5 Things Every Company Logo Must Communicate to its Audience
The average consumer thinks little of what goes into creating a great logo, or why one logo appeals to them while another logo doesn’t. However, they have a clear sense of what they like, even if they don’t always understand why. That’s part of the mystery and magic of a really good logo, and why logo design is such a complicated subject.
A really great logo has to fulfill multiple criteria simultaneously. In this post, we focus on five things that every company logo design must communicate to its audience.
1) Your Brand Personality
Top businesses always incorporate symbols in their logos in a way that appeals to their target market. And they do this by imbuing their icons with their brand personality.
The definition of brand personality is simple: it’s a set of human characteristics that can be attributed to your company’s brand.
For instance, you could have an excitement-focused brand. Here, your logo design would communicate your brand values of youthfulness or a free-spirited nature. Good examples of this include Billabong, Red Bull, and Lego.
Other businesses need their logos and marketing materials to communicate sincerity, thoughtfulness, and family values. Law firms and grocery stores often adopt this approach.
Then there are so-called “rugged” brands. These have tough, outdoorsy, and athletic personalities. Good examples include GoPro, Patagonia, and Diesel.
Also, if it’s in keeping with the brand image and ethos you want to project, you might also want to try experimenting with competency-focused branding, particularly if you are in the consulting or medical industry. Mayo Clinic, McKinsey, and PwC all take this approach.
Lastly, some luxury and exclusive brands need to make their logo design appear sophisticated or elegant in style for their target market, and may require multiple versions – different logos for different settings. This could mean the same logo, but in different colors. The logo’s font, however, usually remains a consistent part of the idea. Examples of this include Gucci, Paramount, and Rolex.
2) Brand Identity And Values
Today’s consumers are increasingly driven by their values. If they feel like a company doesn’t align with their beliefs or ethics, they’ll opt out and choose another.
As such, some businesses need logos to communicate what values the business stands for. Any new logo should look to convey some higher cause to its customers.
Apple’s logo is a good example of this in practice. The bite out of the apple represents consumer culture and the notion that we should all live life to the fullest. The visual elements are simple and the message is clear. Together they create an identity that’s iconic.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is another example of this in action. The image of a panda is now the universal sign of the need to conserve nature. The logo effectively taps into certain emotions making it immediately relatable to consumers.
3) Is Your Business Name Suitable For All Your Marketing Materials?
An effective logo design should also include your company name, particularly if you are a new business. Wherever your logo appears, so too should your company name. By putting your logo image and name together, the tandem should eventually be instantly recognizable to anyone who encounters the logo.
Many business logos are actually small graphics with attractive fonts and accompanying symbols. EDF (Environmental Defense Fund), Sierra Club, and The Nature Conservancy are all good examples of this in practice. All of these companies display pictorial and word-based logos on their business cards, websites, and customer-facing platforms.
4) Your Unique Selling Points
A powerful logo should also differentiate you from the competition. Things like color choice and typography elements in your logo should suggest that you are a little quirky or unique, and inspire confidence. It should be clear from your logo design that you’re “not like the other guys.”
Nike does this well. Unlike other sports clothes manufacturers, its icon, a simple tick, or as some refer to it, a “swoosh,” has a powerful impact and is recognized all over the world.
HSBC is another good example. Its symbol conveys authority and leaves a lasting impression.
Disney’s logo works too. The shape of the font is playful, and the fun-loving design is great for web design, t-shirts, and print.
5) Your Story + Your Logo
Lastly, any logo you produce should convey your story, and offer insight to your audience where you came from, what you stand for, or what the value proposition is.
Many companies evolve their logos over time. Coca-Cola, for instance, is still instantly recognizable today, but the way it frames its classic logo design changes to reflect the times.
Pepsi is similar. In the 1990s, it had a shiny logo design with a gradient. Now it is much simpler and minimalist, using block colors while keeping the design language of the old format.
Telling your story via your logo is easier if you can visually communicate what you do.
Cisco’s logo, for instance, has several vertical lines above it. These have a dual meaning. They represent an electromagnetic field and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, near to where the company was founded.
Sony Vaio is also quite clever. The digital technology brand, known for its range of premium notebooks, combines both digital and analog images to create a strong first impression. The “V” and “A” parts look like an analog wave while the “I” and “O” represent digital binary code.
Professional Logo Design
Whatever the mix of symbols, fonts, colors, ideas and intentions, your logo is you! It’s what your customers come to expect of your values, style, story, messaging, products and services encapsulated within a unique piece of art.
That symbol will gain a place of prominence on everything from your company website, business cards, letterhead, notepads, presentation folders, banners, storefront signage, billboards, and your print, electronic and digital advertising as well as coffee mugs, shirts, baseball caps, refrigerator magnets, and more.
With so much riding on your logo, it’s worth the investment of time and effort to get it right. Undertaking the research, capturing the ideas, insights and opinions of your customers, colleagues, staff, and important stakeholders is part of the logo design journey.
The talented designers and marketing professionals at The Social Firm are happy to share the journey with you so you arrive at the perfect logo.
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