Your logo is one of the first things that listeners will see of your radio station whether they are searching through the Live365 directory, seeing your station on social media, or going directly to your station profile page. With that said, it is an extremely important aspect since it will be a big part of what people are forming their first impressions on. Your logo needs to communicate your station brand and it needs to be eye catching to truly be an effective logo. It can be quite a challenge and even a balancing act to make an eye-catching, yet informative logo though. So, let's talk about how you can get your logo just right!
Follow the Live365 Recommendations
You can use any standard image type (.jpg, .png, etc.) for your logo. It’s also possible to use .gif to have your image be animated. The recommended size for a station logo is a square 300px x 300px. Note that if you use a rectangular image, it’s possible that some distortion may occur, especially when it is viewed in the Live365 directory. Additionally, on your station profile page, rectangular images will make your station logo look a bit smaller or more difficult to read than others.
Include Minimal Text
You don't want to cloud your logo with too much text. Not only because your logo is small and you want any necessary text to be readable, but because if you want to do any Facebook advertising or be involved in any Facebook advertising, Facebook has a strict policy on having text in your image. In fact, if you try to create an ad with your logo as part of the creative of the ad and they deem that your logo has too much text, they will not serve your ad at all.
Now, you may have no intention of doing any Facebook advertising yourself, but keeping your station open to it is important. In the future, you could end up working with a business that would like to run an ad that involves your logo, or Live365 may even want to feature your logo in an ad. In either of these cases, if your logo has too much text, you will have to pass up the advertising opportunity simply because Facebook won't serve the ad.
Facebook recommends that your images consist of no more than 20% text and 125 characters total. They also recommend keeping words to a minimum, reducing font size, and avoiding spreading text all over the image when text in your image is necessary. Following these recommendations even if you have no intention of Facebook advertising is a good idea though since these guidelines could help to keep your logo clean, readable, and engaging. For more information on the guidelines for text in Facebook ad images, see this page.
Ensure that your logo can be reasonably scaled up and down and still look great. Your logo needs to still be legible and clear at both larger and smaller sizes.
Use No More Than 2 Fonts
Using more than 2 fonts will make your logo look inconsistent and too busy, which will make your branding much less powerful. Pick 1 or 2 fonts that are legible at all different sizes, but that also resonate with your station. These 1 or 2 fonts should be what you use throughout all of your branding. It may take some trial and error to find fonts that you really love for your branding that are also legible at all sizes. Also, be sure that the fonts that you select aren't too loud or distracting as that will take away from the message.
Make a Visual Impact
This includes using vibrant and contrasting colors and utilizing white space. Remember that this will largely be the first impression of your station and it is a very small image, so you need to make the best use of the small space that you have.
Use High Quality Images
If you are making your logo on your own, ensure that you use images that you are legally allowed to use and that are high quality. Even at the smallest sizes, it will be clear if the images that you are using are pixelated, which will totally ruin your logo. Use free stock photo websites, such as Pexels, Unsplash, or Pixabay.
Avoid Overused Images
Try not to use images that are widely used, such as images of microphones, headphones, radios, etc. These do not communicate what your station is about, they just tell the listener something that they already know, which is that the logo is for a radio station. Also, using these kinds of images does not help your station stand out in a directory.
Target Your Audience
You want your logo to also speak to your audience. When you begin the process of starting your station, you should identify your audience. Think about your audience demographics, what they are interested in, and what visuals might appeal to them. If you created brand guidelines already, then your guidelines should factor in you audience, so you can then create your station logo by following your brand guidelines.
Communicate Your Brand
Your logo needs to not only fit in with your branding, but to communicate your brand. So, utilize colors, images, and fonts that are a part of your branding already or establish them as part of your brand. Aside from this, your logo needs to clearly tell the audience what your station's focus is through the logo. Think about how you can convey what your station is about through minimal text and images that make up your logo.
Overall, creating the perfect logo means summing your station up in an engaging way with just one small image. It can be difficult to communicate everything that your station has to offer in such a small image, but think of your programming and mission and communicate that best you can. And, if you aren't totally seeing the vision for your logo, consider hiring a designer. Remember, a good logo is something that you'll only have to pay for once, so think of it as an investment. Above all else, ensure that you are absolutely satisfied with whatever logo you end up using because it is ultimately representing you, so you should love it.
Ready to start creating your logo? There are many different free online graphic design tools out there, such as Design Wizard, that you can use to design your logo.
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Article Image: Vojtech Okenka via Pexels.