Be it for a small start-up or a large franchise, all designers know the importance of a professional logo design. It represents the brand, communicates their story and symbolizes their product identity to the world. Hence, a poorly designed logo can veritably jeopardize the success of the company it personifies.
No matter how great the products or services of your brand are, if your logo fails to make an impact, you are going to have a hard time attracting customers to your business.
This is one of the primary reasons why many businesses today are investing so much time and effort in hiring the best logo designers and brand agencies. However, we all very well know that designing great, distinctive logos is not so easy.
Even the most renowned planners in the industry encounter challenges when it comes to creating highly professional and effective logos for their clients. Graphic designers are fully aware of the important role a captivating logo plays in a company’s brand identity.
A good, practical logo should definitely be attractive visually but the deal just doesn’t end there; it has to communicate its brand’s strategies, ethos, and core message effectively. Even the simplest, smallest logo blueprint can take days, weeks or even months to materialize. After all, a skillful design takes a lot of patience and hard work.
The Role of a Logo Design in Building a Brand
As a marketer, graphic design is perhaps one of the most important things you pay attention to as the success of an online business depends on it to a large extent. Mentioned ahead are a few tips that will help you understand why creating a relevant logo is so important for a rising brand.
Your business is a brand, and it’s crucial for every brand to have a logo.
The collective emblem and overall design of your product are what make your company standout and communicate with your target audience, in a way that is professional, attractive and functional. And a good logo design is capable of doing all these things.
The design services by Ballyhoopro, for example, form an instant connection between the consumers and the products provided to them.
Building a brand’s identity should begin from the inside.
Webpages, publications, advertising, stationary and more should come together with the design image you pick to represent your brand. There are many professional graphic design services available that can create a business from the ground up, or in case your brand already exists, they will give it a boost, making it stronger.
When it comes to presenting a service to the target market with set expectations, the first impression is usually the most powerful one.
It only takes a fraction of a second for your customer to have a positive or negative perception about your brand. So, a design that looks cheap, hurried or complicated will make potential customers think that your business cannot afford a professional graphic design. Many agencies out there offer reasonable pricing options without sacrificing quality.
Graphic design is not only limited to your logo and website; it also facilitates the development of images and other visual aids that communicate your brand’s vision and ideas. A perfectly designed image can send your customer the important message you want to convey without the need for words. Therefore, using images designed professionally will aid in creating an effective impression.
Since your brand’s logo is not just a ‘fancy portrait’ but an essential element of business reputation management, it should only be handled by expert planners and those with similar expertise. However, hiring a professional designer can turn out to be a costly proposition. This is one reason why crowd sourcing design marketplaces offer a cost-effective alternative to new businesses.
Why Businesses Fail at Designing Logos?
Good logos shouldn’t ever be difficult to figure out and comprehend, or it’s pretty much pointless to have one – unless perhaps your target audience loves solving puzzles. Even then, a label should tell the story of a brand in such a way that it’s vivid, non-patronizing and instant.
Besides entailing a standard of creativity, a good logo design also involves the knowledge of knowing how to transmit a message using imagery and colour, which means a certain degree of theoretical wisdom, is also needed when creating a logo.
Keeping this in mind, let’s have a look at some of the common mistakes businesses make when designing logos and why they don’t work.
1. Copyright Infringement
From ideas and logo designs to media and intellectual property, copyright and trademark infringement is rife on the internet. One particular excuse that we usually hear from the logo design companies is that the planner is unable to research and develop a unique blueprint. This obviously hints at crowd sourcing companies, where hundreds to thousands of designers compete to ‘win’ the chosen label, with the rest of them not even receiving a dime for their time.
Any professional and serious designer, regardless, will know it is unacceptable to knowingly steal someone else’s work. And crossing your fingers, hoping to get away with it is definitely not the best strategy.
Try putting yourself into the client’s shoes, who has just paid you to create a new logo. If it turns out to be infringing or stolen from another business label, there will be possible legal ramifications which will require you to spend time and money to fix the problem that shouldn’t have come up in the first place.
Some of the brand labels, created for clients, are often blatantly copied from other businesses. For example, one Russian company used Inkbot design’s logo from graphic design portfolio, without altering any of its elements.
A sane person would obviously feel sorry for the company since they had no idea that their own ‘designer’ had stolen it for the client who was also notified about it. According to a few reports, they sent a polite email to the company, removing the label apologetically and getting in touch with their ‘creative genius’ to sort the matter out.
2. Following Gimmicks and Trends
Whether it’s of web, graphic or even fashion, in the design field, the trends are always changing. Take, for instance, the modern trend of flat and minimalistic design. While there are some stunningly captivatingly sites out there dealing with such designs, you have to ask yourself ‘is this a fad or is it going to last?’
Getting a brand new logo is almost like buying an expensive, designer dress. It is an investment that should last you many years.
Skype designed their logo at the peak of the faux-gloss plasticity of the ‘web 2.0’ period. It was white-hot in 2006, rest assured, but has since then aged like a quarterly eaten apple. This is a logo forever anchored to a time in history.
Keeping this in mind, it pays to know how exactly the brand wants to be represented. It is, however, more critical to know what its users and customers want.
3. Too Cliched!
This mistake is way too close to plagiarism, but the only difference is that it does not lead to litigation. The temptation to avoid risk and not stand out from the crowd is wrong: After all, why should any customer come to you if there are dozens of similar offers easily available in the market?
Gap wasn’t really the first company to face severe repercussions from an attempt at re-branding. Tropicana released a new package design for its orange juice in January of 2009. Consumers didn’t like the new label, in fact, they despised it. Sending emails directly to Pepsi Co, the brand that produces Tropicana, and posting on social media, people complained about several aspects of the redesign.
Amongst the complaints, people also felt that it looked like a cliched store brand; one that made it difficult to distinguish the different varieties of Tropicana. Pepsi Co eventually withdrew the packaging and replaced it with the old packaging within a span of just two months.
4. Ill-usage of Typefaces
Being a graphic designer, containing your excitement when working with different fonts can garner benefits as well. After all, a bad pairing of fonts can actually look silly, and picking one that is inappropriate to the brand persona can be fatal.
Designing a logo for a lawyer that uses Comic Sans, for example, appearing too light-hearted and fun, is unlikely to please a client. Therefore, when sketching out an initial blueprint, think carefully about what you want the font to portray, not just in words, but in feeling as well.
The aforementioned, hypothetical lawyer, would then presumably look for something that conveys a certain sense of trust and high-deemed professionalism. Alternatively, a child’s clothing manufacturer might prefer something that seems fun, while also conveying a standard of quality for parents.
When choosing a lettering to utilise, take into account the following:
The company you’re designing for – what do they do, how formal you should be and what is the primary message you want to send
How can you use negative space to gain phenomenal results?
How will the font work with the overall design?
A good example of the second point is the famous FedEx logo, which utilizes negative space in the lettering to create the shape of an arrow, overtly representing speed and direction.
5. Being Over Simplistic
Sometimes, it’s tempting to create a logo design that aptly shows off your skills, but if it gets too complex, your clever design can fall flat on its face. It may not be used in all scenarios, such as web and print, especially when scaled right down as it will lose its details. Simplicity is the key for a lot of reasons including:
Instant impact: You want the consumer to be able to understand what the logo says in an instant
High memorability: A logo that can be comprehended straightaway will allow people to remember it more easily
Easy reproduction: It should have the ability to be reproduced in any size, for any medium, without losing any of its impact
As an example, let’s compare Food and Wine Festival logos: EPCOT vs. Newcastle.
EPCOT tells its story using 2 very different typefaces, 10x colours, and a logo made up of pasta and fork, a set of chopsticks, croissant, plum and a cork screw.
Newcastle, on the other hand, narrates the plot with a single typeface, two colors at max, and combines two visuals (the fork and wine bottles) into a single design form. They didn’t need the entire fork – just the essential bits to make it look like one.
Great logos are often about what’s left over, once you have stripped every other non-crucial element off the page.
Simplicity need not be minimal. However, at the same time, it is a good idea to ensure that all elements work well together and there is not too much going on with font and color.
As mentioned in the last point, make sure that logos are not instructional drawings or diagrams.
Impactful logos often suggest a theme, but don’t need to literally illustrate it.
For example, The London Symphony Orchestra does not need to draw cellos, kettle drums or violins. Their famous LSO lettering conveys emotion and energy, but also brilliantly hints at a conductor in plight.
The masthead for Families, likewise, does not require to carefully illustrate specific parents and children, or even human faces on its label. Why bother when our brains are naturally designed to deduce human figures?
Hence, try to capture the essence of an object or organization. It is highly important to be original but also to keep it brief, using colors and fonts prudently and avoiding stock images. Anybody can get hold of them, after all.
For many businesses, a strong logo is what consumers associate with your services. Successful logo designs act as recognizable bait for a brand, helping your valued customers identify your products. When it comes to honest and good branding, the right logo design is a quintessential component.
Up to a certain point, design is subjective. But doing your research and knowing exactly who your logo is addressing, makes it less so.
If you’re thoroughly aware of what your target market wants, chances are that you will get it right. That, eventually, leads to a happy, satisfied client; branding that gets consumers and a great portfolio for you as a designer.
A logo serves as the graphical representation of a company, which is the key identification feature of a brand, most visible to the target market. Logos form an essential element of businesses’ overall brand identity as they are a mandatory imprint on the company’s website, advertisement and collateral.
Generally, the colors and design of a logo also serve as a focal point of reference for the designing of its packaging, business cards, and even the outlook of the brand’s offices and other marketing materials.
Importance of a logo
The styling of a logo provides visual insight into a company’s vision and the product they sell. Consequently, the design element of a logo is largely dependent on the perception a company wants to generate about itself among the general populace.
Sharp angular logos exude trailblazing, innovative companies while rounded colorful logos are associated with trustworthiness and exuberance, and cursive typography and solid color depict flair and panache.
Furthermore, when loyal customers come upon a logo of a reliable brand they swear by, it can trigger positive emotions that are more likely to convert into increased sales.
Your accidental encounter with the golden arches of McDonald’s can prompt hunger pangs and cravings for a cheeseburger and fries; such is the power of a widely recognized logo.
A well-conceived design of a logo can also narrate the prosperity and professionalism of a business while a substandard looking logo can become a hindrance when you are trying to appeal to potential customers through it. Thus, various factors come into play during the designing of a logo including its color scheme, fonts, typefaces and accompanying images.
All the basic components that amalgamate to form a logo have a role to play, including the typography which sets the tone of the logo.
Importance of the font in a logo
Before highlighting the impact of a font on the credibility of the logo, let us discuss the basics of typography to better understand the importance of selecting an appropriate font for a logo.
Difference types of fonts
There are thousands of font styles, each distinguished by distinctive features. However, most of these typefaces can be categorized into five broad categories:
Serif: This type of a font is characterized by a small line present at the end of a stroke in a letter. These slight projections at the end make it easier for the eyes to flow through the sentence thus increasing the legibility of this font. Serif is further divided into four sub categories namely Old Style, Traditional, Didone and Slab Serif.
San Serif: In French, the word san means “without” hence the name San Serif denotes the absence of serif or minor projections. This font has a more constant line thickness as compared to Serif which conveys simplicity. San Serif is also considered to be a contemporary font, primarily found on the display texts of computer screens. It is most commonly used in headings rather than the body of the text.
Script: It is a more elegant font with fluid, cursive strokes, making it most suitable for formal text such as the ones on wedding invitations and certificates. The font is unsuitable to be used in lengthy texts or small spaces as it gets straining to read.
Display: As the name implies, the font is intended to be used for large displays and headings. It is a relatively simple typeface most commonly found in prominent headings rather than extensive passages. It is designed to draw immediate attention, which is why it is used in banners, posters and newspaper headlines. The font does not have a fixed style; it comprises various eccentric styles.
Hand Lettering: This font appears to be written by hand. It is most famous with designers and illustrators and it has a certain charm and spontaneity about it which adds a little character to the words. Hand lettering also imparts a human touch to the words making them more relatable while also channeling a particular mood. There are endless variations to this form of writing which is only limited by the imagination of the creator.
Essence of a brand
In addition to the different types of font used for particular purposes, the font in a logo also represents the core essence of a brand. Each typeface can communicate a different meaning to the same word; these differences can be minimal or drastic and can be the reason for changing the implication of a single word. A font not only channels an emotion but it can also has the ability to signify a particular age and gender.
While the following words do not directly communicate femininity, the font is more suited for female oriented brands as it is elegant and with certain panache.
The font in the following image is a direct nod to masculinity due to its ruggedness and distressed state. Its sharp-edged lettering channels toughness and exudes power.
The logos below provide a stark comparison between the fonts of two brands that make products for opposite genders. The logo on the left is sharp and more angular while the one on the right has lettering ending with a flourish. The logos instantly indicate the gender they cater to without exhibiting their products in them.
Thus, it becomes crucial for brands to explore different font options. They should experiment with various combinations of fonts and typefaces to see what best narrate the true identity of the brand and is approachable for their target market.
When you come across a logo of Rolex, the first thing that can come to mind is “timeless classic”. Their sleek, minimalistic design in watches is also depicted in their logo through a dignified, traditional font. If the company had instead opted for a more informal font, it would not have been able to retain its aura of quality and luxury.
On the other hand, Toys R Us is all about children, thus, they have a more rounded font that comes across as friendly and exuberant. It has softer edges and a non-linear letter placement that perfectly symbolizes the easy-going, fun image of the toy brand.
The font and typeface can also narrate the tone of the text quite effectively; consider it to be a form of visual language. Large, bold fonts depict a loud, alarming tone that demands attention while tiny fonts which channel subtlety sound more demure and polite. Tone of the font is of utmost importance as it provides a distinctive perspective to your brand. Therefore, your chosen typeface should be in sync with the tone of the message you intent to convey through the logo of your brand.
Jessica Hische, a well-known illustrator and letterer, noted in Upper Your Type Game:
“Typefaces definitely have personalities…I usually want something even-tempered and laid back but not lacking in personality. Finding typefaces with the right personality balance can be incredibly difficult…”
Hence, the ideal logo should have a perfect balance that gets the point across effectively without appearing to be too aggressive or too overbearing. On the other hand, you don’t want your logo to be too casual for it to lose its impact. When the textual part of the logo is prominent and not overshadowed by its surrounding illustrations and designing, only then will it be comprehensible to the customers. Simply put, the visual characteristics of a logo can actually speak to the readers hence careful consideration is needed when deciding the typeface.
Competency and legibility of a font
A brand’s logo is a visual representation of its name which also highlights its products or services; hence another important characteristic of a good fond is its legibility. If a logo is hard to read and comprehend, it loses its key purpose, which is to convey the brand’s name.
Therefore, when deciding the font of a logo, most brands prefer font specifically designed to be easily decipherable even from a distance. Such fonts have linear, evenly spaced letters making them simple to understand and stand out on a cluttered background such as on a billboard.
John Hopkins’ logo is a perfect example of the above mentioned point. It denotes traditionalism and professionalism with its simple yet striking logo. Each blue-colored letter projecting from a stark white background is of even thickness and positioned at a constant distance from each other.
In retrospect, a logo’s legibility is not bound by the linearity of its letters; certain logos have a cursive font but are still very simple to conceive.
Coca-Cola is a world renowned beverage company so it is of no surprise that its iconic logo is widely recognized. But let’s separate the popularity of the brand from its logo for a second and view it like a word you have recently encountered. The two words embody a cursive style but are still very clear due to even spacing and a stark contrast between the font and the background color.
Effects of altering the font in a logo
As surprising as that sounds, the font of a logo is a big deal. If you find the statement to be difficult to comprehend and somewhat exaggerating, consider the following incident:
Pepsi Co. is another notable beverage brand. In 2009, their popular orange juice brand, Tropicana, underwent major package redesigning and changed the face and the positioning of its logo on the carton. The alteration in the font, from its classic look to a more contemporary San Serif, had a major impact on how customers perceived the brand causing rift in their customer relations.
This impact was projected on their sales which saw an astonishing 20% drop costing the brand millions of dollars of loss in just two months. The brand moved smartly, surrendering to the consumers’ demand and immediately discontinued the new design.
On the other hand, if you want your logo to evolve with the passage of time and emanate modernism without causing detrimental effects on your customer-relations, take a leaf out of Chevrolet’s book.
One of the most famous automakers in the world, Chevrolet, began its operation way back in the early 1900s. So, it is no surprise that their logo designing process wasn’t well thought out, in fact, it is widely believed that the logo was actually inspired by a wallpaper design in a Parisian hotel. However, they implemented slight modifications over the period of time, all the while staying true to the brand’s identity.
Apart from one major alteration in the beginning years, the logo retained its classic bowtie look, fine tuning it after every few decades. The current logo is sleek and ultra-modern, perfect for the automobile dominators of the 21st century.
A logo serves as the visual representation of a brand that helps consumers form an opinion about it. An important part of a logo is its font and the typeface that represents your brand’s personality, values and tone.
Whether your brand epitomizes class and style or channels loyalty and friendliness, whether the people behind the brand are astute and smart or naïve and incompetent; all these aspects can be judged by a single glance at a logo.
Due to this very reason, some organizations go as far as to create their own bespoke font that distinguishes them from their competitors. Hence, when establishing your brand’s identity, give the logo, particularly the font, its due time, resources and attention as they form the foundations of positive and healthy customer relations.
So, once you get your hands on a really cool logo and have some really amazing advertisements going around for your brand, you take a step back and wonder, “Is this it?” Well, hold that thought right there because you are nowhere close to the end; a lot still needs doing.
Branding isn’t just about well-placed advertisements or colorful and attractive logos; there is so much more to it than that. Among all the assets that you or your company owns, a recognizable and valued brand is possibly the most valuable of them all. Nielson’s Global New Product Innovation Survey shows that 59 per cent of customers prefer buying from brands that they are able to identify with and find familiar.
To evolve your brand and put it out there for people to love and admire, you need to go the extra mile to build a name for yourself. Once you have successfully finalized your logo, there are numerous steps you need to follow with great care and innovation to effectively build your brand and market it.
If truth be told, brand building doesn’t happen overnight. It is a huge process that can take months; if done correctly, however, you might just get there before you know it. Listed below are some pointers that will surely facilitate the entire process of making your brand a renowned one:
Identify Your Audience
Your captivating logo won’t do much if it’s not catering to the right audience. One of the major cornerstones of building your brand is determining the target market that will benefit the most from your product/ service.
If you end up making your brand for everybody, you will possibly make a very big mistake. Research proves that businesses and firms that are focused and have clearly defined target clients experience high growth and profits in the long run. Hence, the narrower your focus, the faster you will grow and flourish.
The first step here is to understand and decide where you stand in the market and who your potential customer is. To do so, you must be able to analyze how your services or products will be viewed by your targeted audience.
A brand is never what you want it to be or what you claim it is; it is actually what your audience deems it to be and what they say about it, as the founder of the award-winning matchmaking firm PCBA Paul C. Brunson puts it. Hence, to grow your brand, you need to know what people think of your product.
One of the most successful stories of target marketing and market segmentation is perhaps that of Porsche, a global market leader in the automotive industry. In attempts to attract a younger and larger female audience, it segmented its target audience and created products that resonated well with each segment. One of the biggest success factors of Porsche is its approach towards its target market and how efficiently it performs market targeting, positioning and segmentation. This includes identifying Porche’s target market first followed by profiling different consumer groups that have different needs and wants. Then, it chooses one or more of those segments to target and then finally establish and promote the product to the respective target segment. No wonder Porsche has acquired a leading status in the global market in such a short span of time.
Research Your Market
Once you have carefully analyzed and established your target market, you might start wondering if you have selected the right target market audience. That is where the next step comes in which is your research of the chosen target audience that will consequently help you understand if you have made the correct decision.
Researching on the targeted client group will help you gain consumer insight and make you understand the client’s needs and priorities. Furthermore, it will also enable you to communicate with them in ways that resonate with them. It is believed that firms, businesses and companies that systematically research their target audience are able to grow much faster and also more profitable.
The biggest example of a company successfully segmenting its audience is Apple, undeniably one of the most successful brands of all time. The secret ingredient that evolved Apple into this corporate giant that we know today is simply Steve Jobs’ strange ability to understand his audience inside out; something he managed to do with his strong intuition and thorough market research. Later on, these insights enabled Apple to consistently create marketing strategies that resonated with its users.
Establish a Mission and Vision
Now that you know who your target audience is and what they may be expecting from your brand, you need to establish what your brand is all about, the value your business provides and what it represents.
To gain your target audience’s trust, you should be able to tell them the core values of your brand and the purpose of its existence. A simple yet brilliant way of concisely doing that is by creating a mission statement.
It will define what your brand represents and validate its existence. A mission statement will also act as your company’s driving force for as long as it thrives in the world of business.
Nike’s mission, for instance, is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” and it sticks to it by making products that cater to the needs of all types of athletes. To take it a notch higher, they have further added a footnote to their statement which says, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. This has helped Nike build such a brilliant reputation and brand following through which they are able to accommodate everyone and increase their target market.
Another great example is that of Honest Tea which does a great job of displaying its mission statement that clearly reflects its values, beliefs, and also defines its level of quality, all in one go.
Honest Tea’s mission statement says that it “seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages” and it does so by spending a lot of their time testing its products so that customers are delivered exactly what they are promised.
Every time you hit the grocery store to get your favorite brand of chips or cookies, how often are you interested in another brand (of chips or cookies) that looks equally tempting? Ever wondered why you ignore all the other brands for your favorite ones?
There’s a specific science behind it. A distinct brand identity makes a company stand out from the crowd. This is the secret ingredient, and while you can still sell more or less the same products as your competition, you’d still be different – in fact, better.
This goes to show that it is not just your product, but how you position yourself in the market in comparison to other brands that try to give you a run for your money. Your goal here should be to carefully analyze your competition, their marketing strategies and then carefully map out your own to allow your brand to take center stage.
Take chocolate chip cookies, for instance. So many brands to choose from yet somehow, Nestle and Hershey’s seem to have taken the lead in the world of chocolate chip cookies. Ever wondered why? Similar ingredients, similar price range and possibly similar packaging, yet these two have established themselves as icons in the chocolate chip market. The secret to their obvious success lies in the way they scan their competition, position themselves as authorities and do things that their competitors are missing out on.
Digital Presence is Key
You may now need to make your presence felt on social media because more often than not, an online presence can make or break your business. Therefore, it’s a good idea to build your own online platform such as a website, or a blog that will help you engage with your audience and communicate with them.
In fact, your website should be your most important brand development tool, as this is usually where your audience will turn to learn about you, your products and get to know about your brand further. Your website will also be your space to put up and amplify content that will later become the crux of your search engine optimization efforts so that more and more people are able to find you online and know about you.
Moreover, your site will also tell your business’s story to the audience including your potential customers and will answer their questions such as who you are, what you do, what your vision is, etc.
Building an online presence doesn’t just mean owning a website or a blog; it is also about using social media to your advantage by creating content that goes viral instantly. Oreo is a great example as it constantly churns out relevant and fresh content on all its social sites. During the Halloween of 2013, Oreo implemented one of its best marketing campaigns where it created a Vine video series that became an instant hit.
Stay Updated and Consistent
As a brand, your business needs to stay true to its values throughout its journey and consistently adapt to an audience that is ever-growing and ever-changing.
Being consistent is the key here because that is what will help you gain loyalty from your audience and make them come back to you for more. Imaging walking into three different McDonald’s outlets and getting your McArabia meal wrong for the third time. How likely are you to go back there or how long till you officially switch to a different fast food joint? Immediately, right?
This is what being inconsistent can do to your brand. A good brand, however, is built through years of great work including well-thought out strategies and consistent implementation.
Take Coca Cola, for instance. Brand consistency, among many other factors, is perhaps their major success factor. Their logo has remained unchanged for as long as they have hit the beverage market. Every bottle, every package and every advertisement carries with it the same level of consistency as promised by Coca-Cola. With such a brilliant consistent record, it is no wonder that brands like Coca-Cola have been so successful in their efforts to evolve themselves overtime!
Although the list is not exhaustive, these are the most vital steps that you need to take as soon as you are done with the first few steps of your brand including logo design. As mentioned earlier, brands are not built overnight. The process is long, but with the right strategies and the correct approach, your brand will evolve slowly but surely. So, learn from the mistakes of your competition, and always have a glorious focus on your customers because happy customers mean an uber successful business.
Every business in the world wants to evolve into a strong brand, one with a unique brand identity and instant recognition. Telling a complete story without using a single word is a form of art all marketers strive to perfect. And one of the best ways of incorporating this art in your business is by creating a logo which gets etched in the minds of people forever.
We have seen giant corporations do it, that’s why it is so easy to tell the difference between a BMW and a Mercedes or find a McDonalds without landing at a Wendy’s outlet. It’s all in the logos.
However, before we discuss this topic further, we need to learn a few principles of neuromarketing. When it comes to marketing your business, and cementing it as a brand, neuromarketing can be extremely helpful.
When it comes to marketing analysis, asking the consumers “do you like this product?” is often not enough. People may answer in the affirmative and buy a different product at the end of the day. Hence, you can’t analyze a consumer’s buying decision based on verbal proof. Neuromarketing is a field of marketing which uses factors such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the stimulations and the brain’s responses to it. In simpler words, it’s used to judge consumer behavior through their response to a marketing stimulus.
The results enlighten a marketer about consumer reactions to a certain marketing stimulus, be it the color of a product package, the sound it makes when the box rattles or even their perception of the product compared to a rival brand.
Famous neuromarketing expert, Roger Dooley, however, believes that this field is not limited to analysis only. He came up with the following definition of neuromarketing:
“Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing. Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. In some cases, the brain responses measured by these techniques may not be consciously perceived by the subject; hence, this data may be more revealing than self-reporting on surveys, in focus groups, etc.A marketing campaign that specifically incorporates that stimulus hoping to create that behavior can be said to incorporate neuromarketing, even though no physical testing of subjects was done for that campaign.”
It’s not a new trick for the seasoned marketer. The use of campaigns to produce some kind of brain activity in the consumer has been a longstanding process. What we need to pay attention to is the data which can be used to repeat the effect on a new campaign. Neuromarketing research can be utilized to launch powerful campaigns which make the target audience perform actions in a brand’s favor.
Coming back to logos and their effect on consumer decisions: while a static logo has always proved to be effective in positioning a brand in the market, this new way of building an animated logo has surpassed the tradition to categorize a brand as a dynamic, customer-centric entity.
When the monotony of a static logo is broken, out comes the animated logo with so much interactivity and stories to offer. The customer of today is bound to love it, because the mobile revolution has made us all habitual of watching short videos which describe a brand story in a better way than any text ever can. It is the world of emojis now, and animated messages are more than welcome by today’s customer. Thus, a brand has more chances of recognition with a creative animated logo.
Animation offers your logo the chance to become lifelike and make a lasting impression on your viewers. There are two kinds of animations when it comes to building a logo;
Agent animation is the self- directed movement of your brand logo. This means that the elements of your logo are moving and triggering a response. Agent animation makes it look as if the logo were alive and interacting with you. It is up to you to choose if you want it to be a funny interaction or just a plain one.
“If we think that that a logo is alive or that a brand is alive, it’s easy for us to give it a personality. If we have an underlying thought that this thing has a mind, now suddenly it’s much easier for us to feel ‘Oh, that thing is a friend’ or ‘That thing is reliable’ or ‘That thing is exciting.’ says S. Adam Brasel, Associate Professor of Marketing at Boston College. He and his co-researcher, Henrik Hagvedt, found out the importance of logo animation in marketing a business. Marketers don’t really know much about agent animation or its ability to bring a brand to life. “The logo is in many ways the centerpiece of a brand’s persona, and logo animation can help mold a brand’s image. It is therefore important that this is done strategically, to fit with the brand’s overall identity.”
Object animation makes use of objects that are animated alongside a brand logo. Take the example of the Universal Studios logo. We see the earth rotating before the logo comes to take its place in front of the globe. This is object animation in logo design.
According to the two researchers, favorable attitudes arise when the brand personality suggested by the animation is consistent with other brand cues, such as brand slogans or the logo graphic. Object animation logos are the signs of brands that are more stable in their services, according to the researchers.
In either case, it is the duty of a company to assess whether an animated logo is required or not. Nevertheless, an animated logo undoubtedly is a great investment which turns your brand logo into a timeless content piece. Your content strategy can certainly get a boost when you use an animated logo wherever you post your content.
Here are some ways in which an animated logo can prove to be effective for your brand:
The main purpose of a logo is to create brand awareness, and an animated logo can do that in a shorter time span than a stationary logo. In fact, it can make your brand memorable and timeless. If you are the first business in your niche to do this, your logo will also go down in history and become timeless. Your brand can come alive and interact with customers through colors, animation and design. Consequently, the impression that your viewers have will be that of an energetic, forward thinking brand which takes care of its customers. All of these factors enhance your brand identity, since people will be bound to talk about your unique logo.
We have all seen that little lamp in Pixar movies which jumps on the letter “i” to take its place. In time, this effect becomes rooted in the minds of the audience and people come to expect it at the beginning of every Pixar movie. This is the reach and effect of a brilliantly animated logo. You just can’t imagine the brand without it, because it is so vividly saved in your memory.
Once you build an animated logo, it’s a good idea to turn it into a GIF. Auto playing GIFs are very popular in today’s age of visual content. Almost every social medium has now incorporated a GIF section in their comments, which can increase your exposure. If the logo is really well done, it can achieve valuable virality on the internet.
Good logos are often turned into “memes” as well, which is considered a success for any online marketer. Viral GIFs are memorable and can be traced back to your brand, building value for your business. You can also post these GIFs wherever relevant on your social media posts, to seed the content to your followers.
Animated logos have to be embedded into the website in order to play. This provides you with an excellent opportunity to boost the SEO of your website in that category. Visual content is more popular than text, so a user is expected to spend more time on your website if you have a video which auto plays when they land on the page.
This can improve the visibility and usefulness of your website with regard to search engines and ultimately, search results. Google and other search engines take into account the visibility of a website, which you can achieve by placing an animated logo. Your website rankings will be improved if the search engines see higher visibility of the webpages.
Not every brand is incorporating this strategy in their business, and you doing so will give you an immediate competitive edge. An animated logo can describe your brand in a short an effective way, like nothing else.
When it comes to giving the right first impression to the customer, businesses spend millions to be considered unique. With an animated logo, your brand can be projected to the audience in the first few seconds of interaction.
Whatever your business niche, the viewer will immediately catch a vibe off the logo and will feel connected. Your consumers are being bombarded with countless bits of information, advertisements and logos on a daily basis. Your logo can stand out by being animated and gain the short attention span of a user.
Additionally, you will be many steps ahead of the competition if you are working on an animated logo to define your brand. The researchers from Boston College signaled that the low usage of animated logos in the industry can provide early adopters with competitive advantage. They looked at more than 400 commercials and found a small number of brands using animated logos. Therefore, this is the right time for you to utilize this opportunity.
Your viewers can feel the depth of an emotion through an animated logo. It works well when you keep the design simple. Well written textual content is also a very powerful way to evoke emotions in people, but an animated logo can overshadow that due to its visual imagery.
This is a good thing, because you can align your brand story with a creative animated logo to make people feel connected to the brand. This can trigger specific reactions in people who watch that logo.
Creative directors and designers spend months creating a timeless logo, only to discover that after the launch, somewhere, another corporation has an almost identical logo. This leads to lawsuits and lots of messy paperwork for both parties.
When MetLife launched its new logo and rebranded after three decades, they were immediately met with this misfortune. A company called Diffen already had a similar logo and called this an act of theft. The fashion brands Gucci and Chanel have similar logos and the logos of Bentley and Mini also have a similar winged symbol.
That’s why, it is time to move on from the static logo, and turn your logo into an animated masterpiece. Build a brand which is always alive and dynamic due to its logo. This way, you will avoid accidental copyright infringement and become a pioneer in your field as well.
Neuromarketing is a field of marketing which takes into account the responses of an individual when they are exposed to a marketing element. It is valuable to marketers because it finds out the true responses of potential buyers when they see a product, based on color or touch.
Logos can make use of neuromarketing to trigger certain emotions in the viewers. Businesses can tell their story in a better way by incorporating a creative logo.
Animated logos are the new tactic on the block, because they are more interactive and memorable than a static logo.
Object animated logos and agent animated logos are both useful in designing the perfect logo for your business. You must combine them with great content to accomplish the task of building good brand reputation.
Animated logos turn your brand identity stronger, so people can spot your business amidst a dozen static logos. They also have the potential to go viral, give your business a competitive edge and save your business from accidental trademark infringements.
Deliver great content along with your animated logo to build an effective brand strategy.
An alternative way of attaining a contemporary logo design is to go through many online contests or crowd sourcing websites that are popping up all over the internet. Are these really a good idea, however? Can companies really get a modern brand logo of equal quality for a far cheaper price? This is the very issue we’re going to discuss in the following article.
Whether it’s problem-solving, innovation, or efficiency, crowdsourcing relates to the practice of engaging a group of people for a common goal. It’s all due to the growing connectivity that it has become easier for individuals to share ideas and expertise collectively for a project or cause. In a nutshell, this collective mobilization is called crowdsourcing.
“Crowds are a hit. Millions of people, connected by the Internet, are contributing ideas and information to projects big and small. Crowdsourcing, as it is called, is helping to solve tricky problems and providing localized information. And with the right knowledge, contributing to the crowd — and using its wisdom — is easier than ever.”
If you’re searching for a specific logo design, you can simply go ahead and tell your designers what you want, how you much you are willing to pay, and your deadline. All interested workers will create a ready-to-use design, especially for your brand. Crowdsourcing can also be used to get designs for fashion magazines, advertisements, and videos. Just about anything that is designable can be crowdsourced.
Crowdfunding involves asking people to donate money for your project. For instance, if you want to raise 20,000 dollars for a studio record, crowdfunding can help you raise that amount. With the deadlines typically less than 60 days, you must raise 100 percent of your goal before it, or all the donations will have to be returned to the donors.
As the name suggests, micro-tasking involves breaking work into tiny tasks and distributing it amongst a crowd of people. So, if you need captions for 1000 photos on your website, for instance, you can ask 1000 people to add one caption per photo.
With micro-tasking, you can expect to see results within minutes, and usually with less errors. Tasks such as scanning images, database correction, proofreading, and transcribing audio files are also included in micro-tasking.
Although there are few subtle differences between the two, the terms ‘logo design contest’ and ‘crowd sourcing’ are often used interchangeably. While in the world of logo design, the term crowdsourcing refers to logo contests, the term is also used for legitimate business pursuits.
Crowdsourcing can be a viable activity, especially if you’re using it to gain insight or get in touch with your consumer base. In this context, you are asking a group of customers to be creators, with payment agreed on in advance. Instead of being asked to perform highly specialized work, they merely offer a real-world perspective.
The beneficiaries of crowdsourcing
Like any other skilled service, designing a logo can be pricey. Many small to large business owners, weighed down by start-up expenses, look to save pennies at every turn. If you can get an adequate company logo at a cheaper rate, then why not avail that option, right?
Furthermore, crowdsourcing sometimes offers an even better product than traditional design agencies. It’s amazing to see how a huge group of talented people can produce a better pool of ideas than a single designer, no matter how trained or experienced.
For business personnel, upfront work takes less time via crowdsourcing because there are no in-person meetings with designers or offering minute-to-minute feedback on a continuously evolving project until it is executed perfectly.
However, there is one clear winner in logo design and crowd sourcing contests: the companies that run the websites offering these services. The acceptance of crowdsourcing is exactly what the design profession needs to shed the conceited label Forbes has assigned it. So, without further ado, here is a list of reasons why you could possibly consider crowdsourcing for your next logo design project.
Working with a creative community
Logo designers and web designers, who don’t understand the importance of originality, usually continue issuing copied work in design contests. There are many design firms that create projects on what they believe is best for their clientele; and while they are at it, the less qualified design agencies bend their preferences to satisfy their customers, and consequently, earn the business. With crowdfunding, on the other hand, the designers have no compulsory duty towards the client and at times have very little information about the company.
As a result, this fosters a creative work environment, with a plethora of different, albeit creative views emerging from multiple designers.
The Lego Company, for example, has a dedicated website built for fans to pitch in their own product ideas. Other users can then vote for their favourite concepts, stating how much they would pay for it and explaining why they like it so much.
If more than 10,000 people support a particular idea, it goes to the official Lego review board, where the team members then decide whether or not to add it to production. The creations that were only recently debated on include the boat and shark from Jaws, a red squirrel and a replica of Batman’s Wayne Manor.
Some brands prefer to have graphic designers on board to closely control and inspect the creative side of the business. However, this can be quite costly with payroll, taxes, employee benefits, salaries, etc. to take care of. Additionally, in-house designers cannot be utilized fully during down times. Crowdsourcing, therefore, provides a wide range of services including banner ads, one-off illustrations, email campaigns, and pay-as-you-go pricing models.
Creating a buzz
Another great method for leveraging crowdsource is to double down. Since some platforms allow users to run surveys and voting through social media accounts, you can easily reach out to fans and your network to vote on designs. Not only does this successfully provide valuable feedback, it also helps create substantial buzz as work continues to grow.
A few years ago, Wild Creations (WC) experienced a significant change in work dynamics, with the team deciding to take the opportunity to give their six-year-old brand a reboot. They knew perfectly well how they wanted to change the image of their company, and felt they had enough experience and creativity between the managers and partners to build a new identity for the brand.
The only problem was that they became the victim of the IKEA effect, or in other words, the bias created by your own labour of love. The company had developed the logo years earlier, which always included a set of eye balls.
When they set out to rebrand, they wanted to incorporate these eyeballs into the new logo. Their project, submitted on 99designs.com, received over 300 unique submissions, and in the end, WC chose a design that did not follow their suggested guidelines, with the designer’s recommendations really standing out.
Michael Hyatt, in his thirty-plus years of book publishing, was involved in the design of many book covers. ‘I was always surprised at how much we paid for design. It wasn’t unusual to spend $5,000 (or more) on a book jacket,’ he says.
This is in part because it was difficult to find and hire great designers for personal work. According to Hyatt, the experienced ones didn’t have a lot of competition, so they could demand high fees. Crowdsourcing, however, changed all that.
Through the power of social networking, online contests and the free market, costs plummeted really fast. It’s a voluntary system since no one is forced to participate. But at the same time, you can get a decent book cover design for about 400 dollars.
The development team at 99Designs has a built-in polling system. This means you can select numerous designs, eight specifically, and ask your colleagues, friends and family for their input. They can easily rate each design and leave a comment as well.
Hyatt, for example, received 2,876 votes on one of his book cover design projects. The comments, too, were greatly helpful as they made him fine-tune his designs further, including making critical changes to the subtitle. This is probably one of the closest things you can get to focus group testing before you launch.
The crowdsource host: the flipside
Like a coin, crowdsourcing also has two sides: the good and could-be-better. A freelance graphic designer or a logo design contest, for example, might help your team take the top spot, but are the participatory perks enough for designers who cannot pull through the competition? How exactly is it beneficial for the company hosting the task?
Many start-up owners believe logo design contests to be a complete waste of time. In one case, a person held a contest for a logo design, offering a $350 prize for the winner. After almost 54 entries, nothing worked. For this amount of money and time wasted, the customer could have easily worked with an agency, a professional logo creator, and ended up with a design that they really needed.
Why entrust an important process to someone who has no stake in the business; especially if you believe that the right logo can help your brand find recognition and success? Anybody can easily find an image to slap on the letterhead in Microsoft clipart, than a logo contest entrant.
Intellectual theft and copyright issues
The fact that many people have little to no understanding of graphic design only makes it simpler for Photoshop thieves and online contest site accounts to take undue advantage. What many companies don’t realise is that they are getting a substandard product. When the business begins to lag, they will never consider that their brand is to be blamed, a service or product that is mostly represented by their logo. And sometimes, they might also get into copyright infringement issues.
Shown above is a logo contest entry that heavily borrows from other similar logo designs. And this is just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of the ‘borrowed logos’ examples. Logo design contests seem to be set up to create these situations, despite the fact that the problem of intellectual theft and plagiarism is often discussed in the graphic design world.
You may or may not get the best work
When it comes to crowdsourcing, the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ certainly applies. Upon partnering with experienced logo designers, you can be certain that these trained professionals that will make your design their top priority. However, with crowdsourcing, your design will only be finished if they have time for it.
According to a research, only 15 per cent of crowd workers use this system as their primary source of income, and more than two-thirds say they only do it as an extracurricular activity or to earn ‘extra cash on the side’. Your company logo is surely worth more than that.
Moreover, there is always a chance of you being offered second hand work. Logo designers that lose out on former projects, with time and effort invested into the bid, may become hesitant to let that go. So what do you think they do? Most of them safe-keep their old work and offer it up as ‘fresh’ ideas for the next company’s logo design, which might be your company. Again, all brands need and deserve more than just random cast offs from other design efforts.
For all its worth…
So, are crowdsourcing and design contests effective ways to get logo design work done? Maybe. In terms of the number of concepts you will be pitched, there is no comparison between working with freelancers or a design agency. However, if quality and reliable output is your thing, they simply cannot match it.
Since crowdsourcing websites don’t technically pay their workers, there is no practical limit on the number of revised or original ideas you will receive. Are they all good concepts? Not at all. A majority of ideas you will come across run a higher risk of being work that’s pinched from someplace else. However, realistically speaking, there are always few pearls in the pile of oysters that is crowdsourcing.
Logo design is a crucial phase in the journey of any serious business. When Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight founded Blue Ribbon Sports in 1971, they were on a lookout for a logo which could properly define their brand. Since Phil Knight was a teacher, he heard of a student called Carolyn Davidson at the university who needed some money to attend oil painting classes. He offered to pay $2 per hour to Davidson, who accepted this offer.
She eventually came up with a logo called the ‘Swoosh’, which was reluctantly accepted by the owners. They wanted to meet production deadlines, so they believed that one day the logo will ‘grow on them’. When BRS was renamed to Nike, the Swoosh became associated with the brand and over the years it ‘grew on’ the minds of a global audience. The current worth of the Nike brand is estimated to be $26 billion. A good logo doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, especially when you have the creativity to bring it to life.
One of the most important things to consider when looking for a premium logo, is analysis. You should analyze the needs of your business and the goals you want to achieve through it. The owners of Nike wanted just a minimalistic stripe to print on their shoe line. They delivered the message to their designer who started working by carrying that thought forward. When you are clear with your design requirements, you will save a lot of money and time by working on the right ideas, rather than testing and failing at a dozen designs.
Here are some tips for the forward-thinking business owner, who wants to achieve a premium logo design at a feasible price:
Take a head start:
You will only succeed in getting a good logo for a flexible price range if you put both your mind and heart into the job. When you are looking for a logo in the market, it is natural to feel like taking a shortcut and choosing a logo which costs you well under $30. Refrain from these kinds of temptations because they can be disastrous for the impression of your business on other people’s minds.
A Few years down the road and you will lament the choice you made in a hurry, just to get a quicker solution to your logo design problems. Once your hard work pays off and the company starts building a stronger reputation, you will have to get another logo which will cost you a lot more and put you back to square one. That’s why, you need to take a head start, that means now!
Rule number one: don’t go for a clip art logo, especially if you belong to the SaaS (software as a service) sector or a consulting business. Clip art logos are usually for non-serious projects run by college kids for their courses. If you decide to take this course of action, you are already eliminating the element of uniqueness from your logo design.
Rule number two: Don’t fall for the pre-existing logo templates either, because they are just an evolved form of clip art logos. Furthermore, it will be difficult to get the correct downloading formats for each platform you require, and you will be left with a grave, and avoidable, challenge.
Hence, the only way to create a unique custom logo design is by starting from scratch. You know what you want from your logo and there is someone out there who will understand your requirements and create just what you need. Start by jotting down all your USPs and anything else which comes to mind when you think about your business. If you have a competent design team, this information will positively impact your final logo design, making it resonate more with your brand.
Color psychology matters:
The psychology of color plays an important part in the logo design process. Companies have been doing this for ages. Colors play little tricks on our brains, suppressing and evoking emotions simply by watching something. You can use the right color combination as a powerful marketing tool when finalizing design elements of your logo.
This will incorporate all the brainwork you did on your brand identity and every bit of the message you want to send to your audience. 85% of shoppers base their decision on color alone, and the proper use of color leads to an 80% increase in brand recognition. Here is a visual representation of logos and the feelings their colors emit:
Consumers place visual appearance above other factors like sound or smell. Thus, it is the easiest form of persuasion when you are a marketer. Here is a breakdown of what these colors represent:
A logo can be text-based or icon based or both. However, it is also the visual representation of a brand. You must keep in mind that this logo is probably the first thing your potential customers are going to see about your brand. Write down and brainstorm about everything you need to describe your brand with. The best way to do this brainstorming is by creating a mood board. You can attach relevant images to this mood board, complete with colors and other ideas. The Niice website is a good place to start if you want to make virtual mood boards and search for images in their vast collection.
Don’t get lost in the charm of compelling aesthetics. Stay true to the core values and services of your brand when you are designing your mood board. Inspirations are there to keep your creative juices flowing, but don’t start following a theme blindly for its aesthetic appeal. You will realize later that this brainstorming builds the foundation of a great logo. When you start the design process, the brand values you list down initially are going to come in handy. Any design work which stems from the aforementioned brainstorming will be helpful in creating a logo that is fit to symbolize your business.
Keep it simple:
Complex logos surely present a very serious feel about your brand, but they are also very difficult to make. Reproducing these logos is also difficult. It’s better (and economical) to have a simple, minimalistic logo. That’s what all the “cool” companies are doing nowadays. For inspiration, look at the logos of Shell, Home Inspection Service and Penguin.
Simple logos have been the choice of so many brands over the years. They have also been proven to be a reliable face of the brand. Thus, a simple yet striking logo offers instant recognition and audience retention.
Use online resources:
The Internet is a wonderful place if you know what you are looking for. In this case, free logo designing tools and resources are found in abundance on the internet. While most people don’t create a logo themselves because they do not have the required skills, the option of designing your own logo has a cost-saving appeal.
Similarly, there are many free tutorials available online to help you in every step of your way to design a logo. If you pay close attention to these resources, you may come up with a decent design on your own.
However, this requires a lot of time and patience. If you are a busy professional who has just launched a business, chances are that you will prefer to do something more important in your hours than fiddling with Adobe Illustrator.
Hire a designer:
Graphic designing is not an easy skill to master. People go to expensive schools and pay thousands of dollars in college tuition to obtain a degree in graphic design. These people have extensive knowledge of the history and current trends in logos around the world.
So, unless you have expertise in this field, you should leave it to the pros. While hiring, you need to ask all the right questions in order to analyze the potential of the designer. You can either use the services of a trusted design company or look for a skilled freelance designer.
It’s tempting to skip this investment when you start your own business. It is also tempting to get those aforementioned logo templates for as cheap as $30 and customize them as your own logos.
However, this will severely affect your brand in the eyes of your customers. They will perceive you as a non-serious entity. Chances are that a dozen other companies may have used the same logo template. A good design company will save you this trouble by pitching some unique ideas to you.
These professionals have years of experience in this field. They have a plethora of design experience under their belts. Using their services to get a logo that truly defines your brand. Pac and Copy has designed digital assets for many popular brands out there, get in touch with our brilliant design team and we will make sure you walk away with a logo that aims for the skies.
Freelance logo designers are also good at what they do. You can look for these freelancers on credible platforms like Upwork. They have reasonable charges for making a logo and they also offer dedicated service.
When looking for a freelance logo designer, do ask about their past experience in this field. Give them some information about the kind of logo you are looking for and what your company’s values are.
It might be cumbersome to promote your business as a brand if you don’t have a logo in the first place. Your company cards, website, product packages and so many other things rely on the logo. When deciding to get a logo, you have to keep all of these things in mind. In your quest to look for that perfect logo, never think that you just have to get this over with. Think long term, because your work will be represented by the strength and beauty of your logo.
Whatever visual content will be posted online, your logo will endorse it. If you have to send out fliers, you will need a logo. There are numerous brands out there which are known solely by their logo, this is how deep a logo penetrates into the minds of people. Before you get your logo designed, get your branding efforts together and make a platform so that the logo can represent your work. Their logos define the value addition their respective brands make in society. For instance, McDonald’s “M” arches in the shape of fries, whereas the “bullseye” icon of Target not only communicates the name, but also signifies that the consumer has found what they are looking for.
Once you establish the importance of branding in your business, you will create a logo which is a fruitful investment for many years to come. Your ROI will be greater if you think long term and market your business through a solid logo design. The giants go by this principle:
“Studies of the last six recessions have demonstrated that companies which do not cut back their advertising budgets achieve greater increases in profit than companies which do cut back”
–Ogilvy on Advertising, 1983
Future of logo design:
The tips and suggestions mentioned in this article are going to help you achieve a logo design which is both cost-effective and timeless. However, you have to bear in mind that your business needs to be projected as a dynamic entity if you wish to expand globally. The companies which succeeded in this effort have acquired a face for their brand through a timeless logo. It doesn’t only build reputation, but also brings new customers to you, ones who trust your business because of its widespread recognition.
This is going to be the future of logo design – portrayal of core business principles through design to a mass audience.
Businesses have a distinct identity of their own and there is a lot that has been said by branding gurus and marketing experts on how businesses can develop their brand identities successfully and then sustain them for long term benefit. But personal branding is a relatively new phenomenon.
We have come to regard businesses as separate entities, free of connection to any certain person. People come and go, the business and its brand identity stay. Nike, Coca Cola, Google, all of them have been around for quite some time and the people who worked for them at the inception of these companies might have left by now, but these brands have retained their original identities.
A single person, being his brand and business, all by himself, is becoming increasingly possible nowadays. Things like the Sharing Economy and the rise of the “Freelance Worker”, has allowed individuals to be free of jobs and be businesses onto themselves. But do they need branding?
Yes, they certainly do, even more, important than businesses, because they need to make themselves known to their target markets in a certain way and without the right personal branding, this might not be possible.
For e.g. there is a freelance photographer with some great skills, but just sending over a portfolio if too dull an idea to woo many customers. Anyone can send in their portfolios, how do you stand apart from them? The answer is, “Personal Branding” in the right way.
Having your own logo, printed stationery, business cards, dedicated social media channels and profiles and a great website to go with all of this, would work wonders for anyone who plans to do it all alone and not involve anyone else.
Personal Branding gives you the same persona as a business. Having your own “Brand” allows you to develop authenticity and trust, along with transparency, vital ingredients for eventual success by gaining more and more consumers on your side.
Where to Start Your Journey as a Personal Brand?
There is not a big difference between developing a Cult of Personality and developing your own Personal Brand. You need to represent yourself around a certain vision and have everything revolve around that. But where do you start the transformation from?
The answer is: Logos!
Logos are the visual representations of your brand’s vision and they serve in a big way into developing a certain positioning of your personal brand into the minds of your target audience.
While everything else like a personal website or business cards is necessary towards a personal brand as well, but a logo is where it will all need to start.
What will differentiate your website and give it its unique identity? What design template will your business cards follow?
Logos serve as the sheet anchor of all other branding collaterals that are to follow. Even as a personal brand, you need to have a certain image representing you because putting your face on everything wouldn’t cut it and would end up making you look gaudy and bad. Even on the design part, your face is not medium neutral and it might be possible to upload a great picture of yourself on your website but it’s not such a good idea when it comes to other branding materials like business cards or even promo products.
But what kind of a logo is good for personal branding?
It’s good for a business to have a certain graphic image as their logo like for e.g. Snapchat’s Ghost based logo (which represents the ephemerality of the posts you put up on the platform) or Apple’s apple based logo with a bite taken off of it, but when it comes to personal branding logos, you would end up committing a big brand sin by choosing to design a graphic based image as your logo.
Why is this not such a good idea? Because you will lose out your own personal uniqueness and image in the glare of that graphic based image as your logo. You need to promote your individual self powerfully and anything related to your personal branding has to have a certain element of your personality.
The best and most suitable designed logo for your personal branding would be a TypeFace or a Word Based Logo, using your name or your initials. The power of this idea lies in the fact that your name needs promotion and what better way to do it then transform it into a logo that you can use for personal branding. It’s still a logo that you can use and your name is being at the center of all the limelight. Typeface based logos are one of the most successful logos in the personal branding sphere
Oprah Winfrey has amassed a Multi-Billion Dollar Personal Brand and she uses her own name in the logos to promote anything done under her personal brand. People know Oprah and she leverages her name to get these very people to make her even more successful.
Other Popular Personally Branded Celebrities from the outrageously popular Singer/Artist Lady Gaga to the basketball superstar LeBron James has used their name for logos with spectacular success and now those very name based typographical logos are worth hundreds of millions of dollars alone.
Logos are immensely crucial for any business out there but don’t underestimate their power in the personal branding sphere. They can carve out a certain niche for you and make you look at a whole new level.
So the first cornerstone towards achieving success in the personal branding sphere is to combine your name with a well-designed, type face based logo to give you the necessary oomph and personality to develop yourself into a charismatic brand and emulate the successes of these personal branding icons.
We have brands and ads all around us but regardless of how many there are, only a few have brand power, even fewer enjoy the iconic brand status. A handful of brands can be recognized globally and have become integrated into the pop culture. All of these brands can be recognized through their logos and brand colors. So how was it that these brands achieved their iconic status and is it possible for emerging brands to obtain the same illustrious position?
All marketers would love to be in the same standing as these brands but it’s highly unlikely that new brands will ever come close to it. To get to that level of recognition, these brands have had to consistently deliver to their market over many decades which is how they have garnered so much loyalty. Even though it will take newer brands some time to become iconic, there are pointers that they can take from the big shots in the market.
Can be spotted with just the logo
A swoosh anywhere will instantly remind you of Nike, the same way McDonald’s gold arches can be recognized from a mile away. The visual cues that have been associated with these brands is what makes them so identifiable so easily. These simplistic but impactful visual cues is what gives many of these iconic brands an advantage over others. There are other sporting goods’ brands who are also successful but none of their logos will have the same recognition that Nike’s swoosh has.
Brands that are considered iconic have a top-of-mind awareness which is why having a simple and easily identifiable logo is such an advantage. Brands that have top-of-awareness are more likely to be considered for purchase as opposed to those that aren’t as familiar.
It should be noted that a customer’s buying behavior is affected by visual cues but there are other factors that are also involved such as the functional benefits and the emotions induced by the brand.
Iconic brands become part of a culture which is why their branding requires them to stay up-to-date with popular culture and reflect the happenings of society.
In the book, How Brands Become Icons, Professor Douglas Holt of Oxford University narrows down 3 principles that make brands iconic.
Iconic brands react to what is going on in the society
PepsiCo attempted to do this recently with its advert representing the Black Lives Matter movement but failed to do so miserably when people decided that the ad was insensitive and tone-deaf.
Iconic brands are known to respond to current events to maintain relevancy and to exceed beyond their functional benefits. These type of marketing efforts is what lets people make positive associations with the brand
Iconic brands have personality
Iconic brands have personality traits just like humans. These traits are reflected in the types of products they sell, the type of celebrities they sign as endorsers, the events they sponsor and the brand’s symbols. Marlborough, for the longest time, was represented by a macho man from the Western frontier. Old Spice, on the other hand, opted for a different approach and became known for its unconventional, humorous ads.
Personality becomes more important than functional benefits
With time, the brands no longer just represent the functional benefits, they embody the characteristics that have become associated with time. Volvo is known primarily for its safety and Rolex reflects luxury and success.
New brands will have to create marketing campaigns that depict certain personality traits that distinguish them from others and make them more identifiable.
Since the advent of conventional businesses, Logos have been there. Just like a human body has to have a face otherwise it looks odd, a business without a logo had always seemed incomplete. Irrespective of the size or scale of the business, the business had to have a logo, even if it meant to place the name of the business on a signboard outside. Logos were visual representations of a brand’s actual existence. They brought a brand to life and were an integral part of a firm’s brand identity,
But fast forward to 2017, things in the business world have changed rapidly and this transformation has brought numerous disruptions within the industry, especially in the sphere of branding and logos. Logos mean much more now than just branding collaterals as people have now developed an even deeper, more intricate relationship with them.
The world has moved on to the online realm and now people prefer to use their smartphones as the premier way of communicating with the world, even with businesses. And on these very smartphones, a brand’s logo is the now the brand itself.
Take out your smartphone right now and you’ll notice hundreds of symbols that your window to the services you need. From Twitter to Facebook to Snapchat to even Amazon, their logos are what you need to first dab on, if you want to go any further into using the services that these businesses offer. In the 21st century world, every single customer who needs to use a certain service on a smartphone cannot bypass seeing or interacting a logo.
These actual physical interactions with the brand’s logos by audiences have raised the stakes for logos higher than they have been in history and the importance continues to grow exponentially.
Conventional branding strategies used to treat logos as something that they needed to have for the purpose of making the audience look at them as a visual personification or a face of the brand and for that purpose logos used to be placed everywhere from company notepads to billboards and even on promo products, but things stand completely changed now.
Let’s explain the “Immense power” of this phenomenon further:
When a logo didn’t have a certain degree of physical interactions involved, their effect on the user was far less. The logos of today, which you can click, dap, tap and pinch on, amplify the usefulness that a user finds in that logo being there.
There is a difference between Facebook’s logo being placed on a billboard, which you can just look at and Facebook’s logo that you can actually tap and enter into Facebook itself.
The unprecedented number of users that online businesses have amassed in recent years and the mind-boggling financial valuations that they have amassed, have been contributed in large part to the power of these logos being part of the user’s overall experience in a certain interaction with that very business, and that’s where the importance of having a good quality and tastefully designed logo has increased.
With consumers carrying hundreds of brand icons within their pockets each day, businesses and marketers need to ponder over the power that a good quality logo now begets.
These new, interactive, Logos make sure that there is a certain “Face” for the brand that could pop up in the consumer’s mind when a brand is mentioned or they could be reminded of the brand after seeing a logo, all for one purpose, i.e. to get the consumer to click on the logo to enter the business. Logos have become essential for 21st-century businesses as they are now intertwined with them. A bad logo would never see your app is downloaded from the app store, no matter how great your services are. If you want success for your business, you now need a great logo that people love, so that it can become synonymous with the business you do and bring in customers.
Snapchat’s logo is Snapchat itself. It’s how Snapchat users remember Snapchat and the best part is that this phenomenon is also quite infectious and sticky. As your brand becomes famous through your logo, more and more people start recognizing it, which leads to greater number of consumers coming in each day.
And this logo phenomenon now transcends firms who solely exist online. Even the businesses that exist just physically need to look out for grabbing more consumers through the vast outreaching power of the online world by having unique brand identifiers like a great logo, and if they don’t do so, don’t expect to see them around in the next couple of years.
To achieve success in the current, highly volatile business environment, you need to be aware of the latest trends and mindsets that prevail within the population that you intend to target, just like how logos stand transformed and now mean so much more to business and consumers, and then apply your own unique approaches to successfully utilize these very trends and mindsets to the eventual success of your business.