Have you ever wondered why big brands spend huge amounts of money on their logo design? In the older days, the only medium of communicating visually with your customers was printing flyers and posters. They essentially included your logo as a definitive part of the brand identity, and people used to recognize different companies using their logos.
Even in today's digital world, their importance is intact. This fact is well reflected in trademark and copyright registrations filed. But, having a symbol that represents your brand dates back to prehistoric times.
In the Bronze era, Achilles' shield, with its typical engraving, marked the Greek hero's identity:
Frank Mason Robinson, a bookkeeper at Coca-Cola, designed its iconic logo without charging an extra penny, while British Petroleum paid a hefty $211 million for its logo redesign back in 2000.
Wondering what makes logo designs so important? You are at the right place as we are going to discuss their need, impact, and why you should pay attention to it if you are starting your business or thinking of a brand makeover.
Put simply, a logo is a visual representation of your brand. It is a combination of image and text. It helps people instantly identify your company, and it also symbolizes the qualities you want to project. It incorporates the salient features of your company's vision and mission apart from telling your brand's purpose. Also, your logo makes the first impression on the onlooker, and hence, it should illustrate a broad picture of your sector in your proposed position in it.
Let us try to understand it through examples.
We will consider logos from renowned marques, and let's begin with Mercedes Benz. Its three-star design reflects the brand's vision of motorizing all three modes of transport- air, sea, and land. It is one of the most recognizable automobile logos in the whole world; while it uses corporate type A fonts to match it’s because of its legacy:
The highest valued automotive brand in the world, Tesla has a unique logo that resembles the motor winding. It is meant to illustrate electric motors and Elon Musk's vision of sustainability:
Another example of a brand encompassing their vision on their logo comes from BMW. It would be indeed tough to spell and remember Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft, but thanks to the acronym, we can recognize the luxury carmaker focused on enjoyable driving better.
Its logo also reflects the brand's core identity of originally manufacturing aircraft engines as it depicts a propeller. Wrapped in the official Bavarian color palette, it instantly helps visualize the alphas of the C-suite- driving fast, lux cars wearing a tuxedo, and having a good time after achieving great heights:
Okay, one last automobile brand—Audi. The German carmaker, which revolutionized sports car design with its Quattro (4x4) powertrain, also has an interesting story behind its logo. Each ring represents the union of the four companies (DKW, Horsch, Wanderer, and Audi) that merged to form the Audi corporation:
We are sure that you might be pretty much convinced that logos can signify a lot of details about your business. But, do people pay attention to these details? Let us explore the answer to this question in the below section.
Your logo is one specific detail that your customers and admirers will associate with their experiences. For instance, the Spirit of Ecstasy on the hoods of Rolls Royce makes us immediately plunge into the heavenly majesty, pretty much similar to its celestial roof.
Having said that, we would also state that a logo redesign exercise can be an extremely costly affair as you grow. This is because the cost of replacing your inventory stationary and announcing the changes is tenfold if you aren't in the software industry. On the other hand, software companies might need to invest a lot more money in publicizing the makeover since their customers are only going to experience their digital presence.
Even if you are not thinking too far in the future, your logo can make an enormous difference in how your existing client base perceives you. For instance, choosing the right dimensions can be extremely beneficial since it helps standardize your presence on all platforms. A 1:1 ratio can be considered the best for the current era since it fits perfectly in all applications, be it app logos, favicons, and even physical accessories like keychains. Be wise with your color selection, fonts, and graphics, as people will associate them with your business even on a subconscious level.
It should be easily memorable and distinct from your competitors as well as other businesses. Earlier, they were quite clunky, and the typography, too, made it easy for miscreants to copy the appearance.
While most the companies have done away with those designs, many classic brands continue to use them, as we can see in the case of Coca-Cola and Harley Davidson:
However, you might not want to use similar design language because they make recognizing your brand hard and prone to counterfeiting. Even established businesses like Burger King have considered minimization lately:
If there is one brand that emphasizes simplicity's sophistication more than anyone else, it's Apple, and this is well reflected in their design language over the years:
Thus, we can agree on the fact that you must use graphics aptly to convey the overall message but avoid overkilling the job. A good logo design uses bare minimum elements to convey its message in a way that leaves a boardroom for the user to fill in with their aspirations from experience.
It is rightly said that we are visual beings with our brains wired to process images 60,000 times faster than text. Thus, your logo provides you with an opportunity to quickly communicate your ideas as compared to other, more comprehensive forms of brand elements.
As far as the graphics and the color palette are concerned, they should be focused on delivering an exclusive experience of how you are going to deliver your products or services.
Like in the below example from Taco Bell, the visuals play an essential role in establishing the brand identity:
However, don't limit your brain's creative cells to visuals—text is an equally important component of your logo and brand.
To begin with, we would like to state that the most important decision you will need to make is choosing between Sans and Sans Serif typefaces.
Serifs have a stem at their ends, while Sans Serifs go the other way around. Traditionally, it is believed that Serifs support readability better, and they are also viewed as more authoritative and commanding font faces.
On the other hand, Sans Serifs provide a modern and crisp feeling, and they are more compatible with screens. If you visualize your brand as an authoritative figure, you might want to go ahead with Serifs like The New York Times. On the flip side, Sans Serif can be a perfect pick if you are willing to portray your business as outgoing and more relevant to the concurrent times like the Cosmopolitan:
The fourth important factor that determines your logo's effectiveness is your color palette.
Ideally, it should resonate with the graphics and typeface since colors have a huge impact on our perception. For instance, yellow and red colors are considered "appetizing" in nature. Due to this fact, you will find these colors in countless restaurant logos:
Every color evokes emotions in our minds, so make sure you are choosing the right color palette for your brand. In the below image, you can find out the common emotions assorted in various colors:
However, you will need to put in some extra effort as they are perceived differently in various cultures. For instance, the black color is used to signify mourning in the West, while the white color is used to symbolize death in most Asian cultures. Using the opposite color scheme in either of the two can put your business in a negative spotlight, so it's worth going the extra mile.
It's not enough to just come up with a design you like - you also need to make sure that it effectively communicates your company's message and appeals to your target audience. To do this, it's important to solicit feedback from your team and get their input on the design.
What does the logo say about your business? Does it reflect your company's values? Is it eye-catching and memorable? These are all important questions to consider when creating a logo, and by getting input from your team, you can be sure that your final design will be on point.
For this, you would need Instacap. Instacap is a design collaboration and annotation tool that makes it easier for a team to discuss changes and improvements needed for a logo design.
The beauty of Instacap is that it streamlines the design process by allowing team members to leave comments and suggestions directly on the design itself. This way, everyone can see what changes are being proposed and can easily offer their feedback. As a result, the logo design process can be completed more quickly and efficiently, making it a valuable tool for any team.
Every business is started with money as the primary motivation, but it alone doesn't inspire stakeholders to put in their time, efforts, and dedication. Values and ethos are the bigger factors that determine how a business will shape itself and how it will impact its customers and the world at large.
It might sound outlandishly philosophical, but a logo is a spiritual incarnation of the purpose of being in the business. If you’re just getting started with your business, it is necessary that you invest your energy wisely in your logo because once it flourishes, it does become one of the biggest conversation starters for people.
Towards the end, we would like to stress the fact that a good logo design is a combination of the above factors. If they act in synergy with each other, you can expect your design to perform well without a second thought.