We live in a visual world and in this array of colourful, bold, shiny, and sometimes not that pretty collage, your brand needs to stand out. But how? How do you make people notice your brand when everything has already been done? How can you be unique and memorable when your competitor is Nike, Coca-Cola or Amazon? How do you compete? Is it your service, your team, or is it your logo, the thing people first see before they even know who you are?
There are hundreds, if not thousands of questions you can ask yourself, but let us take a step back and look one aspect: your logo. The badge of your brand and the face of your corporate identity. In this article we will go through a few key elements to consider when creating your logo, and ultimately the starting point of your visual identity.
A rose by any other name:
What makes your logo? Is it a shape, is it a pattern, is it an illustration or graphic, or is it as simple as a word? Whatever you decide, remember that you are not your logo (unless your logo is a photo of yourself, then it pretty much is you).
Although a logo is an important part of your corporate identity, your brand’s values, actions, services, products and people will be the major factors that influence the way your audience perceives your brand. They will transfer these perceptions onto your logo and associate them with elements of your logo. While it may not have any intrinsic meaning on its own, it’s not something you should just forget about.
The pursuit of purpose:
What will the main purpose of your logo be? Will it be for print, or online, or maybe a combination of both? Where ever you use your logo, it needs to feel like it belongs. The shape and form of your logo will largely dictate where you can and can’t use it. Most brands will have at least one, sometimes two, variations of their main logo, for example a vertical and a horizontal version, or sometimes even just an icon. This is something to keep in mind when creating your logo or having it designed.
The art of the font:
If you think that words are not important in your branding then think again. Typography gives you the ability to make the words part of your brand. The style of the fonts you use will help convey your brand’s style, tone and message.
You wouldn’t trust a bank with your money if they used Comic Sans as the main font, would you? Your audience will learn a lot about your brand by the font you choose, so make sure it reflects you brand correctly.
The first thing that comes to mind:
Colours are one of, if not the most important element of visual branding and your logo. Colour is psychological, the hues are a determinant in our behaviour. Colour influences perceptions that are not obvious, for example the taste of food.
Colour can enhance the effectiveness of placebos and our emotions, for example heterosexual men tend to find women in red outfits more attractive, while research shows that the use of warm colours in store window displays tended to attract spontaneous purchasers, despite cooler colours being more favourable.
Using the correct colours in your logo and branding could be the thing that enables you to influence your audience’s emotions and perceptions.
Remember, remember, the fifth of November:
Odysseus summed it up quite nicely, “Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves, will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we’re gone and wonder who we were…”.