Creating a logo is about more than colour or shape. It is the symbol for your business, the identity mark of who you are and what you do, and as such, is infinitely more than the sum of its parts.
When did you last meet someone and decide what you thought of them based on the way they looked?
Consumers do the same thing with the visual identity of a product or service.
Whether it is being printed on a huge billboard or small plastic cards, your logo should grab the viewer’s attention and demand a response. If you can manage that first impression properly, it will change the way your target audience will understand, and interact with, your brand.
To look a little deeper on why this is important, you should remember humans are designed to seek symbolism, patterns and connections in the world around them.
A whole range of things shape how we react to symbols; including our personal experiences, attitudes, preferences and motivations, so it can be difficult to second-guess the messages and meanings people will take from your logo.
HOWEVER, REFLECTING ON POSSIBLE UNDERSTANDINGS IS STILL AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE LOGO DEVELOPMENT PROCESS.
There are a few easy basics to remember; look at all the elements of the logo together, not as individual elements - that’s the usual way people will review your finished work.
It can also be useful to limit the colours, shapes and fonts used to one or two. This is the familiar form that people expect to see; and this familiarity can breed trust.
Colours are often the most memorable elements of a company’s logo, and around four in five people say that colour is the thing that fuels their brand recognition.
But the most striking choice is not always the best choice. Select something that works for the vision of your company and always do some local research.
For example, in Asia white is associated with death; blue is often connected with professional firms but turquoise is about beaches and holidays.
Although colour is memorable, the subliminal response to a logo is fuelled by the shapes it holds. A distinctive shape will make for an effective brand mark which leaves a strong mental image. For example, rings are usually used to evoke partnership; horizontal lines suggest tranquillity and squares are solid and reliable.
Finally, there is the question of a font
- and this choice can say as much about the mood you are trying to create as the words you use them for. There’s a distinct language to each font and you will want to choose one that reflects, rather than distracts from, your message.
Usually serif is seen as traditional
sans serif as simple and something decorative will be perceived as fun and casual
There’s a knack to getting this right, go for something you’re comfortable with but get a good round of feedback before you sign the print order.
When all these issues are considered, you'll soon realise that a logo is not just a pretty device or mindless afterthought. You should work on it to make sure your shapes stand out, your colours suit your mood and your fonts tell the right story
And most importantly; look at all these things together, not as separate elements. Your customer, and your business, will benefit from knowing who you really are.