Unless the services or products you offer are truly unique, you are likely to be operating in a competitive market against dozens, if not hundreds, of other companies. One way to help give you an edge over the competition is by creating a powerful visual identity for your brand – a logo!
But how do you choose the right logo, one that gives off the right vibe about what you do and what your brand stands for? Here are some essentials to consider, whether you’re about to launch a new enterprise, or feel it’s time to refresh your present branding.
Study famous logos
If you’ve never seriously considered what goes into creating a logo before, think about some of the logos that are instantly recognisable. If someone were to mention McDonald’s, Nike, Apple, Volkswagen, and Amazon, is there anyone who couldn’t visualise the distinctive logo that represents these companies? Even logos that may not be as omnipresent or encountered every day are still highly recognisable. Examples of these could include Mercedes-Benz, Colgate, Tesco, Pepsi – the list goes on.
One thing all of the above have in common is their visual simplicity. When you look at each one, you could decide there’s not a lot to them in terms of features, colours or graphics. What else can you see? Look hard at a few well-known and lesser-known logos and jot down what you think makes them so effective. This exercise will start to inform your own decisions about choosing a logo for your business.
Some tips on colour
Colour is a form of non-verbal communication – and a powerful one at that – so choosing the appropriate colour or combination of colours for your logo is clearly important. You can easily research what colours stand for online. Red, for instance, is an emotionally intense colour, associated with strength, power, energy, fire, determination, decisiveness. Red is also highly visible, which is why it commonly used in signage and on websites for the ‘click to buy’ feature.
Yellow, the colour of sunshine, evokes feelings of joy, happiness, positive energy. It can also be an effective attention-grabber which is why it is incorporated in so many logos. Blue stands for stability, intelligence, confidence, wisdom whereas black can have a negative connotation (death), but is also associated with elegance, formality and power. Purple is regarded as a good choice for more feminine designs and can symbolise royalty, nobility and luxury. Colour can help to communicate the personality of your business, so choose wisely!
Choosing the right font or typeface for your logo is another important decision. Again, you can find out all you need to know with a quick online search and even get some free downloads. It’s easy to get confused by the sheer array of serif, sans-serif, script, and display or decorative fonts at first, but take your time and bear in mind what you want the font to say about your company. For instance, if you want people to see your business as approachable and friendly, the combination of a simple sans-serif font and bright colours is ideal.
Spell it out
It goes without saying that your company name is displayed clearly and easy to read in your logo, so keep the overall design simple. You might also consider using a catchier version of your full company name to make it easier for people to read and remember. This can be different from the one your company is registered as, just don’t make it too different and check to see that no other company is already using this name.
Test your logo
Before committing to a logo design, do some market research by asking customers, family and friends for their feedback. What does the logo tell them about the company, it is obvious what goods or services are being offered and who is offering them? Is the logo distinctive enough? Is it memorable, or instantly forgotten? Even if you commission the services of a professional logo designer, you should still try and gauge reaction to it in the marketplace before signing off on the design.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of a logo and what it can mean for your business. The ideal scenario is that as with some of those instantly recognised logos mentioned earlier, yours too will become synonymous with reliability, quality, high-performance, value-for-money, or some other positive attribute that is relevant to your goods or services.
Settling on a logo that is both distinctive and unique can be challenging and chances are you will have to try – and reject – many designs before finding the one that you feel is right for your business. But as the slogan for one global brand says: Just Do It!