Logos and identity design: The photocopier and your logo.

The photocopier is an invaluable tool to analyze the effectiveness of your company’s logo.

  1. Too many colours. You are the proud owner of a shiny new logo. It looks amazing on your website. It dazzles with colour, it’s reflective, it’s got a drop shadow and it’s 3D! What happens when you want to print it? Or even more archaically, fax it. You will get a big grey blob. If you are lucky your company name will still be legible… Multi-colour logos look beautiful, but be sure to to do the “copy test” Copy it as a black and white version or try faxing it. Anything a client might do to your correspondence or documents downloaded from the web. Your logo should be able to be used over a variety of mediums with out major adjustments. It should not rely on drop shadows, rainbow colours or reflectiveness to distinguish itself.
  2. Too much detail. Your logo says everything about your business. Every different faucet is covered, including the bosses classic car love affair! The result is an overly detailed, complex and hard to understand mess. Your logo does not need to show everything you do. It should be a simple visual representation of your company that creates a memorable image for your clients. Do the “copy test“. Reduce your business card on the photocopier. If the logo turns into a unintelligible smudge you probably have too much happening.
  3. Logo text ratio. Too often, I have seen a wonderful simple and clear logo that is so big it overpowers the company name or tagline or both. Make sure that when the logo is used very small, or very large, the ratio of text and image is such that both parts are always legible. Once again use the “copy test“. Reduce the logo by 25%, 50% & 75%, if your text disappears into micro-sized type and your logo is still as big as a loonie you need to adjust the size of each component.

Using a photocopier to check the legibility of your logo is a simple way to sort out any design problems with your identity. If you designed the logo yourself it is a good test to use when starting up an new company. If you are getting a design firm to create a new identity the copy test is a valuable tool to help you evaluate the options that you will be presented with.

Your logo / identity is a crucial component of your business. It is often the first thing potential clients see. If executed correctly, a good logo will help make your company memorable and provide you with an extra advantage in a competitive marketplace. The simple “copy test” will give you a good start on an effective logo.

Have more questions?
Call or email Corey at Elevate Graphic Design.

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