Take a moment to count the number of logos that are visible around you. You might include the apple on your iMac, the siren on your coffee mug, or even the rhombus shape on your wristwatch.
And as you notice all the different logos spread out in your space, you may start to feel a certain emotion, or recall a positive memory that you associate with each graphic. That’s because a logo is all part of a brand’s identity.
What is a brand identity?
You hear the word “brand” a lot these days. Most of the time it’s used in place of the word “business.” But a brand is much more than who you are or what you do as a company. It refers to how your business is perceived by others.
And a logo is the visual element of your company that customers see, which immediately triggers certain experiences, emotions, and values that they associate with your brand.
Think about people you know. Everyone is different and unique in their own way, right? In fact, no two people are the same, and that’s because each individual has an identity.
“Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo, that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds,” (Investopedia).
Consider that feeling you get when you walk into a store and recognize a particular logo that you associate good vibes with.
Yes, there may be other products on the same shelf that offer the same exact product, maybe even for less money. But because you already have a positive relationship with this brand, you reach for it—ignoring everything else.
To put it simply, the brand creates the relationship with the customer, but the logo triggers a response.
Crafting a logo that sets you apart
Although there are thousands of books and articles on logo creation and brand strategy, our goal is not to bore you with a master class in the elements of design.
Instead, we’ll look at a few of the most essential design elements to help you understand what goes into crafting a great logo that’s instantly recognizable and represents your brand’s identity.
Tips for crafting a business logo
First impressions are everything. So, think about the first thing you see when you stare at a business logo: its color.
A logo’s dominant color helps create an instant connection with a particular audience. In fact, color helps communicate what your company stands for without explicitly stating it.
What if McDonald’s golden arches were black and white instead of yellow? That certainly seems less inviting, right? Yellow is meant to convey cheerfulness, energy, and even optimism.
For most of us, though, yellow represents those mouthwatering french fries served hot and fresh. It’s definitely inviting and triggers most of us to pull up to its drive thru.
That being said, effective logos never overuse color. Simple color schemes allow them to keep their appeal and integrity when used across different mediums and applications.
Similar to colors, the font used in a logo says a lot about a brand. Is it a luxury company? Does it market towards kids? Certain fonts can even communicate a brand’s specific industry.
Think of the FedEx logo, for a second. It’s a variation on Futura Bold font composed of two colors: purple and orange. The bold lines and shape of this font help communicate the strength and reliability of FedEx’s services.
Hidden in the white space between the letters ‘E’ and ‘x’ is an arrow, informing the customer they can expect speed when shipping or receiving a package with their brand. Even though the logo may seem plain at first glance, it subtly conveys the brand’s values in a creative way.
Tips for using fonts in a logo
As we are on the topic of fonts, let’s quickly review the four basic types you can use for crafting a business logo. According to Fonts.com, we can classify most fonts into one of four basic categories of typefaces:
As the oldest font style, serif began appearing at the end of the 15th century. Serifs, or feet, are the identifiers of this typeface, which are the small lines attached to the ends of each letterform.
These fonts typically portray an established or sophisticated brand. Serifs are further categorized into four subtypes:
- Old style
- Slab serif
2.) Sans Serif
This typeface features clean, straight lines with no flourishes to enhance readability. In fact, sans serif translates to “without serif.” These fonts communicate sensibility and honesty without the need for thrills or flair.
Script typeface offers very fluid letterforms through connected letters with a slight resemblance to cursive lettering and calligraphy. Script has two subcategories: formal and casual.
“Formal” scripts draw inspiration from 17th and 18th century handwritings while “causal” resembles modern handwritings. Script can evoke elegance, creativity, and freedom, and by emulating actual handwriting, it can represent a more hands-on approach to business.
This style of typeface has the widest variation of fonts but is typically unsuitable for body copy, so it’s best reserved for headlines or other short copy that works to draw in the viewers’ attention.
These types of fonts can convey uniqueness and originality while eliciting fun and creativeness.
Okay, back to another important tip for crafting your business logo.
This may be the most important, yet most difficult, part of creating a brand. It’s easy to complicate a logo by trying to incorporate everything a business stands for.
But many of the world’s best logos are also the simplest: Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s apple, Target’s bullseye, etc.
Keep in mind that even though these logos do embrace simplistic design, it is the reputation of the company they represent that truly makes them iconic. To put it simply, the logo helps evoke the emotions or feelings that the brand conveys.
Great logos don’t just happen overnight. The design and branding process can take months of brainstorming and some trial and error—it could even take years!
Remember, your brand identity will represent your business for years to come, so it’s important to take time to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision and moving forward.
Our final piece of advice: keep it consistent!
No matter what you decide, it’s essential your fonts and colors remain consistent. If you advertise your products or services via print, digital, or using a variation of the two platforms, you’ll want to ensure you’re using the correct fonts and colors that you designate for each type of collateral.
Once you’ve chosen the correct styles, a brand style guide is an effective way to ensure your internal team stays consistent and uniform with your brand’s image, especially when it comes to time to expand your team.
Need help crafting a business logo?
We got you covered! Our Minneapolis-based digital marketing agency can help you find the right colors, graphics, and font styles to help you build a strong brand identity.
Whether you’re looking to design a logo from scratch or update an outdated one, our team of branding experts will help guide you through the process of establishing, recreating, or polishing your company’s image with a fresh, modern look that stays consistent when used across your marketing touch points!
Contact us today to learn how we can help!