Branding 101: Designing Your Brand Part 3

STEP THREE: DESIGN & DEFINE YOUR LOGO

There are many ways you’ll communicate your brand to your customers, but one of the most powerful and important is your logo. Your logo is your calling card. It’s instantly recognizable and as soon as someone sees it, they make the connection to your brand.

A good place to start in creating your own logo is to consider some of the logos you’re most familiar with. Brainstorm recognizable logos, as well as the logos of brands you regularly use. Consider which you like and don’t like, and which are most effective at communicating to you.
Logos come in all shapes and sizes and there are no strict guidelines per se, but here are a few considerations.

Three Types of Logos

There are three kinds of logos: text logos, image logos, and abstract image logos. Some logos mix all three of these types.

A text logo is simple and just presents the name of the company or a letter associated with it. Think of Google’s simple lettering. Most companies use their name as a logo. Very recognizable brands like Apple or Starbucks can get away with using no text.

google logo

Image logos show an image related to the company. Examples are McDonalds’ golden arches and the apple that is Apple’s logo. Starbucks’ logo is a stretch but still related: Seattle, the hometown of the company, is a seaport and the logo is a siren beckoning sailors.

mcdonalds logo

An abstract symbol is something like Nike’s swoosh. It doesn’t say the company’s name or show an image related to the company, but somehow the movement of the swoosh communicates the brand’s message.

Logo Colors

The first thing to consider with colors is that most good, recognizable logos use only one or two colors. Simplicity is best.

The most used colors in brand logos are red, blue, and black or greyscale. However, many companies use other colors as well.

Colors need to be considered carefully because each color sparks certain associations in the mind. You want your logo’s colors to spark the associations you want to make and not something else.

Here’s a rundown on what, generally speaking, common colors mean to people:

Blue: Dependability, strength, calm.
Red: Attention-grabbing, energetic.
Green: Security, reliability, honesty, nature.
Pink, Yellow, and Orange: Excitement, youth, energy.
Brown: Dependable, simple, honest.
Black: Cool, sleek, high-tech.
White: Simple, pure.

Clean and Functional

Simple logos are best. Your logo should present a single image or word without any needless special effects that can distract from your message.

In addition to being clean, your logo also needs to be functional. What this means is that it’s easy to reproduce. Even if you use colors, it should look good in black and white because it won’t always be reproduced in color. Also make sure that your logo looks good whether big or small.
Invest the time, energy, money, and other resources in making the best logo possible. Your logo is extremely important for your branding and too many companies fail to put in the required effort.

Did You Miss It?

Part 1: Designing Your Brand
Part 2: Designing Your Brand Pt 2

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