How to Create the Perfect Logo for Your Business

Keep these four design elements in mind when you go to the drawing board.
According to psychologists, color is the most important aspect of your logo. (Photo: stux/Pixabay)

Your logo is a visual representation of everything your business stands for. A well-
designed logo has personality and the power to become synonymous with a company’s identity and it can help potential customers instantly discover how your business can serve them. Just think about iconic brand images such as Apple’s apple, McDonald’s arches, and Nike’s swoosh.

But designing a good logo is more than meets the eye: There’s a good deal of psychology behind logo design which every small business owner should carefully consider.

Here are some important science-­backed design elements to pay attention to when creating or re-­designing a logo.

Choose your type

There are basically three kinds of logos. Font­based logos consist primarily of a type treatment, such as the logos of Sony, Tiffany & Co. and IBM. Then there are logos that illustrate what a company actually does, such as Habitat for Humanity’s people-­centric logo. And finally, there are abstract graphic symbols, such as Twitter’s bird and Nike’s swoosh. When thinking about your logo type, consider the context with which the customer will ultimately view your logo.

Use of color

Color, psychologists say, is the most critical element in helping to influence the way consumers view your brand. In fact, almost 85 percent of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80 percent of people believe color increases brand recognition.

It’s important for business owners to know that different colors in a logo are associated with different feelings. Green, for example, conveys organic growth and nature, and elicits feelings of kindness. Meanwhile, black triggers feelings of sophistication and authority and orange elicits feelings of energy and affordability. Just think about the green logos of Starbucks and Tropicana, the black logos of Chanel and Tiffany & Co. and the orange logos of Payless and Nickelodeon.

Font type and spacing

The candy manufacturer Pez uses a font that is a visual representation of the sweets they sell – it’s playful yet simple, just like the toy that dispenses its candy. Handwriting of fonts — think Coca-­Cola and Disney — suggest something casual and friendly, but are distinctive enough to indicate a special quality. The banking giant HSBC uses a classic serif font in uppercase letters, which is intended to portray a strong, trustworthy identity. Meanwhile, Citigroup prefers its lowercase sans­-serif font, projecting an image that suggests approachability.

This past fall, Google transitioned its logo from the more traditional serif font, which had been used since its days as a startup in the late 1990s. Google’s redesigned logo now uses sans­-serif font which conveys modernity and approachability. Spacing can even imply certain characteristics of a brand. FedEx’s logo, for example, has minimal spacing between each letter which suggests its tight, punctual service.

The role of shape

Research reveals that people make a subconscious decision about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing. It’s important to understand how a logo’s shape can infer particular qualities in a brand and how it could impact a customer’s perception of your business as straight lines, circles, curves and jagged edges all imply different meanings.

Using a circle in a logo can suggest community, friendship and love. Rings have an implication of partnership which suggests stability and endurance, and curves tend to be viewed as feminine in nature. Straight edged logo shapes imply balance. It’s also been suggested that triangles have strong associations with power, science, religion and law. Our minds associate vertical lines with masculinity, strength and aggression and horizontal lines suggest community, tranquility and calm.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or giving your logo a much­-needed update, be sure to take the psychology behind logo design seriously.

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