Apple. Nike. Amazon. All are majorly successful brands. One sure sign is that we can instantly recognize them by their logos. A good logo does just that: it immediately invokes the company it represents without explanation.
Obviously, those logos are so iconic because their associated companies have massive reach. However, small businesses can have memorable logos as well. The key is to keep it simple and use it consistently. Here are the basic principles of effective logo design.
- Know The Brand
Before you set out to design your logo, make sure that you have some insight into the brand. Keep this in mind that the logo must reach a particular set of people, which is the target market and target customers. So, write down what your business, brand, and market are all about. Find out what the brand ideology is and what inspirations it holds for the future.
- It Matches the Brand’s Personality
When we look at logos for a brand such as McDonald’s versus Starbucks, we see clear differences in each brand’s vibe and target audience. McDonald’s famous golden arches suit the brand’s playful nature, while Starbucks’ distinctive siren suggests an earthy, mythical vibe. Your logo, too, should express your brand’s personality, such as your visual tone and value proposition. The most effective logos speak to your target customers. For example, Starbucks emerged in Seattle, where coastal culture made the siren an ideal choice for coffee-loving urban sophisticates. Consider the difference between the Starbucks logo and that of Dunkin’, which has a more whimsical, fast-food vibe.
- It Shows What Your Business Does
For most small businesses, it’s a good idea to symbolize your core products and services in your logo. You don’t want potential customers to feel confused about what you offer. For example, if you’re a luxury spa, you probably don’t want to choose a cartoonish font and bright colors. Those would be jarring for your ideal customer who’s hoping to relax and unwind. Play it safe by tying recognizable symbols and icons into your logo. A lawn care business may depict blades of grass in its logo, while a pet-food store could have a dog or a paw print. Admittedly, some logos are highly symbolic. After all, a siren doesn’t actually have anything to do with coffee, and an apple has nothing to do with computers. Amazon’s winning logo is a far cry from its first version, which literally depicted a river. As those big brands show, it is possible to let your business philosophy shape your logo. Amazon’s “smile” emerged from an earlier logo that depicted an arrow going from A to Z, symbolizing the wide variety of items sold on the platform.
- It’s Simple and Easy to Understand
This principle is the most important. Amateur logo designers tend to cram a lot of information into the logo. Between letters or words, various graphic elements, and borders or underlines, the logo becomes quite messy and confusing. It’s also very hard to scale such designs up or down! When it comes to logos, less is more. A clean and simple logo with targeted imagery will make much more of an impact than a cluttered, confusing one. Plus, highly visual logos are much easier to include on various marketing materials. Customers are looking for ways to quickly identify the brands they trust. Don’t make it hard on them with a misguided, complicated logo!
- Use Colors and Fonts
Colors and fonts play a crucial role in determining a brand’s message. For example, if you use red as the main color in your logo, it will send the message of the brand being aggressive, passionate, and energetic. This means that your brand intends to target young customers. If blue is the chief color, it will evoke the feelings of intelligence and togetherness. This is the reason that most of the social channels such as Facebook have logos in blue. If you want to create a social media page, think of having blue as its main color in its design. Many designers just do not pay attention to the selection of typefaces and chose them randomly. The fact is that typefaces speak about the personality of a brand. For example, a typeface used for a toy company’s logo will most likely be a handwritten typeface. This is because the children are the target customers and you want to project your brand as a child-friendly business.