What Logos Do

What is a logo, how important a logo is and why should you have a logo
logo identity

To begin with, it is not easy to develop a mark that highlights the intangible concepts of a product or service depicting, at the same time, comfort, security and familiarity to influence consumers’ decisions in the use of products. But, this is what logos do. They tell your client: “Don’t worry. We know exactly what you want.

A logo is, above all, the visual focus of your business, of your packaged product, of your property development or service, of your correspondence. It takes a bit more than just adding up colours and typos. Ultimately, it requires you to understand what consumers want as you search for the visual statement that will communicate the proper message.

What is a Logo?

Before we start using the numerous creative logo design showcases, resources and tutorials abundantly posted in the Web, we need above all to gain a solid understanding of what makes a logo design good.

Furthermore, a logo is a symbol or other small design (images, texts, shapes, or a combination of them) used by the organisation to identify their brand and the purpose of their business. Essentially, it is a symbol of identification. But it should be more than that. Besides that, it should help the consumer establish an emotional connection with your target audience.

The Main Purpose of a Logo

The design must make the logo immediately recognisable. It should additionally inspire trust in the organisation. In essence, the main purpose is to identify the brand or the entity and connect your customer with it. Therefore, a logo does not sell directly, it identifies. And they should have a derived meaning of trust, quality, loyalty and an implied superiority.

six red pins and one black pin

A logo is important for a number of reasons, such as:

  • A great first impression, inviting customers to interact with your brand
  • Helps you in the creation and/or development of your brand identity
  • Gives your target audience symbols through which to remember your company
  • Distinguishes you from the competition
  • Raises brand loyalty

Effective and Efficient Logo

What makes a good logo, we should then ask. To answer, we must emphasise that the concept of “meaning” is crucial. A good logo should, therefore, be distinctive and appropriate to convey the intended message. It should also be practical and simple to be printed at any size, with or without colour. Simple yet effective principles applied to your logo will allow your products and website to show their complexities without the interference of the logo. The logo will be there to attract the person and identify the meaning of the company.

Ultimately, simple logos are frequently easily recognised, unbelievably memorable and the most effective in communicating to the target audience. As Jacob Cass says great concept and great execution”.

Components of a Logo

When you see the logo printed in a business card it looks so simple. A small creation is so easy to look at. But it is not. A logo requires lots of creativity and loads of thoughts and the use of many elements that need to be combined in a visual focus to assure that the final result meets the needs of clients. A combination of elements includes:

  • Colour

Perfect communicators of your message – consumer behaviour responds to different individual colours: serious, innovative, front-line, stable, timeless. It is always better to stick to two or three colours combine to create a palette that you can use wisely.

Google logo

The idea behind the name was that Google’s search engine could quickly provide users with large quantities, or googols, of results. The combination of colours means that Google is young, fun, and unthreatening. The history is an interesting long story to read.

  • Typography

Typography has a crucial role in the design of a logo. Simple words to define the personality of your business. Or, in other words, how your business shares psychological and emotional relations with the customers. With research and analysis, a clear concept will come to provide a professional well-balanced design perfect for your corporate image.

FedEx logo

Check out for example, the white space between the E and x in “Ex.” Do you see the arrow? From now on you will never be able to look at a FedEx logo without seeing it; that means their trucks or boxes will be distinctive and communicate their message of speed and accuracy.

  • Image

Whether it is an icon, a symbol or an abstract picture, it is important to remember that the logo will need resizing to different sizes with clear and scalable definitions.

Coca Cola logo

One of the most omnipresent logos in consumer psyche, Coca Cola stands as the most popular and trusted brand of the world. The typeface is Spencerian script which was a prevalent form of handwriting in the 19th century’s the United States. The red and white colour combination was chosen as it was attractive, with a blend of energy and purity.

  • Tagline

The catchphrase that usually accompanies the image is used to communicate the names or values that your customers need to know. It tells something about your business. Only very big and well-known companies don’t need this addition to the understanding of the company in their branding. Think of the image of Apple, for example.  Or the simple design of Nike. But they still use them, to catch the attention of the viewer.

KFC logo

KFC’s ‘It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good’ was created off the cuff by a restaurant manager in the 1950s. This slogan has been modified and changed for TV and ads, but still message that “Well, it’s finger-lickin’ good”. Getting hungry?

How Logos Stand Out?

Logos should be:

Simple – simplicity makes it more recognizable and versatile
Memorable – differentiate your brand from the competition
Timeless – stand the test of time; trends come and go but your brand identity looks for longevity
Audience-appropriate – resonate with their target market
Readable – easily understood from just a glance
Scalable – prominent across different media channels in different applications and sizes

And the Cost?

Different companies charge according to different needs. There are, actually, a number of factors to consider. For instance, how many logo concepts, how many revisions, how much research, how big is the business, is the logo part of a branding process. Generally speaking, most designers will be happy to refer you to their previous clients and their previous experience and will be happy to talk to you about your needs and desired projects.

Different Uses of a Logo

chalk board with phrase

Logos should be placed anywhere your firm is represented:

Company Communications – letters, emails, memos, newsletters, brochures, infographics, to reinforce your brand to the customer and to your own employees
Marketing Materials – ads, brochures, social media posts, newsletters, packaging, as a branding tool
Business Cards – as a first introduction to your brand to give your potential customer a tangible memory of yourself
Presentations – a clear indication of the brand you represent
Websites – to increase the visibility and identification of your brand.

As we have seen, creating this visual point of difference in your identity is unique and complex. Think of the design of your logo as you would in the resolution of a problem. First, you identify the need and think about how it would look like visually. Remember that creativity is the art of seeing limitless possibilities. Then, you brainstorm solutions and sort them, eliminating or combining elements from different points of view.  Keep your eyes and your mind open while you go through the process.

Creating a memorable first impression is the ultimate goal of the designer. Your logo needs to speak to the heart and soul of your audience. Investigating the places where the logo will be seen and the right visual cues are just part of the job. The most important thing is to uncover your logo’s primary motive and what you are trying to tell the audience. This process combines timeliness with timelessness with a trend to balance to provide the unique and individual consumers’ desires.  

What Logos Do and how they do itby Anistatia R Miller and Jared M. Brown, Rockport Publications, 2000

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Cidinha Moss

Cidinha Moss

Cidinha Moss is the founder of Moss51 Art & Design, a graphic and web design studio that thrives on building usable and aesthetically pleasing websites and brand images. Cidinha is a dog lover who happens to have adventures in painting, ceramics and marketing. She brings decades of experience to her current role, where she is dedicated to creating communication that connects. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn

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