A logo is not just a logo

Aug 2, 2021 | Design

Ah, the logo. You see countless examples of them every day. On TV commercials. As you drive to work. On every product on the grocery store shelves. But have you ever stopped to think about what that logo means? Or the careful planning and thought that went into creating it?

At B&Y, we love designing logos, whether for a new company, a business looking to rebrand themselves or a product/service launch. There’s something so satisfying about creating the singular mark that will become synonymous with a company and what they represent to their audience. A logo carries a lot of weight — 75% of people recognize a brand by its logo alone. That’s why it’s important to have a deep understanding of color psychology, design aesthetic, audience preference and client/company personality to get it just right.

So how exactly do we get to that elusive logo that carries a brand and sets the stage for success? We ask ourselves the important questions:

1. What do we know about the brand?

At their core, who is the company/product? What do they want to represent? If they were a person, what traits would they have? How do they want their audience to feel when they see their logo? These are all things we find out during the brand discovery process.

Because we know that brand consistency is one of the most important factors to building a successful identity (60% of millennials expect a consistent brand experience), this first step is crucial to getting a feel for the type of logo that would best reflect a company’s overall goals, traits and values. Techy? Professional? Friendly? Bold? The possibilities are endless when it comes to the personality a logo can take on. Our job is ensuring we get it right so we can develop a consistent brand around that identity.

2. What do we know about our audience?

Knowing everything about a brand or product and how they want to be represented is important — but if we don’t know how to best reflect that to resonate with their core demographic, we’re shooting blindly into the dark. This is where research and knowledge about who we’re selling to becomes invaluable to informing the logo creation process.

For example, say we’re creating a logo for a law firm that caters to an older demographic looking for safe, reliable counsel. What kind of logo would we create? Would it look the same as a logo for a law firm that wants to reach a new generation of customers through social and digital channels? Probably not. Knowing who your audience is can make all the difference in the style of design we create.

3. How do we want people to feel/what reaction do we want to elicit?

This is where a little bit of psychology comes into play. Whether people know it or not, things like shape, capitalization, italics, graphics, colors, symmetry, etc., are all factors in how a logo design makes them feel. Each element elicits some sort of a response or reaction (many times without your audience even realizing it).

90% of a person’s first impression accounts for color. What color or colors a logo utilizes can have a huge impact on how someone feels about your brand (blue can instill trust and security, yellow represents happiness and warmth, and green is used to show stability and freshness). By knowing that italics can instill a sense of momentum or forward-thinking, asymmetry can affect formality and shape can play a role in friendliness, our creative department can tweak and play with design until we nail the right attitude and vibe.

4. What can we do to ensure our logo has meaning?

A cool looking logo is great. But a cool looking logo that has a story behind it — that’s the sweet spot we’re looking for. Every company and every product has a why behind what they do or offer; a mission or goal they’re trying to accomplish. And we believe that should always be reflected in the logo.

We’re not saying this meaning has to be complex or sophisticated or “deep.” And it definitely doesn’t have to be obvious or in-your-face. But it should be there none-the-less. For example, did you know FedEx’s logo has a hidden arrow in between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’ that connotes precision and acceleration? Or that the yellow arrow in Amazon’s logo indicates their goal of selling everything from A to Z? We utilize the same types of subtle techniques with our clients to add a meaning behind every logo we create — allowing a client to tell an entire story around their logo and brand.
A logo is so much more than just a logo. It’s a visual representation of your brand and is often one of the first defining features that gives your audience a glimpse into who you are and what you stand for as a company. And that means it shouldn’t just be thrown together or added as an afterthought to a campaign or product launch. Taking the time to answer some important questions about who you are, who your audience is, what feeling you want to get across and what story you want to tell is vital to ensuring your logo does exactly what it should.

We’ve perfected the craft of logo creation that ticks all the boxes. Let us get started on a design that will do everything we mentioned and more for YOU.