When it comes to setting up the brand identity of your business, the first item on the list should be your logo. Before getting started on the design, you must understand why having a logo is important and what it does for your brand.
Your logo has one of the biggest impacts on your business. In fact, it’s usually the first impression your business has on your potential customers. It sets a standard of who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re different from the competition.
Your logo is that part of your personality that’s tangible. People can see it and should be able to relate to it in different ways. When it comes to logo design, it’s not as simple as people may think. Although it conveys the brand, it isn’t the entire brand. It’s a significant part of your brand’s visual identity.
Creating a great logo
You must be strategic when designing a logo. There should be a lot of thought put into what you want to say and how you’re going to say it through this icon, initial, letter mark, wordmark, or abstract design. Although you’re creating a logo, it’s not just a logo. It needs to work with other parts of your visual identity.
Here are a few things to consider when creating a logo:
The discovery process is key. You’re figuring out your brand story, target audience, competitors, and where you fit in. This goes back to the core foundation of a brand – purpose, vision, mission, values, personality, and voice. If you don’t understand those elements, you may come up with a logo, but it may not resonate with your audience.
The discovery phase captures your tone and how you want to be reflected in the marketplace. This process matters. Think about the words that define your values, personality, and voice. Who are you and what do you want to say? This should help in sketching out the type of impact you want your logo to make. As you go through this process, you can’t think like a business owner, but you must think like your customers.
This is the time to get all your ideas out, taking several factors into consideration – your audience, competition, your peers or employees, design style, color, and typography. You must also consider where your logo will be used. Think about marketing assets and how you use them. The logo should look good on your website and just as good on a billboard.
The symbol or type of mark you choose for your logo says a lot. There are seven different types you can choose from:
- Word – this is just the name of your company with nothing else.
- Brand – this is a graphic representation of your brand. This is also used with your company’s name until it becomes able to stand on its own.
- Combination- a symbol and wordmark are combined to create a distinctive logo.
- Abstract- these are usually of a geometric nature and aren’t that recognizable at first. When you’re looking to do something different, this is the way to go. At the beginning, it should be used with a word mark until it is able to stand alone.
- Letter – this is just a letter or monogram. Depending on the font used, this can be very powerful.
- Mascot – these are usually fun and quirky. They are often cartoon characters but have a lot of flexibility in how they communicate.
- Emblem – this is text inside a symbol. They are usually traditional and are also known as crests.
If you’re going to use a symbol, make sure it is one that can gain credibility over time. It should also be unique and has its own direction.
Colour is very important when designing your logo. It must stay true to the colours of your brand, but what if you haven’t gotten there yet? You must have logo colour variations for dark and light backgrounds. This includes the colour in your typography. Colour is a major consideration in how you want your audience to feel about your brand.
It’s no secret that colours help bring certain emotions to the surface and has different meanings. For example, red logos are usually associated with boldness, youthfulness, excitement, leadership, courage, motivation, passion, anger, and hunger. It wants to be seen and stand out.
Another energetic colour like red but not as bold is orange. It’s vibrant, playful, and invigorating. Studying colour psychology in marketing and how different colours affect their audiences makes a lot of sense when finally deciding on colours that match your brand’s personality and voice. The logo should align with this and convey that in the design.
Deciding the style of the logo is also directly tied to your brand voice and personality. You wouldn’t have a traditional style logo with a brand that is bold and in your face. You may also decide to have a logo that combines different styles to create something new and unique.
Consider where you are in your brand – would a handcrafted style work better, or is your brand fun and quirky? Some brands prefer the modern and fresh look, while others want vintage or nostalgic vibes for their audience. Each style says a lot about your brand and how you want your audience to perceive you.
Have you ever heard the saying; a picture can speak without words? That’s exactly what your logo is supposed to do. While you may have the name of your business or a variation, the typography you choose speaks volumes.
While there are tons of fonts in the marketplace, you want to make sure your font is clean and easy to read. The font should complement the logo with a seamless blend of the two. If you’re also using an icon, it should be something so unique that, eventually, your logo can stand alone, like the Apple symbol or Nike swoosh.
It’s always best to start with the basic fonts that fall into the Serif, Sans-serif, script, or display categories to start.
While the logo may look good on a piece of letterhead and social media, how will it look on a step-and-repeat or giant billboard? Your logo should be clear regardless of size, making an impact no matter where someone sees it.
Once you select a symbol to bring it all together, you can start with your design. Using a logo maker can make life much easier, but sketching out what you think you want before getting started is a good idea. As you’re putting it all together, think about these things:
- Does the design reflect what your business does? Will customers be able to make the connection?
- Is it simple? A good logo can be any size and blend into any environment.
- Is it memorable? Does it stand out enough that people will notice and remember it?
- Does it work in every aspect of the brand?
- Is it timeless or will you have to refresh or redesign it in a few years?
- Is it appealing to your ideal customers?
- How unique is it? Does it blend into the market or is it disrupting the market?
Think about where the logo will be used. Once you create your winning design, create guidelines on how and where it should and can be used. This helps with brand consistency and recognition. While it seems like a lot of work to get to a good logo design, it is worth it when your brand starts gaining recognition in the marketplace.