Look at any leading radio station and they will have a logo – every company has a logo. And not just any logo. Their logo will feature the colours it uses in all its marketing material, be eye catching, legible and versatile (scaleable).
Company branding is interlinked with promotion because when you promote your station you need your promotions to feature the colours of your logo / brand and reflect the type of station you are.
And once you have a logo, you need to put in place a set of guidelines on its usage. You don’t want anyone twisting its proportions so it doesn’t look right. Or altering its colours, adding other elements because someone woke up this morning thinking that adding a shadow would make it look better.
You might also want it to work well as a black & white image (known as greyscale in the publishing industry). Some colours look the same shade of grey when converted from colour to black & white (greyscale) – so if your think you might to use a greyscale version bare that in mind.
Ideally your logo will be no more than two colours plus black or white. Keep it simple. When it comes to logo design I say; simplify, simplify, simplify.
Once you have a logo near competition, wait a day, look at it again and decide if it can be simplified further. They key is that it needs to be as flexible as possible when it comes to using it.
It’s got to appear on your website, email newsletters, promotional items such as clothing (caps and T-shirts), posters, car stickers…. It has to work at all sizes; small and large.
Where to start?
Study the logos of the large firms and understand their simplicity. McDonalds. BP. Ford. Shell. Coke. These firms have retained their corporate colours and fonts for eons.
McDonalds just uses the letter M. Shell Oil uses an icon of a sea shell. But these firms have been around for a long time and so have had plenty of time to establish their logos and branding with repeated usage (their logos have changed over the years, but not that you’d notice).
For net broadcasters I think the logo should show the web address. That means your web address needs to be is as short as possible. One station I know has an LPFM transmitter and so his web address is the frequency: 107fm.co.nz. The station I used to run was called JustJazz.nz. It helps when the URL identifies the output of your station in this case.
The point here is that if your logo is seen somewhere that doesn’t feature a link back to your website (because it is on a cap or a car sticker), then people will see the URL and know the website to go to. Your URL is your brand.
A logo showing just the station name might not be enough, particularly if your only means of broadcasting is via the net.
In fact you might want to buy a domain name first and have the availability of a suitable web domain dictate your station’s name. Backwards I know, but we are in net radio – so the website is key.
Yes, I know – you do not need a website to broadcast net radio. But listeners and advertiser like it as an anchor. “To find out more visit our website…”.
Finding a cool dot com domain will take time and you will have to be creative, but there are dozens of website suffixes to choose from.
When selecting colours, ask yourself – why this colour. Why not another colour. Then, why these two colours?
There is a psychology to colours. Subconsciously they mean different things.
Certain colours work well together, while other do not. So Google ‘colour combinations’ as there are lots of websites for designers that illustrate the best colour combos.
Perhaps use colours that reflect your environment. If you are near the coast with a good beach then golden brown and blue would be fitting. In the country, use green. In the city… well anything goes. Maybe the music you mainly play will dictate the colours you use.
Put a lot of thought into your logo. Once it’s been signed off by the team – stick with it. Don’t tinker. And ensure it is used as often as possible when communication with listeners and advertisers.
Build the brand.