Your logo is a visual representation of your company. It immediately identifies your brand, and can help convey a message of your choosing about your organization. It’s much more important than most people realize.
Try coming up with a tagline first, then designing a logo that supports it.
Consider the Allstate “good hands” logo. It is meant to symbolize care and trust. With a little planning and creativity, your logo can send a positive message about your business. Use your logo to reinforce your brand’s message.
Know Your Target Audience
If your target demographic is single men in their 20s who love sports, perhaps a charging red bull would convey the intended message. The designers of Red Bull’s logo knew full well that their target audience would immediately connect with the strength and energy implied by their logo.
Don’t follow trends, create them
While the product name Red Bull essentially dictates what the logo will look like, most companies don’t have a name that descriptive. Novice logo designers often use cliché images, which usually make the logos they design easy to forget. Make your logo distinctive and design it to resonate with your target audience, so it stands apart from millions of other logos.
Color is subjective, but some North American standards are so commonly used that they’ve become known worldwide.
A smart use of color can complement your brand’s message. The following chart shows some common color associations. This is by no means a definitive guide but rather something to consider when choosing the color and the message that you want to convey.
Less is more
If you don’t focus on a single message, your logo probably won’t convey anything. The “I Love NY” logo is a great example of this. Just about everyone knows this logo and has seen it plastered across t-shirts, plastic shopping bags, and hundreds of knickknacks. But one must give credit where credit is due. This logo has been tweaked and reworked innumerable times because it is so commonplace and recognizable.
Fonts can help convey emotion
Disney utilizes a fun, casual font. The style is whimsical and reminiscent of seemingly haphazard brush or crayon strokes. The Disney font speaks of creativity, free spirits, and youthful recollection. The mixed blend of capitalized and lower case letters is at once childish and nostalgia-inducing. Since Disney wants to appeal to the children in all of its potential customers, this font balances that idealistic appeal.
Steinway & Sons uses a formal font to connect with their audience. The font is clean, elegant, and classic. The use of the lyre is no mistake as it immediately indicates to those who don’t know the brand that Steinway is associated with music. There is nothing ostentatious about this logo. It speaks about the quiet elegance and classic styling that are the hallmarks of Steinway instruments.
Shapes can also convey certain messages
Shapes tend to convey unconscious associations and can definitely be leveraged by a clever designer into providing an unspoken message. Styling your logo within the confines of a particular shape or including shapes as focal points within your logo can influence how your logo is perceived.
Make the Most of White Space
Balance and leverage available white space, both in and around your logo. Make white space work for you, not against you. The quintessential example of white space usage is the FedEx logo, and the arrow between the E and the X. Simple, discreet, and an almost unconscious element.
As you can see, an amazing logo design incorporates many different elements – font, color, shape, and utilizing both what’s there and what’s not there. A logo is one of the first things that a potential customer sees from your company and leaves a permanent impression. Whether that impression is positive or negative is dependent upon your vision. Remember that logos aren’t simply pictures; they’re the public voice for your company. Make that voice a strong one and create a logo worthy of your brand.