To any consumer, the very first introduction of a brand is its logo. A logo to a brand is as important as a signature to a person, without which the identity of both is incomplete. To understand just about how strongly a logo influences the mind; think of any big brand name like Nike. Your mind immediately projects a little swoosh.That is the power of a logo. You didn’t think about shoes or sportswear because to a consumer the logo is the brand.
Wikipedia defines a logo as a graphic, mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. Besides the representational purposes, a logo etches the brand in people’s memory, which is the best way to ensure a company’s success.
So does that mean that having a logo immediately guarantees success? The answer is no. The way the consumer interprets a logo is primarily determined by the way it is designed. A complex, over-the-top and confusing logo is a sure way to kill any interest a consumer might have in a brand. To make a logo reach out and truly speak to a customer, its design should be clear and leave a strong impression. Similar to their products, Nike’s logo is both clear and simple.
When designing a company logo, there are a sea of options. Wordmarks are text forms that represent the brand name; like Coca-Cola. Letterform logos make use of one or more letters to convey the name of the brand, like FedEx. Abstract logos use symbols to represent the brand or product - like Adidas. Apple chose a pictorial representation of the company. Lastly, emblems use both text and symbols to represent the brand - like UPS.
Here are a few important elements to keep in mind when design your company's logo:
Keep it simple - A logo should command an instant reaction. Too many visual stimuli at once are going to result in confusion and will lead to a total disinterest in the product. Always go for something that is not crowded and yet delivers the message you want to send across.
Leave room for change - Contrary to popular notion, it’s totally fine if your logo doesn’t reflect what your company deals with. This is because if in future you do decide to change the course and start doing something different, your logo is still going to be useful and will save you a lot of time and money.
Design for your audience - Targeting the consumer market is very important. Coming up with a design which looks good but isn’t something that your audience understands and relates to, is useless. At the end of the day a logo is something what the consumer identifies and remembers a brand by, so it should fit their taste.
Design with the right tools - The logo is largely dependent on the type of software used to develop it. Using professional software is as essential as the design itself. The finished logos should always be tested in various scales from the smallest to the largest; because this will give you a fair idea of how practical it’s usage is when the scale is changed considerably.
Use a professional format - Use a vector formats. Vector formats, unlike the JPEG or bitmap ones, are more precise and give excellent results when the scale is changed.
Color is key- Colors can make the format and design come alive. Test the logo in multiple colors but also in black & white. This will make the logo adaptable to any future circumstance, therefore saving a lot of time and money if future changes are required.
Stay consistent -Stick to the logo once it is designed. Changing the logo too often is going to result in a shaky consumer trust. If you don’t know who you are, how could they? A logo is a long term commitment so invest time and effort through the development.
Remember, a logo is like a first meeting with a consumer and as they say, the first impression is the last one, so make the impression that lasts forever.