Why visuals matter (inspired by my own on-a-whim logo re-design)

Hello hello! It’s been a few weeks. I’ve been consumed with some extra-curricular projects I’m part of – specifically, my effort, along with 12 other Torontonians to sponsor a Syrian Refugee family. This is us if you’re curious to know more. The fundraising activity I was responsible for – an online auction – wrapped up last week and I just sorted through and finished mailing out over 50 prizes. AND THEN on Friday we found out we’ve been matched with a family. It’s been a whirlwind of the best kind.

So there’s that, plus the usual flurry of holiday/end-of-year activity: meetings, workshops, dinners, social events. I think we can all agree it’s a crazy time of year.

In the midst of all this, I decided I was sick of my logo and needed a change. It felt exactly the way you do when you decide you need a haircut. From that moment on, your current hair drives you nuts, and you have trouble thinking about anything but how desperately you want to do something about it.

So I had a logo designed inexpensively, not expecting much, but hoping the exercise would cure me of the itch – at least temporarily. Turns out, I was very pleasantly surprised. You all told me on Facebook that you liked it too. So I decided it was a keeper.

In case you missed it at the top of my site (in which case you may need another cup of coffee, my friend), here it is:

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And, for the sake of comparison, the old:
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I remember loving my logo when I first had it created four years ago. It felt official and professional. But my business has changed so much since then that the logo I once loved so much no longer felt right. It didn’t reflect me, what I do, or who I do it for. I wanted something fairly un-corporate, that suited me and my little biz a little better. And this new logo of mine hits all those marks – right down to the fact that it’s my personal favourite colour (glorious turquoise).

This little exercise has been a good reminder that your logo is a really important part of your business identity. It sets the tone and gives a people a feeling, in addition to the concrete info it conveys (the words). I see the vlogo and other visual elements of a business (logo, website, business cards, storefront, etc) as the equivalent of non-verbal cues in spoken communication; whether we like it or not, they heavily influence how our words are interpreted.

So it’s really important that your logo and all your other visuals are professional, reflect you, and appeal to the ideal customers you’re trying to attract. 

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to create a new logo these days. If budget allows, I always recommend working with a local designer in person. But if it doesn’t, there are platforms like 99 Designs and Fiverr that can get the job done for less. Be careful though – sometimes you get lucky on these platforms (as I did), but other times you don’t. Your odds of success are best if you know what you’re looking for and can articulate preferences up-front.

Tell me – do you like YOUR logo? Why or why not? Any plans for a new one in 2016? (While you’re at it, feel free to tell me what you think of mine too!)