Feel the Logo Love: Tips to Create an Iconic Visual Brand
McDonald’s. Nike. Google. Coca-Cola. What do these brands have in common? As you read their names, you probably pictured their logos. That’s exactly what should happen when you think about a brand.
Logos establish brand recognition among customers—once you see a logo, you become familiar with what it represents. As the identity and “face” of a company, a logo is used in every single strategic marketing design, from stationery items (business cards, letterhead, etc.) to print and digital promotional advertising.
I read “Logo Design Love” by David Airey to learn more about logos, and I finished the book with a few takeaways that I use when I design. To create a logo that best represents a brand, the design should be simple, versatile, memorable, focused, and appropriate.
Simple and Versatile
Simple logos are easily recognizable and versatile enough for use across multiple media and applications. No matter where and why the logo is used, it should help tie all brand elements together. Therefore, you should consider these ideas throughout the design process:
Can the logo be printed in one color, and in black or white?
Can the logo reduce in size, and still be effective in as little as one square inch?
Is the logo easily recognizable?
How would the logo look on a billboard, a shirt, an envelope, etc.?
In a society where nobody reads anymore, logos need to be quickly identifiable. People recognize color first, shape second, and typography third. This means logo color is very important and should relate to the company brand. In terms of shape, if a logo cannot be re-drawn accurately in fewer than 10 seconds, it is too complex, which decreases the chance it will be memorable.
Focusing on a single, specific design treatment helps a logo stand out to its audience. A great example of focus in a logo is FEDEX. The logistics company is about shipping products fast and reliably. Lindon Leader, the designer of FEDEX logo, focused on arranging the E and X to create an arrow, a symbol of speed and precision.
What does the logo represent and who is the intended audience? If the logo is for a nursing home, it could represent the idea of providing a healthy, loving home with a caring staff. A futuristic font, intense colors, complex shapes, and sharp edges and angles may not work well in this case. Note that being appropriate does not mean being literal, depicting exactly what the company does. For example, a paint company logo does not need to incorporate a paintbrush.
A solid logo and brand identity that follow these criteria can help launch a company and enhance its ability to successfully market their brand. David Airey said it best: “A successful design may meet the goals set in your design brief, but a truly enviable iconic design will also be simple, relevant, enduring, distinctive, memorable, and adaptable.”
Did you know there’s a smarter and simpler way to nurture leads who visit your website, receive your emails, and see your ads? What a potential customer is looking for varies depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. A website visitor could be looking for information to help solve a problem they just started researching, or they could want specific details and prices for products or services you offer.
Spring—it’s a time to start fresh and nurture growth. And speaking of growth, how is your social media performing? Research shows that 52% of social media marketers believe social media positively influences their company’s revenue and sales, so the health of these platforms is certainly important. In fact, key players in the industry are rolling out data dashboards that prioritize the health and quality of your digital marketing efforts. HubSpot’s Email Health Tool and Facebook’s Quality Check help users identify and address underperforming emails or social media ads. If these issues are left unaddressed, companies could be blacklisted—ending up in the eternal email spam folder or banned from the Facebook platform entirely.