What to Think About When Designing a Logo

What to Think About When Designing a Logo

Your logo is arguably the most important part of your brand. It establishes your brand’s identity and aesthetic, letting potential customers know what to expect when they engage with your company. This can make the process of designing a logo intimidating. Here are some things to think about when creating a logo for your company.

First and foremost, you should decide on the type of logo you feel would fit best with the identity of your brand and your overall goals. It should be unique and dissimilar from any logos used by other companies, especially brand marks used by direct competitors. Below are common types of logos to choose from.

Image-based logos are incredibly popular and include:

  • Brand marks – logos that are made of only a graphic symbol or sign that typically resembles a real-life object
  • Abstract logo marks – logos that are made of an abstract graphic symbol that is unique to the brand
  • Mascots – logos that use the image of a character
  • Combination marks – logos that use both images and text in the design
  • Emblem logos – graphic logos that are made to look like a crest, seal, or stamp
  • Dynamic marks – a set of different graphic logos that contain similar elements

Name-based logos are also used by top brands and include:

  • Wordmark logos and logotypes – logos that consist of only text
  • Lettermarks and monograms – graphic typography-based logos that primarily use monograms or acronyms
  • Letterforms – graphic logos that are similar to monograms that use only one letter

Every part of your logo, including its shape and style, influences consumer perceptions about your brand and can even impact buying decisions. Here is how some of the most common logo shapes are perceived:

  • Squares and rectangles – Angular shapes that are symmetrical are typically associated with balance, longevity, efficiency, and strength
  • Circles and ovals – These shapes are perceived positively and can be associated with friendship, community, marriage or partnership, endurance, reliability, and stability
  • Triangles – Triangles are associated with everything that squares and rectangles are, but also fit particularly well for companies that operate in the legal, religious, and spiritual niches
  • Horizontal lines – Horizontal lines are thought to be feminine, submissive, calm, peaceful, and tranquillity
  • Vertical lines – These lines are associated with power, masculinity, and aggressiveness
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Before selecting a logo shape, consider the message, goal, or vision of your company. What do you want to communicate to your target audience? What do you want them to immediately associate your brand with? The shape of the logo you select will have a significant impact on customer perception, so it’s important to choose wisely.

3. The Colors and Font

Once you’ve decided on the overall shape of your logo, you can incorporate font and colours. This is a great way to add balance to a logo that might be too feminine or too aggressive for your brand’s messaging. If a square-shaped logo is a little too straightforward, you can use feminine or soft colours to offset this.

Your logo colours can also help strengthen your company’s message to consumers. Here are some colour psychology basics you can use to help you decide which colours align best with your brand’s goals:

  • Red – Excitement, aggression, desire, strength, romance
  • Orange – Friendship, sociability, success, joy, confidence
  • Yellow – Happiness, cheerfulness, creativity, friendship, food
  • Green – Health, wellness, freshness, healing, money
  • Blue – Loyalty, professionalism, fairness, health, medical, legal
  • Indigo – Fairness, impartiality, curiosity, empathy, justice
  • Purple – Spirituality, royalty, ambition, luxury, femininity
  • Pink – Sweetness, femininity, sincerity, compassion, empathy
  • Black – Strong, uncompromising, formality, luxury, sadness, emptiness
  • White – Innocence, simplicity, cleanliness, honesty, trustworthiness
  • Brown – Rustic, antique, reliability, dependability, rugged, simplicity

Fonts are just as important as your logo shape and colour. They can also evoke a physical and emotional reaction in consumers that drives the buyer’s journey. Here are some of the most common font styles and what they mean:

  • Bold fonts – Fonts with thick letter strokes that appear aggressive, forthcoming, and domineering.
  • Light fonts – Fonts that have thin, lightweight strokes. These fonts convey beauty, femininity, and gentleness.
  • Medium-weight fonts – Fonts that are a balance between bold and lightweight and are easy to read.
  • Round fonts – Fonts with round, bubble-like letters that indicate softness and femininity in a different way than cursive fonts.
  • Angular fonts – Fonts with harsh lines and angular lettering that gives off feelings of powerfulness, authority, and potentially even threat.
  • Simple fonts – Fonts without many extras like curlicues or swirls. These typefaces are best for applications where messaging needs to be clear and straightforward.
  • Artistic fonts – Artistic fonts tend to be more complex and may incorporate tiny icons or curlicues. They are ideal for brands that want to convey a sense of whimsy and fun.
  • Straight fonts – Straight fonts have no slant or lean to them and are used for most projects. These fonts can be bold or light, artistic or simple, or any other colour or style of font.
  • Slanted fonts – Slanted fonts can be cursive, straight, bold, lightweight, round, or angular. The only criteria needed to qualify as a slanted font is for the font to be pushed or slanted forward towards the right. Typically, a slanting font is used to denote speed or urgency.
  • Serif fonts – Serifs are the little “feet” at the tips of some types of fonts. This is a historical style of text that is reminiscent of old newspapers and tends to pair well with elegant cursive fonts.
  • Sans serif fonts – Sans serif fonts are fonts without the small “feet” at the tips of the letters. This allows text to become inherently more readable, particularly for computer programs.
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4. The Logo Icon

Next, consider whether or not your logo will have an icon. Do you want your logo to be recognizable just by the brand mark itself, without any supporting text? Do you want to be able to feature an icon in the thumbnails of your company’s social media profiles? If so, a logo with an icon, monogram, or mascot, is likely to be a great fit.

You may want to start out with an icon-based logo with your business name and slogan until you become more well known, after which you might be able to drop the graphic text and simply use the icon in your branding materials.

5. Scalability and Versatility

One of the most important things to remember is that your logo should be both versatile and scalable. You should be able to make your logo larger or smaller to nearly any size without risking pixelation, stretching, or other visual distortions. Your logo should also be able to grow with your company. If you will have different departments or service tiers within your company, you should be able to make slight changes to your logo without impacting the original.

Conclusion

There you have it. Now that you have the main basic elements required to create a great logo to represent your business, you can view different company logos for inspiration, experiment with different logo creation tools or software and get a first understanding of how you want your logo to look. Good luck!

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