A company’s first brand logo design is hardly ever its last. The progression of design is reliant upon skepticism. Frustrating? Of course. Rewarding? Ultimately, yes.
Designing a logo is as daunting as writing a cover letter for a new job. The only difference is that instead of having an entire page to describe yourself, you have one image to capture who you are as an entire company.
A brand logo not only has to properly speak for who your company is, but what your company does for your consumers. This can be done with strategy and a bit of psychology. Color combinations and images that invoke human emotion can help sell your brand through your customer’s senses.
You should not be able to separate your logo from your brand. They are one in the same and cannot exist without the other.
How can you make sure your brand logo is fulfilling its strategic purpose and its emotional purpose?
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when designing a brand logo:
1. Know your purpose and your audience’s purpose.
Why was your company created? Your logo should spark your consumer’s interests and therefore their desire to buy into your brand. Your consumers need to see themselves in your logo because they understand your purpose.
A brand logo should communicate your brand in the same way words do. With that said, everyone interrupts words differently. How can you make sure people are “reading” your logo correctly? By offering a clear stance on your services.
Consider The Swag logo. The Swag is a company that makes reusable containers for produce that are not only natural but extend the freshness of groceries. The font of the logo is inviting and simple, much like natural products are designed to be. The illustrated vegetables suggest the purpose of the Swag bag being for those who live a healthy lifestyle, those who grocery shop, and those who cook.
The Paint Manager, a residential painting company, created their logo to be reminiscent of a professional painter’s pallet. The multi-colors of the pallet are easily identifiable with The Paint Manager’s painting services and creative liberties.
2. Know who you’re designing for.
Who benefits from your brand? Who is your demographic? When you know who you want to react most predominantly, design a logo for their senses. Just like any other type of content creation you need your consumer to experience your purpose through emotional response. Your logo should not do any less.
Disney does this with the Cinderella castle outlined behind the text. The fantasy of the castle evokes childlike happiness, imagination, and fond memories of Disney in every capacity. Nike’s whole logo is shaped like a feeling, like an experience. Nike’s logo elicits the “swoosh” factor of speed and athleticism.
Physicians Weight Loss’s logo represents the feeling of meeting the goal of their business and their patients. They execute this by having an indistinguishable person, making it clear that their patients can be either men or women, as the main figure. However, around the figure’s white silhouette is a wider green silhouette. This shows the progress of weight loss to a happier self as indicated by the victorious up-reach of the arms. The green in the logo represents growth in their journey partnered with Physicians Weight Loss.
Tostitos uses their brand logo to suggest what their consumers should use their products for- enjoying life with food and company. The two T’s in their name resemble two people sharing a Tostito chip and salsa together. Tostitos successfully appeals to many audiences feeling of social interaction and fun- there aren’t that many people who don’t want to enjoy good food and good people!
3. Know your industry but be different.
Logos should always represent a direct correlation to your brand and your industry. In addition to your industry as a whole, a brand logo needs to serve as a contextual association between your company and what you offer to your consumers.
Consider Target’s famous bullseye logo. Not only is it recognizable without any supporting text, the bullseye represents how Target is different from other competing stores like Walmart and Kmart. The bullseye, like playing darts, suggests to their customers that no matter what they are looking for, Target is your bullseye destination. No matter what you need, you’ll hit the bullseye and find it at Target.
Target’s customers can associate Target’s bullseye with all their needs being met. I buy it.
Amazon presents a similar idea. Amazon’s logo is an arrow reaching from the ‘a’ to the ‘z’ of their name. Consumers naturally associate the arching arrow with a smile. While this is an appropriate interpretation, the stretch length of the arrow is just as important. Having it reach from the ‘a’ to the ‘z’ is supposed to suggest that consumers will find “everything from a to z” on Amazon.
4. Know simplicity is adaptive.
Logos, as a part of your branding, need to be easily adaptable to fit any product, image, or content your company produces. With that said, simplicity should be the foundation of designing a brand logo.
Norah by Earth, a naturally-derived shampoo for dogs with skin irritations, chose a very simple design for their product line. They created their formula for a Golden Retriever suffering from unrelenting hot spots. They used the silhouette of the Golden Retriever to tell their story of origin wrapped in a leaf that represents their philosophy of natural ingredients. The logo is small and simple enough to be placed on their bottles, branded images, and other merchandise. The image is also compact due to the genius use of the negative space created in the leaf. Simple, small, and effective.
5. Know how to stand the test of time.
A good brand logo is timeless. Successful logos like Coco-Cola and Mercedes both have changed very little over the past 100 years. Not only does a classic logo design defy the lifespan of expiring trends, it creates a familiarity with your company. Familiarity, as you know, evolves into brand trust. Brand trust is the foundation of customer loyalty. Without customer loyalty, your company doesn’t have a reliable source of continued prosperity.
Think to yourself:
- Does your logo tell the story of who you are and what you represent?
- Does your logo elicit an emotional response from your targeted consumer?
- Does your logo stand apart from others in your industry?
- Does logo transcend evolving generations?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions consider our graphic design services. Our designers know how to make any brand come alive!
Helping you create your identity is what we do. You have the company, let us help you brand it!