Good Design IS Good Business Update Banner

                                                                                                                  Oct. 1, 2013 / Issue #11

Are You Making These
Common Logo Mistakes?

7 Easy Ways To Know If It’s
Time To Update Your Logo

How It's Done with Before & After Examples

Written by Mike Hamers, Lightspeed 
Edited by Kate Hamers, Lightspeed and Kris Green, Turn Words 2 Money

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
– Will Rogers

Is your logo saying what you want it to say? Often your logo is a potential new client’s first impression of you. Does that logo clearly identify what solutions you provide, who you are, and your business approach? Does it look modern and fresh? Or classic and strong? Or chaotic and uninspired? As a small business you can be quickly responsive to industry changes and trends. A well-crafted logo can be updated effectively as well to reflect new times, new innovations, and new solutions.

"Before & After" Examples of Successful Transformations
Several “Before & After” logo examples show how well-executed logo updates make a significant difference in connecting to your target audience..These examples demonstate clearly how changing from the original image to the updated design:

   • Clarifies the company business
   • Supports the company’s stated mission
   • Creates an almost iconic image
   • Has the logo support the overall message
   • Is fresher and more appealing

So, how do you know if a new logo, or logo enhancement makes sense for your business?

The 7 Critical Questions  

1. Is Your Logo Easily Identifiable?

Do the colors, fonts, and style elements you have on your logo make your business quickly recognizable? If your desired customers don’t notice you, how will they remember you! Updating your logo can make your business more eye-catching and improve its memory value.

According to, a logo is “a symbol or design of an organization. It is a design that is used by an organization for its letterhead, advertising material, and signs as an emblem by which a company is recognized.”  A “logo” then can be a symbol or shape like the “golden arches” of McDonald’s or the Nike “swoosh.”

A logo can also be a color such as the iconic red and white of Coke, the orange of Home Depot, or the pink insulation of Corning. In addition, a particular font or custom font can serve as a logo as well. The “Disney font” is a classic example.

So what is your logo? Does it say what you want said about your company? Is your logo appealing to your desired clients?

      – Click here to see entire Sweet Greens font –

2. Can Your Logo Stand Alone and be Understood at a Glance?

Take a close look at your logo from your preferred customer’s point of view. When you see that logo do you instantly know what the company stands for or the solutions they provide? Does the design appeal to you?  

As Jack Welch, former CEO of G.E., likes to say, you want to "...pull yourself off the pile.”  Well-constructed logos help you stand out from a crowd.

How does your logo make you feel when you look at it objectively? Logos have the power to create an emotional response. Well-executed logos can have a powerful effect on the way customers and potential customers view your product, service or company. A great logo may look simple but there is nothing simple about creating effective logos.

3. Is Your Logo Relevant To Your Brand?

Your logo is only one piece of your market place brand; one part of your branding strategy. Your logo and brand messages must be consistent. Before you work on your logo, you need to know the values and goals of your company. Plus, your logo should reflect professionalism and growth, no matter where your company is in its evolution.

Use a logo design to effectively communicate a message that attracts your target audience. An effective logo can create confidence in your brand while differentiating your company from your competitors. Does your logo satisfy this objective?

Communication Technology Professionals logo

Ask Doctor Garland line of supplements gets rebranded as Body As Doctor in 2013.

4. Does Your Logo Identify What Makes You Unique?

Starting a business can be expensive. Some people just starting out cut corners on logos and advertising materials. Many opt for free clipart or templates found on big printing company sites. Is your current logo generic? Or have you taken the time to make your logo accurately reflect your business.

   • What makes you unique?
   • Do you use local vendors in all you do?
   • Are you stepping into the family business?
   • Do you come to your clients when others in your field do not?
   • Do you work with women (or men) only?

The style and symbology of your logo needs to suitably portray your business purpose to both new and old customers. “Good enough IS good enough ONLY IF your standards are high enough!” If you tell your prospects that your business is excellent, your logo needs to be excellent to reflect the sterling qualities of your business as well.

5. Is Your Logo Scalable?

There are so many media options available these days. Will your logo still be recognizable and understandable in all media types—print, computer screen, phone screen, business cards, etc.?

Your logo must be recognizable and your text legible in all sizes from billboards and trade booth to banners, brochures and business cards, pens and key chains, and in print as well as computer and phone screens. Your logo needs to be versatile to clearly and accurately present your business, everywhere it is seen.

Turn Words 2 Money logo redesign

6. Is Your Logo Still Fresh?

Specific trends for logo design, as well as technology and what is available is constantly changing.  As new technologies like Web 2.0, Waves, and Organic 3D enter the market using those techniques can make your logo look fresher and eye-catching. Appropriately updating your logo can portray your company as innovative and modern.

7. Are Your Layouts Powerful and Professional?

When you use your logo, are your layouts powerful
or do the layouts detract from your message. Your logo serves many purposes. To name a few, your logo:
   • Symbolizes your business
   • Provides a quick reminder to viewers
   • Embodies your business mission
   • Connects you to your community
   • Is part of your branding strategy

Business cards are especially susceptible to poor layout decisions.
They have a small space but offer a large message. In some ways your business card may be the biggest billboard you have – and could be your best investment in gaining an edge in an ever-competitive marketplace.

But trying to do too much with your business card design is a common challenge. Keep the message your logo is supporting front and center. Avoid too many colors, font types, font sizes, and other attention grabbing distractions.

My Logo Needs Help! Now What?

Your logo design is critical to your company message. Using a graphic design professional often makes sense. When considering a design professional, look for someone who:
   • Asks lots of questions to understand your company goals and mission
   • Has existing work to show you
   • Has references you can call and speak with
   • Is part of professional graphic design associations
   • Has experience in the medium you plan to use
   • Has experience in creating sizable designs (including vectors) and optimized images
   • Understands your purpose, your content, and how to bring that to your customers
   • Is a pleasure to work with   – MH

Let me know if you are interested in a:
    – Comprehensive "Brand Audit"
    – FREE 30-Minute Coffee Critique of your current logo and branding
    – Price quote on full rebranding or design of your of your company logo

       To Your Success, Mike Hamers

Mike Hamers is an award-winning graphic designer, illustrator and author who lives and works just outside Boulder, CO in a suburb called Niwot. He has been the owner of Lightspeed Design for 23 years. During that time he has won over 20 national and international awards for this logo design, stationery, packaging and font designs.

Mike has had his illustrations in Wired magazine and brochure design work in "The Little Book of Layouts: Good Design and Why It Works".  Mike enjoys working with all size companies – from solopreneur's startups to large national companies. His broad experience crosses most industries including bio- and nano-science, biomedical devices, technology and manufacturing, software, foodservice, and more. Mike's comprehensive design and illustration portfolio is viewable at
Mike Hamers, Owner of Lightspeed Commercial Arts, Designer and Illustrator

     To Read Past Issues of the Newsletter – Link to Index

Get help with all your graphic design needs — Call if you have
any questions, suggestions, or wish to schedule a free consultation:

Mike Hamers' cell: 303-527-1222 or email:

Read what others are saying > Testimonials

More Award-Winning Logos (pdf)click here  Link to Logo Design pdf

More Business Cards (pdf) click here  Link to Logo Design pdf

 Online Portfolio >

Lightspeed is committed to meeting your marketing objectives creatively.

We develop fresh concepts and innovative ideas that are directly on point to your target market – exciting and creative work that engages the customer and closes the sale.

We give you what you want, on time and within budget.


Editing and Proofing by
Kris Green,
  Turn Words 2 Money

Link to C3 Writing, a quality writing and editing service company




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