Insider Tips for Crafting Brand Logos
Creating a good logo is an important part of the branding process. The goal is to have an easily recognizable symbol. Of course, if it was easy then every business would have a great brand logo. As a top digital marketing firm, we wanted to share our Insider Tips for crafting brand logos. This isn’t a plug-and-play guide for creating a logo, as that does not support a truly creative process; but instead, we are sharing tips that we have found useful during the process.
However, before we delve into the development of a logo, we need to understand why they are important at all.
Why Does your Brand need a Logo?
There are a handful of very good reasons why every brand should have a logo:
- Recognition – A logo is a simple object. Humans learn pattern recognition as early as at age two. Therefore, a logo offers a level of recognition for a brand at a glance for virtually any age of the customer.
- Trust – A logo helps provide consumers with a level of trust that is associated with the brand itself. If you either trust a brand from your own interactions, recommendations from friends, or just from what you know of a brand, then seeing that symbol with naturally elicit those feelings. For example, if you feel positive about the Nike brand as making reputable products when you see the “swoosh” logo on a sweatshirt that level of trust is applied to the product.
- Confidence – This is closely aligned with trust as well as brand reputation. When someone sees the McDonald’s golden arch icon, they know exactly what they can expect. This can work in the opposite direction for brands with low consumer confidence as well.
- Simple Branding Method – The beauty of a great logo is that it is the simplest way to reflect your brand in any situation. It can be used on company letterhead, on social media accounts, a website, on products, or virtually anywhere and requires a small amount of space.
Tips for Crafting Brand Logos
While some people might offer a step-by-step guide to crafting a logo, that approach is rather limited. A brand logo should encompass your brand itself and as such is something you can’t follow a checklist to create. With that being said, there are certainly a host of tips and ideas that should be considered as you create a brand logo.
- Consider What You Want to Convey – In a nutshell, the brand logo is supposed to convey a message to the target audience. Think about your brand, the goals of the brand, and the values of your brand. How can you convey the specific qualities you want to share to a target audience? Keep in mind, what you are trying to convey should be what will resonate with the audience. The brand logo is not a vanity plate for a car – it is a valuable tool for branding, marketing, and sales.
- Keep It Simple – Simple is better in the business world for several reasons. To start, simple is easier to remember. Simple is also easier to modify over the years. Icon brands such as Coke and Pepsi have both made slight alterations over the years to their brand icon, which is easier to do when your base is relatively simple. Finally, logos with tongue-in-cheek references or similar multi-layered meanings typically do not translate well to the masses.
- Scalable – As a logo needs to be used in various formats and sizes, it needs to scale easily. When you have a simple logo, scaling is much easier. Keep in mind the amount of detail and gradients being used and then test how the logo scales from large to small and how that affects the visibility of the logo.
- Limit the Colors – Studies have shown that using one to three colors is ideal. We recommend using two as this allows for contrast. This also provides an opportunity to utilize a primary brand color along with a color that provides a natural association for the viewer. For example, the color green is used to represent money and nature while blue represents reliability and quality.
- It Should Be Unique – From a business standpoint, much like with the company name, you don’t want to use something that is already in existence. Aside from trademark issues, you also do not want to confuse consumers. This is one of the most difficult aspects of brand creation simply because of the sheer number of businesses in existence that are using logos. Research is key when finalizing potential ideas to ensure someone else isn’t using a similar logo already.
- Consider a Variety of Options – Logos can be an abbreviation of a long name, a short brand name, a combination of a text and graphics, a specific emblem (such as the Starbucks mermaid), an abstract element, or a fictional brand character (such as Tony the Tiger). There is no set formula as to what will work each and every time as all of these options have both their share of success and failures.
- Study the Competition – Look at both direct and indirect competitors and analyze what they are doing.
- Test, Test, Test – A brand logo should never be taken lightly. Ideally, the creation process should generate a few good ideas. Take the time to then test those ideas and get feedback from potential customers. Make sure the final choice is the one that gets the best reaction from the target niche.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that creating a great logo is not easy. Even some of the most iconic brands have revised their logos over the years trying to get it just right. Our insider tips for crafting brand logos provides very useful information to help ensure the next logo you create will resonate and provide the reaction your brand is looking for.
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