10 Steps to a successful architecture logo design and architecture brand image
1. Know that you are not a designer
As simple as this sounds it doesn’t go without saying because the truth is it’s often very hard for some business owners to relinquish control to another professional regardless of the fact that they hired them to create a architecture logo design for them.
This isn’t always the case but in my experience it often is and the reason is that many business owners see their architecture logo design as a reflection of their personal taste and their design sense… it is not.
2. Know what your logo is and isn’t
A logo design is a visual tool that has a given purpose just like any other tool and when designed well and used correctly it is a powerfully effective tool.
Your logo’s purpose is not to demonstrate your design sense nor is it an advertisement; and it’s not meant to sell your services or explain your business. Your architecture logo is your visual identity and is meant to be recognized and remembered and to give people a positive impression of your business. Think of it as the cornerstone of your brand image and your marketing message.
3. Understand what your brand image is
Your architecture logo design is not your brand image but it is an important part in building your brand image. I define my business’s brand image as who I am, what I do and what I say and I think this is essentially every business’s brand image as well.
Who am I as a business? I’m a graphic designer that does architecture logo design but is that all I am? No, I am an advocate for my customers and I strive to understand how I can be most effectively utilized to help them achieve their goals.
What is my purpose? To know this, I have to understand what the value I offer to my customers is and what is it that sets me apart from my competitors. I know that for me it’s to provide my customers a unique architecture logo that fits their company and whatever else I can do to help them realize success.
What I do? Well you already know I do architecture logo design but ultimately that is only one of the products I offer. What I actually do is guide my customers into making what I believe are the best decisions they can to help them achieve the results they are aiming for; this can be by designing them a great architecture logo, a great architecture website and in some instances directing them to a company that is better suited to help them than I am.
4. Give input, give feedback… take advice
Provide your designer with the input they need to help them formulate a plan for your architecture logo design; such as examples of other designs you like, colors you prefer, who your competition is and what you hope to accomplish.
When you are finally presented with a design give your designer thoughtful feedback on what you do or don’t like about the architecture logo design they came up with and work with him to create the logo design you really want.
Take advice and set your ego aside. This is crucial in the process because if you did your legwork, you found the right designer for your architecture logo design. The designer will advise you on what will and won’t work and be tactful enough to explain it in a way that you will understand the reasoning behind their advice.
5. Hire the portfolio, not the designer
Some designers are good salesmen and some designers are good designers and occasionally you’ll run across one that is both… that’s the one you should hire. A designer has to be able to do more than talk the talk they have to demonstrate that they know how to walk the walk and that is always evident in the depth and quality of their portfolio.
If the work doesn’t back up their words think long and hard about hiring them to design your architecture logo design. They don’t necessarily have to have experience designing architecture logos but their logo designs should definitely demonstrate their range as an artist and their ability to adapt their style to their customer’s needs.
6. Buy American… buy ingenuity
America invented advertising as we know it today and the best logo designers in the world are from the United States. I have done work in 6 continents and the reason is that my logos aren’t just pretty pictures, they are powerful tools and have been recognized as such from people around
There are great designers found the world over but if you are a US company and you want to appeal to a US market, stick with a design company that has a design staff based in the US. They will bring an understanding and insight to your market that you will not find with a company that contracts their architecture logo designs out to India, China or who knows where.
7. Your logo is your sign
Consider how your logo will be utilized before signing off on a architecture logo design; likely it will need to work in multiple formats including web, print and as a sign. The most important of these to consider is that your architecture logo design with also be your architecture sign design.
The reason I say this is that a sign has to work quickly and whether it’s on the side of a truck or the side of the road, it needs be understood instantly. People will only get a second or two to understand what your architecture logo says and if they have to think about it for longer than that, you have lost a potential customer.
Also, if you know that your architecture logo design will work effectively as a architecture sign you can rest assured that it will be simple enough that it will work for any other needs you have and look the same whether it be on a business card or a billboard.
Most people have seen this acronym and understands what it stands for (Keep it simple stupid) but not everybody really understands what it actually means and how it applies to them. To me it means that a architecture logo design shouldn’t get in the way of itself and should only be as complicated as it needs to be to accomplish its goal, and as I mentioned earlier a logo’s goal is to be recognized and remembered.
Simplicity is always the driving design force in all of my architecture logo designs so that is why almost none of my logos contain color gradations or pointless visual elements that detract from the usefulness of the design. While aesthetics are essential to a good logo design they must take a backseat if they begin to negatively affect the logo’s legibility.
9. Design Is a conversation
A great architecture logo design cannot be created in a vacuum, great logo designs happen in the dialogue between the client and the designer. I’ve designed hundreds of logos during my professional career and all of the designs I feature in my portfolio are from logo design projects where I had access to the decision makers.
The designs I’m least proud of and the designs that never came to full completion were almost always handled by a middleman who was responsible for relaying the needs of the customer back and forth between myself and the customer. Inevitably what happened was too much information was lost in transit and the project was abandoned.
Occasionally frustration with the process won out and I was granted access to the owner of the company and the project was salvaged through an actual conversation. In many cases it took no more than 10 minutes to come to the understanding that led to a happy customer and a grateful designer.
10. Your logo… an investment in your future
Many of my new customers who are also first time business owners think their architecture logo is going to help them get more architecture business. While it will help to a degree, the truth is that it’s initial impact is minimal.
But a logo is definitely a worthy investment because it will instantly lend you credibility and give your business a visual identity that, over time, will help your architecture logo design become ingrained in the minds of your customers and it will become a trigger for the emotions, feelings and memories related to the experience that your customers have had with your architecture business… and those emotions, feelings and memories are the essence of your brand image.
ImageCo is the online portfolio of Tim Garner; I’ve been a commercial artist for over 25 years and I help businesses and individuals throughout the US and Canada sell their products, their services, and their ideas. I was born in the Southwest, raised in the Midwest, lived in the South for a bit and now call the Northwest home. I’m a fine artist by training, a graphic designer by choice and I’ve designed everything from billboards to business cards. In my spare time I feed a passion for photography, art and writing. Check out my other creative work at www.artistpoet.com .