There are few things more iconic than logos. From Nike to Coca-Cola, Apple to Starbucks, the best logos work on multiple levels to become instantly recognizable “faces” for brands around the world. But these icons weren’t developed (for the most part) on the back of soggy cocktail napkins after the CEO doodles a blue lion because he, well, likes the color blue and lions. No, many of the most iconic logo designs were thoughtfully crafted far beyond the simple personal preferences of the founder, or even the designer. Effective logo design requires a deep understanding of what your company is, and how it should be perceived by potential customers in the marketplace. Breaking a logo down to its most basic parts, you can gain a deeper understanding of not only what makes great logo design work, but how it can work for your brand.
Pieces of the Puzzle
- Shape: The actual form of your logo can convey vastly different qualities you’d like to imply about your brand. Though there are exceptions, many designers suggest that rounder shapes (ovals, circles, etc.) convey femininity, love and unity, whereas sharper shapes (squares and triangles) suggest strength and masculinity. Does your brand have a softer, more feminine touch or does it demand the sense of strength and professionalism that come with the straight lines and sharp corners of squares and triangles?
Color: As we’ve covered above, even though you may love the color blue, that does not necessarily mean it’s the best pick for your logo. Much like shape, color can set the stage for your brand and shade how it’s perceived. Though, again, there may be exceptions:
- Black: luxurious and formal
- Purple: regal and creative
- Orange: approachable and amiable
- Blue: placid and trustworthy
- Green: natural and fresh
- Yellow: optimistic and confident
- Red: exciting and bold
- Font: It’s not just what you say, but the way you say it. This old saying applies directly to your logo design. The font that makes up your company’s name within your logo is deeply important to its tonal perception in the market. Are you looking to convey strength and tradition? A serif font may work well for you. Trying to gain attention? Why not try an alternative font design that represents your service or product? Of course, you probably don’t want to trade readability for stylistic zing, but a good designer can help you choose a font that can do a bit of both for you.