What is a logo?
We all probably have a good idea of what a logo is. Generally speaking they are visual representations made up of text, symbols/icons, and images that are used to identify a brand, product or company. A quality logo should adequately represent many things, such as tone, values, sector, industry, style, audience and USP. Which is a lot of information to fit into one small package!
Logos are simple graphics that are therefore more easy to remember and recognise than names, and can help customers to identify your business, services or products at a glance.
Perhaps the most paramount function of a logo is as a unique signifier that helps you stand out from the crowd and differentiate you within the market. If consistent and used effectively, a good logo can establish an emotional connection with your audience. It’s often the first thing that people will notice and so you must ensure that you make a great first impressions and effectively epitomise your band.
Your logo is the lynchpin in your brand identity and should be the starting point and budling block for everything that comes after. Images, front, tone, icons, colours, etc. must all be considered with the logo front of mind.
It is also a consistent touchpoint for all of your communications. It should be proudly displayed on everything that you do, from business cards and letterheads to your website and social media.
What should you do first, design your logo or design your website?
Well designed and thought through logos are effective because they take into account visual communication and brand personality. Good logos should form your whole brand identity and denote your reputation.
As touched on above, a logo is the centrepiece of your brand and therefore we would always recommend that creating a logo should be at the top of the list when creating a new brand, product, or company. The logo then helps to set the theme and feel of the website, as well as all other branding. The logo is the starting point on which everything else is built.
Simply put, consistency and cohesion are key. The website should follow the brand identity. Your website should be the ‘shop window’ of your brand, and therefore a natural extension of it. Believe us, it’s much quicker and simpler to have the logo and brand guidelines/identity in place before you start to design and build your website. Trying to back engineer a logo or brand off the back of a website is not a fun or easy process!
Why you shouldn’t design your logo yourself
As we have already discussed, logos are more complex and important that they may first seem. That’s why we would never advise that you take on the task yourself. It will almost always be a waste of time, effort and energy. Good design takes knowledge, experience and resources and effort. And is truly worth the investment.
Why you should have a professional design your logo
A professionally designed logo intonates authenticity, trust, longevity, and a professional image. It is based on research, insights and data. A professional will look at your competitors, industry, market, target audience, and many other things in order to produce a distinctive identifier.
Professionals know the principles of quality design and are up to date with trends, fads, fashions and techniques.
On a more technical level, a professional will understand and be able to provide you with the many variations and file types that you will need in order to display your brand effectively.
Hiring a professional designer may seem like an unnecessary expense, particularly if you are just starting your business, but it’s an essential, valuable, lasting investment.
How to create the perfect logo
So what exactly goes into creating the perfect logo?
- It needs to resonate with your target audience. Logos don’t just represent your brand, but also your audience. Logos don’t always need to be flashy and complex; they can be simple, traditional and muted. It’s all about appealing to the right people, being memorable and keeping their attention.
- It should be simple enough to take in at a glance. For some mediums and communications your logo will be the focal point, for others it’s a small addition. You must ensure that the logo is readable and easy enough to take in on all media.
- In addition to the above point, it should be distinct, memorable, and unique to you. Gaining inspiration from competitors, other successful brands, and industry trends is all well and good but the purpose of a logo is to differentiate you in a competitive market.
- It also needs to be scalable. As mentioned previously, your logo will appear on all of your media and comms, in different formats, sizes and variations. A successful logo should be versatile and flexible enough to suit all needs.
Almost all logos use typography to show the name or title of the brand, business or product. This could be a single letter, anagram, abbreviation, or the full title. Font (or fonts), size, weight, kerning and leading are important factors to consider.
Imagery and/or icons:
Typography is often complemented by images, symbols, or icons. Which could be illustrative, abstract or possibly even photographic elements. They could also include decorative flourishes such as lines, dots, and shapes that stand alongside the logo and form a whole.
Colours are sometimes the most memorable and gripping part of a logo design and branding. Coca Cola is synonymous with red and white, easyJet with orange and McDonalds with its yellow ‘M’. The choice of colour (or colours) can represent many things and subconsciously impart information to your audience. They could be a monochrome, multicoloured, muted, or black and white. All dependent on the message, tone, and aesthetic that you want to embody.
Though we would always recommend sticking to two or three complementary main colours in your palette.
Though not an essential, sometimes a short tagline can help you to put a message across in a more straightforward way. Usually situated underneath the logo, a tagline will usually be a phrase, explainer or hook to clarify your brand to the audience. This can benefit logos that are more abstract or names and titles that are anagrams.
A great logo design is an absolute essential element of your brand, by investing time and effort to get it right it can boost your connection to your audience, in turn improving awareness, leads, conversions, sales, and ROI (return on investment).
If you’d like to chat about design and branding, we’d love to help. Get in touch on 01204 493382 or [email protected]