“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” said Steve Jobs. Creating logos is part of design, therefore how can be interpreted the above statement for this area? By sure, the best explanation could have been done by Jobs himself, but sadly it’s impossible.
Well, it was a hot debated topic amongst us, the team of iBrandStudio, and we decided to share with our readers the conclusions. If someone wants “to translate” the Steve’s idea into the realm of logo design, then the value of a logo should be judge upon the effects over the viewers. If it attracts the eyes of the viewers and they become interested in, then the logo is OK. It is acceptable for a logo to break some rules if it is appreciated by the viewers and the owner is satisfied with the results.
In this context, it becomes clear that a logo designer must know how to “manipulate” the individuals. Practically, a logo designer should be a very good psychologist. In fact, it’s obvious- the logos are created by people for people. Much more, nowadays people are bombarded with tons of logos, banners, promotional stuff and it’s extremely difficult for a logo designer to create a logo that would be remarked by people. Don’t worry, psychology isn’t too difficult and many logo designers applied some principles without knowing that these are derived from psychology. Anyway, it’s very important to study seriously how to visually stimulate the human brain or how to persuade people. We made the first step for you and created here a list of six tips from psychology to apply when creating logos.
Tips #1. Colors are a double sided sword
Any serious logo designer knows that a logo may be very easily ruined just by badly choosing the colors. A color shouldn’t be used just because the respective logo looks fine. We previously explained how the colors should be used and we recommend you to read our posts about color theory.
The idea is simple, but sometimes neglected by designers: the human brain perceives the colors as indicators of some features. As example, red will be always a color related to love while green is related to nature. Imagine a green heart and a Cupid- would represent something to you? I guess that everyone would ask himself why the heart is green? A red heart will let the viewer know that is about love, isn’t it? A wise logo designer should create logos taking into consideration these aspects. More exactly, don’t put into trouble the brain of the viewers!
Tips #2. A logo should stimulate the viewer’s brain
A good logo doesn’t only put into trouble the viewer’s brain, but it stimulates the mind. We presented many amazing logo showcases about creative use of negative space or dual meaning ones. These are a real delight for the mind. Study them to understand the tricks used and everytime when creating a logo try by all means to stimulate the users’ brain.
Tips #3. Simplicity is recognisable
Stimulating the brain of the viewer is a mandatory condition, but it’s not enough in order to have a successful logo. Nowadays, the logo design community is very numerous and the logo creators daily showcase really amazing works. In this climate, almost only by chance a logo may be noticed. Many people simply don’t care about the logos exhibited near them and even if they want to keep in mind some of them, ulterior, the chances of recognizing them are low.
The psychologists teach us that people have the tendency of remembering what impressed them and what is simple. The conclusion is clear and effective: create only impressive and simple logos.
Simplicity is also welcomed when it’s about printing or adding the logo on various mediums (banners, business cards), therefore play closer attention to this aspect.
Tips #4. A logo must stand apart, but it’s part of a branding strategy
An original logo is always appreciated by designers and users, but there is still no guaranty that it will be a big hit. Many logo designers don’t want to consider the entire big picture and create nice logos that aren’t matching to the branding strategy of the logo owners. People need consistency and any discrepancy between a logo and other branding items will be easily noticed by people. Any designer should know that the human beings have written in their DNA the necessity of grouping and classifying what they see.
A logo that doesn’t match the branding strategy puts again the user mind into trouble. I guess that you already know the result- the individual won’t understand the situation, he won’t know if these are separate entities or part of a strategy.
Tips #5. Gestalt principles should be never ignored
Gestalt principles are learnt by heart by the web designers, but it doesn’t mean that a logo designer shouldn’t have his/ her hands dirty with it. These principles are referring to how a user perceives the visual data. Gestalt principles sound as a complicated matter, but in fact applying them isn’t such a big deal. Anyway, the idea is that a normal user is merely trying to classify the visual data in order to have a clearer idea about what is around him. It will be great to have your opinion about, what do you think, would be interesting for you an article presenting more in depth the Gestalt principles? These articles will make you fully understand what means Gestalt principles:
- Six Gestalt Principles In Web Design
- The Gestalt Principle: Design Theory for Web Designers
- Gestalt Principles Applied in Design
- Gestalt Principles Applied to Web Design
Tips #6. The customer should be considered as a partner
It’s not a psychology principle applied into the process of creating a logo, but no doubt, it’s one of the most important tips to learn from a psychologist. A logo designer can’t make a living from a single logo; he needs a constant flux of clients. A satisfied one is the best promotional method, so a very smart logo designer cares about the clients’ opinions. In most cases, the customers have their opinions & requirements and a logo designer should respect these. Unfortunately, sometimes, these aren’t compatible with the laws of beautiful design.
Being domineering in the relationship with the clients is a bad mistake. A way better approach is to treat the clients as partners and have a functional dialogue with them. In this way, they feel that their opinions are taken into consideration and they are part of a team. The feeling of being involved is very satisfactory for any human being and the relationship client-designer would be cemented. This finalisation is advantageous both for client and designer, isn’t it?
I hope that these tips will help you in making better and more successful logos. Do you have other tips related to psychology for our readers? Offer us your precious thoughts from your past experiences, we are waiting for!
– Written by Daniel –