Does Your Law Firm Need a Logo?
What Do You Mean by Logo?
A logo is an image that visually represents your law firm. In a basic form, a law firm logo might just be the firm name itself. Logos can get more complicated from there, including other designed visual elements or taglines.
You should use your logo across your firm's physical and digital assets. Physical like your signage, business cards, or brochures. And digital like your website, email signature, and social media profiles.
Think of your law firm logo as a consistent visual marker that identifies your firm to your clients. Consistency shows care and professionalism to your clients.
Anatomy of a Logo
Unless you're a mega-brand like Apple or Nike, the name of your firm generally needs to appear in your logo. When the name is included in your logo, this is often referred to as the logotype, or wordmark. The logo designer will likely pick a nice font, or combination of fonts, for your firm name. Once you have a font selected for your logo, you'll be able to reuse that font across all of your written communications. For your website, we'll use that font and find complimentary fonts that match it.
Many law firm logos consists only of the logotype. This can work well if you're an established name in your field, have a unique firm name, or otherwise are less concerned with marketing for your firm.
A logo might optionally have an illustrated or designed visual element to it called a symbol or logomark. In addition to giving the logo visual interest, this provides an opportunity to show the firm's personality. Perhaps it's an abstract design. Or perhaps it's a bold way of framing the partners' initials. Some law firms will include an image to serve as a metaphor for the firm's approach to practice, like a lighthouse that shows the firm can help a client navigate through the storm of a lawsuit. No matter what the final look is, it should match the firm's strengths or history.
A tagline might appear in a logo to provide an additional text description of the firm. This might be as simple as stating the breadth of your practice ("Real Estate Attorneys"), or it might be a more marketing heavy phrase that tells your clients what you're all about ("Client Focused Advocacy"). For newer law firms, or firms that are focused on marketing, we recommend having a tagline along with the logo to make it clear to potential clients that they're in the right place.
You're likely to need a number of variants of your logo for a variety of reasons. Depending on how much active marketing the firm is involved in, you might need horizontally and vertically oriented versions of your logo. And perhaps a black and white rendering, one that can work on light backgrounds or dark backgrounds, resized versions for social media, etc.
There are innumerable ways the logo might be reused. Having a clear idea of the components of the logo — as well as having the design files on hand! — will allow your designer to quickly create what you need.
I have news for you if you think your law firm doesn't have a logo: as soon as you picked the font for your letterhead or business cards, you also embarked on the first step to designing your firm's visual identity. Like it or not, using Word's default font constitutes a decision on how you want to present your firm to the world.
That might work well for your firm, but if that's not the look you were hoping for, it might be time to contact a logo designer!
What Are My Logo Options with The Modern Firm?
As part of our website design process, we work with you to pick a nice font for your firm name, and optionally a tagline, and lay that out for your new website. For firms that are unlikely to use the logo for more than their websites, this can be a great, inexpensive option. This also works well for established firms that are primarily looking to use their websites as validation tools — i.e. to confirm their practice areas and credentials for clients referred to them, but not necessarily to engage in heavy online marketing to grow their practices.
Fully Designed Logo
We can also connect you with our associated logo designers, who are familiar with law firms. The designer will ask you a lot of questions about your likes and dislikes and then prepare a number of logo design options for you. From there, you iterate on the design of the logo until you're happy with how it represents your firm. This is a good option for attorneys who want to invest more in their firms' branding and identity. If you are interested in your logo including a logomark, or incorporating additional design details, you should look into this option.
What About Making My Own Logo?
Usually we recommend that an attorney's time is better spent on billable work than on design work. Unless you were a designer in a past life, there are a lot of options and jargon that will suck up many hours of your life. If that sounds appealing though, by all means give it a shot! This said, note that certain design software and file types are needed to create an image that will look professional and be usable on the web — make sure you're aware of these details before jumping in!
What About Vistaprint, or fiverr, or 99designs, or...
In a pinch, automated logo designs or design contests can work well for putting together a logo. These processes do take time to manage, however, and we always recommend that you watch out for logo reuse. Oftentimes the logomarks and design elements from logo design websites are recycled to many different companies — not all of them law firms. That is often completely fine, but is something to be aware of. If you went down this route and are wondering if your logomark was reused, email us and we can check for you!
What our clients have found when they use these services is that they're a good fit if:
- You have extra time and less cash. If you're just getting started, or you have additional time to manage the process, this can be a good way to get a lot of choices together.
- You have a strong vision for what you want and just need a designer to execute it.
You sometimes lose more time managing the logo design process than you would through using a professional logo designer. As with many things, it may come down to a calculation you'll need to do based on your hourly billing rate. If spending a few hours managing the process is worth it to you, great!
The Modern Firm offers law firm logo design services exclusively to our website design clients. Our process involves working with a professional logo designer to create a logo wholly owned by your law firm, including digital files for use throughout your branding and marketing efforts, such as for business cards, letterhead, and other print materials.