Category Archives: Branding

Fundamentals of Logo Design: 6 Questions to Ask When Designing a Company Logo

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6 Questions To Ask Designing A Company Logo - Eminent SEOWhen starting a business, you want your logo to be legendary, memorable and to make a statement. You want it to create a buzz and help your brand become a household name.

All this is possible if you put in the time and effort as well as ask the right questions before, during and after the design phase. Here are some questions to get you started and push you in the right direction to create the perfect logo for your business.

What Is My Mission?

Any business that has the intent to be successful will first come up with a mission statement – the “why.” Company leaders will begin to refine the goal and the intention of the business, who it is looking to target, and why the business even exists.

It is imperative to revisit your company’s mission when designing a logo. Your logo should not only be memorable, but it should also convey the reason your business exists in the first place. Before you go to any graphic designer, whether in house or outsourced, you must go back to the basics and remind yourself “why” and make sure your mission is crystal clear.

What Type of Logo Do I Want?

There are a few different styles you can approach when your logo is in design. Whatever type you choose, you’ll want to make sure it reflects the personality of your business and is memorable to your audience.

Here are four main styles of logos that could help your company stand out:

1. Watermarks

Think Google, Coca-Cola or Absolut Vodka: All three logos are standalone lettering of the company’s name. All have distinctive lettering, color and graphics to represent the brand. You can probably recall each logo as you are reading this right now. In other cases, an abbreviation of a company’s name can work for this style of logo, too.

2. Letterform

Letterform logos are ones that use one or more letters that stand alone as a symbol of the brand. Some of the most famous letterform marks are McDonalds, Chanel and Honda.

3. Pictorial

Also known as iconic marks, pictorial marks are a personification of the brand. Think about it: You know where someone got their coffee from when you see a green Siren with a crown, or what type of computer a stranger is using when you see an apple on the back, and you know what channel you’re watching when you see the iconic peacock. Starbucks, Apple and NBC have all mastered the art of the pictorial.

4. Abstract

Swoosh. What comes to mind? Nike, of course! This is probably the most successful abstract logo out there. Nike has built such a strong visual identification that it is easily recognized around the world. Other prominent abstract designs include logos representing Chase Bank and Sprint.

Which Color(s) Best Represents My Brand?

Become A Know It All Color Psychology In Logos - Eminent SEOA bit of psychology goes into creating the perfect logo for your business. Human beings have a subconscious recognition of colors and their meaning. If you want to appeal to the senses, you must choose the right color that will mesh with a certain neuro-association of your potential customer.

For example, the color red is associated with:

  • Energy
  • Danger
  • Determination
  • Strength

Yellow represents:

  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Cheerfulness.

This might be a time to refer back to your corporate mission and decide what exactly you want your customers to feel or take away when they see your logo.

In considering the color(s) of your design, take shape into account as well – whatever best represents your brand and works in tandem with the colors. Brand logos should produce emotion and communicate your message simultaneously.

How Much Is This Going to Cost Me?

There is a reason why cost was not one of the first questions listed to ask. The reason is that designing a logo isn’t a cut-and-dry process, and there are many questions and steps involved from both the clients’ end as well as the designer’s. Of course, you want to get it right the first time. This is not to say that you will never change your logo, but you should want to get it as perfect as you can the first time around so that as time goes on, you are only making minor tweaks.

If you choose to go with a professional design company, you will spend anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. Instead of one designer working on your project, you will have the benefit of multiple designers working with and for you, which means more creativity and ideas to bring your vision to life.

Don’t Let the Price Tag Discourage You!

If those price figures gave you a mild heart attack, don’t fret. There are options to cut your costs, especially if you are a small business with a small budget. Once you narrow down your options and get a bit more specific with what you want, you can take your ideas to a freelance designer or smaller company that can give you a more accurate quote for your budget.

Expect to pay a minimum of $250, even if you go with the more affordable designer. This is, of course, the lower end of the spectrum and would be for a simple design with two options and about two rounds of revisions. If your design is more complex and requires more detail, you should expect to pay a minimum of $400.

A good designer will include extra services like multiple design options for all merchandise, letterheads, business cards, etc. They will also allow as many revisions as needed to get the job done.

How Long Will This Process Take, and Is It Feasible with My Budget?

When considering cost, you must also be realistic about your budget. If you are spending every last cent of your logo budget on this project, it may be a good idea to hold off until you have more money.

What you pay a designer should be comparable to the time spent on the project. This means that clear communication is key. The more clearly you communicate your vision, the easier it will be to nail it the first go-round. Logo design projects can get extremely difficult when the client and designer have different interpretations of what the design should look like.

Remember, time is money. You certainly don’t want to get stuck with a design you don’t like as well as no money to have it corrected. You reap what you sow. Invest in your business first to enjoy the reward later.

Did I Cover All My Bases?

Many new small business owners make the mistake of not covering all of their bases and researching their competition. Originality matched with your key points and core values are what’s going to make your logo stand out from your competitors. Do your research!

It is imperative that you research the logos of other businesses, especially your competitors, to make sure that yours isn’t the least bit the same. You’ll want to avoid confusing your audience and, even worse, throwing away sales to your competition.

Also, it is wise to take time and consider every space, place, nook and cranny your logo could possibly appear. This could mean:

  • T-shirts
  • Letterheads
  • Pens
  • Windows
  • Billboards
  • Apps
  • Your website
  • Directories
  • Social media
  • Vehicles
  • Cellphone cases
  • Etc.

A photo posted by Eminent SEO (@eminentseo) on

It all depends on what works best for your industry, but you’ll want to consider all possibilities ahead of time. Your logo should translate across multiple avenues of marketing and communicate the same message.

Final Thoughts on Designing a Company Logo

At the end of the day, you want your employees and other to be proud to don your brand. You want your message to be strong and hope that it seeps into the subconscious of all those it comes in contact with. You want to become a household name and make a statement without saying a word.

Designing the perfect logo for your business can be a daunting task and it’s not for the faintest of hearts. Remaining close to your mission and your core values and remembering the “why” is what will help you keep a laser-like focus during the process. Authenticity and transparency are key if you want to create the trust needed to support your brand, so choose wisely.

Need a logo from scratch? Or an update of your current graphic? Eminent SEO can help. We can evaluate your current logo in comparison to your competition and then work closely with you produce a fresh, unique and relevant design. Just call 800.871.4130 to get started, or learn more about our Business Branding Services here.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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The Max, The Myth, The Legend: The Evolution of a Brand Strategy

Every once in a while you have to look back to know where you’re going.

Recently, our whole team revisited a side-by-side-by-side comparison of the three iterations of our brand mascot, Max the Monster.

Max was created in 2010 to be the face of Eminent SEO. Today, he has a huge presence on our social media accounts and our website, including being the first “face” you see when you visit our homepage. The force behind our brand identity, Max is such a big part of our team that he has his own about page on our site. Not to mention, he is also the star of our online store of Eminent SEO-themed apparel and products.

How Max Has Evolved Since 2010

Max Monster Evolution - Eminent SEOOn the surface, the first version of Max isn’t all too different from the current iteration. Looking at the 2010 and 2012 versions, you can tell that Max’s iris began to take up more territory on his lone eye, and that his orange hue got slightly darker as he “aged.” Also, the bag around his eye disappeared, taking away his slightly sleepy look.

The newest (2014) version of Max featured another change to his eyeball – this time involving his pupil – and a fuller set of teeth. Also, his orange tone continued to get darker and he now looks more 3D, as you can tell by looking at his legs and arms. Regarding the teeth, Max now has a much more approachable appearance than the pseudo-menacing previous versions of himself. Somewhere along the line, though, Max began to bulk up, as you can tell by looking at just the 2010 and 2014 versions.

For another comparison of the old and new iterations of Max, check out this tweet we posted recently:

What Max’s Changes Signal for Eminent SEO

It wasn’t just Max changing for the better throughout the last few years, it was us. As Max has bulked up and become more refined, so have we. We’ve tweaked and strengthened our SEO marketing techniques to deliver staggering results to our clients.

Max’s growth since 2010 coincides with our growth as a team. Not only has our staff gotten bigger since then, but our capabilities have expanded as well, helping us become a full-service digital marketing agency. Website hosting, domain registration, blogging, and email and video marketing are just a few of the services we’ve added over the last few years, as we’d argue each plays a role in SEO. When you see Max’s evolution, our hope is that you see it as a sign of Eminent SEO’s growth as a digital marketing agency.

What Max’s Growth Could Mean for YOUR Business

Our valued clients turn to us for all of their digital needs, including new or redesigned logos, brand mascots, websites and more. If you’re interested in adding a brand mascot or your company’s logo simply needs an update, our branding agency will build a custom solution for you. It’s all part of our website and business branding services. We’ll deliver high-quality work and correspond with you throughout the whole process to ensure that the final product is done to your liking.

For help with your brand strategy or any concerns about your online presence, contact us today: 800.871.4130.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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2015 Super Bowl Commercials: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

This entry was posted in Branding, Commercials and tagged , , on by .

Football fans and their uninterested family and friends unite for the Super Bowl each year, why? Well, besides chicken wings and lots of beer, even those who couldn’t care less about the game will get together to watch the commercials.

I personally fall into the second category. While I understand the love for football, it’s just not my thing. However, I LOVE the commercials and I look forward to the event every year for that very reason. Each year companies spend millions of dollars for their chance to give the public a reason to talk about their brand. Some go for humor, some go for sentiment and some even produce some serious (and often controversial) content.

This year was no different.

I took to Twitter to participate in live Tweeting related to the Super Bowl – specifically the ads (and a little other commentary). Each year the online marketing community gets involved and uses hashtags like: #BrandBowl #AdBowl and a new one (at least it’s the first time I’ve seen it) #HashtagBowl. Between the Tweets in my feed and the group I was with, I got a pretty clear picture of what commercials went over well and which ones flopped.

Here is the breakdown:

Let’s start with the bad: The Worst Super Bowl Ad of 2015

It’s pretty obvious who made the worst ad this year. The online census is clear. Sorry Nationwide but come on, do you really think that freaking out parents with childhood death was appropriate for the Super Bowl? I understand this is an important topic… but most people feel like it was in bad taste for this particular event.

Nationwide Insurance: Make Safe Happen

The comments were pretty harsh:

Other Losers:  

Although the response to most ads was somewhat mixed, it’s pretty safe to say that there were some other losers, including:

    • Victoria’s Secret: Despite the beautiful models in their underwear, this ad was a big yawn fest.
      • T-Mobile: Kim Kardashian for DataStash: Supposed to be funny, but ended up mainly as a big, ehhhhhh.
        • Mercedes-Benz: Fable: Beautiful car, but the tortoise and hare idea is a bit overplayed already, dontcha think?
          • Esurance: Say My Name: We love you Heisenberg, but most of us were left wondering “WTF?”.
            • Skittles: Settle It: Skittles has done such a great job with their ads in the past – we were all expecting something a lot better than this.
              • FIAT 500X: The Blue Pill: This one had me at first, but once that blue pill slipped into the FIAT gas tank we were all a little grossed out.

              And, finally for the good: The Best Super Bowl Ads of 2015

              The Tearjerkers:

              Every year there is at least one ad that hits our heart strings, but this year there was an overwhelmingly large amount of ads that were intended to bring on the tears. Admittedly, I am a crier. I cry when the underdog wins, when Oprah causes a celebrity to have an “ah-ha” moment and when my kids give me a homemade card that says “I love you”… so it’s no wonder that more than one commercial made ME cry. But here is what the group had to say:

              Budweiser: Lost Dog: Awwww, a cute puppy, beautiful horses and an old favorite song all in one commercial? *tear*

              Some of our kids really loved the commercial, but it’s for beer so… But, overall it got a pretty good response on the web:

              Coca-Cola: Make it Happy: I liked this ad because it A) raises a good point: there is WAY too much hate on the web and B) acts as a reminder we should all try harder to be kind to each other.

              However, others found it “cheesy” and a lot of the comments online were regarding the brand and the product itself, specifically about Coke causing obesity or something similar:

              What a stupid commercial. Keep poisoning everyone with your toxic high fructose corn syrup.”

              McDonald’s: Pay With Lovin’: The runner up for the best tearjerker of the night.

              Great message (yes, I cried) but unfortunately people still hate McDonald’s:

              “Why not show some love for the animals you confine and kill by the billions each year?  Stop pretending to be “good guys”.

              Still, fans seem to be pretty excited about the idea of free food:

              And, some of us see it for its marketing brilliance:

              “Beautiful, smart and unique concept. A table and I were even talking about it before the super bowl even aired on Saturday because we had heard about it on the radio and paper. Love that they’re continuing to do it Feb 1st – Feb 14th – Ongoing love and PR!”

              Always #LikeAGirl: The clear winner of the tearjerkers this year. If you don’t like this commercial, there’s something wrong with you. The Always marketing people did a fantastic job with a tricky product – particularly for the Super Bowl. A lot of thought went into this one:

              And, yes, as a mother of a teenage girl, I cried… in fact, this one had the biggest impact on my emotions overall. I wanted to run to my daughter and tell her how awesome it is to be a girl and that she can do ANYTHING she wants to in this world.

              Other responses:

              “I loved the #LikeAGirl one because I have 2 daughters (one of which is excelling in martial arts) and a strong woman who don’t do things in the put down way of ‘like a girl’.”

              “The minute they showed the ten year old girls unaffected by gender stereotypes, I started to cry. I started to cry because I was taught that running and throwing like a girl was a bad thing. Stopped running in marathons when I was twelve. Stopped playing softball when I was fifteen. I just thought…I don’t know what I thought. Just know this made me cry! I do remember what it was like. I don’t know why I ever listened!”

              The Funny:

              A note to big product brands: when it doubt, go funny. I get it, funny doesn’t work for everything. However, this IS the Super Bowl and it’s a family event. So, family friendly humor goes over well and doesn’t isolate.

              Bud Light: Real Life PacMan: The group at my house thought this ad was rad. It left us all wanting to play a real life PacMan game.

              I personally was a little disappointed there wasn’t more to the ad after last years EPIC ad with the same premises #UpForWhatever:

              But I still want to play Real Life PacMan.

              Snickers: The Brady Bunch: The runner up for the best funny ad this year. Keeping in line with their other “hangry” commercials, this one spoke to the Brady Bunch lover in us all:

              Many thought the ad was nothing short of perfection: “I doubt we’ll see a #SuperBowl ad that tops Snickers’ with Danny Trejo in The Brady Bunch”

              And, for THE WINNER:

              Mountain Dew Kickstart: Come Alive: The full version came on before kickoff and helped get the party started. Tell me this isn’t funny:

              I don’t know what’s funnier, the guy getting low, the fluffy dog or that deer on the wall… Either way, it was nice to actually laugh out loud (and not be embarrassed to share the moment with my kids). Some comments from on-line: “Best commercial I’ve seen this year! Go ahead. Touch stuff.”

              A Few Honorable Mentions:

              • Microsoft: Braylon O’Neill: Good job, but unfortunately didn’t make the “best” list.
              • T-Mobile: Sarah Silverman & Chelsea Handler for Wi-Fi Calling: I thought it was funny.
              • mophie: All-Powerless: “When your phone dies, God knows what can happen”… Well played, mophie, well played.
              • Squarespace: Super Bowl 2015: Om: This one got mixed reviews, but one person in the office loved it: “I loved the Dreaming with Jeff Bridges by Squarespace ad…cuz I love the Dude!”
              • Dodge: Wisdom: This one also got some mixed reviews. The overall response was it was good, but most couldn’t see the ad and the brand connection.

              In case you missed the Super Bowl (or, maybe were you busy grilling and eating during some of the commercials) click here for a full list of the YouTube videos.

              So, that is it for this year’s #BrandBowl recap.

              What were your favorite and least favorite ads? Did they make our list? Share in the comments below.

              Jenny Stradling

              Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing work in 2005. I'm a {very} busy mom of 4 and I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I love coffee, wine, food and other people who enjoy the adventure of seeking out the best places to eat and drink. In my free time (what's that?) you'll most likely find me studying philosophy and spirituality, cooking for my family or relaxing with a nice glass of wine, a funny movie and the people I love.

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