Why does having a good logo matter? What makes bad logos? What can help with first impressions in branding?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Chief Marketing Officer at Practice of the Practice, Sam Carvalho all about logos and first impressions in branding.
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Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer with over five years of experience in both design and marketing.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
Follow Sam on Instagram to see some of her work.
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Samantha Carvalho all about logos and first impressions in branding.
Why does having a good logo matter?
A logo is so important as you set your whole entire brand around it. Having a great logo from the beginning is very important and more people should prioritize it.
A good logo gives off a good impression and sticks in your mind. When someone instantly looks at it, they should understand the personality of the brand as well as what they do. It’s the best starting point for your brand.
What is a bad logo?
Many people decide to cut costs when starting a business, and they do that by not properly designing a logo. This could mean designing it in Word or Canva. You can tell because sometimes the chosen font is not exciting. It shows that you haven’t put a lot of effort into your brand and shows that you might not put a lot of effort into your services, either. All in all, it’s not professional.
For a good logo, make sure your name stands out and is legible. A flat-design is more impactful. If it’s too realistic it doesn’t work across the board. Keep it clean, clear, and high quality.
What can help with first impressions of branding?
Set up a brand style guide that you can build around your logo to keep your brand consistent. This consists of your logo, how to use it and how not to use it, as well as variations of it. It builds onto your branding, including your mission and vision of your brand, fonts and color schemes.
What’s great about setting this up from the get-go is that if you change designers, you can send them the brand style guide and they’ll know exactly what to do and what not to do.
A brand style guide should have a maximum of 3 readable fonts. Remember, different colors have different meanings and make people feel different things. Don’t use too many colors, use two or three max, depending on the brand. Think of neutral colors with one color that pops.
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Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
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[JOE]: This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok, session number 417. I’m so excited that you are here today. Oh my gosh. I am on the heels of coming back from Killin’It Camp. I know that that actually happened in mid-October. I do a bunch of batch recording way ahead of time, and so if I have a new idea, unfortunately it doesn’t always make it into the podcast for a little bit. But Killin’It Camp was insane. We had 140 people that were there, we had Therapy Notes, Practica and Brighter Vision as sponsors and they just rocked it out, gave lots of value to people with our website lab. We had so many amazing speakers and goat yoga and an open bar for two nights thanks to Therapy Notes and Brighter Vision. And you know, the biggest thing that to me happened was people that are like-minded coming together. And I did this exercise the first night and did some activities to help people get to know each other quickly so that they knew who was at their phase of practice and who was from their area.
But I did this thing where on one side of the room I said that was your comfort zone, in the middle of the room was your growth zone, and the other end was your panic zone. And I throw out things like skydiving and people would physically walk to where they fall into. If they freaked out, they’d go to the panic zone, they’re comfortable, they’d go to their comfort zone. And one question I asked that I thought actually there was going to be a lot more people in the growth zone was making more money than your peers. Now for a lot of private practitioners, making more money than your peers feels super awkward. It feels like it’s really pushing you to grow. There’s a lot of kind of mental money baggage. But I would say a good 80% of the crowd went to the comfort zone and the rest were kind of in the growth zone.
It was just like, “Wait, they’ve been listening. They’ve been listening to the podcast. They have understood that money just expands what’s already there.” And so, our starting point wasn’t to have to undo all of these money mindset things. Instead, it was, “Okay, how do we kill it? How do we actually go after these big ideas? How do we push ourselves to think differently and create a practice that matters and impacts our community? But even if we have big ideas like a podcast we can go after that.” And so, having people that are now doing, some have done for you podcasting and helping those launch. And we started the Practice of the Practice podcast network where we’re going to be launching four podcasts in 2020. We have Alison, Whitney, Jeremy, and Sam are all going to be launching their own podcasts around specific areas like scaling a practice, starting a group practice, starting a faith-based practice, and how to brand a practice.
Then we’re also helping a bunch of people start podcast too. It’s just awesome to think about all of us helping one another to launch faster. And so, we have that going on and we got a bunch of new Next Level Practice people. We have our new cohort opening really in just a couple of weeks here. We’ve got, actually, I think at the time of this recording, it’s going to be on Cyber Monday it opens up. So that’s like right around the corner. So, you can join Next Level Practice over at practiceofthepractice.com/invite, and then you’ll get all the links on how to sign up. So, if you don’t know what Next Level Practice is, we had a ton of Next Level Practice practitioners at Killin’It Camp like Kim and Kyle and Donna and a bunch of others. It’s a community of people helping one another to start a practice.
Really, if you are under, say $80,000 a year and you want access to the best e-courses for private practice, we have over 30 e-courses that you get full access to the library. We have three to four live events every month, including an Ask the Expert where we bring in top experts that you get to pick their brains. I’ll interview him for about 20 minutes and then you just get to pick their brains and it’s amazing. I mean we had Molly Mahoney do camera confidence, we had Jessica talk about SEO and meta descriptions, we had Clay Cockrell from onlinecounseling.com. And so, we find people that usually cost 500 to a thousand dollars an hour that I know and just bring them in and you get to pick their brains.
And then you get put in a small group with a small group leader. And our small group leaders are awesome, they want to help you. They been in Next Level Practice, they’ve been there and they’re giving back. We also have small groups that are around books. So, sort of a book study. And then we give you tools of the trade every single month. And so, you get a free logo, you get our paperwork packet, that’s usually $200. We give away blog images and infographics you can put in Pinterest with your logo. We really try to make it as easy as possible for you to launch a practice. And we’ve got some really awesome new partnerships with some of our sponsors that are going to give exclusive deals to you to really amp up your practice in 2020. So, this cohort is actually the last cohort that’s going to be at that $88 per month. In 2020, the price goes up to $99 per month because we just have so much content that we want to make sure that the people that opted in early get to lock in that rate.
So, what does it take to pay yourself back for 88 bucks a month? It’s like one session. One new session would pay for that, would more than pay for that. Hopefully you’re charging more than 88 bucks a session and think about the guidance that you would get. So, this is what I want you to do. If you are unsure, I want you to come to one of the webinars we have scheduled in December. If you go over to practiceofthepractice.com/100Kwebinar, we have two webinars in December that are all about how to get to a 100K in two years. And we’re going to be talking also about Next Level Practice within that, we’re going to be talking all about how you can grow faster. So, if you have questions, come hang out with us, come ask those questions. It’s only going to be open for four days. So Cyber Monday till that next Thursday, that Thursday of that week. So, four days it’s open and then the next cohort won’t be until like spring of 2020. So now is the time to jump in to get that rate. If you want to get all those emails about it, go to practiceofthepractice.com/invite.
Now Sam. Sam is my right-hand woman here at Practice of the Practice. She oversees everything. I mean she has gone from just being a designer to doing our video editing, our marketing strategy, looking at branding. She’s insane. She’s so amazing and I am so excited to do this five-part series on branding with her. So, without any further ado, here is Sam. So, say it with a Portuguese accent so that I can hear.
[SAM CARVALHO]: Carvalho.
[JOE]: Carvalho. Oh man, that’s way cooler. Carvalho. Well today on the Practice of the Practice podcast we have Sam Carvalho. She is our chief marketing officer here at Practice of the Practice and we’re going to go through five different episodes on a bunch of different topics all around branding. How are you doing today, Sam?
[SAM]: Very well, thanks. And you Joe?
[JOE]: I’m doing awesome. I’ve been really excited to do this series with you because you’re often just behind the, not just behind the computer. You are behind the computer, killing it for our Next Level Practice people, a lot of our consulting clients, doing tons of branding for Practice of the Practice, and now we get to bring you onto the podcast.
[SAM]: Yes, it’s awesome. Thanks for having me.
[JOE]: Yes. Well we’re going to be doing five episodes, so let’s walk through what those five are going to be. They kind of build on each other and so the very first one today is going to be all about logos and first impressions. We’re also going to talk through some brand style guide. Then in episode two we’re going to talk about websites and the user journey. In episode three we’re going to talk about social media, episode four, we’re going to talk about print, rack cards, business cards, banners, all those things print. And then in five we’re going to talk about the full brand strategy. So, let’s kick off this whole logos and first impressions things Sam. Where would you want to start in regards to a logo?
[SAM]: So, I think it’s something that maybe as a branding expert, I prioritize more than the average person. But I just think a logo is super important. And I know that a lot of businesses when they’re first starting out will maybe skimp on the logos, they’ll maybe just kind of do their own design in Canva or in Word or something and then they kind of, but for me, you set your whole entire brand up on your logo. So I would just say that from the onset, even though it might be something that you spend more on than you originally planned, I just think having a great logo from the beginning that communicates your brand and communicates what you want to communicate to the world is just super important and I think more people should prioritize that.
[JOE]: Yes. So, what does a good logo do?
[SAM]: So, for me, a good logo makes a good impression and it’s something that kind of sticks in your mind. So, well, again, for me as a visual person, like when I interact with the brand, if I see straight away that they have a cool logo, like I’ll obviously notice it and it helps me understand the personality behind the brand, and like, yes, what that brand is communicating and what they’re about. I read a lot into logo. Personally, I’m not sure if everybody does, but I think as I said, it’s a starting point for your brand. So, it’s really important to have a good quality logo that communicates what the brand is about.
[JOE]: When you see a bad logo, what are things that a lot of practices will do that are just bad logos? So, you mentioned that maybe they designed it in Word or that they just did it in Canva. What for you do you notice that says that was probably designed in word?
[SAM]: So, for me it’s just picking a font in Word that’s maybe a little bit more exciting than your usual, like hope it’s a go. Something like that. So, it maybe has like a few curves here and there, but it’s still just a font that hasn’t been changed in any other way. So, it’s literally just your name and like a font that’s maybe made bigger with like a color or something. And for me that just says, it just kind of shows not putting a lot of effort into your branding or into your look and feel. So, I feel like straight away I’m put off because from a customer perspective you’re not showing me like you put a lot of effort into your branding and then I’m not sure that you’re going to put a lot of effort into your services.
[JOE]: Yes. So, what are things that go into a good logo that will help people make a good first impression?
[SAM]: So, I think making sure that your name still stands out, like whether you make use of an icon or illustration, making sure that your name is still purely legible. And then I always prefer kind of a flat design, so a more realistic approach. But again, that might just be me, but I think a flat design is more impactful. Something that’s minimalistic rather than kind of taking like a real picture and trying to use that and then, yes —
[JOE]: Let me add to that because I think that I like logos that look good in whatever colors they have, but also if they’re in a white scale or a gray scale or just pure like black, like as kind of a chunk that they work then too. And I feel like when it’s too realistic, then what happens is you’ve got to figure out all this kind of like shading and it just doesn’t translate into just like a white scale or gray scale image.
[SAM]: Yes, exactly. And I actually love designing. When it comes to actually designing the materials, I love using wide logos on the materials. I think that it looks really, really nice because then you can use a white logo on an image like it just gives you a lot more options later on. So yes, I definitely prefer a flat logo design and as I said, a clear name. And then also just making sure that it’s high quality because lot of logos are great logos, but then the designer for whatever reason, hasn’t sent them a high-quality version and they appear blurry on the website or [crosstalk]. Yes, and that’s obviously horrible. So just making sure that it’s clean and clear and high quality.
[JOE]: Awesome. Now other than logos, what are other first impressions that you would say are kind of on that same level as a logo?
[SAM]: So, something that I’ve been trying to introduce recently is something called a brand style guide. So, I would say when it comes to branding or setting up the branding for your business the first point of call would be a logo like we’ve discussed, but then after that would be a brand style guide that you kind of build around your logo. So whatever colors you’ve used in your logo and whatever thoughts you put in your logo with regards to what you’d like to communicate, you take that all and you put it into a brand style guide. So, brand style guide consists of your logo and of ways not to use it and how to use it and variations of your logo. Like maybe with the slogan without the slogan, but then it also includes the mission and vision of your brand. It includes what fonts you’d like to use in future material, like full heading and full body ticks and things like that.
And then it also includes your color scheme and any other imagery or patterns that you would like to be used consistently in your branding that you’re after. And I think it’s a really great way, again, a lot of businesses will only do it like five to 10 years into doing business but then it’s just a mission because then you have to read you all your branding, all your design material. Whereas if you just do this from the get go, then whatever designer you interact with in future. So, if you change designers, you can then just send them your brand style guide and they’ll know exactly what to use and how to make sure that all designs, whether it be print or digital, are consistent with your branding. And that also just helps with like making a big impact and making sure your brand is consistent.
[JOE]: Now when you think about let’s just take fonts, how many fonts should a brand style guide have and what types of fonts? Because my impression as a non-designer is that you should probably have one that’s very readable, very clear, and then if you’re going to use like a cursive font to maybe only have one or two of those. But I don’t even know if that’s right.
[SAM]: So, I’d say like again, I’m a fan of minimalism and keeping it as simple as possible. So, I would say max three. So, I would say having one for your headings, like a really easily legible font for your heading. So, a straight clear font for your headings, but then also cursive alternative because sometimes it’s nice to kind of play around with the curses like the more, yes, because of curly fonts on certain designs. So, I’d say kind of have that as an option but definitely have a standard legible one as your heading. And then you just alternate that full, like your subheadings and even your paragraph text. So, you can say that for your heading it must be bold and it must be a certain size and then for subheadings it can be in a regular and then for paragraph text it can be light. Something like that. But you can introduce another font for your body text if you think, if you want it. But I would say no more than three.
[JOE]: Yes, I know for me, like if I’m at a restaurant and I look at their menu and I see multiple fonts, I just want to get up and leave. It just feels like you didn’t even spend the time to have this menu designed in a way that is really basic.
[SAM]: Yes. And again, it just helps with consistency. People will get to know that when they see that font, that’s your brand. So yes.
[JOE]: Yes. Now talk a little bit about colors because you said brand colors. What do you recommend in regards to how many like pop or accent colors? Yes, talk a little bit about that.
[SAM]: Yes, so I’d say doing some research into like the meanings of colors. I mean, again, it depends on how in depth you want to go because, I mean, I know from like a marketing perspective different colors at different meetings and, kind of cause people to feel different feelings. So, I would recommend kind of doing a bit of research into that, but when it comes to call to actions and things, there’s been research done saying that orange is a good color to go to for buttons, and like that causes people to take action. But I would say as, like four colors as a whole and, again, I wouldn’t recommend using too many, like maybe having two or three as your base and then one that pops out that you can use for call to actions and things like that.
[JOE]: Yes, I love when a website kind of chooses whether it’s going to be more on the white and gray scale or on the kind of brown and khaki as their kind of base colors where it’s just sort of a softish brown versus a white, and then they have just one color that’s their pop color. It feels like a circus when they have too many pop colors going on.
[SAM]: Yes, I’d say definitely making use of the more neutral colors, but again it depends on like the type of brand you are. I mean if you’re trying to attract, you know, if you are counseling kids for example, then you’re all going to make use of a lot of bright colors. So, I think it just depends on the type of brand. But yes, my favorite is also kind of neutral colors as the base and then like one pop color that grabs your attention.
[JOE]: And I think that that is important to start with your ideal client and what they’re looking for and make sure that you start there as well. Awesome. We are going to be talking all about websites and the user journey in the next episode. If you are interested in talking to Sam, hearing more about branding, connecting with her, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/branding and there’s all sorts of services there that you can chat with Sam about. Sam, we’ll talk to you in the next episode.
[JOE]: This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy. We like your intro music.