This month we’ve been talking broadly about “branding” exploring brand personality, brand voice, and brand identity. At this stage, you should be confident and ready to create your brand logo.
Here’s what you need to know before settling on a final design.
Logos, Logos, Logos
Look around you. Logos are literally everywhere. And the best ones have stood the test of time. Bass Ale’s iconic red triangle was trademarked in the 1870’s and is generally credited as the world’s first commercial logo. A beer logo. Not surprising.
In fact, many of today’s most iconic brands are those that touch people’s day-to-day lives. And statistics prove it – in a recent poll on brand recognition, these five companies took the lion’s share of the votes:
- Nike: 16 percent
- Apple: 15.6 percent
- McDonald’s: 11.1 percent
- Coca-Cola: 9.7 percent
- Google: 2.9 percent
Sport, technology, food, drink and web surfing. What else is there to life, right? I’m kidding, of course, but only a little.
Why Your Brand Logo is So Important
This seems obvious – your logo must accurately and clearly represent what your company/brand does. But many miss the mark. I’m sure you’ve seen logos and thought…what does that even mean? How did they come up with that? I certainly have.
Before settling on a final brand logo, ask yourself the following questions:
- Audience: Who is your audience? By now, having mapped out your brand voice, personality, etc., you should have audience demographics clearly laid out. If not, go back to the drawing board and complete this important step.
- Location: Where will said audience “see” your brand logo? In print? On giant billboards? Or maybe wrapped around coffee cups and sandwich wrap. Context matters, as what works well on a big screen might not be so easily read or understood when seen on packaging.
- Messaging: What message do you want your logo to represent? Serious? Playful? Sporty? Youthful? Corporate? Casual? And does this image/colour scheme/font selection help convey that message? Graphics, Text, or Both?
Graphics, Text, or Both?
Once you’ve determined market and messaging, carry that over into your logo design. In other words, are you retro and cool? Vintage and flirty? Conservatively corporate? The text, font, image, design and/or colours you choose should follow.
When it comes to logo “types” there are a number of different ones you can choose from:
- Symbol: Branding that includes the brand name, but can stand alone without text as an icon or graphic – think Nike or McDonald’s
- Wordmark: uses text only to spell out a brand’s name – think Ikea or Disney
- Lettermark: a type of branding that uses limited text, first initials of a name, etc., to create a logo – think Volkswagen or the BBC
- Emblem: A logo design that resembles a seal or crest and features the company name within the design – think Harley Davidson or Starbucks
Brand Logo and Colour
Colour is very important when it comes to branding, as colour triggers emotional responses in people. Red means danger, blue equals cool yet trustworthy, orange is cheery and childlike. Yellow leans toward sunny and optimistic, and pink can range from soft and sweet in pale pastels while hot pink is punchy, vibrant and fun (our colour!). You get the picture.
Many iconic brands are instantly recognizable due to their colours – Facebook’s blue, Coke’s red, John Deere’s green, Home Depot’s orange.
What you definitely don’t want to do is overdo it when it comes to colour. Less is more. And the wrong colour choice can influence how your message is received. Have something serious to convey with your messaging? Try using a monochromatic, subtle colour scheme rather than bombarding your audience with bold bright colours.
Brand Logo Design Trends
Even an established brand with a well-loved logo can benefit with a logo refresh every once and awhile. Markets and trends change, and in today’s crowded world of never-ending business competition a logo can quickly become stale and dated.
So on that note, I thought I would leave you with a few of the latest trends in logo design, thanks to graphicmama.com.
- bright colours
- multi-color gradients
- metallic logos
- geometric shapes
- minimalist illustrations
- minimalist typography
- creative logotypes
- illustration substitutes for a letter
- artistic logos and illustrations
What are your thoughts? Do you have a favourite brand logo? Considering updating your current logo? I would love your input.