discuss how to create your own logo in illustrator. If you’d like to learn more about how LeadRival can help your firm, visit us at www.leadrival.com or email us at email@example.com.