When was the last time you took a good look at your logo and made sure it was working for you? And I mean working as in “doing work.” Your logo isn’t just there to look pretty; it needs to attract the right customers and establish trust.
As a fashion business, this is even more important. Your customers are coming to you with an aesthetic top of mind. They are deciding whether or not your aesthetic is the one they will put on their bodies to reflect themselves to the world. They see your logo at the top of your website and quickly judge whether or not your brand reflects them – even before they have scrolled down to see your products.
But how can you even tell if your logo is doing a good job?
What makes a logo good?
Often when non-designers are making logos, their impulse is to over-design. Don’t fall into this trap! Nike’s logo is a simple swoosh. Club Monaco is just text. Heck, so is Anthropologie, Topshop, The Gap, and many more.
Memorable: A customer sees the label in one of your garments, continues wandering through the boutique, and picks up another piece of yours. Will they connect it to the first one they saw?
Timeless: It’s hard to avoid trends entirely – that’s what makes something look current! – but the trendier your logo is now, the faster it will look outdated. (e.g. the Lobster font recently experienced a heyday, and you’ve probably seen a lot of geometric animals around)
Versatile: Your logo needs to work in a variety of settings, from the side of pens to a black and white ad in your local paper to the sew-in tag on the back of your garments. And it needs to be just as effective in each of these settings.
Appropriate: Above all, your logo has to be appropriate for the audience you are trying to attract. Just like bright purple might not be appropriate for an outdoorsy brand, elaborate script fonts may not attract people to your minimalist clothing line.
Identify What Your Brand is About
What is your brand about? What’s your “thing?” What’s your niche? Are you a personal style blogger? A fashion news? Vintage? What are your values? Are you luxury or budget? Who is your market? Is it preppy or urban? Write down what your brand is about and keep this in mind for the next step.
Research Logos You Like
Make an inspiration board (real or virtual) of EVERY logo you have ever seen that you love. It could be the MTN logo, whatever, Chances are it could be something elegant and fashion related like Vogue’s logo, or Chanel, Louis Vuitton, whatever, collect every. logo. you. like.
Research Your Niche, What is The Visual Language?
Think about fashion magazine logos, how they all look similar, all caps, serifed fonts. Newspapers tend to use black-letter type like The Guardian. These themes are the subliminal message that the brands belong to a certain niche and have particular values.
Work in Black & White First, THEN Add Colour
Back in the day before digital where colour is ALWAYS an option, logos had to look good in black and white so if you needed to submit your logo to a print publication or use it for marketing material and you didn’t have a budget for color (more expensive) you had to have a logo that looked good in black and white. Nowadays, especially in digital, colour is always available, do you know anyone with a monitor that doesn’t have colour?
That said, it’s still a good idea to at least work in black and white. Why? You get an idea of the contrast, your logo isn’t dependent on color. And if you do happen to need it printed in black and white, it doesn’t lose impact.
Keep it simple
If you don’t have the skills, keep it simple. If you do have the skills, why are you reading this? Kidding! Even simplicity takes skill… sometimes, even more, skill than a complex logo. Think about Nike, how simple that logo is. Or Chanel. Less is more!