Why Your Logo’s Design Matters

A few months ago, a friend’s 11-year old nephew introduced me to the “Picture Quiz – Logos” app. This kid, who is known for his hatred of all things educational, blew me away with his ability to complete multiple levels of the logos game in mere minutes. If you aren’t familiar with the app, it is a game that reveals 50 logos at each level and asks you to name each logo. It is not multiple choice and you are required to accurately spell out the name of each logo for the response to be deemed correct. Subsequent levels are only unlocked once you have correctly answered approximately 80% of the previous level’s questions.

There are some logos that are known universally– McDonalds and Apple quickly come to mind. That an 11-year old can so easily identify Chevrolet, Starbucks, Esso, Avis, Axe and Harley Davidson is impressive, to say the least, and speaks volumes about the importance of a logo and how it helps people to identify your business or service.

It is a widely accepted fact that a logo is a reflection and extension of a brand. It can motivate clients to try a business or to trust it. It can set a company apart from its competitors and inspire loyalty among clients. The design (or redesign) of a logo should be a thoughtful process and one that factors in several considerations:

Colour

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Colours have different meanings and can affect how we interact with a brand and logo. A company that wants to be identified as eco-friendly, healthy or natural may opt to use green in their logo, for example.

Fastcompany.com highlights the following colour associations for branding and logos:

Red is considered a high-arousal colour that can inspire people to take risks. It also signifies, power, heat, energy, passion, aggression, love, and danger.
Recognizable logos with the colour red include: Netflix, Pinterest, Coca-Cola, CNN and Toyota

Yellow suggests optimism, hope, betrayal or cowardice. It is often associated with the sun.
Popular logos that incorporate the colour yellow include: Shell, Best Buy, DHL and National Geographic

Blue is affiliated with feelings of trust, cleanliness, order and security.
Recognizable logos with the colour blue include: Facebook, American Express, Walmart, Flickr, Twitter, Dell and Ford.

Orange is associated most often with energy, balance and warmth. It is a high-arousal colour.
Recognizable logos with the colour orange include: Nickelodeon, Payless, Mozilla Firefox and Power Point.

Green, in addition to the connotations listed previously, also indicates coolness, luck and jealousy.
Recognizable logos with the colour green include: Monster, Xbox, Starbucks, Excel and Holiday Inn.

Purple is considered to be a low-arousal colour that signifies royalty, mystery, spirituality or arrogance.
Known brands that incorporate the colour purple include: Yahoo, Taco Bell, Crown Royal and Welch’s.

Choose wisely when deciding on colours for a logo! It helps to convey a brand’s message.

 

Less is Best

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In the world of logo design, less is definitely best. Your logo should tell a story or express a purpose without having to spell it out. McDonalds is known the world over for its golden arches. Apple’s monochromatic logo is sleek, simple and a seal of quality and reliability, and if you recall, evolved from a multi-coloured design that the brand used when the company first started.

Some of the most identifiable logos are the simplest and the big players in the game seem to know this — Starbucks chose to simplify their logo a few years ago by removing the word, Starbucks. Symbols are also a good way to convey a message in logo –have you ever noticed the (hidden) arrow in FedEx’s logo? If you can successfully pull off something complex or fancy, go for it, but that certainly isn’t a requirement for creating a good logo.

Additionally, be sure to test out your logo in print and against a variety of backgrounds. Regardless of how simple (or complex) something might look on the screen before you, it’s important to consider if a logo will be noticeable or effective on a magazine page where it’s competing with several other logos and advertisements, or in any number of places where a brand or service is promoted.

Evolution

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One of the most important considerations when designing a logo is whether it will stand the test of time. Is your logo able to grow with your company? Some of the world’s most renowned companies have tweaked their logo over the years, either to signal a new stage in their company’s life or to introduce a fresh dimension to their business. A complete overhaul of a logo can be expensive and risky and could hurt a brand rather than help it so when designing a logo, aim for something that is timeless — once again, consider the simplicity of a logo. If the long-term business plan includes an expansion to include products or services from other sectors or that appeal to varying markets, this should be a definite consideration when designing a logo.

Designing a logo is no small task. With the tips included in this post, however, you should be on your way to creating something for yourself or clients that aptly conveys a brand and inspires client confidence.  Good luck!