Do online businesses need a logo?

I keep getting emails asking the same question: “Do I really even need a logo? All I want is a header for my website.”

Maybe you are asking yourself the same question. Why go through the whole logo creation process and cost when your business name (in a stellar font, of course) can just be part of your header?

To answer those questions, I want you to stop for just a minute and dream a little about your business.

You have big places to go. You are going to be a business that markets itself. You’ll need an opt-in, an ebook, a Twitter background, a Facebook landing page and a YouTube channel. You’ll start speaking at conferences, hosting your own retreats and writing a New York Times bestseller. You are going to get out of that corner bedroom/office and want a business card to hand out.

In living that dream you’ve outgrown your header and now need a logo.

Why? Because that little JPEG header file isn’t flexible enough to help you with the creative aspects of all those marketing plans. Your header was created to fit a certain horizontal space on your website and nothing more.

Your JPEG header can’t tell you what font the designer used to make your name look so sharp, it can’t be scaled up to make a sign for your booth at a conference and it won’t print nicely on your business card.

Unless you’ve created the header yourself and or received the source files and other information from your designer, you’ll find yourself without the files and information you need to move ahead as quickly as you could with all of your marketing plans.

So, “Yes, you really do need a logo.”

But, what does that mean? Should you stop everything and hire a designer to create you a full graphic logo with a brand mark?

You can certainly do that. Or you can hire a designer to create a typography based logo for you. Or you can pick out a font you like and always format your business name in that font in your marketing materials.

If you decide to hire a designer here are the source files and information you’ll want to receive as part of the logo design package:

  1. Logo in color & black/white vector format (.eps, or .ai) for use in printed pieces (business cards/brochures) and signage (where your logo needs to scale without losing resolution).
  2. Logo in raster format (.tif, .jpg, .gif) for use on your website, email marketing and other multimedia.
  3. Logo in transparent format (.png) for use on your website, email marketing and other multimedia.
  4. Information on the colors used in your logo (this may include: Pantone colors, CMYK values, RGB values or hex codes).
  5. Information about the fonts used in your logo (name of font, where to buy).

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5 Responses to Do online businesses need a logo?

  1. Jenn Morgan March 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    I love the way you put the logo in perspective with the bigger vision of the business. If you are on to hotter prospects, your design should reflect the direction your business is heading…

    • christie March 7, 2011 at 10:26 am #

      Thanks Jenn – Yes, I think the trick is to always be thinking about what you want to do next and what you need now in order to do that. For small business owners to think in terms of advertising/marketing campaigns. When campaigns are built around concepts, the artwork needs to support the concept and all the different applications of the concept — from business cards to billboards.

  2. sherold September 16, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Christie – excellent blog. Way to help people catch up to their dream;)

    • christie September 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      Thank you Sherold! It’s all about the big picture!

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