The modern business landscape is synonymous with a fast pace, exciting opportunities, and widening scope. An extension of this rapidly expanding domain is the explosion in small businesses and startups across the world. According to the US Small Business Administration, there are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States alone.
While this is great news for customers who are presented with a wide variety of choices, small business owners might be a little wary. This is because more competition means more pressure to stand out from the rest of the pack. Here is where branding comes into play.
From marketing moguls to fresh graduates, everyone knows the importance of strengthening your brand in an increasingly competitive business space.
Marketing and communication specialist, Margie Clayman defines branding as: “the encapsulation of a company’s mission statement, objectives, and corporate soul as expressed through the corporate voice and aesthetic.”
In simple words, branding is the culmination of your venture’s uniqueness, personality, and distinctiveness. It is an identity that sets you apart from the crowd and pushes you to the limelight.
When it comes to branding, the logo you choose sets the tone for how your brand will be perceived by customers and visitors. A logo is a key element in retaining your brand in the minds of potential customers. Think Apple, McDonald’s, Nike – what do all of these iconic logos have in common? A long-lasting impact that has defined the brand for generations to come.
Here is a succinct guide on how to design the logo of your dreams:
What you can expect in this article:
1. Define brand identity
To ensure that your logo resonates with your brand, you must define what the brand is and how you want your brand to be perceived. Your logo will be successfully able to communicate your brand’s ethos only if you are clear about what your business stands for. To get to the bottom of this abstraction, ask yourself some basic questions, such as:
Why did I start this business? What should customers expect from us? What sets us apart from others? What is our unique selling point?
With this clarity in mind about the fundamentals of your brand identity, making a logo that reflects these values will be a relatively easy task.
2. Choose colors with care
You do not have to be a psychologist to know that different colours impact people’s psyche and perceptions. Colour psychology is a trade secret that can make or break your brand’s resonance. The science behind it is complex and tricky but without delving in too deep, here is a quick primer on what popular colours stand for:
Red: Indicates excitement, power, and passion. Red is a flexible colour and can be moulded to reflect aggression and danger or affection and love. Choosing red is making a bold statement that instantly catches the eye of customers.
Orange: Youthful, vibrant, and playful – orange is an invigorating colour that is energetic and fresh. Orange is known for stimulating hunger, so if you run a food-related business make sure to use a splash of orange.
Yellow: An absolute marketing favourite, yellow is the ultimate cheerful, warm, and inviting colour. Using yellow in your logo establishes your brand as a friendly and optimistic one.
Green: Balanced and harmonious – it is both the colour of nature and that of the dollar. Green is a dynamic colour; it can be used to denote both the emotion of nature and the logic of wealth.
Blue: Blue is an interesting colour with multiple connotations. It signifies reliability and responsibility making it an ideal pick for banking and finance-related businesses. It presents a sense of calmness and trust that works wonders for the healthcare and personal care sector. On the flip side, it can also be perceived as distant or cold depending on the context.
Black: The most powerful colour of all, black has an unmatchable aura. Majestic, sophisticated and serious – black can also be used to reflect mystery, sadness, and death. This luxurious colour must be used sparingly at best.
White: The flagbearer of peace, cleanliness, and purity – white is classy yet simple. It exemplifies several meanings and is perhaps the most widely used colour.
Note: More than 300 million people in this world suffer from colour blindness. Deuteranope, protanope, and tritanope are three different types of colour blindness. To make sure your brand is accessible to every single client, making your logo colour-blind-friendly is a small step. Make sure you up the contrast and add text in your logos to help with colour blindness.
Do not forget to play with tints, shades, contrasts, and combinations to make your logo creative, impactful and worth remembering.
3. Choose a suitable font
Regarding logos, they are as effective in establishing a brand identity as colours. Several different types of fonts and typefaces reflect different meanings. Without going in-depth, here are some quick notes on the 4 different types of fonts:
Classic, traditional, and sophisticated – Serif fonts such as Times New Roman and Cambria are characterised by the little feet at the end of letters. If you use Serif for your logo, you mean business.
Sans Serif fonts like Arial and Helvetica do not have the little feet at the end of every letter. They are considered more modern and sleek than Serif fonts.
Script fonts present a dynamic range of ornate, traditional styles to messy and fun styles. Fonts like Comic Sans and Pacifico are examples of Script fonts.
Heavy-duty and impactful fonts like Impact (pun intended) and Ultra are novelty fonts that appear on book covers or posters.
Selecting your font does not have to be a hasty decision. Shortlist fonts that suit your brand identity and complement the selected theme and colours. The key is to try different combinations of fonts and typefaces to know which fits your brand best.
Where should you get your logo designed?
Now that you know the fundamentals of what you should do to make the perfect logo, only one question remains: where should you get your logo designed?
While there are many answers to that question, for novices in the business, using a logo maker is a great option. Logo makers are aplenty on the internet – both free and paid. There is generally some customization control you can exercise. Using a logo maker is cost-efficient and is fast becoming the most popular amongst small businesses that prefer to follow the do-it-yourself way.
An interesting innovation in recent times is logo design contests. Answer a few simple questions, get presented with a dozen designs and choose your favourite ones.
In case you are ready to spend a few hundred dollars or so, hiring a design professional is a worthy investment. The resulting logos will be professional looking, sophisticated and tailored to your expectations.
A good logo can be the difference between the success and failure of your business. These logo design tips and tricks are a shortcut to attracting and retaining loyal clientele. With these essential basics in your pocket, get to envisioning the perfect logo today.