Do you know what makes a brand succeed and others fail?
As you know, the quality of the products and services are very important factors in any brand's success. Imagine your products and services are equal, so then what is it that sets your business apart from the competition?
A creative and effective logo and brand design can make a world of difference between your brand and the competition. Just need to consider some of the most famous brands around you. They employ logos that are not only specific and eye-catching, but also meaningful and memorable as well.
A logo is a brand visual identifier such as a mark or a signature. A logo is rarely a description of your business. Your logo derives meaning from the quality of the idea it symbolises, not the other way around.
So, back to your business logo. Think about the design and meaning. Maybe right now you don’t have one, or just quietly you don’t like your logo, or you do but not sure whether you should stick with it forever.
Forever is a long time, especially if you’re building a business with longevity in mind. Before you approve or disapprove of any logo created, you need to work out which logo design is the right one for your business?
Don't worry. I’m here to help you. There are quite a few elements you need to pay attention to, so just take a moment and read through my list to get you started.
Think about your target market or audience. An effective logo design doesn’t have to portray a company’s product or services. Ask yourself what meaning or message it should communicate.
It is important to know a logo is more than just an image. It’s the public face of your brand and its unique visual identifier. It’s important to consider what your brand offers and who the target market is. Should it be represented by a particular emotion or specific utility?
Remember an effective logo design doesn’t have to portray what the business does or sells. Nowhere in McDonald’s famous logo is there a hamburger. Apple doesn’t sell apples, and Nike doesn’t sell ‘sneakers’, but each logo represents these brands through a combination of shape, colour and symbolism.
Don’t try to create a too complex design. Simple logos are more recognisable and memorable.
When it comes to effectively conveying a brand’s key message, simplicity in logos is by far more recognisable and memorable. A lot of the time logo designers try to create a design too complex for audiences to understand or memorise.
Think of a large notice board also known as a billboard. The audience might drive past by at high speeds, so the design should be seen, recognised and communicated quickly.
A complicated design (logo, billboard, magazine, website, etc.) will be nothing but an incomprehensible image. Some of the most famous logos are made of simplistic shapes and colours.
Just think of the Nike or Apple logo. The basic shapes are immediately associated with the brands they represent. The designers or founders of these companies had a vision, they’re thinking differently, they’re thinking out of the box and it worked.
Brands can be distinguished from their competitors by their logos. A glass of Pepsi looks pretty much the same as a glass of Coca Cola. Some people can’t tell them apart by their taste (I know I can, I prefer Coke but that’s just me!). So, what makes Coke different from Pepsi at first sight? YES! The logo and advertising.
When you want to choose your logo with the aim of standing out from the competition, it’s important to think outside the box. Neither Coke or Pepsi feature the actual beverage in their logos. Just imagine If every travel agency used an aeroplane or train in their logo designs, would anyone recognise one from the next?
The first step for your graphic designer is market research, because they might not be familiar with your brand. You, by providing all the information and brief, can help the designer to understand who are the target customers and what ways the brand should choose to communicate to them.
When the designer creates an identity for your brand, it’s more important to consider what message will speak to the target audience, rather than your personal tastes as a business owner. If you are a conservative person may prefer the grey colour and black letters, but if the brand targets a young, urban audience, bright colours and creative fonts will be more helpful. So, give all the information to your designer and leave it to them to do the best for your business.
You don’t want your brand to be a passing trend, do you?! So don't use current trend designs.
You need to ask yourself some questions: will my logo convey the same message to its target market in 20 years or 30 years or even 60 years’ time? Will it still stand apart from the competition? If you find yourself creating heavily from the latest design trends, the answer is more than likely, no.
Professional logos should be scalable so they can easily be transformed between sizes and formats. So, always ask your designer for the vector format.
Probably you will use your logo in a variety of media, so your logo needs to be designed in full colour as well as black and white, with different sizes and formats.
The designer you hired should think big. Just because the design represents a small-scale brand right now it doesn’t mean that your company will not grow in a few months or years, so they need to provide all varieties of the logo versions.
Your logo should use no more than two fonts which helps make it versatile, distinctive and easy to read.
Helvetica is one of the most commonly-used fonts in logo design, as seen in popular brands such as Microsoft, Nestle, Target, Jeep, Toyota and Panasonic.
Some logos are completely typography-based, known as word marks, such as Coca-Cola. This kind of design is popular for big companies because of its simplicity and ease of reproduction.
If your company has a unique name, you could get away with a logotype. But if you have a generic name, then you need something to identify the brand by, which can be achieved by using a logo mark.
Sometimes the most effective element in a design is nothing at all!
Using negative space is necessary to communicate aspects of the brand, such as FedEx.
The logo is made by the company’s name but positioned in a way that the empty space between E and X creates a hidden arrow. This is the negative space between the “E” and ->”X” as you can see in the image below.
Even if the empty space in a logo isn’t sending a message, it’s still an important element of the design. Without any empty spaces, your logo could blend into whatever background in which it appears.
Does my logo use a consistent colour scheme?
Effective logos should be versatile enough to convey a message in full colour, black and white, but should not rely on colour alone.
So if your logo design conveys its message through the use of colours, ask your designer to alter the contrast of various elements or use the lines around the shapes to retain the same meaning as presented.
Many of the professional logo designs use visual double entendre, in which images take on more than one meaning to transfer a more powerful message.
Let’s have a look into the Amazon logo. They use a simple logo that consists of the company’s name. Pretty straightforward, right? But when looking closer, the name is underlined with an arrow from “a” to “z,” expressing that the retailer offers anything a buyer could want, from A to Z. It’s so creative, isn't it?!
By using round shapes, such as circles, ovals and curved lines, you can show positive emotion, femininity and endurance. On the other hand angular shapes for example, squares and triangles convey power, stability and masculinity.
So, by using different shapes you can transfer different emotions.
If you want your logo to be fully effective, it must be recognisable. Studies show that even small children can recognise many brands by their iconic logos.
It is important to realise that many famous logos stand out because their designers thought outside the box and broke the rules in design.
Just consider, the more audiences see a consistent logo, the more they recognise the brand. If it’s changed, the brand recognition can disappear with the original design, so if you have a small business it is important to create a fantastic logo not just for today. Think about the future when your company turns into a worldwide business.
Think of the Apple logo or Mcdonald’s again. Just as an effective logo must be recognisable, it must be memorable, too. What makes Apple or Mcdonald’s stand out, so that audiences will remember the design and associate it with the brand?
Often, a single unique element can make a logo timeless by remaining in a viewer's mind making it instantly recognisable. Let’s have a look at the Apple logo in the image below. There’s nothing memorable about the silhouette of a fruit. But by removing a bite from the shape, the brand created a logo that is associated with it, and with it alone. Apple is a good example of one of the world's most iconic and memorable logo designs.
So, it’s time you have a look again at your business logo and check these elements the effective logo has to have. Something missing? We are also always happy to help you. Let’s have a coffee on us and chat about your marketing and your brand.
Hope to see you soon. 🙂