A business logo is more than a trendy image. It is the face of your company. Intrinsically linked with your corporate identity, logos are the cornerstone of every marketing campaign, connecting your brand elements and providing an easy point of reference for all your content.
So, why do business logos matter? And how do you design one that represents your business at a glance?
The purpose of your logo
A picture might whisper a thousand words, but a logo has far more to say. Therefore, controlling that narrative is important because consumers are judging you. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management looked into brand perception and found that consumers use the typeface and shape of your logo to judge both the target market and the credibility of your business. What’s more, they associate well-designed logos with high-end brands, meaning your logo makes a critical contribution to your corporate identity.
This is especially true online, where visitors make a decision within seconds of landing on your site. Logos designed to enhance brand trust affect a visitor’s perception of your website and, by extension, your brand. This means your logo has three primary purposes:
- To introduce your brand
- To promote brand credibility
- To encourage brand recognition
Introduce your brand
A business logo is one of the first ways your brand shows up to its audience. Its impact sets the tone for your company and makes or breaks your brand authority. Google “bad logos funny,” and you’ll see what we mean. Those extreme examples demonstrate the importance of professional design and understanding your audience. The first time people see your logo, they should say, “Wow!” because of how relevant and well-designed it is, not because it’s shocking.
Promote brand credibility
Once your logo is out there, it will help build your business credibility. There are four types of credibility: presumed, reputed, experienced and surface. All play an important role in cultivating brand trust, but nonverbal surface credibility is crucial when considering a logo’s design.
The key component to surface credibility is charisma; in other words, a confident and dynamic logo. These two factors go a long way to establishing trustworthiness and expertise. But to get full value from your logo, they must also be communicated in other aspects of your marketing materials, website and face-to-face interactions.
Encourage brand recognition
Every good designer uses the principles of design in their work. The basic principles include contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, hierarchy, repetition, rhythm, pattern, white space, movement, variety, and unity. Every aspect of your business logo will incorporate them in its shape, font and colour for maximum effect.
Logo shape and typeface
Relying on the psychology of shape is how designers generate a visual representation of a brand’s goals. The shapes you choose say a lot about your business. For example, large proportions of the population associate circles and rings with commitment, partnership and love. Therefore, round edges and curves project positivity. Straight lines are more practical, decisive and efficient. Triangles are used in both religion and law and instill confidence.
Similarly, rounded typefaces are considered more youthful, while straight-edged fonts speak to confidence and power.
The most recognizable component of your logo—colour—is a crucial consideration, and startups should generally avoid colours associated with industry leaders.
Natural tones—blue, green and yellow—have the highest level of engagement and are associated with trust and honesty. In addition, blue is universally connected to strength (there’s something to this; 40% of Fortune 500 companies have a blue logo), while yellow implies a playful, cheerful disposition.
Use bolder tones like red carefully. Connotations of love and passion can be overshadowed by associations with anger and danger, so finding the right shade is essential.
Don’t leave your business logo to chance
With all these subconscious cues to be aware of, leaving your logo design to chance is one of the worst missteps businesses can make. Investing in your business starts with the image you present to the world. Your logo plays a critical role in establishing brand trust and has the power to enhance or hinder marketing strategies across every channel.