I get asked a lot about logos. Mainly because they are important and people with a new business idea recognize the power of a memorable logo that stands out in the bombardment of images that come at us each day. Here’s some food for thought as you think about your logo, but these are just general guidelines. You’ll find contradictions to each of these easily, so read, but don’t adhere strictly:
- Color | it should incorporate your color scheme from your business branding. Don’t have a branding strategy yet or want your logo to drive that, great – it’s a good place to start.
- Keep color use to a minimum – a logo typically doesn’t have a lot of colors because it needs to be able to be converted into black and white and converted to inverse to fit on dark/light backgrounds.
- Think about color psychology | Color affects us emotionally and psychologically (go ahead and google it) and you have to be aware of how your color choice will affect someone. In a logo, it’s not a huge thing; however, as a logo color will be used elsewhere in the branding strategy, it’s a good idea to understand the basics.
- Complexity | The design process should include parameters about how complex a logo is due to the use of a logo on very small and very large places. Consider how your logo would look on your thumbnail and the side of a truck. If you don’t think you can identify the brand on your thumbnail, then it may need to be simplified.
- Icon | Every great brand has an icon as part of their logo – for some, it is their logo (think Apple), but that’s pretty rare that an icon alone can identify your brand. An icon allows you to put it in places that the full logo simply won’t work.
- Placement | As mentioned before, you’re going to want your logo on lots of stuff. Business cards, website, shirts, hats, stationary. How will it look on a dark background or on a white background? Can it be converted to white or black and still make sense.
- Relevancy | Finally, does your logo design connect with what your business does or more importantly, does it convey something that you don’t do. In my opinion, there at least needs to be an absence of confusion. For example, your logo shouldn’t have an image of a house if you don’t have at least something to do with housing (construction, realty, etc.). Conveying friendliness is always a good thing, but when they see your logo, they shouldn’t be surprised when they figure out what you do.