It seems like everyone these days has a brand. Whether you’re building a startup, running a blog, doing social media for someone else, or growing your own personal brand, you need that one glorious mark that people will instantly recognize as your brand. How do you manipulate the human psyche to create such an image?
Answer these 7 questions when creating your logo, and you may be able to achieve just that!
1. Who’s your competition? What are they doing?
You need to stand out from your competition. If you’re just like someone else, there’s no reason for people to choose you over them. Pay attention to what others in your sphere are doing. Is there a common feature among their logos – colors, fonts, styles? Maybe you should do the opposite. You need to find a way to distinguish yourself.
2. Whose reputation do you value?
Pick a few brands in fields and industries not related to your own, whose logos you like and whose reputation you value. This does not mean, “Go out and find the coolest logos.” Reputable brands know what they’re doing. They have a solid identity, and branding to match that identity. Learn from them! What characteristics stand out? Do they use certain fonts, certain colors, certain styles? Even look at the history of their logos to see what they’ve intended to convey. Study what other successful brands are doing before you make any attempt at creating your logo.
3. What impression do you want to give? What does your logo say about you?
Sure, you can have something that looks good aesthetically, but what does it convey? The brain creates associations and perceptions in about 1/10 of a second. What do you want that impression to be? Who (or what) do you want people to think you are? If you’re a lifestyle blogger, you probably want people to realize that as soon as they see your logo. If you’re a tech startup, the same applies. What do you want people to think? Your answer should inform what font you use, what colors you choose, what kind of spacing you go with, the background – everything! The impression you want to give dictates what you do and where you go when creating your logo.
4. What colors fit best?
The world of color psychology is simultaneously fascinating and bemusing. You’ll notice blue is popular for just about anything, particularly in business and tech. Greens go with nature. Oranges, reds, and browns tend to go with pets and animals. Black, white, and gold tend to go with sophistication. Purple compliments royalty. Pink is associated with femininity. That said, everything also cross-associates.
After you’ve decided what impression you want to give (see point 3), you should check out two sources. This breakdown on the psychology and business of color will help you put together the characteristics you want for your brand into the ideal color scheme. Meanwhile, this directory of brand colors will help you determine what some of your competition has chosen (see point 1).
5. Which font says what you want to say?
First things first with fonts, you need to make sure that people can read any text in your logo quickly and easily. Remember, you’ve got about 1/10 of a second to make that first impression. You need something legible. By the tests, “Verdana” is seemingly the most legible font available. “Baskerville” also performs very well on legibility tests, and comes in as the most trusted font. “Serif” fonts generally evoke more professionalism, yet “Sans-Serif” fonts appear far more crisp (and have also been very popular among brands in recent years). In creating your logo, what are you trying to say? Choose a font accordingly.
6. Does text or imagery fit your logo better?
In many cases, it might make sense not to have any text at all, or to use the appropriate letter(s) as an artistic base (think Über Facts or GE). The biggest goal is to make people think of you instantly when they see your logo. When you think of Mercedes, you rarely see the logo and the name together. You simply see the Mercedes-Benz logo, and you instantly know who it is. Twitter just has a little bird. Instagram has the silhouette of a camera. On the other hand, publishers (in particular) only use text, like The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and Vanity Fair. They either spell out their names or use their initials. What are you better off with? An image, text, or both?
7. Why use more when you can use less?
The Navy’s mantra rings true here: “Keep it simple, stupid”. Often, less design is good design. It’s more impactful. There’s a few reasons for this. You want something you can easily recreate, distribute, and piece together as needed. You also need something that’s easily processed by the human eye. Minimalistic designs have been very popular; in part, because of this concept. You don’t necessarily need to be a minimalist when creating your logo, but you need to consider how your logo could be designed to appear most simply. Remember, less is more.
Whether creating your logo for your personal brand or a billion dollar business, there’s a lot to consider. You need to know what your competitors are doing, what message you’re trying to convey, and what will help you create that ideal impression. Answer these questions, and then all you have left to do is turn your dream into a reality!
Featured photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash.com