Logos are embedded into our everyday lives – without even realising it we are exposed to countless logos all the time, constantly making connections with brands, whether consciously or unconsciously. A logo serves as the face of the business, when designed well, logos help target audiences recognise a company and what they stand for.
The concept of the logo has been around for thousands of years. Considering the symbols used in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, as well as the primitive cave drawings of early humans, these symbols of communication have the same core objectives of modern-day logos; recognition and identification.
The term logo derives from the Greek word ‘logos’ which literally means ‘word’. The etymology of ‘logo’ reinforces that it is at its core a communicator. Logos ideally are to communicate the unique identity of a brand and what it represents. Logo is also short for logotype – a graphic representation of a brand.
What is a logo?
Put simply, a logo is a symbol made up of a specific combination of words, images, and colours that are used cohesively in order to identify a brand or product and differentiate between companies. Specific types of logos come in all variations, that range from simple wordmark logos to more abstract pictorial logos, making use of different components such as images, typography, and colour.
What it can mean
As briefly mentioned, the fundamental purpose of a logo is identification. However, a strong logo can also mean a lot more than simply identification.
- Creates a strong first impression – as with many things, first impressions matter and your businesses logo is an opportunity to make a memorable impression that grasps the customers interest and sparks their interest. Typically, the logo is the first element to be noticed by the customer.
- Brand identity – A well designed logo can help build and shape a cohesive and distinct image of the brand. The logo is a starting point for brand identity and how audience perception of your brand will develop.
- Standing out from other companies, distinguishes you from the competition.
- Opportunity to convey values/get message across – as mentioned, logos themselves are modes of communication and can convey important information about the company to the customer such as; what type of company you are, who your target audience may be, and what services you offer.
- Promotes brand awareness – Customers often make associations with well-designed logos.
What to go for
When it comes to the designing of a logo, there are various elements that should be researched and picked accordingly to fit each specific company. Various individual components that make up a logo individually communicate with the customer, such as the colour and the font style. There are also various types of logo that incorporate different features in order to best suit different types of businesses. These different types of logo are:
- Abstract – Abstract logos are essentially symbols that are tailor made for your brand. As opposed to a pictorial mark that is reference to another object, abstract marks are unique shapes and designs. Brands that utilise well designed abstract logos are Pepsi and Nike – they both have unique graphic icon designs that have developed strong brand identities.
- Wordmark/logotype – This type of logo simply makes use of typography, the font used and the word itself becomes the central focus and it is typically the company name that is used. Wordmark logos have been well used by various brands such as Coca-cola and Google.
- Brandmark/pictorial – Pictorial or brandmark logos use images, symbols and shapes that often represent a real-life object and reflects the brand. These logos don’t make use of any typography and so the image itself is the main focus. Brands such as Twitter and Apple demonstrate good use of pictorial logos.
- Monogram/lettermark – This type of logo typically contains around one to four letters that represent the company’s name. Most often it is the company’s initials that are used. Brands such as Louis Vuitton and H & M are amongst popular brands using a lettermark logo.
- Emblem – Emblems make use of both images and typography however, are seen as one cohesive icon rather than separate parts. Emblems typically have a vintage and traditional style look. Brands such as Porsche as well as Starbucks demonstrate good use of an emblem logo – emblem logos often communicate a sense of prestige and history.
- Combination – Combination logos combine typography with an image. It is a very flexible type of logo design as the combined parts of the logo can be separated and used individually whilst maintaining brand cohesion. Examples of brands utilising a combination style logo include; Adidas, Adobe, and Mastercard – successfully binding graphics and typography.
- Mascot – Mascot logos make use of a character, often illustrated, that becomes the central focus of the logo and represents the brand. Brands such as Michelin and Tripadvisor are some examples of companies that use this type of logo. Mascot logos are also popular amongst brands that target a younger or more family friendly audience as well as sports teams/organisations.
Choosing the right colour palette for your logo is essential to how your business will be perceived by customers. Psychology plays a big part in the way in which we perceive different businesses through their logos. Colours are communicators in themselves and we often make associations through colour, for example, the colour green is typically associated with nature, luck, and health.
It is very important to consider what colour palette you will be using for your logo as it communicates what type of business you are, what products or services you provide, and who your target audience is. It is important to consider the tone when picking the colours of your logo for instance, typically it wouldn’t be favourable to choose a monochromatic colour palette if the target audience of your business is children.
Utilising imagery in the logo can help get across the company’s message. A visual graphic can be a great way to capture the audience’s attention and also to encapsulate the brand’s identity, message, and values. Graphics used in logos can be combined with wordmarks or used as a standalone image.
Typography refers to font style, appearance, and structure that is used within logo text. Similar to colour, the typography used in your logo communicates key information about your business. Thus, it is important to take into consideration the tone of the typography and how it ties into the brand identity.
Scalability and consistency
A strong logo design should be both scalable and consistent. Scalability refers to whether the logo will work on different formats and at different sizes without losing any quality. Ideally the logo will be placed on business cards, emails, and various other branding materials. For more about logo design and what to go for, get in touch with our team on 01536 411153.