One of the most important design elements of any company or brand, is the logo. Of all the marketing tools available today, a professionally produced logo is the most enduring.
Most people could probably name a dozen or more companies, just by their logo alone. The Golden Arches of McDonalds, the Swoosh of Nike and the interlocking loops of Audi; they are all instantly recognisable – and that kind of lasting marketing just cannot be bought.
Or can it?
The Graphical Face Of Your Organisation
The logo is very often the first impression that a consumer will have of a brand, or company, and it is important to set the tone at the outset.
Corporate logos are intended to be the “face” of a company, even more so than the rockstar CEO or the footballers wife that some companies trot out once in a while. They are graphical representations of a company’s unique identity, and they convey essential information about a company that allows clients and prospects to identify with the company’s core brand.
Logos are also a shorthand way of referring to the company in advertising and marketing materials; providing an anchor point for the various fonts, colours and design choices in all other business marketing materials.
Creating a logo, and one that is memorable for all of the right reasons, is no easy task but it is one that should be given some serious thought.
Take the Fed Ex logo for example….
Simple and to the point, but deceptively brilliant. Notice the arrow between the ‘E’ and ‘X’?
This signifies speed and precision; the two things that Fed Ex values in itself above all else.
Logo design is an important part of your branding strategy, and if branding was not important then why would so many companies spend so much money on it?
Without branding, without logos, we’d live in a world of generic products. Some time ago, a good few years in fact, some people thought generic products would trump their branded, more expensive counterparts. These generic products were essentially identical in build and design quality, but came in plain black-and-white packaging.
Fast forward a few years and we see that branded packaging takes up the majority of shelf space at retail stores. The reason for this is much more complex than the fact that consumers like pretty pictures and colours.
A poorly designed logo is just as bad as not having one at all, if not more so, and the last thing you want is for people to be put off from visiting your store or website because of it.
Google love logos too, so much so in fact that in May of this year they introduced Organisation Logo Schema.org Markup. This means that whatever logo you decide upon for your organisation, it is going to appear in the Google Search Knowledge Graph (with luck, anyway).
And this is good for you because… Well, if you have a less than stellar logo, then you are not going to attract the massive traffic boost that this would otherwise afford you. So, not having a logo is not an option and neither is having a below par one.
Which Logo Is The Right Logo?
The logo has some seriously deep roots, right back to our cave dwelling ancestors in fact. The purpose of the logo has not really changed; it was used to convey an idea or message back then, and it is still used this way today.
Apple, for example, chose a very iconic symbol for their logo – one of the oldest in fact. It is thought that their Apple logo was meant to represent the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden.
Apple quickly cemented themselves as one of the biggest computer manufacturers of all time, bringing knowledge to millions. Or, at the least, access to knowledge.
Exceptional logo design should be strong and balanced without excess additions to distract from its message. The following are some points to consider when thinking of your branding, and how to move forward if you feel that your current logo just isn’t doing it for you anymore.
- It should be clear, distinctive and easy to spot across a crowded (metaphorical) room
- The visuals and imagery should be appropriate for your company. This means no images of footballs if you are a law firm.
- It should work in tandem with your business name. A great logo compliments the message your business name already tries to convey
- Your logo design should incorporate text that is clear, and easy to read – no fancy fonts just for the sake of it.
- As your website should be responsive, your logo should look as great in grayscale as it does in full colour.
These are the basics. During the logo design process, every single stage of the build should be carefully thought about and experimented with. For example, did you know that even the font that you choose can help customers form an opinion of the service they may receive at your company?
Colour should also be a major decision regarding your logo. There are many colour theories that prove that colour can seriously affect the viewers desire, trust and willingness to use a particular business. Just make sure that whatever colour you decide on does not fade into the background of your website.
Some businesses often play it fast-and-loose with logos, paying insufficient attention to their proper size and positioning and surrounding them with materials extraneous that compete with them visually.
You should also avoid the rookie mistake of using different logos for your various materials; Once you have a professional logo, use it on all of your branding material – including your invoices – and make it exactly the same, right across the board.
You should never try to be cute with your logo, using ‘custom’ designs for various marketing items. Some people have been tempted to use slightly different logos for their business cards, for example, to the ones they use for their website and newsletters. This is just confusing, and adds ‘noise’ to your branding strategy.