Before rushing into how logos are helping brands to make a foothold in the market, let’s take a look at what differentiates branding from marketing. If you thought both are same, then you might be surprised to know they aren’t. There is a subtle line differentiating the two terms. While marketing refers to “pushing” sales, its “branding” on which the sale depends solely. You might be able to make a person buy your product once through efficient marketing, but to ensure that he or she keeps coming back to you, you need to have a branding. Branding is more strategic while marketing is all about using proper tactics. Your branding strategies will ensure the trust factor that will propel your sales. And, a branding is incomplete without a logo. Your logo will speak for and about your brand. It might be a small thing but designing a logo requires a lot of thinking. So, we decided to highlight the strategies to build a logo, and also talk about famous brands and their logo stories.
What is a logo?
Its a representation of your startup in a nutshell. Your logo will be your trademark- the symbol which will make your stand out and which will be your identity. It explains easily what your startup is all about. From ages, designers have spent hours and months to decide the perfect logo because a proper logo is essentially instrumental to build a superb branding.
Think before you paint!
You know exactly what you are to give out to your customers. Your logo must say the same too. Its advisable not to rush down but think about how best you can give a concrete shape to all the ideas you have. Some key points to keep in mind before your designer draws the first stroke:
- There’s so much in a name
If you haven’t yet thought a name for your startup, you can go for user testing. For example, you can follow the footsteps of Warby Parker who went through more than hundred names before settling for the one that fits its idea. Its not about what’s the current trend. Focusing on what’s hip and happening may not be fruitful at the end. So, its better to shift attention of classic designing rules and adhering to your company’s requirements only! Design something which will not expire after few years.
- The binary colours
Black and white colour combination still rules the designing market. Although there’s more to experiment with, this combination still looks classy and is a good way to highlight your design. Too many colours may be distracting. Go for simple and classy design that have weight and that which speaks volumes.
- Connect with your audience
If choosing a font or colour is essential, it also depends on whom you are targeting. Is your startup about vintage collections? is it about the modern trends? Are you targeting the old professionals or the young ones? Or is it for married people? Consider all of these before you sit down to design a logo because its the design of your logo that will be essential in striking the chord with the particular group of people you wanna reach out to. Build a connection visually before you actually start off with your branding.
- Look up to the famous brands
There’s no better way to learn than looking up what other big shots have done. Study the theories of brands like Yahoo, Mozilla, Ford, etc. Know how they built their logos, why they chose that particular design, etc. You might have a clear idea how to go about your logo design and your branding! Visit Paul Rand ‘s website, for example.
Strategies to build a logo
- Your logo must clean. Too much complications in a logo may not be appealing, so its good to keep it simple and designed keeping in mind the target audience. For example, the logo of inksect. The logo itself communicates what it represents and for whom!
- Your logo must be such that people will not forget it with time. It should not get outdated and should not get confused with any other logo.
- Proportionate balance should be maintained between the text and image. Whatever be the situation, the text must always be boldly visible, whether you are scaling the image down or up!
- Your logo should be such that whether its in colour or in black and white, it will look just perfect. If you have used a gradient or a tone of colour, make sure it is made into a flat colour. Also, its you who should provide all the versions of your logo with different possible colours and tones before someone else comes up with the same.
- Simple designs are more attractive and more powerful.
The Color Strategy
Every colour has a different meaning and impart various kinds of emotions. While designing a logo its important to judge which colour imparts the right emotion of your brand and what is the best combination that would work wonders for you. We present you a crisp note on which colour imparts what emotions or how it affects the human psychology. However, this is a general take and it may vary according to your needs too.
- Yellow represents optimism, clarity and warmth.
- Orange stands for confidence, cheerfulness and a friendly approach. It also provides a positive vibe.
- Red is a bold colour by itself representing the youth and excitement.
- Purple is for innovation and creativity. Imaginative and wise people go for purple mostly!
- Blue is a colour of trust. This colour immediately imparts a feeling of being dependent as well as a colour of strength.
- Green is marker of peace. It represents growth and health!
- White is a neutral colour. It represents balance and calmness.
You might be wondering why colour matters? Its because you own your colour. Its an identification mark in the industry. You are known by that colour along with your logo. For example, when we think of Coca-Cola, we can’t think of any other colour than RED. In a discussion on soft drinks, “red” immediately brings in your mind “Are you talking of Coca-Cola?”
How to select colour?
- It may be that some colours are typically associated with particular industries, but you can always break the norm if that is needed for your startup. Your brand’s personality should reflect in your colour rather than which industry picks which colour.
- You need not restrict to one colour only. For example, brands like eBay have used more than one colour because they represent variety.
- Culture plays a big role in deciding the colour. In western world white is a colour of peace and purity, while in parts of Asia its associated with death. You must select the colour that would impart the right impression to the audience or market you are launching in.
- Your competitor’s colour should be taken into consideration. You may not be the first in the industry. f you are not, you don’t have the liberty to pick anything. Pick a colour opposite to your competitor’s. After all, you need to stand out!
Tools that help in selecting colour:
Web has solution to every problem. Either there is an application or a tool to help you out in crisis. Check out few tools that might come handy while choosing color for your logo.
The typeface theory
If selecting colour for your logo needs a strategy, there are theories for choosing the right typeface of your logo design as well. The perfect combination of the right colour, name and font is what makes your brand one to remember. Here’s few tips to choose the right font. A lot of this decision depends on what type of company your’s is.
- A financial company needs to build trust through their logo. If your logo has a rounded font or a font that is of more fun type, it does not impart the professionalism of your company. Rather, a simple, elegant and serifed font will impart a confident professional outlook. You deal with finance, which is a serious issue. You need people to trust you and have the confidence in you. You can check the logo of HSBC. Its simple but it imparts confidence and business!
- If you are a tech company, bold clean fonts will do the trick. The thin or the handwritten font does not click well with the theme of your company. That geometric shape of your logo goes well with bolder fonts. The logo of DropBox is a good example here.
- You have a food company? or something essentially creative? Your fun company will do away with light hearted fonts like those having round edges or the handwritten one.
Coming up next: How brands have evolved with their logos
There are many big brands who have undergone several changes with their logo. Although they never change the entire pattern giving it a complete new attire, but they do experiment with subtle changes. Recently Yahoo made it to news with its new logo. The colour remained same, because that’s their trademark. Just little changes in font was what they did. Apart from Yahoo, there are many brands who have evolved with their logo. Not just the font or colour, the meanings of many logos have been researched for years to understand the different facets that logo wants to explore. For example, the logo of Starbucks has been in discussion for a long time as to whether its a siren or a mermaid! The Chevrolet bow-tie, on the other hand, has a story of itself. Each logo has a different story. While you start designing your logo, stay tuned to this column because we will be back with logo stories of big brands very soon!