When starting a business, you have to be able to stand out against the competition within your industry. Although your products or services can help, you really need a powerful business logo. The right logo can make or break your brand, so you have to get it right from the beginning.
Think of the top logos in today’s marketplace. What makes them work? Let’s break a few of them down:
- Coca-Cola– This company’s logo is instantly recognized anywhere in the world. Part of the appeal is the simplicity of the name, but the timeless script font also helps.
- Mercedes – This brand is well-known for being a hallmark of quality and integrity. Again, simplicity is crucial to make the logo memorable and noticeable. Three lines extending from the center with a circle around them are reminiscent of the peace sign, but the lines actually mean air, land, and sea.
- Apple– Sometimes, a logo reflects a company’s products or services. In other cases, it represents the brand name. Apple is about as iconic a logo as you can find. Best of all, even if you weren’t familiar with the business, you’d know what it’s called.
As you can see, top-tier logos have a few elements in common, and even though we have modern high-tech tools to design logos nowadays, these principles of logo design remain the same. And in this post, we will explain how to make the most of these elements to create a powerful business logo.
Let’s get started:
Know the Field
The best logos are those that fit within your industry. For example, if you’re running a bank, you want a logo that reflects stability and trustworthiness. In that case, thick, classic fonts can convey the message without explicitly spelling it out.
So, when it comes to “knowing” your field, keep these two things in mind:
- Audience Wants and Needs– First and foremost, who is buying your products or services? What problems are they facing that your business can help them overcome? Knowing these details enables you to determine the type of logo that will seem the most appealing.
- Competitors– Before designing your logo, you should look at other businesses within your industry to see what kinds of logos they’re using. Take notes about what you like the most and see which elements you can incorporate into your design.
Reflect Your Business
When developing your logo, you should also focus on creating a brand identity. Doing this helps you focus your attention on design elements that reflect your identity, making it easier for customers to understand your business. Some examples of brand identities include:
- Innovative– In this case, your company pushes the envelope and always tries new things. Customers can expect progressive or high-tech products and services. Example: Apple
- Fun and Whimsical – Your brand is quirky and exciting, and you always show your customers a good time. So, your logo should reflect that with fun colors and fonts. Example: Wonka Candy
- Authoritative– You’re an expert in your field, and customers come to you for advice and insight. You’re a trusted resource, and you’re well-known within your industry. Example: Hubspot
In each instance, your logo elements should follow your brand identity. For example, if you’re an innovative company, you should use minimalist fonts, muted colors, and futuristic icons. If you’re an authoritative business, serif fonts and bold colors can convey the right message.
Paint a Picture
One of the primary challenges when creating a powerful business logo is that you have to pack so much information into a small package. However, it’s crucial to present the core idea of your business so that customers know what to expect. Otherwise, there may be a disconnect between your logo and your products or services.
But, how can you paint a picture with a logo? Here are a few options:
- Icons and Graphics– The simplest method of adding context to a logo is incorporating icons and graphics. For example, if you’re running a casino party business, you can include some dice or poker chips. Some industries have more graphic options than others, but you can also use abstract elements that convey more of a feeling than a physical item.
- Slogan– Another easy way to include information about your company is to add a slogan. However, be sure to make it specific to your business. For example, a slogan like “We’re High Quality” is a bit too generic to work properly. Instead, you could include something about your products or business practices.
- Mascot– Mascots were all the rage in the 60s and 70s, but they’re less common today. That said, a well-designed mascot can make it easier to build marketing campaigns since you have a built-in representative.
Use Space Effectively
Space is a crucial element in any logo, and you have to utilize both positive and negative spaces. The most crucial aspect to consider is how your logo looks blown up and shrunk down. For example, how will it look on a billboard or as a social media profile picture? The design has to look good in both cases, so you need to check before finalizing anything.
Another point to consider about space is how each component interacts with the rest. If the logo is too messy or confusing, it’s much harder for customers to remember your business name or understand what you sell. In most cases, ample negative space can help accentuate the most essential elements. Otherwise, they can all blend together.
Finally, you have to think about how your logo will look with different backgrounds. For example, if you have transparent space between logo elements, will that make the whole thing harder to read? In that case, including a white or black background can make your design pop.
Choose the Right Color Scheme
In most cases, logo design should work both in color and black and white. This way, if you have to use your logo on a black and white image (i.e., a photocopy), it will still look appealing.
That said, colors can influence customers’ emotions and spending habits, so you need to figure out which hues will yield the best results. As with everything else, your logo colors should reflect your business model. For example, if you’re selling natural goods, the colors green, blue, and brown will be much more appealing than black and gray.
Here’s a quick rundown of the different colors and what they can mean for your logo:
- Blue– Confidence and trustworthiness. Calm and resilient.
- Green– Natural and Earth-centric. Green can also connote financial elements like money.
- Purple– Prestigious and royal. Bold yet refined.
- Yellow – Bright and positive.
- Red– Passionate and food-oriented. Red can stimulate the hunger hormone, which is why so many food brands use it.
- Orange– Unique and funky. Orange works well as a “fun” color, a la Nickelodeon.
Keep it Simple
As you go down this list, it might seem like you’re incorporating too many elements. If that’s the case, be sure to trim as many unnecessary pieces as possible. To do that, follow these guidelines:
- Start With Your Name – If nothing else, your logo needs to have your company name. Otherwise, how will anyone remember your brand?
- Try Different Variations – It’s easy to get “vision locked” into one design. Even if you like what you have, try a few other iterations to make sure.
- Get Feedback– Ask friends, family members, and co-workers about each logo design to get their impression of your brand. Focus on the ones that convey the right message and cut any that don’t.
Overall, developing a powerful business logo can seem daunting, but if you break it into these six elements, you’re well on your way to a high-quality design. Once you get this piece dialed in, the rest of your marketing materials will fall into place.