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Logo Design Theory: 5 Quick Tips for Better Understanding Your Iconic New Logo

Posted by StellaPop on Jan 6, 2021 12:41:10 PM
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Your logo design is important. And saying it so simply is such an understatement it feels weird to even state. However, so many young businesses overlook just how important it is. It's not something you can slap together and call it good. Remember, bigger isn't always better. A smart design can make your business stand out more effectively than size.

Why? Brand recognition. 

Think about the Nike swoop. Do you need to see the name Nike to know a product or messaging is Nike? No. You recognize the logo and connect it to the brand immediately. Everything you know, remember, or think about Nike is held in that little swoop.  

Late last year Forbes published a piece, To Convert More Customers, Focus on Brand Awareness by Revecka Jallad, a partner at Divisa. Jallad wrote,

"Brand awareness is the probability that consumers recognize your brand, products or services. Fast-moving marketers seeking instant gratification often dismiss the importance of recognition but it's actually a critical piece of getting into a consumer's consideration set." 

Brand recognition or awareness is the first step in the sales funnel. And especially in this digital age, consumers have a lot to choose from. This means it's increasingly difficult to cut above the noise. Instant gratification grabs aren't going to work. 

To do it, you don't need to be flashy. You need to be strategic. And it starts with your logo design. 

Let's take a look at these tips to make your logo design stick:

One: Lock in on the Cognitive Sequence

You may not have realized those psychology classes would've anything to do with logo design but here we are. The sequence of cognition is how we process visual information. Alina Wheeler breaks it down in her book Designing Brand Identity as a three-step process. First, the shape is processed, then color, and finally content. 

Understanding this should give you insight into how to prioritize designing your logo. The shape should be at the forefront and any sort of tagline or text at the end. 

Two: Design in Black and White

If you're paying attention to the sequence of cognition, this makes perfect sense. Our brains digest the form of an image before anything else. It's part of why brands like Apple easily get away with changing the color or exact interior design of their logo.

The form is the same + we understand form first = the branding stays connected. 

By working in black and white, you allow yourself to really take care of the shape or image you're working with. And shape needs careful attention.

Starbucks has made careful and purposeful tweaks over the years to its Siren logo. They've even gone to the point of deciding her face shouldn't be too perfect and adjusting with the slightest of asymmetry. 

Working in black and white or monochromatic scales allows you to attend to detail in a more purposeful way that full color can distract. 

Three: Examine Logos Across Your Industry

Look at what your competitors are doing and DON'T DO THAT. Sure, there is a level of what's industry-appropriate and appropriate to attract your target customer but you want to be recognizable. Not just one of many. 

Taking a step away from the norm can simply be working with hard lines when others have soft shapes. 

Four: Don't be Literal 

If a construction company uses the image of a bulldozer as their logo we understand the business is in the construction industry. Great. But that image represents that idea no matter the company. 

What does an apple have to do with technology? A siren with coffee? A penguin with publishing? Each logo has its story of how and why it was chosen. But the answer to what it has to do with what product or service is sold is absolutely nothing. Except for the imagery of those logos connect to the personality of the brand.

Thus, when we see the logo, we recognize the specific company, not an entire industry. 

Five: Be Consistent

Most of all, you need to be consistent. Your logo should connect to your overall brand design and voice, your company mission and values, and your target audience. The more consistent you are, the easier it'll be to create brand recognition.

And really, that's the point of a logo. It needs to be a face for your company for your consumers to recognize and connect to. Looking to amp up your brand awareness and become iconic? Get in touch! We love to chat about design theory and developing a new brand.

Stellapop-branding-and-design

See Also:

Keep it Simple: The Beauty of Brand Simplicity

Dare to be Different: How to Put Together a Creative Campaign

The Power of Having a Brand Style Guide

Topics: Branding, Design, Marketing

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