Every company, especially startups and small businesses, needs to plan and establish a brand identity early and foster it throughout the growth of their company. It's crucial to attract interest to your brand. Logos can be instrumental in establishing a strong brand. On the other side, a misstep in logo design can severely harm your brand’s image, so take care and dedicate time to your logo to ensure its rightful place as a branding powerhouse.
Designing your logo to express your brand can be complicated. A simple logo is the easiest to market, but oversimplification leads to obscurity. Be aware of what your competitors have chosen so that you can learn from their mistakes and successes while ensuring that you’ll stand out.
General shapes determine how clean or cluttered design is. A simple shape will be easiest to reproduce in marketing. However, an unusual shape catches more attention. Negative space in a logo can add visual interest as well as be a conversation starter, as well.
Finally, decide if you want your company name to be displayed in your actual logo (like FedEx), or if you want the option of displaying it alone (like Nike). Think carefully about the color you want to feature in your logo. Colors can reflect certain ideas, so be aware of what implications your choice has on the expectations of consumers. For example, a red and black logo with jagged lines would be an unexpected choice for a maternity supply shop unless it had a reason to use those elements.
When designing a logo to reflect your brand personality, ask yourself these questions:
- Who is my target demographic?
- What shapes do I want associated with my brand?
- What colors embody my company?
Once you have options lined up:
- Is this logo unique?
- Is it relevant to my business?
- Will it translate across marketing mediums?
Display, display, display
A compact but powerful logo lends itself to visibility. Tack it onto subtle places in your inventory as well as promotional materials. A logo that’s pasted all over marketing materials but not displayed on anything else feels disconnected from the brand. Make sure your logo is associated with all of your strengths: your PR, management, and customer service. To tie your logo to your location, place it on your reception room wall with a custom wall mural, along with your mission statement. To make sure your logo goes where you go, put it on your paperwork, particularly form headers.
Consistency and room for growth
Evolving logos can make sure you stay relevant to changing times and are a fun way to chart a brand’s progress. A progressing logo represents positive change and growth. Coca-Cola has had the same logo for over 50 years. However, they came out with the shortened “Coke” logo in a block font in the 1980s to mix into marketing campaigns. Changing your font is a good way to refresh your logo, but be conservative. Keep your colors consistent and use similar shapes so you don’t lose the recognizable brand you’ve developed. To represent your company best, ask creative minds in your employ to weigh in on ideas. Yahoo missed an opportunity earlier this year when they passed over an intern’s idea for their logo redesign. Don’t make the same mistake; be open to ideas from within the company. Logos can do so much more for a brand personality than simply used on packaging. It can express ideas about your brand personality and create interest in your niche. A logo that espouses brand personality can become a company’s strongest marketing ally.
Chris Garrett is a marketing consultant and designer in the Western US. Evolving from his artistic roots, he has made it his mission to cement the role of art in marketing.