Much has been written about logos. Their design.The use and significance of color. How they represent a company's identity. The role of the logo in branding a company. There are as many definitions of what a logo is as there are people writing about logos.
For this blog though I'm going to use a pretty simple definition: A logo is a graphic symbol that represents your brand.
Paul Wyatt at Creative Blog posted on June 14 a great piece titled "Logo design: 60 pro tips."
Although it's written for the graphic design folks it is worth your while if you are at all involved in branding your company or designing your company's logo.
For this post I'm going to talk about your logo and putting it on promotional products. I'm going to show you possible problems and how to anticipate them.
When a graphic design firm creates a logo they also create a "style book." The style book dictates everything about presenting the logo. How it can be rendered, the colors, what background colors, etc.
Most often the style book deals with how the logo can be presented in print and on-line. Often it does not deal with how the logo can be used on a promotional item. If you are involved with the design of your logo you should have your graphics team address this.
What can go wrong?
Each promotional product will have a "maximum imprint area." This is the space on the item where your logo goes. (Many products will have more than one imprint area, they may not be the same size.)
Keep in mind that this is the maximum area for your logo.
Let's take a pen.
The imprint area might be on the barrel and it may be something like 1.5" L x .5" H. Your logo has to fit within that area..and keep its proportions. So the actual print of your logo may be smaller than that 1.5" x .5" area in order to keep the proportions and fit within the imprint area.
An overly long horizontal logo will have a problem.
Here's the primary logo of our client Cambridge Savings Bank
You can see where this might be a problem for an imprint area that's not geared for a long horizontal logo.
Anticipating this they created a "stacked" version of their logo.
With this version they can use a smaller or non horizontal space.
When you work with your design team you want them consider how your logo can be rendered on promotional items with various imprint areas.
Your promotional products vendor can easily get this information for you on any product.
Another potential problem comes up with logos that have tag lines and phone and web addresses. On smaller items, like a pen, when you attempt to squeeze all that information into a small space you end up with text that is too small to read. The open spaces in letters will fill in. Anticipate this and have a version that does not have all that information.
Interesting aside: A recent study on promotional products found that most recipients do not use the promotional item as a source for your contact information. If they want to contact you they'll google your name and find you that way. Putting your phone and web address on an item is not critical.
To sum up: Design your logo, or have it designed, with the kinds of promotional products you'll use in mind.
Any design can be reproduced accurately in print or on-line. Not so with promotional products.