What makes a great business logo?
When most people think about what it takes to brand a business, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. This single piece of your visual identity is your company’s most recognizable and prominent asset. It’s the key way that people identify (and hopefully remember) your business; it also helps give meaning to your products and services. In addition, the shape, color, and typography of a logo actually evokes specific emotions in your audience.
It’s also helpful to think about what your logo is not. Your logo is not a complete description of your business, or a narrative of your business’s story. You’ll never have a logo that can explain everything you are — rather, it’s the context around your logo that does the explaining. Logos derive meaning from your company, products/services, customer experience, and more.
When the Harvest Media team develops a new or rebranded logo for a client, we focus on first creating a concept that reflects your company brand and messaging. Then, we craft that concept into a creative visual representation of your business. The overarching feelings and emotions projected by your logo evoke an emotional connection with your brand at the subconscious level that builds longlasting trust and understanding with your audience.
For further recommended reading about investing in design for your business, read our post on How Design Impacts Your Business Success.
When designing a new logo, the following elements are key (and are elements that the Harvest team incorporates into all of the logos we design):
Ensure people can recognize your logo as soon as they see it, at any distance. Simplicity in design makes certain your logo can be easily recognized from far away, and quickly absorbed by your current or potential customers. Don’t confuse your audience by being too complicated, and avoid using colors that clash.
Logos should be easily recognizable whether they are “larger than life” on an interstate billboard, or only ½ inch tall on mobile devices. Your logo will be scaled to various sizes on your website, social media channels, print materials, letterhead and more, so make sure it looks stellar in all sizes. Avoid hard-to-read fonts and fine lines that don’t translate to tiny applications.
You want your logo to be instantly recognizable. As we mentioned in Element 1, simplicity trumps complicated design tricks. Your logo should capture your target audience’s attention and leave a distinguished, positive impression that’s differentiated from competitors. Incorporate easily recognizable symbols with unique, creative touches that make your logo relatable, while still being undeniably, unforgettably your own.
Your brand mark and typography need to look great regardless of device or size. Reflect on the various orientations (square, circular, rectangular) needed for your website, social media channels and print materials. You’ll want a logo that can translate to any media seamlessly whether the format is vertical or horizontal, printed or digital.
Also, consider how your logo will work in greyscale if needed, or on clothing such as shirts or hats. How will it look in reverse coloring (light logo on dark background) or a single color? Will it work on a sign over your building or on a transparent background such as your doors or windows?
It’s essential for business logos to be relevant. This means they are appropriate for the company and industry they represent (although they shouldn’t be obvious and cliche). Relevant logos are targeted and purposeful, relatable to your remarkable selling points, as well as supporting your services and values. They are also timeless not trendy.
Your business logo should “speak” to your audience through appropriate fonts and colors that convey meanings. Is your font playful, or masculine? Are your colors calming, or confident? Are your shapes rugged, or soft?
If you need help first developing and identifying your business brand, start with our Ultimate Guide to Building A Strong Business Brand. And then give us a call - we’d love to help!
Lastly, your business logo should stand out in the “brandscape” of competing companies. Simple, scalable, and relevant does not have to mean “boring.” Your design should reflect the concepts and values that make your business unique and unparalleled within your industry. Let your logo help set you apart, and not get lost in the maze of competitors.
A good logo will stand the test of time, and give your audience a physical symbol to recognize and feel great about every time they interact with your business. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to explain your business -- instead, it should represent a valuable concept and feeling you’d like to leave with your audience.
By keeping the key elements of good logo design in mind, you’ll invest in a design that gives your audience something they can easily grasp onto and connect with. In fact, your business practices will often support and develop your logo over time, and strengthen its impression on your customers. An effective logo that grows with a company’s culture and audience will be truly a powerful and compelling asset for your business brand in the long run.
Ready for a new business logo or a logo redesign? Give the Harvest Media team a call at 847-352-4345.
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Mike is the creative director at Harvest Media and loves to help clients grow.
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