I have always liked symbols. Breaking things down into simple visual representations appeals to me and I find that the process of creating logos has really helped me further define the mission and vision of what I’m trying to accomplish.
Your logo may be the first line of communication with prospective clients or potential employees so it needs to say what you want it to say. Everything matters–the colors, the style, the font, etc. Who is your target audience? Big corporations or small businesses? What is the vibe of your company? Ultra-professional or really casual? Is there a particular industry that you’re targeting? Is there a particular lifestyle that you’re marketing to and do you and your visuals reflect the same values as that lifestyle? Answering these kinds of questions will not only help you create your logo and the symbology around your company, it will also help you refine your overall messaging and should inform and be informed by your culture.
I’m not a designer, so over the years as I’ve taken on new initiatives and started my own companies, I have recruited the help of designers to coach me through the process of creating logos. I believe in building a culture of authenticity in the quest for a fulfilling work life, but sometimes articulating exactly what that culture looks like can be very challenging, especially when you’re on your own and the possibilities seem endless. A good designer will ask the right (and sometimes difficult) questions to help you tease out the authenticity of the culture that you’re creating, and help you build a solid brand that will make you proud.
As consultants, it’s our choice which industries we want to focus on and it’s up to us how we present ourselves to those industries. The cultures between them can be vastly different—think small organic dairy farms vs. big gun manufacturers—and you will very likely get a different reaction from people who work in those different industries. So it’s important that you understand who you are seeking to work with and make sure that your own branding is aligned with them.
If you’re just getting started or looking to strengthen or refresh your existing company’s brand, start by looking around and making note of what appeals to you. Jot down ideas from the industries that you want to target, from companies that are doing similar work, and most importantly what you feel authentically represents you. Then find a designer who won’t just take your ideas at face value. Look for one who will challenge you and ask tough questions about what it is you’re trying to do. Together you will be able to develop symbols that truly represent your company and your vision.