- Ted Chartrand
HOW TO COMMUNICATE MEANING WITH YOUR LOGO
Your logo is much more than just a pretty face. It's a brand pitch! What do you want it to say about you? Every design decision plays into a logo's most important job:
Treating your logo as an icon simply because you need one will result in your visual branding significantly underachieving.
And remember! You're communicating with more than just words! We're talking subliminal, implicit messaging in this department.
Every single visual ingredient in your logo must be strategized to present the characteristics for which you want to be known.
When I say ingredients, I mean it. Don't want your cookies to taste like cinnamon? Don't add cinnamon. Don't want your logo to come across as unprofessional? Don't add handwritten lettering.
When designing your logo, be sure to choose your colors, fonts, imagery, and visual styles in accordance with the feeling you wish to evoke about your brand.
Is this a concrete science or hard and fast set of rules? No. These principles simply serve as starting points and guiding cornerstones to ensure our creativity doesn't run wild in the design process and lead to something that spectacularly misses its mark.
The vision in which you craft your logo has an effect on who it appeals to and how they feel about your enterprise. Designing your logo gives you the opportunity to determine who that demographic is and catch your target audience's attention.
A logo that appeals to thrill-seeking teens will not be received the same way by middle class men and women seeking business solutions.
Every design element should be pertinent to the target clients' wants and needs. Nothing should be random or just "because it looks good." All elements of your logo must have purpose and intentional appeal and meaning.
Maybe your colors express the energy level of your organization, your chosen fonts express its reliability, and an icon depicts the efficiency at which you operate.
Color, font, and imagery each function as separate platforms on which you can address your target audience. As important as the synergy of your full logo culmination is, there are separate elements within that are capable of speaking independently.
Think of your colors, fonts, and imagery as 3 communication channels that all serve as equal parts of a whole. Think about what each one says about your company; what psychological impacts, impressions, and symbolism do they carry?
Suddenly there becomes many more opportunities to communicate than simply thinking your logo as a single inanimate thing.
You are suddenly enabled to message the public across multiple visual platforms built into one cohesive graphic.
As a caution, however, personal preference should generally be held at bay as much as possible (unless your tastes closely match those of your target audience).
Far too often, logos are designed to suit the user's preferences, not those of the target audience. To successfully design a logo that speaks to your ideal client, you need to put yourself in their shoes, taking yourself out of the equation.
Sound like more work and research than picking something that just looks cool? It is.
The payoff is substantial when your logo:
-stands out over the competition to your target clients,
-conveys the feelings and messages about your brand you need it to, and
-remains memorable to keep clients and customers coming back and referring others.
Your logo is a tool; it is content. It is a recorded message that you play to the world to herald your arrival into their lives. What do you want it to say? Designing your logo strategically and intentionally allows you to control each and every first impression and attract exactly the audience you serve.