The Underlying Philosophy of Logo Design and Branding
You don’t realize it, but the design of a company’s image, the logo and color scheme, has a huge effect on perception.
If you can get your potential customers to wear your brand like Nike, drink your brand like Starbucks or search for your brand like Google, you have won.
Your business needs a strong brand to survive because it’s just as important as any other facet of your operations. By building a dependable brand over time you’ll engender legitimacy and trust in the eyes of potential customers and that’s definitely something you want.
There are certain logos out there that everybody knows whether they want to or not; Burger King, Pepsi, Apple and others. When their very names are spoken, our minds flood with images and feelings that relate to their companies and that’s because of the identities they’ve built up over time.
A strong brand increases the value of your company too, but in ways you might not expect. The value of a company that trades on stock exchanges is usually much higher than its material worth and it’s because of its brand identity.
A powerful and healthy brand is a guarantee of future income and that helps even if you’re applying for a loan or doing an IPO. The more valuable you seem, the more money you’ll be worth.
But we also can’t forget the fact that your company’s brand can either inspire or demotivate your employees. People don’t just want to turn up at 9 and clock out at 5, they want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.
They want to feel excited to turn up to work each day and know that they’re making a difference, and the right identity will help them do just that.
In case it hasn’t been made abundantly clear; a strong brand will convert the eyeballs of curious onlookers into the dollar notes of satisfied customers. When people know that yours is a leading brand that they can trust, they’ll do business with you. And when they get great service they’ll evangelise you to all who’ll listen.
Your job is to do everything you can to ensure that when people see your logo, their minds flood with the same positive emotions they’d get if they saw Apple’s half bitten apple.
And while we’re on that topic lets look at some historical examples.
Let’s look at the philosophy of logos
Many consider the logo to be a company’s most powerful promotional tool because it can either make or break a brand. The majority of your potential customers will see it before anything else and if it doesn’t meet mustard you’ll lose their interest and trust immediately.
A great logo commands respect and implies the expertise of the brand that made it, so getting it right is seven different shades of essential. Apparently, 50% of businesses go under in their first 5 years of trading, and guess what? Poor marketing and branding choices are often crucial to their demise.
What’s the purpose of a logo?
Chris Rock once said that when you meet a person for the first time, you’re not actually meeting them but their representative. Now as funny as that statement was (and it definitely was), that’s exactly what your logo is, your representative.
It’s your spokesperson and the official face of your brand. You know that good looking and charismatic person in the office who’d be your first choice to represent the company at international conferences? Well your logo’s that guy, (or gal).
How to create a logo that’s right for you
A great logo perfectly fits its business; but businesses are like people, each has its own particular personality, culture and mind set and no two are exactly alike. This means that in order to perfectly encapsulate the mood and energy of your company, your logo will need to be completely bespoke to its needs. But how can you achieve that? Through the clever use of psychology, that’s how.
You see, a logo is effectively a combination of shapes, colors, and typesets, all of which come together to imprint a specific mood in the eye of the beholder. But before we go into detail about how this can be achieved, here are a few things to remember.
Creating A Lasting Logo
- Simplicity is key and less is more. A great logo will convey everything it needs to without overwhelming its viewers’ senses
- Make sure there’s nothing offensive about your logo in any way. You want people to love your brand, not hate it
- Great logos have timeless qualities so design yours with the future in mind and don’t make it too ‘contemporary’. Failure to do this means you’ll just fork out cash for rebranding further on down the line
- The goal of your logo is to grab its viewers by the unmentionables (metaphorically speaking!) and permanently brand your brand onto their brains
The psychology of shapes
Different shapes trigger different emotions in the human brain and failure to know this means possibly choosing a shape that triggers an emotion you don’t want your logo’s viewers to have. Shapes can be exciting, sluggish, reliable, passionate, energetic and much more. Below are some examples of various shapes and the feelings they invoke.
Masculinity, dominance & strength
Vertical lines – horizontal lines – angled lines
If you want to convey masculinity and aggression, use angled or vertical lines. If you want to give off a feeling of speed, angled lines are where it’s at. If you want to convey a mature, subtle, and grounded male energy then please use horizontal lines, mon amis.
Female energy, peace and love
Horizontal lines – ellipses – ovals – circles
Curved shaped convey femininity to the human brain. Flat and horizontal lines convey a masculine notion of peace.
Steadiness and poise
Squares – triangles
If you want your brand to seem dependable then squares and triangles will make excellent additions to your logo. This is why they’re often seen in the law industry.
The psychology of color
You’ve probably realized this already, but no two colors are the same and there’s a good reason why that infamous part of Amsterdam isn’t called the Green Light District.
If the colors of your logo aren’t in sync with your brand identity then you’ll give people the wrong impression of your company and that could be devastating. Want to grab attention? Then use vivid hues.
Want to appear sophisticated and regal? Use understated hues.
Below is a list of colors with their respective associated emotions:
Angry, dangerous, hot, intense.
Corporate, stern, reliable, thoughtful, powerful.
Nature, ethical, health, wholesome.
Modern, innovation, youthful, friendly.
Mysterious, royal, wealthy, wisdom, abundant.
Powerful, dark, dead, malevolent.
Childish, girly, female, cute.
Simple, pure, sanitary.
The psychology of fonts
As with color and shapes, there’s a myriad of fonts out there in the world ranging from the incredibly simple to the completely absurd. Here’s a list of the most common font types and their relevant uses.
These are those that have small lines (serifs) jutting out of their letters. If you want your writing to seem important and old fashioned then these are your first port of call.
Sans-serif are fonts that are ‘sans serif’ i.e. lacking the little lines jutting out from them. If you want your writing to seem modern and minimal then these bad boys are just what the physician prescribed.
Script fonts are those that look like elegant handwriting. If you need to give off a vibrant, sexy or classy image then these are an excellent choice.
Decorative fonts are designed to be eye catching and as a result aren’t suitable for sustained reading. You wouldn’t use them for blog or magazine article copy, but you would use them for header or logo text as you can see below.
The most successful companies, regardless of size, are those that became industry leaders through the development of trusted brands; so if you want to join them you want to work on building a strong name that people trust.
If you’d like a professional logo that meets all of the criteria in this article but doesn’t break the bank, consider using an online logo designer like Logojoy. You can use custom software with an advanced AI logo design maker that creates branded images tailored to specific industries, without human intervention.
Keep up the good design, your business will thank you for it.