Logo, short for logotype, is the first glimpse your customers will have of your brand identity. Logos help your consumers to understand what your organization is all about. A logo usually combines several different elements to paint an overall picture of your brand, with each feature displaying something unique about your brand identity.
Color. Of all the facets of your logo, color is one of the most important. Color has been shown to not only affect people’s moods but also buying decisions while shopping. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are warm colors that evoke feelings of happiness, energy, and optimism. Cool colors like green, blue, and purple are usually soothing and often associated with spirituality, health, and creativity. It’s a good idea to research colors and how they impact emotions and behavior before making any decisions.
Choosing your color palette is critical to accurately represent what you want to portray about your business. Be sure to keep it classic and simple, and not too trendy, as you will likely want to utilize your logo for a long time. Don’t forget that you will likely be unable to use color all the time, so be sure to consider how it will look if it must be replicated in black or white.
Fonts. You may decide to represent your company with a logo that uses both text and a symbol. If you decide to use lettering, you will need to choose a typed set of characters or “font.” Like colors, fonts can have an emotional impact and are often associated with particular perceptions.
A serif typeface (like Times New Roman), for example, that has a little tail at the end is thought to be traditional and comforting; a sans serif typeface that does not have a little tail (like Helvetica) is considered to be more modern. Script typefaces are often perceived as sophisticated and classy, while display fonts (like Valencia) can be perceived as amusing and friendly. Look into the psychological impact of different fonts before committing to one.
Symbols. Any artistic representation that requires people to look, view, and interpret needs to be “easy to read,” even from a distance. Choosing to use a symbol has its advantages. Because it doesn’t depend on text, it can extend your reach because it is “readable” in any language. But one must keep in mind that images and icons can have different meanings in different cultures, so you will want to research your symbol to ensure its meaning for your target audience. If you decide to use a symbol, make sure that it truly represents the story of your business or your product.
Utilizing a symbol without text can be risky for a small business, however. For the symbol to be recognized, it must have significant popular culture influence. This may be especially difficult for a business that is just starting out or does not currently have the consumers afforded to larger businesses. It’s often better to utilize both a visual and text so that the message of your logo is an accurate reflection of your company or product. Studying some of the world’s finest and most memorable symbols may help you design a truly unique logo for your business.
Once you have a logo in mind, the next step is to make your vision a reality. This is easier than you might think. Some businesses may choose to hire a designer to create their logo. Others may opt to sit at the drawing table to complete the task. And while there are still more ways to make this your logo vision a reality, online logo design software is an excellent option for many small businesses for a variety of reasons.
Using online templates and logo generators, you can manipulate and “try on” many different images, colors, and fonts to create your final design. Many of these online tools provide small businesses to create a professional logo at a reasonable cost while maintaining better control of the creative process. Additionally, creating your own logo means that you will not have to waste days or even weeks in the turn-around process on an initial draft by a design firm, which results in valuable time wasted that could have been spent on branding efforts, marketing campaigns and other projects.
What are some of the more memorable logos of your lifetime for smaller or local businesses in your area? What can studying these logos tell us about what matters in a logo design? Please feel free to share your ideas here.