The disheartening rise in stock logos is poised to do design and branding a real disservice. When logos become generic, they lose their memorable nature. The right logo communicates who you are and what you do in a simple manner. As your brand grows, the logo becomes the common face of the brand. For example, you may not be able to describe the taste of Starbucks coffee but you can probably describe the logo.
Logo and Branding
Your brand itself is the emotional corporate image — how people feel when wearing Nike or having it their way at Burger King. The font color, size, and packaging choices become the entire visual design of your business. Your logo, business cards, company letterhead, website and company marketing materials fall under the business identity. Your logo gives your brand visual life. It becomes a stand-in for brand identity.
A logo doesn’t sell a company or product. Think of the iconic FedEx logo with its hidden arrow. The logo implies directness and speed with the hidden arrow. FedEx doesn’t need to hit you over the head with images of planes or cheery delivery drivers. Even when a logo is literal — think of Shell or Apple — it is brand-focused, not service-focused.
How do you create a logo when brand identity may be new or ill-defined? That’s where a skilled designer comes in. A designer will distil your identity, goals and vision into a logo design that resonates.
What a Logo Can Convey
Before you market, you need to brand. Questions your brand should answer include who or what you are, what services you offer and how these are distinct from market competitors. Whether you create gaming apps or modular furniture, you will need to tell customers why you are different. Be prepared to think about your brand until you can answer these questions.
When you can speak comfortably about your brand, your values and your services, you’re ready to create a logo. Companies that rush into logo design without brand knowledge end up with generic or stock logos that communicate nothing of value. A well-designed logo can communicate your values and services much like the FedEx logo communicated efficiency. Logos that truly communicate what the company offers include:
- Formula 1
Your logo should, of course, be on all company materials. This means that your logo needs to handle being resized with ease. Your business cards will need a significantly smaller logo than the banner you’re printing for a conference. Your website will fall somewhere in between. For ease of scalability, always use a vector-drawn logo over a rasterized one. The latter becomes pixelated when blown up.
Since many users will encounter your logo initially on the internet, it’s important to make sure that your logo fits well on the website. Stick with a standard web logo placement on the upper left corner of your website. Users will look at this specific location because it is where they expect to find a logo. Determine what sized logo makes sense for your website. If you choose too small, it could get lost. If you choose too large, you can appear vain.
Time invested in planning your logo is time well spent because of your logo’s purpose. Take the time to get it right by working with a designer and implementing rounds of design to refine the creative concept.