It is impossible to imagine any company without a well-designed logo, whether it belongs to a small business or a whole franchise. It gives prospective customers an idea of what the brand is about and what goals it wants to achieve.
A professional logo can require a lot of time and money. Needless to say, it takes a lot of creativity and brainstorming and it can make it or break your brand. Here are some reasons why a good logo design is a worthwhile investment in branding – and what to pay attention to when creating it.
Logo Variations and How They Can “Tell a Story”
Logos come in different types: some of them have both a symbol and text to them, while others are recognizable with typography only, or a small picture that makes its identity known to the general public. For this reason, we can divide the elements of logo design into three categories:
Colors can not only influence our mood and evoke certain emotions, but also send a message about a brand’s nature and mission. Warm colors like yellow or red demand attention and symbolize action and excitement. On the other hand, cooler colors like blue and green are more calming and comforting.
Of course, the hue and the combination of the colors used also have to be taken into account. For example: pastels are usually considered very gentle and symbolize youthfulness, which is why most companies that sell things for newborn babies (like diapers and pacifiers) tend to use light pinks or blues.
Believe it or not, the color and shape of letters also play a major role in logo design. A good logo that consists of typography only will tell the story about the brand, without having the reader ever understand the meaning of the word.
An example of creative typography is Canton. This company sells audio equipment, which is first implied in the letters’ black-and-white color scheme that reminds us of piano keys. The letters slowly become thicker as you read the name, like music that gets louder and bolder.
The symbol or imagery might be the one element that stands out the most. Images are carefully crafted to leave an emotional impression on their viewer. The image might not be closely related to the field of work in which a brand operates, but it is still associated with the spirit of it.
A good example of symbolism in logo design is Starbucks, one of the best coffee franchises in the world. We see all of the elements mentioned above come into play, but the main focus is on the image which could easily be a stand-alone logo – without typography and consistent color scheme.
They use a siren as their symbol because their coffee “lures” coffee lovers to their shop, like sirens would lure sailors in myths. Despite the color of the logo changing over the years from brown to green, the siren with a crown on her head has always remained its symbol, with some minor variations.
Another example of symbolism that doesn’t necessarily represent the brand’s mission is Shell. It is a gas company with a single yellow shell as a symbol, but when you see it you automatically connect it to the franchise. Bright colors make it memorable, with or without its bright red typography.
Last but not least, an excellent example where the symbol doesn’t necessarily represent the company is Apple. Its meaning has nothing to do directly with technology, but it is inspired by the story of Adam and Eve. It consists of a bitten apple, which is a symbol of knowledge.
As you can see, these technical aspects of logo design play a major part in how you want to represent your brand or franchise to the world. It is the first statement of your brand to your prospective customers, and it should be an evocative one.
It Makes a Brand Recognizable
Since most people take in information visually, a good logo will help your brand stand out among other companies. It serves as a symbol of your company’s values, identity and recognition. Whenever your clients think of your brand, they will visualize your logo in their heads.
That being said, once the logo is made and shown to the public it is hard for both businesses and clients to switch to a new one. It is not only expensive to make a new and a different one, but it could be very confusing or even misleading.
Consistency Will Show Loyalty to Your Customers
We have established that you shouldn’t often completely change your logo, but as time goes on you might want to make small changes. Whenever you decide to modify or update your logo, it should resemble the one that represented your company before the new one.
For example, the color scheme should be consistent since colors stand out the most. If your logo consists of an image that is the focus of it, it should stay the same as it’s what is most memorable. Some minor changes include different typography styles or the proportions and details of the image.
It Separates You From Your Competition
The point of the logo is to make your brand recognizable, but also to make it stand out from your competition. Observe your competitors: do they use very limited ideas that are closely related to the nature of your work? If they’re playing it safe, it’s a great opportunity for you to stand out.
This could give you an advantage in making your brand or franchise’s logo. It’s always a good idea to do thorough research on other companies’ logos and see what could be improved, and what motifs repeat from one brand to another.
Let’s say you want to sell tea. The first things someone would imagine when talking about tea may be the leaves, plants or fruit – so those would be excellent choices for shapes to include or imply.
If you have a personal story that inspired you to do this business, it could be a good starting point while you are brainstorming the logo design.
An inspiring, touching story behind a brand combined with a good design is an excellent way to set you apart from the rest of the competition.
Make a Good First Impression on Your Customers
First impressions aren’t entirely impossible to change – but when it comes to logos, it might be harder to do that. Since a lot of people are going to see your logo, you want to have the right one from the get-go.
While you are thinking about all the technical aspects and how you will combine them, think about how you want to appear to your target audience. This will again depend on what type of business you do and what your goals are as a company.
A Good Logo Should Be Appealing to the Target Audience
The design of your logo should depend on your brand, but even more on your target audience. If you are a brand that sells toys, obviously your target audience should be families with children. You want to have something colorful, engaging and child-friendly.
A well-designed logo for this target audience is the one used by Lego. Bright red and yellow make the logo exciting and evocative of action. The round shape in typography is almost cartoonish and it makes it very simple and welcoming.
On the other hand, if your brand is focused on helping other businesses or just working with adults in general, you would want your logo to appear more serious and mature. In that case, using fewer colors or making them toned down would be a good way to go.
Volkswagen has a great example of a logo aimed at adults. It uses the key letters V and W and combines them in a simple, yet effective manner. Colors that are used are either black or blue that outlines the logo, combined with white letters in the center of the circle.
Simplicity is the Key
When it comes to creating a logo, the golden rule is “less is more”. When you think about it, almost all of the most known franchises and businesses in the world have very simple logo designs.
Nike has its simple – yet strong and infinitely recognizable — “swoosh,” as Gatorade has its lightning bolt. McDonald’s stylized its otherwise simplistic yellow M to look like French fries.
Most logos have two, maybe three colors at most so they don’t overwhelm the eye. There shouldn’t be too many lines or shapes in it as well for the same reason. It can make your logo messy and disorganized, as well as unpleasant to look at.
Apart from being generally unappealing, it also makes it quite impractical. You want your logos to be easily visible on different surfaces like clothes or boxes, as well as in different sizes.
If your logo has too much detail or too many colors, it can be impractical to print it on some of your products or screen-print on company attire.
Logos tell a story about a brand or a franchise they are representing, making it memorable and standing out from the crowd, as well as displaying its core values. This is why it is considered essential in marketing and a good investment.
Consider all of the elements that go into the design carefully – from the color to its font and color scheme. You’ve only got one shot at a great first impression, so set your brand up for success with a sophisticated logo that clearly tells your story.