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Let’s talk about your company logo. Do you have a logo? Does it grab consumers’ attention? Are consumers in your area familiar with your logo? If a person only gets a quick glance at your logo, will they know which company it belongs to?

Your logo may be the first thing consumers see that represents your business and the home care services you provide, so make sure your logo does its job! “If people don’t take your logo seriously, they won’t take your business seriously,” says Nathan Allred, graphic designer at Home Care Pulse. “A bad logo may even hurt your business.” Allred encourages home care business owners to take a good look at their company logo and determine if the logo is doing the job they want it to do. If the answer is “no,” it may be time to re-vamp your logo or design a new one that fits better with your company’s image and goals.

Here are some tips from Allred on creating the perfect logo for your business:

Make it Unique

What makes your company different from others? What services do you offer that others don’t? Whether you use words or an image, make sure your logo truly reflects who you are. Consider your potential clients and the message you want to send to them. Whose attention are you trying to attract with your logo? Most likely, you want your logo to appeal to seniors and their loved ones, so your logo needs to send them a simple message about your services. You probably want them to see your logo and think of words like trustworthy, quality, experienced, reliable, professional, caring, compassionate, etc. Create a logo that embodies these characteristics and that reflects your business’s mission statement, vision or goals.

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Image Souce

Keep It Simple

A business logo is meant to catch a consumer’s attention quickly. Consumers shouldn’t have to squint to read the fine print or look closely to figure out what is going on in the picture. When brainstorming words or images that represent your company, keep it simple. Don’t try to include too much with your logo or make it too fancy: your name, and maybe one simple image, is enough. One way to analyze your logo is to think about how it will look on the lapel of someone’s shirt? Or up on a billboard as someone drives down the highway? Don’t let your logo be one that people (especially the seniors you serve) can’t figure out.Make sure your logo is easy to read and recognize.

Read How to Create a Professional Email Signature and Why You Need One

Hire a Graphic Designer

No matter how tempting it is to save money by designing your own logo, don’t do it! Yes, it can be expensive to hire a graphic designer to create a custom logo, but a professional-looking, well-designed logo is worth the investment. Graphic designers are experienced and know how to best communicate your message through the design of fonts, colors, shapes, images, etc. They utilize design software in order to create a polished, professional logo, ready for use in various formats. The average home or office computer may not have those programs available. Ultimately, graphic designers know how best to represent your company via design—and their knowledge and experience will benefit your business in the long run.

Make sure you hire a reputable graphic designer. Ask to see a sampling of their work and have them give you a quote for how much it will cost to design your logo. Find out all of your options and shop around before hiring anyone to do the work. And don’t be in a hurry. The design process takes time—and you want to make sure you’re logo is just right. (And while you’re working with a graphic designer, you may also want to have them design new business cards and a company letterhead with your new logo.)

If you just can’t afford to hire a graphic designer, Allred says, you may want to visit the graphic design department at your local college campus. Graphic design students often need projects to do. A student may be willing to do some design work for you in exchange for the resume-building experience. The one drawback to working with students is that they are students. They are still learning, and some are better at design than others. You could end up with a fantastic logo—or you could end up with a logo that doesn’t fit your company.

Word-based vs. Image-based

As you think about a logo that will fit your business, take a closer look at all the logos you see in the world around you. Logos are either word-based or image-based. A word-based logo is designed around a business’s name. An image-based logo doesn’t have words. (All you have to see is one image, and you know exactly which company it represents. No words are necessary.) You may have a graphic designer show you samples of both types of logo for your company.

Here are some examples:

Word-based: Home Care Pulse, Google, FedEx

Image-based: Target, Apple, Nike

You probably know all of these logos without even clicking on the links to see them. That shows the power of a well-designed logo and a successful marketing strategy.   As you create your logo, Allred reminds, “Think of your logo as a method of communication, not a fancy, pretty picture. Keep it simple, so people can recognize your company.” Consider all of the places consumers will be seeing your logo: letters, pins, billboards, signs, doors, company shirts, your website, etc. One logo needs to work for all of those purposes. Spend the time and money to design a logo that communicates who you are and all that you do.  

Note for those who use a franchise logo (or after you’ve created your own company logo): Be aware of the usage guidelines for your franchise logo. If guidelines don’t exist, create them for your company or recommend that the franchise create guidelines. Usage guidelines should include recommendations for things like the minimum dimensions (the smallest version) of the logo that should be used, colors that should be used in conjunction with the logo, spacing surrounding the logo, black and white logo usage, etc. Logo usage should be consistent throughout the company.