Time to Refresh Your Practice Logo? Here’s How...
By Eleni Karayeva May 11, 2021
Your practice logo is a crucial component of your brand identity. It is the "face" patients will come to associate with your practice. It's not uncommon for private practices to use a generic logo design, or forego incorporating a unique logo altogether. And while some established practices have a “no-frills” approach, there is simply no reason to forego a distinct logo for your practice.
If you don’t have a logo or are using a generic one
Start by brainstorming ideas for what it is that you want your logo to communicate about your practice. A good logo design should reflect the vibe of the place and what it is that you do. Now you might be thinking, “well, we are eye doctors, so that is what we do”, but it’s actually more intricate than that. For example, an eye care practice with a focus on medical optometry would want a logo that’s quite different from one used by a boutiquey optical shop offering vintage eyewear. Similarly, an over-the-top design would not be a good fit if your practice has a modern look and feel.
Elements of a successful logo design
After you’ve established what it is that you want your logo to communicate, the next step is to focus on the technical details. Think of your logo not as a standalone element but as part of a larger branding strategy. For this reason, let’s consider the following points:
Simplicity: You want your logo to be clean and legible, one that would translate well into different print formats. Avoid a cluttered design with too many elements; what might look good on an 8.5” by 11” letterhead might not look the same printed on a pen. You should obsess about the font used for your logo. It should be clean and easy to read. Share your font options with at least 10 people to get their opinion. Does it communicate you as the practitioner and the practice identity? Will the logo and font choice appeal to your target market?
Usability: Remember that your logo will likely appear both in digital and print formats. When creating the logo, be sure to save master copies of it in more than one format. A vector file format (.eps) is particularly useful since it enables your design to be infinitely scalable. Request your designer provide the final artwork in all formats with any fonts and graphics embedded: ai (vector), psd (with all layers and 300 dpi or 150 dpi at a minimum), high-res jpg, and a png with a transparent background.
Originality: Though your design probably will incorporate some typical optometry elements (eyes, eyeglasses), you nevertheless want your logo to be unique. If you can design your eye icon or glasses icon in a fresh and original way, you’ll attract more attention. Researching your competition might come in handy here. The goal is to have a logo that will set you apart and not confuse your patients into thinking you’re affiliated with another practice in the area. It’s also ok to look to other industries for inspiration because at the end it’s all about finding that connection with your audience.
Because your logo represents your brand and will play a huge role in your marketing, be mindful of how you implement colors in your design. Keep your color scheme simple. Ideally, one or two colors are enough. It might be easy to get carried away during the design process and end up with something that’s too colorful. But what you really want is a design that will be as effective in black and white as in full color. The reasoning behind this is simple: a B&W logo rendition is best on anything intended to be printed out, be it a prescription or a referral; a full-color logo would not always translate well on paper.
Pro Tip: Once you have settled on the colors (AKA pantones) for your logo, be sure to get the HEX color codes for it. Those will come in handy when you’ll be designing other marketing materials and will help you stay consistent with your color scheme selection.
Is it time for a refresh?
You might have noticed how companies periodically update their logos. If you already have a logo you designed years ago, it might be time for a refresh. Because logos are the face of your brand, an out-of-date design can give the incorrect impression that your practice is not as state-of-the-art as it really is. Maybe it’s the typeface you used that now looks dated or maybe you’ve been inconsistent in how you applied the logo across different marketing mediums. A logo refresh allows you to re-examine your branding approach. Just as it’s recommended to update your website every three years, updating your logo gives your practice’s brand a makeover, allowing you to better connect with your target audience. Since your logo is about communicating who you are and what you do, ask yourself how your practice has evolved over time. For example, has your practice seen a shift towards medical optometry? Has it become more family-oriented over time? Changing demographics in your area might be another reason to rethink your logo design.
Is this a do-it-yourself project?
Now you might wonder if designing and redesigning your logo is something you can do on your own or if it's a project for a marketing professional. It all depends on how comfortable you are designing your own marketing materials. There are plenty of do-it-yourself logo design tools available that would provide you with all the various file renditions of your logo. The advantage of employing a professional for the task is that they might have a broader understanding of the current marketing trends. We highly recommend hiring a designer. You can hire someone to develop your logo for as little as fifty bucks to a thousand dollars (or more), and you might be able to negotiate a full practice identity design package that includes business cards, letterhead, envelopes, social media cover art, etc. Regardless of whether you create your design yourself or with the help of a professional, it’s always a good idea to beta test it; do a few variations and get your patients’ feedback. That will surely make an interesting social media post!
How you craft your brand has a major impact on the successful growth of your practice. Wherever you stand in the logo design process, following the tips we outlined in this article will help you build an even stronger brand identity!