Designing a Logo That Brands Your Business
Credit: Joingate/Shutterstock

Businesses that want their brand to be unforgettable need a memorable logo.

A logo is often the first thing a customer sees of a business, so getting it right is critical to making a good impression.

Dan Ferguson, chief marketing officer of DesignCrowd, said a carefully crafted and brilliantly designed logo is one of the most central elements of a business's branding design.

"It communicates volumes about who you are and the values you hold close," Ferguson said. "Yet few [small and medium-size businesses] take the time to step back and think about what their logo is reallysaying about their brand identity."

When designing a logo, businesses should keep them consistent, simple and memorable, Ferguson said.

"Whether you’re starting from scratch or just want to give your logo a facelift, think carefully about the colors, shapes, patterns and fonts you use and the emotions they create around your brand," he said. "If there is a mismatch between your identity, values and logo, it can lead you down the difficult path of trying to market a disengaging or downright confusing brand."    

To help small businesses, Ferguson outlines how a logo's colors, shapes and fonts influence consumers' views of a brand:

Color signals

Color psychology plays a huge part in the messages that your logo sends and the way those messages are interpreted. Eighty percent of consumers believe that colors increase brand recognition, and more than 84 percent say that color is the primary reason they purchase a product. What do your logo colors say about your brand? What emotions are your colors eliciting from?

Shapely messages 

Logo shapes mean more than you may think. They're used to enhance your overall brand meaning, and provide further insight into your identity and emotional messaging.

  • Circular designs, for instance, can convey ideas of positivity, endurance, community and even femininity. Think World Wildlife Fund or Chanel.
  • Square designs or those that use sharp, hard edges connote messages of balance, symmetry, strength, professionalism and efficiency. Examples are Adobe or National Geographic.
  • Triangles predominantly communicate messages that are intended to be masculine, powerful, scientific, legal or even religious. Popular examples are Adidas and Google Play.

Lines in your logo are important, too. Horizontal lines impart emotions associated with tranquility and community, while vertical lines are more related to strength, aggression and masculinity.

Font fun

Every design element has a clearly defined purpose. The same goes for fonts. Just like colors, fonts become identifiers for your brand and behave in a similar way to shapes.  Have a look at the fonts you are using in your logo. Why did you choose this font? What messages does it carry or reveal about your brand? As a general guide:

  • Angular fonts can reveal your brand identity as dynamic and assertive, while gentler, rounded typefaces are more youthful and soft.
  • Bold fonts are also more masculine, while cursive fonts are more feminine

As a general rule, one font in a logo is ideal, but if you must have more, don't mix more than two fonts. You must ensure it is clear, easy to read and related to your branding and brand fonts.

Originally published on Business News Daily