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business logos

 
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I'm working on ideas for my business logo. This is something I had painted a long time ago and was thinking of doing something similar again especially if I can paint or mount it on the front and sides of my giant leaf/mulch collection trailer...
jIND6AJuT7qWMtvUJd-EXg.jpg
leaf collection trailer
leaf collection trailer
6xIHosVJTNCBb1Y-lSGQHQ.jpg
Ancient Harmony
Ancient Harmony
 
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That's a great project!

 
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As a business owner i went through a couple of iterations. The main thing was what people thought when they saw the signage. Did they learn (based on looking at the sign) what the business actually does? If you have granite in the name and don't list what you do, are you making countertops or tombstones? Or the name has nothing to do with the business and adds confusion. " Granite Industries" may have nothing to do with granite, they may make oil pipe fittings.

Was there contact information (either interweb or phone number)? I sometimes notice that people take a picture, which means they are rushed and want to make contact later. Having the contact info there is handy for that reason.

With the advent of super detailed sign printing over the last decade,  i have noticed that people get too artsy with the graphics. Sticking with the granite theme, the signs can now have a beatiful picture of a marble topped island. But the business name and contact info is lost in the picture. Its there, just buried.

The logo gets their attention, but 3 simple lines help with  effectiveness. Name of company, what you do, contact info.

XACMEX GRANITE
Fabricators and installers of granite countertops
555.555.1234   (website)
 
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Everything Wayne said. If the font is too fancy, it becomes difficult to tell what business they are in even if the right key words are used. I knew a guy who was very proud of a great big stupid truck that sits too high from the ground to be easy to load. He featured it on his calling cards and I wasn't sure if he was selling trucks or whatever business it is he does.

I see a lot of people using Enterprises. Such-and-such Enterprises and it doesn't tell me what those might be. He might be Paving roads or making matches or spaceships.

I needed a small excavator last week. We had a guy couple months ago, who was all right but I could not remember the silly name he chose. It doesn't have Excavating in the title. So then I called Don Mann Excavating. The name explains what they do.
 
D. Nelson
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:That's a great project!


Any relationship to Dusty Rhodes? Enigmatic pro wrestler from the 70’s....
 
D. Nelson
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wayne fajkus wrote:As a business owner i went through a couple of iterations. The main thing was what people thought when they saw the signage. Did they learn (based on looking at the sign) what the business actually does? If you have granite in the name and don't list what you do, are you making countertops or tombstones? Or the name has nothing to do with the business and adds confusion. " Granite Industries" may have nothing to do with granite, they may make oil pipe fittings.

Was there contact information (either interweb or phone number)? I sometimes notice that people take a picture, which means they are rushed and want to make contact later. Having the contact info there is handy for that reason.

With the advent of super detailed sign printing over the last decade,  i have noticed that people get too artsy with the graphics. Sticking with the granite theme, the signs can now have a beatiful picture of a marble topped island. But the business name and contact info is lost in the picture. Its there, just buried.

The logo gets their attention, but 3 simple lines help with  effectiveness. Name of company, what you do, contact info.

XACMEX GRANITE
Fabricators and installers of granite countertops
555.555.1234   (website)



I was just going to use the name and the tree. The rest, like I said was something I airbrushed a long time ago. Of course I’m going to add leaf services and contact info. I do greatly appreciate the constructive criticism though. It helps us grow and learn , so I thank you!
 
D. Nelson
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I could just call myself Compost Man Leaf Removal
 
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My grand daughter is Fiona, she can not say the letter 'f' when Fed ex truck is seen she says look Grandpa, my truck!!
 
Dustin Rhodes
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D. Nelson wrote:
Any relationship to Dusty Rhodes? Enigmatic pro wrestler from the 70’s....



no relation, unfortunately - he would have been an amazing Uncle...



I don't think you need to go all the way to "compost man", but "Ancient Harmony..." something -  organic compost, soil amendments, leaf removal, mulch - whatever best describes the service or product you offer, could help you gain traction with customer acquisition.

I like the logo!   If I were to tweak the design (which is not "necessary", just might be helpful for potential customers to better read your company name), I would do the following:


Make the space between risers of the "H" a little more separated at the top, so it's more recognizable as that letter.

Switch to an all black or single color(negative space ok too) logo - this will help save on printing costs and will make the design more crisp/clear to the eye (the colors, delineations, and soft borders can make it indistinct or "muddy" when viewed while the vehicle is moving)

Use any standard font for the words "Ancient Harmony" (current font serifs are a little too busy to be read quickly), and put both words to one side or at the bottom - this will further decrease your name recognition timeframe.


Purely from my aesthetic opinion, I would also shrink the tree down 10-15%, in relation to the letter-globe.


But, even after all this we've said; this is not our logo. don't listen to us if it makes you like your own logo less - your happiness in it's aesthetics is important too

 
wayne fajkus
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D. Nelson wrote:

I was just going to use the name and the tree. The rest, like I said was something I airbrushed a long time ago. Of course I’m going to add leaf services and contact info. I do greatly appreciate the constructive criticism though. It helps us grow and learn , so I thank you!



I wasn't criticizing anything you had done. Mainly listing the other things you might consider past the logo itself. I like what you are doing on your composting thread. Great stuff.
 
D. Nelson
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:

D. Nelson wrote:
Any relationship to Dusty Rhodes? Enigmatic pro wrestler from the 70’s....



no relation, unfortunately - he would have been an amazing Uncle...



I don't think you need to go all the way to "compost man", but "Ancient Harmony..." something -  organic compost, soil amendments, leaf removal, mulch - whatever best describes the service or product you offer, could help you gain traction with customer acquisition.

I like the logo!   If I were to tweak the design (which is not "necessary", just might be helpful for potential customers to better read your company name), I would do the following:


Make the space between risers of the "H" a little more separated at the top, so it's more recognizable as that letter.

Switch to an all black or single color(negative space ok too) logo - this will help save on printing costs and will make the design more crisp/clear to the eye (the colors, delineations, and soft borders can make it indistinct or "muddy" when viewed while the vehicle is moving)

Use any standard font for the words "Ancient Harmony" (current font serifs are a little too busy to be read quickly), and put both words to one side or at the bottom - this will further decrease your name recognition timeframe.


Purely from my aesthetic opinion, I would also shrink the tree down 10-15%, in relation to the letter-globe.


But, even after all this we've said; this is not our logo. don't listen to us if it makes you like your own logo less - your happiness in it's aesthetics is important too



I thank you very much for your input. I actually saved it to notes for later. Still need to finish a few things on the trailer first though. I do appreciate the details.
Soon it'll be less of this...maybe...free leaves are free leaves

Jm41gnSVT4mZIzigGqrivw.jpg
[Thumbnail for Jm41gnSVT4mZIzigGqrivw.jpg]
 
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I've been a part of two significant rebranding projects.  The first was with an NGO that I served on the board of.  The second was with an academic program that we felt was misunderstood and needed clarity.

The first, the NGO, was called "Floresta".  Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  But people didn't know what it was.  It took 30 seconds to tell them and then they'd go, "Oh -- that's so cool".  But then they'd say, "What's the name of the organization?"  After a year-long process, Floresta became "Plant With Purpose".  Much easier for people to understand -- oh, you work in the agro-ecology development sector.  Makes sense.

So, lesson #1: Does the name clearly tell your story?  Do people immediately know what product or service you offer?  Is it compelling and memorable?

In the second case, it was a matter of bringing an academic discipline into the new century.  Everyone across the country had changed the name of the discipline, but we were slow in making that adaptation.  People kept fighting for the old name because it had personal meaning to them.  They'd argue, "People know who we are and what our program is all about.  Why the need to change?"  Well, because when everyone else has changed to the new nomenclature, you look like a dinosaur when you stick with the old name.

Lesson #2:  It doesn't matter what you think or feel about your name and logo.  It only matters what the customer feels.  

Research is easy: take a copy of your logo and spend an afternoon at a public place asking 100 people for their feedback.  Do not identify yourself as the "owner" or creator of the logo --- just say "We're doing some market research for a business owner who is looking at their brand and market identity.  Would you help us by taking two minutes to give us your impressions on this logo/brand?"  (Show it to them as you ask -- that'll intrigue them.

Then ask your questions:

1.  When you see this logo, what kind of business is it?

2.  What is clear about the logo to you, and what is unclear?

3.  Is there anything about the logo that doesn't work for you?  Why?

4.  If you could change anything, what would it be?

5.  Give us your overall impression of this logo?  Would you do business with them?

Most of us have a bit of a confirmation bias (we hear what we want to hear) so it's good to have an objective person tracking the data, recording it, looking for patterns . . . etc.  If you're hearing 30% of the people saying that they don't like it, then it's probably not going to be a winner for you, even if you hear strong praise from 30% and indifference from the remaining 40%.


Ultimately, a logo should be an accurate expression of the kind of business you are or hope to be.  It's will be peoples' first impression of you.  


Personally, I like it, but the logo has a bit of a hippy-dippy new agey vibe to me.  That is perfectly fine if that's the image you're trying to convey.  That kind of image worked wonderfully for Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.  

My other reaction is to ask is there a way you could simplify it/clean it up a bit?  With logos, less is more.  Cleaner lines, simpler color scheme (maybe 3 colors max) and simplified graphics.  

 
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Marco Banks wrote:I've been a part of two significant rebranding projects.  The first was with an NGO that I served on the board of.  The second was with an academic program that we felt was misunderstood and needed clarity.

The first, the NGO, was called "Floresta".  Sounds lovely, doesn't it?  But people didn't know what it was.  It took 30 seconds to tell them and then they'd go, "Oh -- that's so cool".  But then they'd say, "What's the name of the organization?"  After a year-long process, Floresta became "Plant With Purpose".  Much easier for people to understand -- oh, you work in the agro-ecology development sector.  Makes sense.

So, lesson #1: Does the name clearly tell your story?  Do people immediately know what product or service you offer?  Is it compelling and memorable?

In the second case, it was a matter of bringing an academic discipline into the new century.  Everyone across the country had changed the name of the discipline, but we were slow in making that adaptation.  People kept fighting for the old name because it had personal meaning to them.  They'd argue, "People know who we are and what our program is all about.  Why the need to change?"  Well, because when everyone else has changed to the new nomenclature, you look like a dinosaur when you stick with the old name.

Lesson #2:  It doesn't matter what you think or feel about your name and logo.  It only matters what the customer feels.  

Research is easy: take a copy of your logo and spend an afternoon at a public place asking 100 people for their feedback.  Do not identify yourself as the "owner" or creator of the logo --- just say "We're doing some market research for a business owner who is looking at their brand and market identity.  Would you help us by taking two minutes to give us your impressions on this logo/brand?"  (Show it to them as you ask -- that'll intrigue them.

Then ask your questions:

1.  When you see this logo, what kind of business is it?

2.  What is clear about the logo to you, and what is unclear?

3.  Is there anything about the logo that doesn't work for you?  Why?

4.  If you could change anything, what would it be?

5.  Give us your overall impression of this logo?  Would you do business with them?

Most of us have a bit of a confirmation bias (we hear what we want to hear) so it's good to have an objective person tracking the data, recording it, looking for patterns . . . etc.  If you're hearing 30% of the people saying that they don't like it, then it's probably not going to be a winner for you, even if you hear strong praise from 30% and indifference from the remaining 40%.


Ultimately, a logo should be an accurate expression of the kind of business you are or hope to be.  It's will be peoples' first impression of you.  



Thank you for posting this, Marco. It's informative and has good ideas. It's made me think about my logo which does have simple and clean lines, but I'm curious now about bringing it out to show people and get their opinions. As you said, it can be difficult to stay objective about one's own things, so getting unbiased feedback makes a lot of sense.
 
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Make sure it is legible from 50 feet away...people are viewing this from across a street or from a moving vehicle. I have taken photos of lettered trucks for future contact.
Make the lettering large enough, and easy to read... small details (fancy serifs, shadows, outlines) all confuse the letter forms and make it difficult to read.
HIGH contrast, like black on white/white on dark color, is easier to read than something lower contrast like green on yellow, or worse like yellow on white. Squint or take a black and white photo, and see if it still works well.

Consider those posts on the walls of the trailer. From an angle, they block the view of some of the rest of the panel. I might make a sign on a panel or a banner that mounts over the posts to have it flat.
Side benefit of this is if the box is damaged, you can save the signs. You could also use the sign the other 10 months of the year as a jobsite sign, or at a tradeshow or fair; or you could demount it for safe storage so it lasts longer. (also easier to paint it? not on the trailer, indoors, on rainy days...)

Small details/narrow spaces (like in the A H of the roots in your logo) are hard to distinguish. Exaggerate the spaces, and/or narrow the lines of the A and H, make some sketches and try out some different versions.

If you use the same logo other places, it might need further adjustment (level of detail, B&W only).
 
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One very simple method of getting more exposure, is to get pylons or those little fold-out out signs like real estate people do, and use them to mark out parking or work areas. Quite often, I have needed to mark out a section of the street so that I can do tree work. My little fold-up signs said hedge trimming and tree work. No room for my personal history and name or anyting. The neighbours know what's going on and this gives them a chance to decide if they'd like to talk to me about it.

I also do simple things like leave the extra pruning ladder standing in the front yard where all can see it. There's one spot where I have five houses in a row that I return to every year, to do their hedges. There are also two across the street. One of these people answered my ad for hedge pruning and all others saw what I was doing or saw the pruning ladder or one of my little signs. Over the fence sales are the best, because you're already there with the equipment already out of the truck. Quite often I leave ladders and other items in the backyard of the next house I'm going to work on, at the end of the day, and only take my most expensive tools home. I even leave the batteries and chargers in the garage or shed, to charge overnight, whenever I work in that area.

If I had a truck saying Dale's Enterprises and I didn't leave my stuff in view, people wouldn't necessarily know why I'm in the neighbourhood.
 
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Kenneth Elwell wrote:Make sure it is legible from 50 feet away...people are viewing this from across a street or from a moving vehicle. I have taken photos of lettered trucks for future contact.
Make the lettering large enough, and easy to read... small details (fancy serifs, shadows, outlines) all confuse the letter forms and make it difficult to read.
HIGH contrast, like black on white/white on dark color, is easier to read than something lower contrast like green on yellow, or worse like yellow on white. Squint or take a black and white photo, and see if it still works well.

Consider those posts on the walls of the trailer. From an angle, they block the view of some of the rest of the panel. I might make a sign on a panel or a banner that mounts over the posts to have it flat.
Side benefit of this is if the box is damaged, you can save the signs. You could also use the sign the other 10 months of the year as a jobsite sign, or at a tradeshow or fair; or you could demount it for safe storage so it lasts longer. (also easier to paint it? not on the trailer, indoors, on rainy days...)

Small details/narrow spaces (like in the A H of the roots in your logo) are hard to distinguish. Exaggerate the spaces, and/or narrow the lines of the A and H, make some sketches and try out some different versions.

If you use the same logo other places, it might need further adjustment (level of detail, B&W only).



THIS! Just yesterday, I finally (after a month of trying to see it, driving past, at 50mph) stopped to get out of my car and walk 3/4 of the way around a sign painted on a 55gal drum, to get the information from it, to do business with the guy. It was a scary thing, getting out of the car on a 50mph road, with no shoulder, only a gravel road, to read the phone number that was wrapped around it, as the ONLY contact info. If I hadn't actually become desperate for the product, and unable to find it anywhere else, I would not have every bothered to try.
 
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