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A lot goes into logo design. For such a tiny and usually simple piece of imagery, it holds a lot of value. As the saying goes, a picture tells a thousand words. Well, a logo tells a thousand words about the brand it represents. There is a lot of thought that goes into logo ideas, and if you’re wondering what your logo should be, we can break down what goes into landing on the icon that will follow your brand wherever it goes. Read on for all the details on what goes into logo design.

 

Logo Design as a Business Tactic: What You Need to Know

 

Why is a logo important?

Your logo is synonymous with your name. When people say your name, they should see your logo. Think of McDonalds, Adidas, Google. You can immediately see their logos in your mind.

 

So, like your name, it’s important that your logo is nailed down at the start and should rarely change. It’s considered quite an upheaval or rebranding to change your logo or name. It should invoke instant recognition no matter the context, so that people can recognize your business.

 

But it also needs to express your brand and what you stand for with very little room. For the sake of practicality, it has to be small and simple. You’re not going to be able to embroider a renaissance painting into a football shirt, for example.

 

 

Simplicity

For this reason, your logo should stay simple. There are a lot of reasons for this. There is the practicality and versatility aspect. Your logo might have to show up on Time Square billboards or the corner of a webpage on a phone screen and will need to be clear either way.

 

Simplicity also allows your audience a level of subjective interpretation. Adidas, for example, simply added three stripes to everything they did, because it was simple. Today, their logo is tilted on its side, and we’re told it’s meant to represent a mountain. From there, the audience can gain the messaging that a mountain represents challenges, in particular physical challenges, which is apt for a sports brand. But it’s also just three stripes. People could see that as finishing lines, or a zebra crossing.

 

 

Subliminal messaging

A lot of logos set out to endue their logos with meaning. Apple, Nike, Toyota, are all examples that come to mind, immediately. Apple, for one, simply has an apple as their icon as well as their name. Apples have a lot of relevance in a lot of ways, but most famously the theory of gravity, one of the biggest scientific advancements in history, came about because an apple landed Isaac Newton’s head, or so the legend goes.

 

Nike’s tick is even more simple. With one “swoosh” they invoke speed and power. You could even say it looks like something running past you and zooming off into the distance. That, coupled with their name after the goddess of victory, makes for strong branding for a sports company. You can also be clever with your logo. You can find lists of logos that use negative space to insert an image or an extra letter into their logo, invoking more meaning. Toyota simply has their entire name in their logo. If you take all the elements apart you will see all the letters that make up the word “Toyota”.

 

So, there are a number of ways you can put symbolism into your icon. You can start from an object or concept that shares values with your company, like Apple, or mind-map your way to an icon you like using your brand's priorities, like Nike.

 

But, when the point is to showcase your brand's virtues, always start with them. List out elements of your company you want to enforce and move on from there.

 

 

Colour theory

A part of subliminal messaging is the colour theory. Colour is given a lot of importance in branding. Think about Instagram. Their logo is vibrant and feminine, and yet when you think of Instagram it’s probably the “Instagram style” that comes to mind: a lot of pastels and whites.

 

And there is a psychology element to it. Certain colours invoke feelings in us, like red for urgency and passion, or blue for peace, green for nature and black for mystery. When you’re browsing the store looking for, say, shampoo, as a woman, you’re going to walk right past all the black and grey bottles, knowing they’re not designed for you.

 

Taking it a step further, there are industry-focused colour theories. White invokes ideas of purity, so it’s associated with medicine and cleaning products, blue aims to make complicated things easy, so is involved with tech and finance, black is considered stylish and masculine, so it’s associated with cars, fashion, etc.

 

But your logo should be made up of a couple of colours, so think about what industry you’re trying to get into and build your colour palette around it. Or buck the trend and stand out. If you’re a car manufacturer looking to make electric cars, skip the black and reach for green instead?