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hunting-logo-design

5 Hunting Logo Design Failures To Avoid At All Costs

By Firearms and Hunting

It is inevitable that at some point in your company’s history you will be faced with a logo redesign or a rebranding of your hunting, outdoor or firearms company.

Remember the good ole’ start-up days? It was a lot easier just to design a few concepts that made sense, approve it and get on with building your business. But now things are a little more complicated: you have thousands of customers, a few sub-brands, hundreds of employees counting on you and a few more competitors. Suddenly, that little insignificant symbol that no one thought twice about is a big deal.

For business owners or marketers, managing a logo redesign is a major change—and change is hard! To help you stay clear of any potential pitfalls, here are five things to keep in mind during the course of your next hunting, outdoor or firearms logo redesign project.

1. Get an outside perspective
When designing a new logo, it’s critical to start with an understanding of what your customers think about your current identity and brand. Their input will form the foundation of your creative brief and give substance to your efforts. Their answers may provide key insights that you otherwise would have missed.

For more information on interviewing your customers please see: 8 Ways to Build Your Hunting Brand

2. Identify your value propositions
If you’re designing a new logo without a solid understanding of what your brand stands for, it’s likely you’ll struggle to define accurately what your key differentiators are and what value you bring to the marketplace, your employees, customers, and channel partners. If you’re struggling to identify what your “why” is, it may indicate a deeper problem, and you may need to take a deeper look at your brand. Below is a TED talk from Simon Sinek that explains how to create a brand that dominates your category—worth the watch. 

Remember, a logo is a representation of what you want to communicate and should be connected to your visual system or “kit of parts” i.e package design, trade show booth design, website design, product catalogs, advertising etc. A logo rarely functions on its own.

3. Write a concise creative brief
If points 1 and 2 (above) are not defined, then your creative brief will be filled with guesses and estimations. It’s possible to still create a logo, but you may be missing out on key insights that would be helpful to your design agency when they begin the project. A good creative brief contains the following points:

  • Project summary
  • Audience profile or buyer persona
  • Perception/tone/guidelines
  • What needs to be communicated
  • Competitors
  • Examples of logos you like/dislike

detailed creative brief saves time, endless revisions and equips your branding agency with the right information to maximize the design process.

4. Don’t design by committee
When you receive your first round of concepts back from your branding agency don’t email it out to everyone in your company for feedback. Chances are you’ll get a hundred different suggestions and “advice” on what needs to be changed. Don’t include those who haven’t been involved in the process from the beginning.

The famous maxim: a camel was a horse designed by committee—is true in this situation. Form a select team of 2-4 people to help you choose the best logo for your company. Make sure all options have been vetted and are properly understood before presenting to your company’s stakeholders—then send out your top 2 choices to the company (if you want their involvement).

And as hard as it may seem, make sure to design your logo based on what your customers want and expect, and not so much on what you like. 

5. Present the logo properly
Another reason not to send your concepts out to the company until you have a strong consensus of what the strongest 2 or 3 final concepts are—is to make sure each concept is explained properly.

Create a video or website (See American Airlines) about what the new logo means and how it will look with the other parts of your visual system.

Redesigning a new logo is a challenging exercise. To get it right, you must take the time to talk to your customers, identify your value propositions, write an accurate and concise creative brief, collaborate internally and present the concepts thoroughly. By doing so, you will avoid these common logo redesign pitfalls.


hunting-outdoor-firearm-logoFree Download: Creative Brief Template

Creative briefs help keep projects running smoothly and prevent misunderstandings and delays by:

  • Connecting objectives with creative strategies
  • Building team consensus
  • Aligning expectations
  • Defining clear, measurable goals

  Download Now

 

 


Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy

Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.

Logo

How to Design a Great Logo in 7 Steps

By Brand Development, Logo Design

Several times a year I am commissioned to design a logo. Projects run the gamut in subject matter, and  I often find myself biting my lip because I’m not inspired by what the brand, product or service stands for — these projects are priced accordingly or turned down. However in most cases, I’m able to take an idea and run with it, knowing that I can come up with something that meets or exceeds the client’s expectations.

Typically the most difficult projects — the real stumpers — are about subjects that don’t relate to any tangible objects in the real world. It’s much easier to get creative with a person, place or thing than with an idea.  In these cases you have to incorporate related objects to communicate what you are trying to convey. For example lets look at a past project – Noble Plans, a non-profit recruitment agency or RPO.

How do you come up with an icon for Noble? Or Plans? You don’t — it doesn’t exist. The easy way out would be to come up with some typeface and call it good. We solved this problem by using the  “cross meaning” method as a way to communicate the meaning of noble.  ”Cross meaning” is essentially finding something that is similar to the meaning but drawing from another category. So instead of asking what does noble look like — the question becomes, what is noble?

Some examples of Noble may be: A Politician (haha, …no.)? A Knight? A Shield? Perhaps a Lion?

LogoThe answer to the problem was a Lion. It proved to be a good fit to express nobility, integrity and strength.  These were also brand attributes the owners wanted to convey. We then used a strong typeface to reinforce. In the end, not only did the Lion make sense, but it also differientiated the brand in a highly competitive category. We also made sure that within their category, their competitors where not using a Lion.

Really great logo designers typically invoke a high level of cleverness into design. Cleverness is the ability to show inventiveness or originality.

I define creativity as: the capacity and talent of a designer to take shape, color, form, style, imagery and type and transcend those design elements into original, progressive ideas that give the viewer or audience something they have never seen before. Creativity can also influence the purchase decision by causing the viewer to feel enjoyment or satisfaction when encountering a piece of communication. In design, creativity is often restrained to ensure accuracy in communicating with the desired target audience. It can also be repressed by the product or service owner’s idea of how best to present itself. These dynamics determine the level of “punch” of any creative execution.

Remember a logo is much more than just a “logo”  – it’s the number one business asset that allows businesses to compete and differientiate themselves in the marketplace. For small companies, it’s the pivot point that establishes a sense of pride, ownership and foundation.

Below is the process I generally take when designing a logo. Sometimes when I hear the name of the brand, by God’s grace – the idea just pops in my craw, other times — it takes some work and a lot of thought. But the challenge is what keeps me loving what I do – being a designer and a thinker.

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. – Henry Ford

  1. First things first, start off with word association: Using the Visual Thesaurus tool and Dictionary.com – I will look for words similar to the subject’s name, meaning, industry or any other nouns or adjectives to begin to understand the meaning and potential underlying meanings and how they are percieved.
  2. Begin initial concepts: Based on your initial impressions of the subject, sketch out some rough concepts on paper. I will then look for photographs to bring resolution to the concepts.
  3. Create 3 different categories to design – Abstract, Lettertype and Icon
  4. Textures, Materials and Movement – Can you reinforce your message with any of these elements?
  5. Color & Type – Add the appropriate colors and characters (typeface) based on the directive of the communication.
  6. Presentation – a little trick I use to present logos is to arrange them in a way that builds up to a climax – presenting the weakest designs first and ending with the strongest. Try to also arrange in a professional layout, just don’t throw them at the client all at once. Walk them through your process. This helps create a great presentation and leaves you taking applause at the end.
  7. Recommendation –  Without a solid presentation your best ideas will fall flat. I always give our recommendations on what we’d like to see the client go with and then fight for it. This adds value to the client and helps you to establish more credibility for later projects.
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Brand Development Inbound Marketing Consultant

By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.