Logo designs – We see them everywhere! It’s impossible to escape logo designs. Good, bad, ugly and hilarious, there are a variety of logo designs out there. But what makes a good logo design? And what should you be considering if you are hoping to craft a new effective one? Our designers give you their top tips for creating a logo design, while keeping one mind’s eye on the brand design message too.
Make sure that you know your brand inside out
Before any designers can begin to create a new logo and brand design for you, the purpose and meaning of your brand must be defined. Your brand should be the epitome of who you are, and as such needs to reflect your values, business and core ethos. Before building a brand, first lay the foundations. Without them, your brand will not perform correctly for your business. What is your business? Why is it there? What are your core values and messages? From our design studio we have created a brand questionnaire to aid this process, asking all of the right questions to get a feel for who your business is and why you are here. Only once this has been finalised can the design and research stages begin.
Colour is everything
80% of brand recognition is down to colour. It is vital to choose the right colour for your brand, rather than a colour you favour. Would you recognise logos as the businesses they are if the colour changes? Especially from a distance. More often than not you will associate colours with feelings, emotions or businesses. That’s why it is so important to make sure you colour resonates with your brand.
Make sure it works in black and white
In the same vein, your brand must also stand out in black and white. It will appear in a mono version at some point in time, whether that is because of photocopying or placement. The brand must not be overcomplicated or full of strokes and additional colours. Doing this will only over complicate your mark and leave consumers confused.
Keep it simple
If you are guilty of feeling you need to add everything into the mix, take a step back. Will the message get across without them? The best designs are those that are the simplest. Think the Nike tick, the four Audi rings, the McDonald’s ‘M’. Recognisable marks are just as important as meaningful ones. Don’t take your logo too literally. Just because part of your business is cutting grass, doesn’t mean grass needs to be in the logo mark. Think about the process of your business, if you cut the grass, why not have bespoke cut type, that is trimmed at an angle to demonstrate the process of your business. People will understand these concepts, as they are simpler and more direct. Your logo is so important, and it should be recognisable from a distance. When you step back from your logo mark, do you find all of the elements get lost? Try simplifying the concepts or colours, your business will thank you along the way.
Keep it short
The most recognisable brands are short and sweet. It is easier to recognise a brand that is catchy and to the point. Naming your business ‘Martin’s Grass Cutting Service’ won’t do you justice. Think about the amount of brands you encounter everyday, your brand needs to be able to cut through all that noise and catch the attention of your market. Your logo needs to be uncomplicated, simple and focused. Not only that, but it needs to work in such a wide variety of sizes and applications. Business cards, websites, signage and marketing material to name a few. Your logo must work horizontally, vertically, in a square or circle and most importantly, it shouldn’t get lost when applied to these sizes. Having a logo that can be simplified to an icon or mark will benefit you for online marketing such as social media, or website design.
Businesses often get caught up in what their competition is doing. While it’s good to keep an eye on competition, don’t just follow what they are doing. If you do that, then how is your business different to theirs? If your competitor’s logo designs are all similar, be that point of difference. That way you won’t get lost amongst them, you will stand out. Be brave and make a statement. Tell your customers that you offer a superior service that differentiates you from your competitors.
Make sure it’s suitable
Whilst we encourage a point of difference, don’t make the mistake of choosing a completely inappropriate logo for your business. Relevance is still key. You wouldn’t use a children’s hand written font for a lawyer’s logo for example. Fluorescent colours aren’t going to appeal to the elderly. In design there are certain rules, and your target market should be the focus of your attention. Make sure your logo design resonates with your market, and don’t confuse them by targeting it at the wrong consumers.
Don’t just think a logo design is all you need
Your brand identity is everything. Think of the broader spectrum when crafting your logo design. The logo is only one element of the wider brand identity. Think about the application of colour, fonts, photography and more in your marketing material. It must all reflect that ethos we were talking about earlier. You wouldn’t want teenage photography for a retirement business for example. It may sound obvious, but often details in the brand design can get missed, meaning that the overall brand identity doesn’t perform as well.
A symbol isn’t essential
A wordmark that is completely bespoke will work. If you feel your company name is unique, this could help you even further. People will recognise you for your unusual name, so play on that. However, ensure there is an element of your logo that can be used in smaller spaces, such as your social media. A focus on the letters of the logo is not a downside. Make sure you aren’t tempted to overdo the design elements. Keep your mark simple and legible; your logotype should come first, then the symbol elements later. A logo that can communicate a message without the need for an icon or symbol sat next to it, can often be the most effective – think Google or FedEx. At the same time, you don’t have to be too literal, just because you sell books doesn’t mean a book must be in the logo. Think deeper than that, think about your mark and how you want to be distinguished. After all, do Penguin publishers sell penguins? No, but it has stood the test of time from a logo mark point of view.
Create an emotive response
It may not suit every business, but an emotional response to a brand is always a great seller. Think Air BnB or Lloyds Bank. These businesses have gone out of their way to make you feel happy or warm when you think of their brand. Their slogans have a part to this too, ‘belong anywhere’ and ‘By your side’ give consumers the impression that their business is personal and caring, even if it might not be. When you consider how large these businesses are, it is important to give the impression you care about every customer. Give your clients a demonstration that you care for them and their well being. This is usually down to the brand identity more than the logo mark, but you can evoke an emotional response from a logo too. Think Macmillan or Amazon. That small smile mark in the Amazon logo infers happiness, whilst also pointing out that they sell all kinds of products, from a to z. The ‘We are Macmillan’ logo gives an air of personalised care and trust. All of this comes from well calculated colour, font and logo choices.
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