How to create a logo that can best express and communicate the identity of your brand to your customers? What characteristics must a logo have both from a graphic and functional point of view? How can you highlight your brand’s strengths and mission in a few pixels? Here are some tips for designing and creating a perfect company logo.
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you have certainly already read – and we hope – put our advice into practice to launch and/or improve your company’s communication and marketing activities. However, even before planning an effective strategy for your business, your company must be able to count on an effective and successful logo.
The logo represents and communicates the identity of your brand. For the success of your company, it is essential to have a logo designed in detail from both a graphic and functional point of view. Generally, people as customers and consumers tend to trust and rely more on a company that gives them a positive impression from the first moment.
The company logo is in fact one of the first elements with which a potential customer will come into contact. Just think that you can see it on the website homepage, on business cards or on the company’s catalogues. For this reason, having an accurate and recognizable graphic image is important to make a good first impression, attract customers and stand out from the competition.
Table of contents
How should a successful logo be?
1. Simple and easy to remember
To be effective, a logo must be unique and able to remain imprinted in the consumer’s mind for a long time. After all, what is the purpose of a brand if not to be remembered?
For a logo to be memorable, it must be simple, clear and easy to read: too much elements, details, shapes and colours could make the memorization more difficult and confuse your logo with others that have the same colours or shapes. Therefore, eliminate all that is superfluous. In this regard, French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote:
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”.
Think about the logos of global giants: that of McDonald’s is nothing more than the initial letter of the name of the fast-food chain made up of two golden arches; Apple has a simple bitten apple as its logo; finally, the logo of Nike is a very simple wing – a symbol of both victory and movement.
2. Readable and versatile
To be effective, a logo must be visible and adapt to any background and medium. Your logo will probably be placed on paper supports like letterhead, business cards, brochures, advertising posters, as well as on digital ones such as web-pages or social platforms. It is therefore of fundamental importance to design a logo that adapts to any background, format and platform both in terms of shape and colours.
So even if you decide to use colours in your logo, it is a good rule to design a negative space version (white and/or black).
3. Appropriate and functional
Your company logo must adequately represent the type of business you manage. Even before being beautiful graphically, your logo must be appropriate for the purpose and goals that your company has set itself. In marketing and communication beautiful doesn’t always mean functional.
It is also important to underline how the logos of the big brands mentioned at the beginning of this article have decided not to include their flagship products in their corporate logos. In McDonald’s logo we don’t find a hamburger, in Apple’s we don’t see an iPhone and there are no shoes in the Nike’s one. This is because, right from the beginning, these brands had the ambition of being able to offer the market various products. Inserting a product within their logo would probably have made the association between the company and other products (not represented in the logo) more difficult, as consumers would have more easily associated that company with the product represented in the logo.
The most effective logos never age, they are timeless. Nowadays, trends especially in the design industry come and go and soon your logo will go out of fashion and will be obsolete in the eyes of consumers. To stay up to date with trends, you will need to make a makeover from time to time.
For example, in 2009 Pepsi heavily restyled the logo. As you can see in the following images, the writing now features a minimal font and a thinner stroke, and the coloured bands of the circle have become asymmetrical. The upper case and the shading of the previous logo have gone out of fashion after only 4 years from the creation.
Fonts, colours and payoffs
The choice of the font
One of the decisive steps in creating a new logo is the choice of the font. To make a logo more captivating and convincing it is often enough to know how to choose the right font.
In the field of marketing and communication, the first impression you give to your customers has a great power in determining their future purchase choices. It is a good rule to choose a font that is in harmony with the personality of your brand and that is able to communicate even before words are spoken.
A good font should be:
Spencerian Script, the font of the famous Coca-Cola logo, boasts all three of these characteristics. On the contrary, the font “London Olympics 2012”, designed specifically for the 2012 London Olympics, has been heavily criticized as it is not functional, difficult to read and above all dangerous to human health (especially for people suffering from epilepsy). Just a few minutes after the broadcast of the first TV spot in which the logo appeared, many people who suffered from this pathology, were hospitalized for epileptic seizures.
Which fonts to prefer?
Italic or calligraphic fonts which recall handwriting (Vladimir script, Kunstler Script) are often used to create elegant writings. Sports brand logos must communicate strength, movement and agility. In this regard, designers recommend Team Spirit NF or Sport Jersey; while for high fashion brands they suggest a minimalist, simple and elegant font like Didot and Paris Typeface.
The choice of the colours
Often the choice of colours, as well as that of fonts, is underestimated. Instead, it is vitally important to choose the right colour: according to the psychology of colour, 80% of people buy a product based on the colour of the packaging of a product and the company logo. This is because colours have the great power to evoke emotions and sensations. The designers recommend using no more than three colours within a logo, which otherwise could be too confusing in the eyes of your customers.
Also remember, as previously written, that if you choose to have a coloured logo, it is important to create a black and white version to be used on backgrounds that are themselves rich in colours or similar shades.
Payoff is the textual element that accompanies a corporate logo and which has the task of condensing the essence of the company in a short sentence. Here are some of the most famous payoffs:
• Where there is Barilla there is home – Barilla
• Just do it – Nike
• Think different – Apple
It is not mandatory to have a payoff, even if commercially it is very important as it allows you to highlight who you are, what you want to do, which are the values of your company.
Combining business with social commitment
Your logo represents the heart and spirit of the brand. On the occurrence of some events that attract the attention of public opinion, companies can communicate through their logo, their stance and sensitivity towards the issues that are most important to our society. Here are some examples of social issues and movements that some brands have supported:
Among many others, IBM has created a new rainbow logo to clarify its stance in relation to the battles for civil rights.
Deliveroo also supported the LGBT protests by coining the hashtag #Deloveroo and colouring the word love with the colours of the rainbow.
In recent months, there have been several companies that have changed their logo to push consumers to behave responsibly while maintaining social distancing during the health emergency due to Coronavirus.
Black Lives Matter
In recent weeks, companies have also decided to take a stance to support the Black community and the worldwide protests following George Floyd’s death.
Nike, for example, revisited its historic pay off “Just do it” with “For once, don’t do it”.
The social platform Twitter has shown its solidarity with the Black community by dyeing in black its logo, cover image and updating the description of the bio.
The logo has the power to represent the identity, values and philosophy of your brand. For this reason, it must be designed with great care. Designing a simple and clear logo is always the right choice: customers need only a quick glance to grasp the reality behind this small graphic.
If you are about to design a new logo, keep these precious tips in mind, but don’t follow them to a T. If you think you have the right idea to create an efficient and flawless logo, don’t be afraid to dare!
Have you already created a logo that can best express the identity of your brand? Have you already put these tips into practice to create a successful logo? Together we can design and create your logo.