Think about some of your favorite companies or businesses that are known for their success. We’re betting that if you closed your eyes right now, you could think of their logos too. As a financial advisor, your logo is not only the first thing prospects and clients notice, but if it leaves a good impression, it can stick with them for years to come.
The colors, font, and design of your logo speaks for itself to help explain what your firm stands for. It signifies your brand identity and should be everywhere and on everything related to your business. This is why it is so important for advisors to think seriously about their logo and make sure they get it right. We talked with Heidi Pernett, Twenty Over Ten‘s logo designer, on what makes a good logo.
Why is designing a professional logo essential to a business, especially in the financial services industry?
If there is an industry that does not enjoy much popularity, it is the financial industry. However it’s a sector acknowledges the importance of investment in their social presence and most importantly, in conveying trust. Trust and authenticity can be best portrayed through brand development and therefore a logo that best represents the firm. Designing the correct logo is important because it should embody all the qualities of your advisory firm and will eventually generate your brand identity.
What are some of the key questions that you ask a client in order to determine the direction to go with their logo?
The initial task is to understand the firm’s background, mission and vision – “What is the message the firm aims to reflect?” An entity with a clear definition of its goals and aspirations makes the process a lot more effective.
We proceed by defining the potential customer – “Who is your target audience?” Defining the target audience not only helps me, the logo designer, but it also helps your web designer to best communicate and define your brand.
When a financial firm has been too long with the same logo I advise to update it, instead of completely changing it. That is UNLESS they answer yeas to any of these questions – “Has your firm name changed? Do you want your firm to be perceived differently? Are you entering a completely new target market?”
Where do you pull inspiration from when you’re generating initial ideas for logo designs?
From the information provided. I grab my sketchbook and start drawing from the moment the financial advisor and I are having our first conversation. Later, I do a research on the possible competitors in that specific niche, and avoid composition of shapes and color combinations that resemble another firm.
The financial services industry in particular is flooded with clichés when it comes to branding and logo design. How do you steer away from clichés to ensure you nail the true meaning behind someone’s firm?
Sometimes a financial advisor comes to me with their own ideas, and some of these ideas sound like this: “For my logo I want a tree with dollar signs instead of leaves.” In some cases these cliches work for their niche, in other cases, not.
The hardest task designers face is most likely trying to help the client see that what will work for their firm is not necessarily what they “like.” In the case of a client requesting his/her idea to be executed, I transform their idea in many new and abstract ways in order to not get a typical result, while remaining true to the message and essence they want to communicate.
What would you say is a reasonable time frame to create the best logo?
Once the client and I are clear on how the firm should be represented, it takes about 7 to 10 days to provide the first draft. This time frame is necessary and it’s dedicated for research and development. By day three, 10 to 20 possible logos have been developed and by day six, these are narrowed down to three. After this first draft, a client will either choose one or proceed with a revision. The length of this process varies depending on the changes clients request.
How do you measure the success of your logo designs?
In order to create successful brands, I study psychology of images and symbols, the theory of color and shapes, and how these are perceived through different demographics. A logo can’t be successful by itself. To be a true asset to client, it must be complemented by a brand-driven website and marketing that together reinforce the message you hope convey. I may be biased because I love working for this company, but success becomes measurable with Twenty Over Ten.
Well we’re lucky to have you on our team Heidi!
What are 3 of the biggest logo mistakes advisors should avoid?
- Before development: Ignoring the target audience. The logo is not meant to represent you as a person but to represent the value your entity provides to your niche.
- During development: Wanting the logo overly complex. The use of too many details and colors limits the adaptability of the logo.
- After the logo is finalized: Distorting the logo. Whether it’s a change of font or a stretch during scaling, the brain notices this changes, and the inconsistency builds a subconscious distrust. Always request help from a professional when a new version or specific dimension is needed!
Click through the slideshow below to see some of Heidi’s recent work for financial advisors.
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