Logo Love: How to Nail Your Visual Identity
Logos are among the most critical aspects of brand identity. They are how you are known in the world, and should be immediately recognizable to your audiences.
When designing a logo, start by thinking about what you want to convey. Take some time to really nail down your brand voice, and to determine what feelings you are trying to elicit from potential customers. What do you want people to think or feel when they see your branding? Those thoughts and feelings lay the groundwork for their association with your brand.
Whether you’re doing a brand refresh or starting from scratch, choosing your colors is a great place to start. This handy color guide from The Logo Company breaks down the emotions elicited by each color:
To see how this works in action, take a look at the Coca-Cola brand. Though its iconic red may have been originally introduced in the 1890s as a way to help tax agents differentiate Coke syrup barrels from alcohol, the color has come to be almost exclusively identified with the brand. Red conveys Coke’s bold, classic taste. But when it came time to roll out a new product, Coca-Cola Life, which boasts lower calories and natural sweeteners, the branding team at Coke opted for the color that is most identified with health and wellbeing: green.
Once you’ve figured out the emotional story you want your brand to tell, you’re ready to start designing! We’ve compiled some of the most critical elements for designing a logo with impact.
A good logo is...
Resist the urge to get too fancy. A good logo clearly communicates the brand’s name and/or identity without too much extra “stuff”. While it can be tempting to add visual elements to try and convey every single aspect of your brand, simple and clear is always a better choice.
Avoid especially trendy colors or fonts. Instead, aim for elements that are clean and classic. While brand refreshes are an inevitable part of growth and development, refreshing too often or too drastically makes it difficult to build brand recognition.
Works in both black and white and color
This is often overlooked, but remains important even in our increasingly digitized world. Frequently, printed materials come exclusively in black and white. If your logo is too color-dependent or dark, you will lose that initial impact when clients print on black and white. While publishing a black and white version is also an option, there’s no guarantee that people will carefully select that option, so you are better off choosing a versatile design that works for both.
Finally, it’s important to design a logo that also can be reduced to a smaller, recognizable version that doesn’t include the whole company name. This is critical for use on social properties, as those icons frequently don’t allow for an entire company name.
For example, consider the Environics logo, which looks like this:
The simple Environics “E” logo option allows us to brand ourselves clearly even when a full picture option isn’t available. This makes our brand clearly recognizable as we take part in conversations on social media, allowing us to continue building brand recognition even when people don’t see the full logo.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating a logo that will last. Happy designing!
Associate Account Executive
Tracey has a passion for storytelling, especially diverse and under-represented narratives. This passion has led her not only to join the Environics team, but also to become the artistic director of a theater company. She loves “bad” 90s teen movies and once read 14 novels on an 11 day vacation.