The Importance of a Logo
Your business’s Logo can make a huge difference to how you communicate with customers (existing or new)
- It can tell the world/potential customers who you are, what type of product or service you sell and what your values are
- It can draw interest and pique the curiosity of customers, prompting them to at least look, and hopefully purchase your product
- It can differentiate you from the competition. A good logo should dare to be different
- A recognisable and familiar logo can help foster feelings of brand loyalty
- It can emotionally resonate with customers, which can draw them to your product
A logo can form a key part of your visual identity and where appropriate all stationery that leaves your organisation should have your logo included on it. This helps to maintain consistency across communications and reinforce your brand.
The same is true of other communication channels utilised by your business (social media, online, TV). Ensuring that your visual branding is clearly and consistently applied across all channels makes sense, as consistent branding reinforces your identity and creates trust with consumers.
Types of Logo
For practical use, there are four kinds of regularly used logos.
- Lettermark logos are initialisms of businesses with lengthy names, such as IBM, HBO or ITV
- Wordmark logos are font-based logos that focus on a business’ name alone, such as Ebay, Coca-Cola or Disney
- Pictorial logos can literally illustrate what a company does (such as a house-painting company using an illustration of a paint pot and brush in its logo) or can have a connection to the company’s activity or name, like Twitter, Android or Shell
- Abstract logos are symbols that become linked to a company’s brand, such as Pepsi, Chase Bank or that Nike swoosh
What to Think About When Designing Your Logo
Whether designing your first logo or considering a rebranding, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind
The Do’s of Logo Design
- Do Look at What Competitors are Doing: Do rivals use bold, conservative images? Or are they using flashy graphics and type? Think about how much you might want to buck the trend and differentiate your logo from the rest by actually taking time to study the market you’re in.
- Do Focus on Your Message: What type of company are you? Are you serious or light-hearted? Do you have a distinct personality? What’s the profile of the market you target? Your logo is meant to be an easy way for customers to understand what you are trying to tell them. If you’re a fun-loving company aimed at the youth market for example, a dour logo isn’t going to do you any favours.
- Do Make it Clean, Multi-Functional and Scalable: Your logo should work as well on a business card as it does on your Twitter profile. A good logo should be scalable, easy to reproduce and flexible. As a rule, icons are better than photographs, which may lose their resolution if enlarged or reduced significantly. And it’s also a good idea to create a logo that can still be used in black and white, so that it can be easily photocopied or utilised in a black-and-white advertisement or mailshot.
The Don’ts of Logo Design
- Don’t Go Colour-Mad: Your 15 colour logo might be a thing of beauty but when you start printing off thousands of leaflets, the cost isn’t going to be. Also, your logo can appear in a number of different physical mediums, such as signage, stationary and packaging, some of which might have production limitations. Keep things simple and try not to exceed three colors unless you decide it’s absolutely necessary.
- Don’t Get Too Trendy: Flip flopping between logos is seen as a sign of weakness by customers. It makes a business look confusing and undermines the creation of brand loyalty. With this in mind, any redesign should have longevity in-built to prevent this. Go for something that you know will stay current for 10 to 20 years and not something that might potentially seem like a terrible mistake in a years time.
- Don’t Choose The Wrong Font: You’ve done your research and found the perfect font, the one that looks beautiful on your computer screen. But before you sit back and congratulate yourself, maybe take a second to see how it links up to other fonts used in communications. And how does it look when printed? Does it still make you purr with pride?
Getting a Logo Right
If you get a logo right, it can have a positive impact on your business. But get it wrong an it can turn into something of a disaster. Possibly the most high profile example of this in recent years was the 2012 London Olympics:
The response of the public to the £400,000 design was a resounding ‘no’, with some likening it to a jazzy swastika!
By taking your time, putting in plenty of thought and making sure you plan effectively, you should be able to avoid disasters like the above. Not everyone can be the next Carolyn Davidson but there’s no reason why, with the right approach, you can’t create the perfect logo for your business today.