Your brand is, truly, the last unfair advantage you have in business. Creating a memorable brand is about telling your story, Through the right words, images, and content, you can illustrate an unobstructed vision for the brand, articulate what you stand for, and highlight the value being offered.
The fastest and most telegraphic element of turning your brand’s vision into a reality is your logo. As Paul Rand said “Design is your silent ambassador and your logo is the focus of your design”.
Creating a simple but powerful logo is not only about knowing your brand and your products, but knowing how your customers will connect with them…your logo is really what you want to say and who you want to say it to. There are a few things to keep in mind when you translate your brand into a logo. A logo can serve many purposes, but most importantly it is about conveying the right message to your target audience. Over time, it can come to represent the things customers look for as they grow loyalty with your brand and even become ambassadors of it.
The first and most fundamental focus for creating a great logo is knowing and understanding your brand- its vision and its personality. And part of that is an appreciation for the process and insights that lead to that brand vision and particular personality. Many times, brands jump right to the logo design without going through this critical process.
Next, you need to be mindful of what the business is or does, the services offered or the products sold. A logo is simply a translation of these things. The fonts, the colors and the shapes you use in a logo should reflect these aspects of the business.
A logo must also be something that stands out, it must create an immediate impression. A logo should be exciting for customers to see, it should leave an impact or a memory as well as a sense of anticipation of what is to come. A logo should also create a sense of pride for the brand’s internal team, something of inspiration that they want to share with friends and family. A brand’s logo often becomes a powerful tool in creating a culture of collaboration and success.
When it comes to logo design, the color scheme should be planned carefully. When it comes to colors, look to those that best reflect the brand’s mission. Be mindful that colors telegraph emotion- red is energetic or passionate, whereas blue is calm and thoughtful. Choosing the right combination of colors can make all the difference. With fonts, typefaces are a powerful way to speak to your brand’s personality. Brash brands call for brash fonts. Refined brands deserve a more considered font set. If possible, pick something unique or go with a combination of fonts that are readily associated with the brand. The right combination of color and font can be immensely powerful.
Then there is the type of logo you want. Do you want a logotype with your company name in the logo? This can convey immediate recognition (think Coca-Cola) and your brand name will become a key part of your advertising. Logotypes can be highly effective when it comes to your marketing and publicity budget. They can also be extremely beneficial to small or emerging businesses. Or you can choose a symbol for your logo. Some of the world’s most famous brands have reduced their presence and recognition to a simple mark (think Apple, Nike or Volkswagen, to name a few). This path may require having to spend more money on awareness to gain traction, but the benefits and return speak for themselves. Creating a combination of both logotype and symbol is the best of both worlds, economically and with one eye on a future state of recognition.
Above all, when it comes to logos the universal rule is to keep things simple. Boiling everything down to a simple color scheme, font set, and symbol makes communicating who you are all the easier (it also helps with scalability and being able to move the brand into other markets).
One final thought: if you have created a logo that is simple, scalable and applicable to a global audience, you should also be mindful of how it works in all facets, at its smallest and colorless. A true test of a great logo is something that leaves an impact, even if in black and white.