When businesses, new or old, take it upon themselves to hone their identities and tell their brands’ stories through their logos, they embark on a huge endeavor. It’s one that is rarely given enough consideration.
A brand’s logo is an opportunity to speak to consumers’ subconscious and make an emotional appeal about your brand’s values.
When start-ups come to me and show me a list of system fonts and cringe-worthy ideas their CEO put together, I shudder.
A logo is symbolic. It is a representation of countless, carefully-crafted cues that have the enormous job of, in one word or pictogram, telling the world why you are different and why people should remember you. If you opt for something generic, you’ll stand for something generic.
In branding, there are generally two schools of thought about logo design or redesign. Often, designers either endeavor to enhance or underscore what a brand really is, or they weave designs from the fabrics of how they hope people perceive them.
There are several elements you need to carefully consider in the logo design process.
Style and technique go a long way in communicating what the brand stands for and will become. The human brain is hardwired to recognize colors and shapes long before it deciphers words. The style of your logo is as important as the name you select.
You’d be surprised how much a font, pop of color, or subtle refinement signals to your brain about the brand. And since brands are living things with personified characteristics, it is important they stay current and relevant.
AT&T is one example. In 2006 it evolved its identity for the 23rd time in 25 years. To keep up with the rapidly-changing environment and evolving consumer, AT&T consistently tweaked its identity to keep its appeal to current consumers and, eventually, a larger audience.
But remember, branding is more than a logo or tagline. Here are a few pointers to make sure your logo is as effective as possible:
1. Do your research. Look at the competitive landscape. Identify your personality, discriminators, positioning and core values. Define everything in a creative brief.
2. Keep it memorable and adaptable. Your logo should be appropriate for the cultures and subcultures who view it. It should work seamlessly across brand touch points, allow for expansion, and have elements you can emblaze in the minds of consumers. But be careful of overkill. Simple is usually better.
3. Test your logo. One of the best ways to gauge whether your logo is appropriate and successful is to test it with your consumers. Crowdsourcing has become increasingly important with brands, so why not take the opportunity to share your work-in-progress with your consumers? Have them weigh in.
4. Innovate or desist. Revisit your logo at certain intervals, but don’t change your logo so often consumers can’t remember it. Carefully update it to reflect growth and change within the brand.
What are some examples of logos you love or hate? What about logos that change too frequently or not often enough?