Logos have long been used to differentiate one thing from another. Aristocratic families used crests, and Crusaders were marked with a red cross. Today, logo has certainly evolved. It’s much more widely accepted (and expected) as a means of creating brand identity, and no business can afford to slack in this area.
There’s so much more to logos than slapping a few letters and elements together. If done correctly, it can be the stepping stone to recognition. Your logo is your company’s official first impression. Not convinced of the brand power that logos have? Consider this: one 5-year-old was able to accurately identify several logos, without having too much first-hand experience with many of them. She identified the Starbucks logo as “the coffee logo” and the silvery apple as “the Apple Store logo.” That’s brand power.
On any given day, you’re carrying quite a few logos on your persons. For logos belonging to apps we use everyday, like Facebook, Uber, or Google, those brand relationships are even more intimate and important. And while it may be tempting to hire a cheap graphic designer on a platform like Fiverr, think twice. It’s not uncommon for logo mill companies found on freelance platforms to steal important elements from other logos. For this reason, it’s critical to work with a reputable logo design company with a proven track record.
Jerry Kuyper, a well-known graphic designer who played a role in designing the AT&T logo and many others, says logo thinking is about being distinct, memorable, flexible, and simple. So whether you’re a graphic designer or a business owner looking for a few tips to give you an idea of what you want, you can benefit from early research. Here are five simple tips to designing a logo with strong brand power:
1) Your Fonts Matter
Fonts are one of the most important areas of logo design, and are the backbone of a final product and first impression. Take a second to imagine some of the major brands and what they would look like if they used, let’s say, Comic Sans. After all, typography has a way of communicating a brand story on its own.
2) Embody The Brand
Because logos are brand ambassadors in their own right, it’s necessary that they accurately reflect the brand. Any good graphic designer will work hard to understand the brand before they set to work. This gives them idea of the personality behind the company, and the driving force that propels them.
For example, a brand that’s utility focused would have a different type of logo than one that aims to evoke emotion in its audience. Does the company consider itself quirky or corporate? Relaxed or militant? Customizable or rigid? What types of products and services are offered, and how do they expect customers to feel and think? These are all important questions to consider prior to logo building.
3) Effects Don’t Translate Well
Design programs provide users with plenty of power, and some of that power lies in creating different effects with your works of art. This includes gradients, drop shadows, and glows. While these effects work well for presentations and other materials, it just doesn’t translate well when it comes to logo design. Remember: keep it simple, and less is more.
4) Watch Out For Color
White space helps your logo achieve balance, so that it doesn’t appear overcrowded or too busy. On the same color note, avoid too many colors, as this isn’t standard and can have a negative effect on your logo. Colors give your logo meaning, and too much of anything can be a bad thing. While companies like eBay and NBC use multiple colors, they are the exceptions: 95% of the top 100 brands in the world use just one or two colors. Refrain from trying to stand out in a way that doesn’t work well for you.
5) Be Original
There’s no better way for your logo to stand out than to ensure it’s truly your own. While looking at other logos (from direct competitors to logos well outside your industry) is great for inspiration, lookalikes do not bode well with logos. In design, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, especially when it feels like downright plagiarism.
Sites like Logo Thief make it possible for business owners to check the validity of their logos, whether they designed it themselves or hired a logo design agency. And when it comes to design, don’t be afraid to veer away from industry-related graphics. For example, the Ray-Ban logo doesn’t have a pair of sunglasses, the Apple logo doesn’t have a computer, and Virgin Atlantic didn’t force an airplane into the equation.