Every brand, organisation, business and product needs an effective logo. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. A new logo is a critical element to get right when forming a new brand, as well as when revitalising an old, tired brand.
You mustn’t underestimate the importance of a logo. It’s a symbol of your organisation that should admired by your customers and suppliers. But too often it is harshly critiqued, hated and falls short in portraying a positive and professional image. It’s one of the hardest things to design as it needs to represent an entire brand with a few letters and a symbol.
Behind every great logo, there is a clear idea. This can be a twist of a common idea in your industry, or something that is not normally used by your industry. Think about the Microsoft Windows logo as an example. It’s immediately clear what the idea behind the logo is.
As is true with so many things, the simpler you can make something the better. Simplicity helps people remember the logo and the value behind the brand. When you look at how the logos of longstanding, globally recognised brands have evolved over time, they have become more simple. Take a look at Apple, Pepsi and Starbucks to name just a few. There are no unnecessary embellishments, no noise, no clutter.
Clean lines and uncluttered composition help to create a timeless logo. Trendy techniques that are flavour of the month will make a new logo feel out of date.
There’s been a huge amount of study conducted on how colour impacts brand recognition and emotional response. Choosing the right colours will determine how your brand is viewed.
Do you want to be seen as trustworthy, exciting or friendly? We associate blue with trust, red with excitement and orange with friendly. You see a lot of lawyers and accountants using blue in their logos for this reason. But used carefully, an accountant can get away with orange. We wouldn’t mind dealing with a friendly and approachable accountant, providing they also prove in some way that they are trustworthy and dependable.
Different font types also evoke different emotional responses. Serif fonts are seen as traditional, reliable and respectable. Sans Serif fonts (such as used throughout this magazine) are clean, modern and stable. Scripts give a sense of elegance.
As when choosing a suitable colour palette for your logo, careful consideration needs to be given to the font so that it portrays the right impression to your customers and portrays your brand’s personality.
Choose something that isn’t a short lived design fad. otherwise you might end up having to design another new logo in a couple of years time. And if you are thinking if using the much-maligned Comic Sans font, please visit www.comicsanscriminal.com first.
Negative space is the area that is not occupied by any object. Just because you have space, doesn’t mean you have to fill it with something. Negative space can give your logo much needed impact.
Every logo needs to work in a variety of different formats and across a range of different media. Consider how the logo may work on signage, a website (and how it will appear on all devices), social media avatars, app icons etc. It’s not unusual when developing a logo to do several different versions, depending on whether the logo will be used horizontal, stacked, or as an icon. How will the new logo look if printed in a single colour?
Look for inspiration and get an idea of what you do and don’t like. You’ll probably find after looking at enough logos there are some common characteristics that you like. It’s a good idea to research the logos of your competitors (both locally and further afield) to ensure that you don’t inadvertently end up with something which looks a little too similar in some way.
A logo is worth investing some time effort and money into getting right. When you do, it’ll have a better chance of sticking in the minds of existing customers and attracting new ones.