Last week I finished up a series of commercial spots that will air all over the state of Wisconsin. The spots are :23 :7 spots, meaning that the main commercial runs 23 seconds and then there are 7 seconds of space at the end for local "dealer tags". In order to complete this project, I worked with an ad agency representative to pull together video clips, logos, and contact information from about 70 different dealers across the state. It came to my attention that many of these businesses have one thing in common: a terrible logo.
I am sure, however, that most of these designs were created with little to no budget. So I thought it might be fun this afternoon to give you a few tips on "How to Cut Costs on Your Branding, or How to Make the Worst Logo Ever."
- Do it yourself (obviously)
I'm sure you've got a program like MS Paint or EZ Logo Creator or something like that. You have $0 set aside for this project but you know that branding is important and who better to create the graphical identity of your company than you? It's not like four years of graphic design school is going to teach anyone anything that you can't figure out in one evening by yourself.
- Grab your computer
Yes, I mean "grab it" and not "sit down at it" because it's probably sitting in some back hallway that you never use. Wipe the dust off the top and boot that sucker up.
- Fire up MS Paint (or one of the other options listed above) and get to work.
- Choose your font
This should be pretty easy since you probably only have about 5 installed on your computer. Times New Roman, Arial, Courier - or if you really want to spice it up - Comic Sans!
- Consider layout
Don't center everything. Remember, this is an artistic project. Centering is boring, try aligning everything on the left. Don't leave any margin for added effect.
- Create your background
The one we're creating today will ensure that your logo will always be a big bulky rectangle that customers are sure to recognize wherever they see it carelessly placed over other media on brochures, signs, and videos! In order to create a background find any old photo of the exterior of your business (preferably taken on a snowy, overcast day) and toss it in. The busier the photo, the better.
- Accessorize your logo
Just like a teenage girl on a shopping spree at Claire's, you'll want to throw everything you can think of at your final composition to make sure that it really grabs attention. Find different brushes to use in your design program like "stars", "bubbles", or "spray paint".
- Save your masterpiece in a high quality format
This format must be is versatile enough to be used in the future wherever you might need your logo. In other words, copy and paste it into a word document and save it in some obscure file type like ".wps" or something. Name your file "logo_final_v1" so that you'll know exactly where it is... on your floppy disk.
Please feel free to share your logo/branding horror stories in the comments below!