Not straying too far from the crowd may feel safer than developing an innovative graphic. Don’t be fooled. It’s not. If you want your audience to connect with your law firm, your logo needs to pop from the clutter.
You’ve been using the same logo for years. Meanwhile, your law firm has grown to the point that it’s virtually unrecognizable – new people, new office, new everything. How do you decide if your logo from the early days represents your firm today? Should you care?
Our law firm clients don’t usually begin with clarity about how, or if, they should proceed with a new logo, even if it looks that way post-launch. It’s only after some discussion about their goals that we are able to assess whether or not their vision and values are being supported by their logo. As a simplistic example, without even touching on colour, font, icons and layout, a firm that prides itself on being approachable wouldn’t be aligned with a logo comprised of hard, solid edges. Such a treatment would be expected to stir up associations with boundaries rather than accessibility.
If you’re trying to decide if a new logo should be your next priority, test your current logo against our checklist of five law firm logo essentials.
Five law firm logo essentials:
#1 Be original – If you scan the legal sector for logos, you may notice that it includes a rather limited range of design styles. Perhaps because not straying too far from the crowd feels safer than developing an innovative graphic. Don’t be fooled. It’s not. If you want your audience to connect with your firm, your marketing needs to pop from the clutter. Starting with your logo.
#2 Convey meaning – Your logo is the first thing people see on any of your marketing materials. It sets the stage for how they perceive your firm. Don’t waste this prime real estate on overused legal clichés – like gavels and courts – that tell the reader what they already know. Be equally vigilant not to waste it on a design exercise founded in preference rather than business strategy. Take the time and care to create a symbol that conveys meaning about your unique and valued difference.
#3 Integrate it into your marketing – Your logo’s job is to set the stage for the creative direction of your entire marketing program. It’s not an add on that dresses things up at the end, like a candle on a birthday cake. Rather, it’s a foundational symbol that embodies your highest priority messages, in graphic language. In order for your logo to deliver the impact it’s capable of, the tone it establishes needs to be carried forward by the entire marketing program.
#4 Make it timeless – Updating your law firm logo isn’t something you want to have to come back to repeatedly. It may be like your decor, your briefcase and your suit in terms of being an integral part of that first impression. But unlike your decor, your briefcase and your suit which can change without consequence, a logo that stands the test of time will help your firm to project stability.
#5 Consider versatility – From business card to signage, logos need to work equally well, large and small, greyscale and colour, in print and on screen. Examples of taking digital use into account, would include consideration of web friendly colours and smart phone legibility.
After evaluating how your logo fares against this checklist, you may decide that it’s time for a new logo. For some that will pose a challenge. Generally speaking, lawyers deal with words not graphics. So, how can you set yourself up to manage the development of a visual identity, if this work is largely outside your training and comfort zone?
To facilitate your role in the process, our logo design best practices were developed with the intent to help you assimilate your preferences, assess your business environment and, most importantly, show you how a visual can encapsulate the message you wish to broadcast about your firm. We begin by establishing clarity about your highest level promise and developing a strategy to communicate that promise through graphics.
By integrating research, planning, collaboration and transparency into our process, your logo can’t help but be well positioned to support your practice development goals.
Marketing and management for law firms:
To discuss how we can work together to build and enhance your law firm, contact us for an initial consultation, in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or via web conference anywhere in Canada.