How to get a great logo made for your brand
Your logo is synonymous with your brand. Here are some factors to consider before you choose one
Graphic design has a massive impact on your business. Good design can be a great way to set apart a great company from a good one. It is important to ensure that every element of your branding effectively represents the core ideology of your company.
Logos are one of the most effective forms of digital identity. As your company’s definitive identity symbol, they communicate information about who your brand is, what it does and what it stands for.
According to a recent study conducted by Nuanced Media, The human brain can process images 60,000X faster than words.
This study highlights the core reason why logos are the strongest aspect of your brand’s identity. In order to effectively communicate your brand to your clients, it is really important to have a unique logo. However, choosing a logo isn't as simple as writing your brand name in a fancy font in Microsoft Word.
Let's look at some of the factors you should take into account when you're deciding on your company's logo.
Important factors in your logo
While selecting your logo, it is really important to remember that your logo is going to be an effective extension of your company’s core ideology. Every aspect of the logo should be tailored to achieve tangible design goals.
If you are wondering about creating your company’s logo, here are some of the important factors you should consider while designing the logo.
Define your identity
Your logo should reflect your brand's identity, and your brand identity needs to be relatable and approachable. Think of it this way: If your business was suddenly ignited by the spark of life and transformed into a human, what would its personality be?
Would it be warm and bubbly, or thoughtful and calculative?
Defining the unique personality archetype for your business will help you maintain a uniform voice throughout all of your communications channels. Also, if you ever need to outsource any of your content creation, your blog writers will have a clearly defined framework to work with.
To identify your business' unique identity the first thing you'll need to do is select all of the Jungian Archetypes that are most applicable to your business.
- Innocent: Free to be you and me
- The Sage: The truth will set you free.
- The Explorer: Don't fence me in.
- The Outlaw: Rules are made to be broken.
- The Magician: I make things happen
- The Hero: Where there's a will there's a way
- The Lover: You're the only one.
- The Jester: You only live once.
- The Everyman: All men and women are created equal
- The Caregiver: Love your neighbour as yourself
- The Ruler: Power isn't everything, it's the only thing.
- The Creator/Artist: If you can imagine it, it can be done
Next, you'll need to come up with a list of adjectives that describe your business in light of your chosen archetypes.
When you're done compiling this list you might find that some of your chosen archetypes are less relevant than others. Remove any outliers so that your left with a final list of archetypes and adjectives that more accurately reflect your business.
To learn more about identifying your business archetypes, refer to our brand identity design guide.
Now, you've defined the emotions and characteristics you want people to associate with your brand. This should help inform how your logo is designed. Communicate these adjectives with your graphic designer.
Decide on the format of the logo
There are a number of different formats you can choose for your logo. Let's explore a few of them and give some examples:
A wordmark logo uses typography to showcase your brand's name. Some examples would be Ikea, Netflix or Google.
A lettermark is similar to a wordmark, but uses an acronym for your brand. Some examples here would be IBM or CNN.
A pictorial mark uses a symbol to stand in for your brand. Some examples of this are Apple or Starbucks.
This style combines a symbol and the brand name. For example, Starbucks previously used a combination mark before getting rid of the lettering and going to a pictorial mark. Another example of a combination mark logo would be Adidas.
You may not have a clear idea of which format you want for your logo, but understanding these formats will help you communicate with your graphic designer throughout the process.
Choose colors that represent your brand
Colors are a major part of subtly conveying your message across to the viewers.
The most commonly used color in logos is blue, but you can definitely adapt the color based on the core focus of your company. If you're aiming to go for a powerful, energetic message, go for strong, bold color. If you're in the food business, consider going for a red or yellow logo.
Here is a summary of some of the emotions evoked by different colors. You should ideally choose a color palette that aligns with the brand identity you're trying to convey.
- Red: Excitement and passion
- Yellow: Optimism
- Orange: Energy and activity
- Green: Nature and healing
- Blue: Technology. Trust.
- Black: Luxury and sophistication
For more details on how to choose your color palette, have a look at our brand identity design guide.
Having the right typography
Typography is both the font used for your logo and the way that font is laid out. The typography itself can communicate a message about your brand identity. Sans-serif fonts communicate youthfulness and approachability. Serif fonts communicate authority and trust. It's important to adapt your typography to the message you want to convey about your brand.
Also, it's worth the cost to invest in custom typography. Your logo will stand out if it uses a custom font. Consider the Star Wars logo, for example. The iconic logo created typography that's now instantly associated with the film, no matter what words it's used to write.
2D or 3D?
3D logos provide an added dimension (quite literally) of detail compared to standard 2D logos. They were all the rage a few years ago.
However, the trend seems to be shifting away from 3D logos. Brands like Instagram have redesigned their logos flatten and simplify them. The biggest impetus behind the change seems to be the shift to simplify the experience for users. Users today are increasingly interacting with simpler content.
The change has led to a number of companies streamlining their logos back to 2D format. This is a great indication of the direction of logo designs in the near future. That's why it might be a great idea to keep things simple and stick to a simple 2D logo.
Static or animated?
First let's clear something up: you'll always have a static version of your logo. After all, we haven't quite gotten to the point of regularly handing out animated business cards or t-shirts. But, animating a version of your logo can introduce a bit of whimsy, and help reinforce your brand story.
Top global brands like Google and Netflix are succeeding with both variants and there is no single rule that you need to follow. Just make sure that the decision you make works for your brand.
Your logo will be the first impression your brand gets to make on many of your customers. Make sure that you consult several different team members and maybe even some external stakeholders before you make your decision, because the user experience is an integral part of an effective logo.
Most of all, make sure you select the right graphic designer to help you with your logo. If you've already thought through the points above, you'll be in a great position to communicate exactly what you're looking for. A talented graphic designer can work to your brief and bring their own creative spark to designing a logo that will embed your brand in consumers' minds.