Updated: Dec 17, 2019
A logo is more than a static symbol. It carries the significance of a brand’s visual identity and without one; a brand would lose its meaning. To leave an everlasting impression on a consumer, having an exceptional logo is crucial. A logo has the power to represent all the values a brand upholds. But before we getting the considerations of designing a logo, let’s understand why logos are so important. Why are logos so important? Anyone starting a business would have gotten the suggestion to invest in getting a logo although some people fail to realise that having a logo is just the initial step of building a memorable brand identity. A logo is the keystone of your brand and no matter what type of brand or business you own, it is important to have a professionally designed logo. Without one, your audience will not be able to identify your company, let alone allow you to outweigh your competitors.
a) A logo is the face (identifier) of your business We tend to picture a specific brand with its logo and this is related to your experience and connection with the company. Whenever you see a logo of a brand you have previously associated with, you cannot help but recall the interactions you have had with that certain brand.
b) Logos drive consumer decision-making We are able to make a judgment about the brand’s products and services, from just a single glance at the logo. This is connected to the prior experience we have had with the brand, as well as the visual itself. If the logo matches your perception about the type of company you think it is, it can influence the decisions you make and the expectations you have from them.
c) Logos allow for quick brand recognition Words are not enough to convey what a brand has to offer, and words are difficult to memorize. As the age old saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words. A brand’s visual identity needs to be unique so the brand can be quickly & easily identified.
d) Logos make you stand out from your competition A logo is directly associated with a business and what its services or products are. Countless companies could be offering the same services as yours but what sets you apart from the rest is solely your logo & brand. This provides you with the option to come up with a design that leaves a lasting first impression.
What to consider before designing a logo We are living in an era that is depending upon digitalisation. Since traditional business mediums are being replaced by digital platforms, it is becoming difficult for businesses and individuals alike to build a visible identity. Branding techniques are no longer limited to just business cards & stationery, instead a lot is required to acquire a reputable position among the competition. Social media platforms are playing a vital role in the notion of building brand recognition and on all of these platforms, the logo is the one aspect that is always visible. However, before you proceed to design a logo, there are some essential rules that you need to comply with. Here are 10 important things that every designer & client should consider before commencing with the logo design process.
1. Research and analyse the needs & goals of the business Before you design a logo, you should conduct extensive research about the goals of the business. One such way is through a brand questionnaire or discovery call. The brand concept you create should reflect the brand’s ethos and goals.
2. Do not rely on trends Design trends come and go, hence being a trend. Some trends stick for a long time while some remain as periodic fads. While it is essential to keep up with the latest trends, you should not rely entirely on them as it leads to your logo and brand becoming dated quickly. There is nothing wrong in staying updated about what’s currently trending and what needs to be avoided but solely depending upon trends is another story. It is better to exert your imaginative abilities and think of an idea that is unique from what everyone else has been doing. Make your logo timeless.
3. Consider creating your logo in black & white first The selection of the right colour palette can be overwhelming for designers and clients at the beginning of a project, since the possibilities of choosing certain colours are innumerable. For this reason, it can be beneficial to design in black and white at the start of the project, and then move into colour. See here for colour psychology in branding.
4. Pay attention to scalability When designing a logo, the notion of scalability plays an important role. You will be adding your logo to promotional items such as social media posts, business cards, posters, and even billboards, so your logo needs to work at all these sizes. Scalability is just as important as the responsiveness of a logo design, meaning how the logo adapts or changes at different sizes and orientations. On this note, some brands even animate their logo, so this could be kept in mind when designing the logo also. For a logo to fit every aspect of traditional and digital branding, you have to ensure it looks good in every possible and relevant format. For that reason, you need to test your logo on both small and large-scale formats and/or create multiple versions of the logo for different use case scenarios.
5. Think out of the box The goal of your finished logo should be to make memorable and tied to your brand’s values & aesthetics. Be innovative and think differently until you are able to come up with something that is truly new. Experiment with numerous styles, such as negative space, and design something that is truly innovative. Consider telling a story or hiding elements within the design such as those above.
6. Strive for minimalism Having a unique logo does not imply it should be visually complex. Complexity is what needs to be avoided and for that, you have to depend on the concept of minimalism. Declutter your ideas and only add or remove design elements that bring simplicity to your logo design. When in doubt, remove extra elements. Use a minimal colour palette and select shapes, icons, font styles and symbols that do not make your visual message too confusing to comprehend. Understand that less is more. The more elements you add to your logo, the more complex it becomes.
7. Test your logo on different mediums While the requisite of scalability plays a great role in a logo’s success, you should also make sure to test your on different mediums. A logo on a business card or a pamphlet would look different from the one on a website. Since there is a great difference between desktop, mobile and print-based platforms, test out its appearance on your website, mobile, printed packaging and other marketing collateral. A logo has to look good no matter in what format it is: digital, printed or even as an app or fav icon.
8. Your logo needs a core concept What makes a logo powerful is the meaning it conveys. A logo should be able to express the message, values, and vision a certain brand upholds. The design of the logo should be unique and memorable, achieved by having a core concept with a simple message, though don’t fall in to the trap of literally showing what your business does. If you’re a car salesman, you don’t have to have a car in your logo.
9. Learn from the success of others You can always get inspiration from the work of other designers and businesses, but it is never okay to directly copy the work of others and this really is no way to stand out. Learn from others that are successful, emulate them and improve on what they have done. Inspiration is crucial in brainstorming for new ideas, however, if inspiration is key then so is creativity. “Great artists steal, good artists copy.” – Pablo Picasso.
10. Break the rules One you know the rules, break them. Logos don’t have to be static symbols, they can adapt, change and be anything they want to be, as long as it ties in to the brand’s goals and ethos.
Conclusion Great branding and advertising campaigns are not created overnight. The aforementioned points are important in creating a logo that not only works for building your brand’s visual identity but also helping you run a successful business. A well-designed logo has the ability to bring in more revenue (indirectly), improve customer retention rates and allows people to trust you as a credible brand. Practice certainly does make perfect and by following these core tips, you will able to create a great logo that drives growth to your brand.