How to make a logo that’s worth $211 million for your brand

When thinking about how to make a logo that actually works, one of the most obvious answers is to take notes from the pros. The most expensive logo created in the last decade was gasoline giant British Petroleum’s – also known as BPs – logo refresh in 2008. The company partnered with a marketing agency (read: paid them $211 million) to create a new logo in a highly saturated, mature market. The goal was to design something that symbolized the potential of gasoline, BP’s emphasis on green technology, and that helped them stand out from their major competitors such as Exxon and Chevron. The results transformed BP’s traditional green and yellow shield into a starburst, with an updated modern font. Seems simple, right? So why was this fresh design worth $211 million, and how can you make a logo that charges your brand with the same effect? We’re glad you asked. 

WHY ARE LOGOS WORTH SO MUCH TO YOUR ORGANIZATION?

BP isn’t the only company that has invested heavily in logo design. Up and coming organizations or companies trying to refresh their image, such as Pepsi or Accenture, have been known to spend over a million dollars on logo designs as well. Yet, some of the most well known logos, such as Google and Twitter, were designed for less than $15. So, do you need to spend a million to make a million from your logo? We’re going to let you in on a secret: the answer is no. Highly recognizable companies such as Coca-Cola and Nike went through the same logo design process that we recommend to our clients, and now include their logos on their accounting financial statements as “goodwill” assets that are routinely represented in the billions – that’s a b – of dollars because they are so valuable.

The trick is realizing that it isn’t how much you spend on a logo, but how effective it is and how well it complements your brand, that makes a logo valuable. Logos are, quite literally, the face of your company, so they become your most valuable hook when catching your customers’ eyes. BP, Coca-Cola, Google, and Twitter all have easily identifiable logos — so recognizable, in fact, that many consumers can identify these brands with simply their colors alone. If you ask your local Orlando marketing agency representatives how to design a logo that is worth millions, the answer is simply to make sure it’s something people will remember. Logos become an asset to your brand when they trigger continuous, top of mind cognizance about your product or are so recognizable in your category that your customers always think of you before your competition.

HOW TO MAKE A LOGO THAT WORKS FOR YOUR BRAND?

There is no exact “How to Make a Logo That Works” guide (although we wish there was), but there are a few tried and tested rules that can guide your logo design toward success. Taking a page out of Google’s playbook: logo creation doesn’t need to be expensive, but it does need to be effective, which is why we recommend partnering with a local Orlando marketing agency to craft something that will speak to your target audience and adhere to design best practices.

1. Avoid cliches:

We know it can be tempting to use that ultra trendy free font you keep seeing around town, or purchase stock images from the web for your logo because they’re “in” right now, but don’t. Choose a symbol, an image, or font type that is uniquely you. If you are able to find the main image for your logo on Google, your customers will be able to find it too. Certain imagery – such as the infinity symbol, foliage, clasped hands, and globes – may seem like they speak to your brand in a meaningful way, but are so common and overused in the general marketplace that your logo has no chance of hitting that $211 million mark.

2. Typography can be a logo:

Also realize that sometimes a picture isn’t worth a thousand words. We don’t say this often, but you don’t always need an image for your logo. Custom fonts and artistic lettering can be a logo in and of itself. If you’re unsure how to make a logo that will resonate with your customers, the best place to start is often your company name. Your local Orlando marketing agency can help mock up a variety of lettering treatments that capture the tone and vibe of your brand. A clean, text-based logo will help your customers focus on who you are or the services you offer without leaning on cliche images or rolling the dice with abstract artwork a la Nike’s signature swoosh. 

3. Keep it simple:

The most important thing you can do when creating a logo is to keep it simple. Once you create a design, do the “three second test.” Show your logo to a few friends or colleagues for three seconds, then ask them what they remember about the logo and how it makes them feel. If your logo is too complicated, they may have trouble answering that question clearly, so use their responses to guide any tweaks, simplification, or updates to your design. Color, type face, and images all play a part in crafting the perfect first impression, so don’t be afraid to try a few variations until you discover what works.

 

No matter what image or font you choose to represent your company, your logo should be something you love. Remember, your logo often serves as the cornerstone of your brand and can be the starting point for your brand and design guidelines or creative expression. It is a jumping off point for your other marketing initiatives, so don’t rush this critical part of the brand building process. Working with client partners like you has helped us learn how to make a logo that works. Visit us here to learn more about our past experiences building a brand around innovative logo design. Will your name and logo become the next Google or Nike? We want to help you find out.

 

The four things you should never, ever do in business card design

Business card design is not what it used to be. With so many printing options, DIY business card companies, paper thicknesses, foiling, glossing, photography overlays, shapes and sizes, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting to create the most creative or luxurious business card design for your business. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Once you strip away all the bells and whistles, we believe that business card design should fall into one of two categories: simple, sleek and professional or radically creative. In either case, your card needs to clearly display your logo, your contact information, and provide a relevant call to action about your business or brand.

While those three things are all given, there are four business card design trends you should never, ever fall prey to. Below, we share our hit list of business card faux pas and why they are bad for your business.

1. Forget all the text you want to include on your business card design:

Your business card is not the place to teach prospects about your product or services. Overloading your business card design with cramped text or too much information can overwhelm the viewer and detract from the contact information on the card. The primary goal of your business card should be to encourage customers to reach out, surf your website, or give you a call. Leave them wanting more by including a simple catch phrase or invitation for a free consultation. Everything else you should save for your website, blog, or customer brochure.

2. Don’t create something that won’t fit easily into a wallet:

We know that creating a business card that looks like a pack of matches, or going crazy with the die cutter might seem like a cutting edge way to set your business card apart from the competition. The reality is, if you want your prospective customers to remember to give you a call, your business card needs to fit easily inside their wallets. During networking events or daily exchanges, you may trade any number of business cards. While quirky or oddly shaped cards may stand out in the moment, those that don’t easily fit into your prospects’ business folios will likely end up in a pocket (and subsequently the washing machine), at the bottom of a purse, or inside a trash can.

3. Never use QR codes in business card design:

There once was a time when marketers like our Orlando marketing agency team tried to socialize QR codes. The idea was a good one. Simply scan the code to reveal promotions or contact information. The reality is, no matter what anyone tells you, this trend has never (and will never) catch on. Save space on your business card and skip the QR code. No one will use it anyway, so you’re missing an opportunity to put that same information or promotion on the card. The QR code itself is also distracting and can be a major detraction from your design.

4. Avoid generic fonts:

If you have seen and can easily recognize the font on your business card before (think: Comic Sans, Papyrus, or Copperplate) you shouldn’t be using it. There are tons of free fonts available for download if you choose to create your own business card design, and any good marketing agency has access to paid and free options they can incorporate on your behalf. Using overplayed or highly exposed fonts makes your business card look less professional or may create an unintentionally negative association between your business and another business using the same font. The same goes for generic images in lieu of a customized logo. The small investment in a new font or personalized logo will go a long way in building a lasting, meaningful brand identity that will help customers associate your products and services with your unique value proposition rather than someone else’s.

For more inspiration on how to design a perfect business card or how to use creative elements to build your brand, visit our creative services page.

Stunning renditions of the Game of Thrones cover art

At BIGEYE, we pride ourselves on the opportunity to promote personal development and growth through curiosity. In particular, we love to give our creatives around here a lot of wiggle room when working with us. For that reason, whenever we have graphic design interns, we encourage them to take on a semester project, in addition to all of the awesome client work they get to dig their teeth in to. The semester project allows for interns to express themselves through a visual medium of choice. They’re asked to reinterpret something known to pop or local culture in a way that speaks to their creative abilities. Through mentorship with our awesome Creative Director and other members of the design team, they learn to shape and sharpen their creative approach. After about a few months and plenty of hard work – BAM! We get superb renderings of staples in popular culture.
Last semester a particularly savvy intern, Candace Hoeckley, decided to take on a redesign of the Game of Thrones book cover series. Unless you’ve been living in a yurt or have recently awoken from a decade-long coma, you’re probably familiar with the multi-million dollar franchise. George R. R. Martin’s five (soon to be six) book storyline chronicles the fictitious contention amongst the houses of Westeros for the Iron Throne. Hence the namesake Game of Thrones. View Candace’s striking design scheme below:

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Simplistic, intelligent design intermingled with the element of gore in this recreation of the book covers, each one reflects the content and title of every installment. The common themes of blood and snow are called upon to represent the forthcoming storyline. As many Game of Thrones fans know, the fight for the kingdom of Westeros is a cold, bloody one. As you go through each image, you will see the sparse grass disappearing under the cover of snow. This parallels the storyline’s dark, growing ominous character and the longstanding civil war.

The newly envisioned covers serve as an incredible testament to George R. R. Martin’s genius and that of our stellar intern. And, if you think can’t get enough  – trust us, we feel the same way. We’ll all just have to wait for that last two installments to round out the entire series.

Check out more of our work here. Happy scrolling!

3 ways to keep your company culture in a growing business

Growing advertising agencies, tech companies, and startups build and maintain great talent by creating a company culture that entices and engages the best employees. If you’re a forward-thinking creative marketing agency, employees may enjoy a relaxed dress code and flexible hours. Tech savvy millennials may enjoy the freedom to work remotely, collaborate in a communal space, and spend time exploring their professional passions. Giving team members individual attention and shifting policies and procedures to sustain your culture is easy when there are only a handful of passionate, dedicated employees to please. But what happens when your company begins to grow? As we’ve flexed and adapted to our growing company size, we’ve learned a few tips and tricks to keep the culture alive along the way. Here are our top three recommendations on how to stay true to your roots while growing.

1. Understand what values your brand embodies:

As your company grows, take time to step back and evaluate the type of values your organization embraces most naturally. Growing advertising agencies often put a premium on creativity and results; but push this notion farther. What inspires your employees? What types of clients do you gravitate toward? Whether your ideals center around collaboration, pushing boundaries, helping others, or flexibility, knowing what your company represents at its core will help you craft policies around those ideals to sustain the culture that attracted your first employees.

2. Put policies in place that make your company culture a procedure:

Once you clearly understand your organizational values, you can begin putting policies in place that protect your culture. Ensure these policies are enforceable and measurable (i.e., employees can spend 10% of their time on their creative portfolios). It’s also crucial that your employees have the authority to act on these policies across the board. For example, if your culture embraces a flat decision structure, team members at all levels of the organization need to be able to make changes within their sphere of influence.

3.  Know the market:

Lastly, pressure test the policies you’ve put in place against the market. Although your company culture may be unique to you, other growing advertising agencies or startups may share similar values. Consider how they foster a positive culture, even if it isn’t identical to the environment you’re trying to create. Understanding how other companies are treating their employees will help you understand what your top talent is looking for in terms of culture, benefits, compensation, and lifestyle. This will help you protect and retain talent, as well as encourage longer tenure within your organization that will strengthen and build on the culture that already exists.

Get a feel for our BIGEYE culture by clicking here. We promise only the best of vibes.

Market the rainbow: The science of colors in branding

The science of colors in branding has long been up for debate. Many academics insist color affinity is born from personal experience, background, and individual preference rather than proven branding or marketing psychology. Yet, according to ColorCom, up to 92.6% of peoples’ perception about a brand relates to their feelings about that logo’s colors. And 80% of brand recognition relies on color association according to the blog Color Matters. Although the reason “why,” may be unclear, it is clear that brand color schemes can profoundly influence your target audience’s ability to remember and relate to your product. Our breakdown of the rainbow reveals what your brand color schemes say about you and your organization.

Red

Netflix. Target. CNN. EXXON. Coca-Cola. Time. These brands’ logos are dominated by a bold, bright red. At the very top of the rainbow and one of three primary colors, red channels a vivacious energy, and frank, action-oriented vibe. Many branding psychologists believe the color red inspires action by creating a sense of urgency and importance. For lifestyle brands such as Target or Coca-Cola, red translates to a desire to consume, while media channels such as Time, Netflix or CNN, benefit from the color’s bias toward action.

Orange

Orange is one of the less popular colors in branding and brand design. The color is more frequently used as a highlight rather than a dominant marketing campaign color. We most often see orange on “try,” or “buy,” buttons, and other calls to action thanks to the color’s warm, inviting tone (just begging to be clicked). However, many psychologists believe orange carries some of the anxiety-laden undertones found in yellow, and may serve as a better caution or warning sign than as a conversion catalyst. Organizations associated with a degree of ruggedness, such as Harley Davidson or Home Depot, benefit most from this duel psychological profile. However, more cheerful brands, such as Blogger and Nickelodeon, can also leverage the sunny hue’s tendency to inspire happiness and warmth.

Yellow

Because yellow is one of the easiest colors for the eye to distinguish (which is why many fire trucks and ambulances are yellow), brands use this color to grab consumers’ attention. The color itself has duel associations: some schools of thought align yellow with feelings of warmth and happiness, while other brand design experts associate yellow with anxiety and stress, due to the strain it puts on the eye. A wide variety of brands – from Hertz and Yellow Pages to Best Buy and IKEA – rely on the color’s bright “look at me” vibe to drive an unforgettable, top-of-mind reference in their respective industries.

Green

Depending on the tone, green works as a jack-of-all-trades. It’s one of the few colors in branding that carries a wide variety of connotations. Emotions associated with green range from jealousy, money and lust, to zen, environmental consciousness, and good health. The psychology behind green-dominated brand design leverages the color’s versatility. As a non-primary color, green can skew more yellow, more blue, or even more red (in an earthy translation of this refreshing, leafy color). The result gives green more flexibility and personal association potential than many other colors, so it’s no surprise that a variety of brands from contradicting industries have latched onto this color. Think: Starbucks, GREEN Certification, Whole Foods, BP Mobile, XBOX, and Holiday Inn.

Blue

Blue is the most popular color among both men and women, making it a popular, tried and tested choice within brand color schemes (hello Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Skype, Ford, Dell, Walmart, and GE). Blue’s cool undertones are often associated with peace, stability, and serenity, which reduces some of the hard sales associations that colors such as yellow or red may inspire. Because blue’s sense of peace and stability easily translate to security, many corporate and financial institutions rely on the earnest attitude conveyed through a blue logo.

Violet

Purple’s swirling blend of red and blue stimulate feelings of royalty, mysticism, and elegance. Although many brands shy away from this color because of the heavy female to male bias, purple bridges the gap between “quirky” and “regal” with ease. As a result, it’s often used on female-centric branding campaigns (such as Revlon and Hallmark) or whimsical, child-friendly brands (such as Willy Wonka Chocolate or the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization). The color’s difficulty to classify makes it a popular choice among brands intentionally shying away from the mainstream bias, such as the LGBT community, and many yoga companies or holistic wellness centers.

Psychology of colors in branding

Whether your customers respond to the marketing psychology behind colors in branding, or they simply react to the socially constructed responses that growing-up in the U.S. has conditioned them to feel, doesn’t matter. As Greg Ciotti, from Help Scout, explains: “it’s far more important for your brand’s colors to support the personality you want to portray instead of trying to align with stereotypical color associations.” The proof is there. People respond to colors. It’s your job to choose a color that resonates with your brand, as well as the message you hope to convey. Whether you call it psychological brand design or simply good taste, colors can have a profound impact on your bottom line – and your brand’s recognition in the consumer marketplace.

In need of some colorful, thought-provoking and creative inspiration? Contact our team of creative design professionals to help you select the perfect palette, with a host of services to compel your target audience to engage with your brand.

Instagram in the OR: Using social media to bring comfort to others

I never thought when making the switch from nursing school student to an advertising major in college that I would have the opportunity to witness an open-heart surgery on a small child. But that is exactly the experience I had last month. BIGEYE had the honor to be asked by our client, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, to produce a video about their cardiology program. As part of that video, our crew was graciously allowed in the operating room to witness an amazing surgical team, lead by Dr. William DeCampli, repair little 3-year-old Emily Stone’s heart.
We literally got to participate in history being made. The hospital broke ground by trying something relatively unheard of in healthcare: using social media to share a live surgical operation with the entire world. The hospital posted images and updates of the surgery every 10 minutes through the photo sharing application Instagram, pushing the updates out via their Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as their blog. For me, it definitely brought new meaning to a photo app that I primarily use to apply artistic filters to pictures of my food.

The response was overwhelming as the world watched and cheered on little Emily with amazing words of encouragement. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to be so openly allowed into a world that is usually very closed off to the public. Pushing the envelope will always bring on a slew of questions: Why did they do this? Does social media go too far? What role can social media play in healthcare? The very nature of social media encourages debate and provides a portal for honest discussions.

Mike Schmidt, director of digital media at Arnold Palmer Hospital, said it best: “Healthcare is behind the rest of the world in being able to tell stories well through social media. There are thousands of amazing things that happen here at the hospital each and every day, and we want to share that with our community.”

Advertising, taglines, slogans and pictures of happy patients all have their place in healthcare. They play a role in communicating to the public a hospital’s message: who they are and what they stand for. But what about showing, not just telling, what really goes on? There may not be anything “pretty” about surgical procedures, but they are real, raw, and honest. We’re talking about humans saving other human’s lives. Arnold Palmer Hospital and Emily’s family were ready to take that leap by sharing this life-saving procedure with the world. The fact is, surgeons and healthcare professionals alike live and breathe this every day, and that’s what has a true impact on their patient’s lives.

Social media is here to stay and will continue to evolve and change. Yes, seeing pictures of a beating heart on your Facebook timeline may not be for everyone, but I do commend the hospital on using a tool that we are all familiar with in a new and interesting way in order to keep people informed of what’s going on behind the curtain. It breaks down barriers and can remove the mystery of the “unknown” for families that may be going through something very scary, hearing their child has  congenital heart disease.

On a very important side note, Emily is doing well. It was a joy to get to know her and her family throughout this process. She’s a brave little girl!

You can see how the story unfolded on the hospitals blog, Illuminate.  Warning: some of the pictures are graphic in nature.

http://myilluminateblog.com/livesurgery

Written by, Laura Adams, BIGEYE Creative Account Manager