Advertising campaigns start with a unified theme but things don’t stop there.
Advertising campaigns start with a unified theme but things don’t stop there. A professional looking campaign also has a look that is instantly recognizable, so that even if people don’t take time to read the ads they still have that name recognition that reminds them that the business is there. Definitely neon signs work in all ways for advertising of business.
Every business needs a logo - a way of presenting your business campaign that conveys personality and hints at price range. It needs to be distinctive - but readable. It needs to be clear enough to fit on a business card and leave plenty of room for additional and needed information. And it should convey both the personality and price range of the business.
This begins with choosing a type face. As a rule, the thicker the type face the less expensive the service or product will appear; it conveys a sense of bargains to be found, whereas fine, thin-lined type tends to look expensive or to convey a sense of exclusivity. The same principle holds true for script in general – the more it looks like handwriting with a bold pen the less expensive the look. But there are many scripts that are quite elegant and convey a sense of formality and expensiveness. Study some ads for businesses whose image and price range are well known and try to get a sense of this.
For instance, Wal-Mart uses big, bold letters, while Nieman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue use fine type. Notice also that Wal-Mart ads are filled with many items for sale while the latter stores may feature only one item and may not even mention the price. This will be important later when it is time to develop an advertising format.
If the product or service naturally attracts a well-heeled crowd who enjoy that feeling of being able to afford the best, go for an expensive look with the logo. If the business attracts middle crowd neither rich nor poor who look for quality but not luxury a medium thickness type will serve well. If the target audience is made up of bargain shoppers use the heavy type that screams “Low prices here.”
Logos can include a graphic design element – for example a florist may choose to dot an I with a tiny flower, or a business that is often referred to by its initials may have a graphic representation of those initials next to the full business name. But once again – keep it simple. Imagine not only fitting it onto a business card but in the return address area of an envelope – or even on an advertising pen to be handed out to customers.
Using the Logo
Once you have a logo, use it everywhere. The sign on the building, the sign on any vehicles, all print ads, the web page, business cards, flyers – any place where the business name can go. Do not change it just because some co-op advertiser offers you a free sign if you share it with their company logo. They will use their logo – not that of the business they co-op with.
Consider color. Color is easily affordable on a web site, on the business signage, stationery and business cards. Is there a discernible color scheme at the place of business? If so, choose a color for the logo that comes from the decor. Is there a color that seems natural to the nature of the business, such as green for a landscaper? If so, use that wherever there is an opportunity for color and stick to it. If there isn't any current color that predominates in the business choose one that suits the business personality and stick with it. Consistency is not just a virtue in advertising. It's a necessity if you want name recognition.
A logo is a key part of a business’s identity and if used consistently becomes recognizable at a glance.
Logos and Tag Lines
The campaign theme or tag line should go along with the logo, either below it or just above it. The tag identifies a business as “the place for. . .” whether that is a place to bargain hunt or to find exotic treasures or to find friendly service with a smile. The promise that a business is making to the public needs to be associated with the name of that business, so that eventually the name and promise are inextricably intertwined in the public mind.
The tag line should be in a different type face from the logo, but once again, an easily readable one that is the right thickness for the image that needs to be conveyed. One easy rule is to choose a sans serif type face (Like that of this article) for one, and a serif type like that found in a newspaper column for the other.
Of course, use common sense – the tag may not fit on the sign – although it could fit on the store window. It belongs on the business cards, business stationery and sales slips, all print ads, right below the logo on your web page, on the company vehicle, etc.
Logos, Tags and Target Audiences
The look of the logo and the words of the tag line are conveying a message to the public about not only what the business does but what its image and price range are. So consider the target audience carefully before choosing.
For them, is the business perceived as a necessity? A luxury? Are they typically middle income people looking to spend wisely but who can afford a few luxuries? Or are they bargain hunters (even people with very high incomes can often fall into this class.)
Is the business attracting the target audience it should, or could it expand its customer base with an image tweak? Talk to present customers and try to get a sense of their perceptions. Then start looking at type faces and choose one that speaks for the business image that best works for the desired target audience.