When it comes to designing a logo, there are ones trying to come up with a smart design, to be the next “Fedex” or “Amazon”, and the ones on the opposite side of the scale throwing together a bunch of lines and curves on Paint and filling the spaces with some of their favourite colours.
But a logo design should be bigger than that! Unless a random combination of cool shapes and colours is sufficient to represent your brand; it should be a visual representation of your brand, the promise you bring to your customers, the first impression formed by visitors from all over the world when they visit your website or see any of your collaterals.
So where do we begin?
Step 1: Storytelling
Whether you are about to brief a designer, or planning to put together a logo yourself, this is the most important step and where all logo design should begin.
Don’t start until you have an answer to all the questions below.
What is your brand’s story? What are the attributes you want a complete stranger to bring home if that is the only thing they will remember in a conversation with you about your brand? Who is your brand targeting, who should your logo appeal to?
Do you have a young, energetic team targeting C-level business owners? What sort of values would you then need to portray to win them over? Are you looking to be fun? Respectable? Traditional? Modern? Chill? Aggressive? Elegant?
A logo is your brand’s emblem, your first impression to the rest of the world. Every element can represent something about your brand. Knowing what you, your team, and your brand stand for, can help you pick out the right representation in terms of colour, shape and font.
This is where you decide what to build your brand equity on and delivering on the promises your brand represents.
Step 2: Colours
Colours evoke certain feelings and emotions to the viewer. We have long associated red with love and also with anger, blue with calmness and also with cold. It does subconsciously form the perception of your brand because colours have long been used to project the similar emotions or purposes; hence people tend to be able to quickly associate it with those emotions.
Now, imagine a pink logo with a cursive font. Even without visuals it already feels feminine, soft and will likely appeal to female audiences as compared to a logo that is in black with bold, capitalised fonts.
Step 3: Typography
Typography is one element non-designers tend to make an unconscious decision on. We tend to go for a font that looks good in the eyes of the one designing the logo, whether it looks like it fits the logo.
The right font can help develop a strong brand identity and a solid first impression. Fonts that look classy, clean, solid, traditional or fun can invoke similar expectations of the brand it represents.
Though it is not impossible to subconsciously pick the right font that fits the visual illustration of your brand, but here are some pointers to, as cheesy as it sounds, brings out the best of your brand.
The next infographic shows typography of 6 different categories; serif, sans serif, slab serif, script, modern and decorative.
Step 4: Shapes
Shapes also affect our subconscious. They can be used in various combinations to convey the right messages.
There are 3 broad categories of shapes to consider:
Geometric shapes are what we visualize when we think of shapes; circles, triangles, rectangles etc. Such shapes usually suggest structure and order.
Organic shapes are shapes found in nature; leaf, cloud, butterfly. These shapes suggest spontaneity and comfort.
Abstract shapes are recognizable, a stylistic or simplified version of organic shapes which suggests idealistic interpretations.
The elements above, when mixed and matched can bring about different meanings and evoke different emotions. But always remember the impressions you have of the design, which might very well be the first impression your customer will have.
Designing an excellent logo with all the right attributes are, of course, only the very first step. Successfully delivering on the promises your brand represents is where brand equity starts to grow. That is how brands can charge a premium for their products or services and grow a steady pool of loyal customers, case in point – Apple Inc.
We hope you have enjoyed our article, stay tuned for our next piece. If you are keen to further discuss how ACG can help in your organisation today, please feel free to reach out to us and we will help you in the best way we can.