Choosing a logo can be one of the most fun parts of starting a business. It can also be a confusing or frustrating process.
There’s so much to consider and choosing the wrong logo can create the wrong impression with your customers.
The importance of a logo is even baked into the word itself. The word logo comes from the Greek word logos, which means ‘word’ or ‘discourse’. At its heart, a logo is about how you speak to your audience.
But that doesn’t help you to pick the right one. Wondering how to choose a logo? Read on to learn more.
Logos and Branding
Before we go any further, it’s worth clearing up a common misconception. Your logo is not your brand. Just like branding refers to more than just choosing a logo.
Your brand actually emerges in the minds of your audience. That’s right – your customers dictate your brand.
They imagine your brand based on how they experience you. That’s in terms of interactions, the content you post, and your customer service.
That’s why changing a logo doesn’t harm a brand. Look at Google, Netflix, or eBay – all of whom swapped their old logos for a sleeker new version.
But the logo becomes a shorthand to represent the brand on a larger scale.
Why Is a Strong Logo Important?
Your logo acts as an avatar for your business. People are used to interacting with people. If they don’t have a specific person in mind, your logo stands in for that.
It’s also often the first thing your customers see when they ‘meet’ you. An amateur logo can convince them you’re not professional and put them off.
A well-designed logo design gives a great first impression. Choosing the right one and displaying it in the correct places helps create a coherent experience for your customer.
How Do You Pick a Good Logo?
A logo needs to condense what your business is and what it stands for into a single visual. This following process works whether you’re choosing a logo for a startup or a rebrand for an existing business.
Start by choosing words that customers might use to describe your company. How would they talk about your services or products? These words represent your business essence.
Work out how you might communicate that essence visually. What ‘feel’ or emotions does that essence create?
Now you have a starting point. You can choose your colors, fonts, and other elements in alignment with this essence.
Start With Color
The color sets the tone for your business. Spend some time thinking about what colors represent what you do.
For example, your business could be involved in sustainable or ethical products. You may only use environmentally friendly ingredients.
So you would consider earthy browns or clean greens to show customers your ‘green’ credentials upfront. These colors act as subtle cues for the customer so they understand what you’re saying.
Remember, your logo won’t always be displayed in color. A customer might print your brochure in black and white.
Your logo should still make sense in monochrome. If it doesn’t, then redesign it until it does.
Be Clever with Typeface
The right font can complete your logo. A bad font can give entirely the wrong impression of your business.
Choose a logo with a typeface that shares the right ‘feel’ of your business. For example, most businesses wouldn’t use a font like Comic Sans.
Classic serif fonts help make your business look professional, calm, and respectable. But sans-serif fonts help your business look more modern.
Make sure the font is legible at a range of sizes. You don’t want it to become unreadable on a business card.
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Logo
It’s easy to add too many things to your logo. Businesses often want to add icons to help customers understand what they offer.
But think of Nike with their swoosh. Or the golden arches of McDonald’s. Neither logo has a small picture of what the business sells.
Your logo is less about what your business does and more about what you share with your customers.
Decide on the Type of Logo Mark
There are lots of types of logo marks to choose from. As an example, the Google logo is a wordmark.
But sports clubs often use emblem logos. Or the Apple logo is a pictorial mark.
If that’s too much, keep it simple. The name of your business in an appropriate font is a wordmark.
Using the initials of your business creates a lettermark (also known as a monogram).
Finally, you can mix and match a symbol with words to create a combination mark. The advantage of these logos is the symbol can stand in for the whole logo at smaller sizes.
Don’t Chase Trends
It’s tempting to choose a logo that matches a current design trend. That has the advantage of making your company look contemporary and up-to-date.
But what will you do when the trend moves on? You can’t redesign your logo to match every trend.
That just confuses your customers and undermines any consistency you might build up.
Instead, avoid the current design trends. Stick with something that represents your actual business. That way, it says in alignment with who you are and what you do. Which makes it easier for the right customers to find you.
Your logo can still evolve as your business does, much like the Netflix logo. But it won’t have to completely change just to suit a trend.
That’s How to Choose a Logo!
There’s a lot to take on board when you’re working on your branding. Knowing how to choose a logo helps you create a starting point.
You can carry those fonts, colors, and symbols into the rest of your branding. Be sure to work with a professional designer to achieve a timeless finish.
Only a professional logo design can give you the business results you’re looking for. It’s an investment that will pay returns for years to come.
Why not check out our business articles for more advice?