Your brand matters. The most prominent part of your organization’s brand identity is your logo. Without saying much explicitly – other than your business or nonprofit name – it manages to say so much. Above all, yes, your business logo has to look great. But designing a business logo takes an understanding of some key graphic design elements that tap the psychology of memory and decision-making.
Needless to say, you need a logo that makes a great first impression. That’s the whole purpose, right? Something distinctive. Something memorable. Something people could see at a glance, file away in their memory bank and easily recall later. It must tell your organization’s story in pictorial form.
Logo design can be a daunting task, especially for those less acquainted with the process. Those without graphic design “chops” and a mastery of design software will almost certainly struggle.
Good news! At Grand River Agency, our professional design and communications experts have done this for many customers all over. We can help you break down the key elements you need to design an awesome business logo that stands out.
The Elements of Brand Messaging Behind a Great Business Logo
Design isn’t the first step. Before we start with the art, we have to get to the core of the brand itself. What are your brand’s values, goals and target audience? What are the feelings and messaging your brand needs to convey?
A meticulous understanding lays the foundation for designing a business logo that genuinely represents the organization.
Brand Message Checklist:
- Consistency with brand personality
- Emotional resonance
- Alignment with brand image & values
The Five Core Business Logo Design Elements
1. What’s Your Style?
There are so many ways that you can create a logo. What’s your style? (Time to dip into your closet of stylish logo designs!) The choice you make really depends on the nature of your brand and identity. But as we look at the different styles of logos, pay careful attention to what your logo says to your ideal customer.
- Lettermark or wordmark
Emblematic Logo Examples
Lettermark / Wordmark Logo Examples
Pictoral Logo Examples
Mascot Logo Examples
2. Create Some Graphic Appeal
The graphic style of your logo contributes to its uniqueness and impact. Whether hand-drawn, generic, trendy or quirky, the graphic style communicates your logo’s personality and sets it apart from the competition.
We can often recognize brands without even thinking. They have a tendency to associate the symbols we see with certain feelings. Making sure your style communicates that feeling to your audience is the whole goal of designing a business logo.
Common Graphic Style Expressions:
3. Color Choice
Color selection wields immense influence, not just aesthetically but psychologically. (Remember, we brought that up earlier?) Understanding the psychology of colors aids in choosing a palette that resonates with the target audience and avoids negative connotations.
The strategic selection of colors can significantly impact a brand’s identity and the way it is perceived by the audience. Let’s break down a few color options for example:
- Blue: Trust, stability and professionalism, making it a popular choice for financial institutions and tech companies.
- Red: Energy, passion and urgency, making it suitable for brands aiming to grab attention.
- Yellow: Warmth, optimism and creativity, often seen in logos of brands associated with innovation.
- Green: Commonly linked with nature, health and tranquility, making it a fitting choice for eco-friendly and wellness-focused businesses.
The careful consideration of color palettes in logo design not only reflects a brand’s personality, but also establishes a subconscious connection with consumers. It’s such a powerful element in the art of visual communication.
4. Font Choice
Fonts contribute significantly to the tone and personality of a logo. The type of font, whether serif, sans-serif, script, or modern, influences the visual language and conveys a specific vibe.
It’s important to do your research here. Quite often, “free” fonts are not to be used for commercial use. Don’t use a font that will leave you open to fines or additional court action from copyright infringement. Some graphic designers will actually create a custom font for your logo.
Font Styles and Tones:
- Serif: Traditional, Respectable, Trustworthy
- Sans-serif: Edgy, Clean, Efficient
- Script: Artistic, Unique, Elegant
- Modern: Dramatic, Bold, Impactful
5. Brand Message Alignment
Every design choice must align seamlessly with the brand message. The overall harmony of the logo, with each element complementing the others, ensures a cohesive and resonant representation.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of logos for churches. Churches love to make sure there is a cross in their logo. Considering the symbolism of the cross, it’s a relevant choice, even though it’s overused. Far too often, though, I’ve seen the poor choice to make the letter “t” into a cross. It looks tacky. That doesn’t align with their brand, it actually takes away from meaning of the cross, making it look like an afterthought.
Stand Out With Distinction: The Path to Designing a Business Logo
A perfect logo will visually stand out but also authentically represent the heart and soul of your brand. Overall, does your logo communicate your organization’s brand identity? Do the design elements described above work together well? Does it say – in zero or very few words – what you need it to say?
Designing a business logo doesn’t need to be overwhelming. A methodical approach to identifying each of these elements can help you narrow down exactly what you want your brand to be.
Let’s be honest: no one wants to see your marketing. Better stated, no one wants to be marketed to – unless you’re being super helpful and actually solving their problems. But a great logo – can’t be ignored. It sticks in minds like a good jingle, whether they like it or not!
Do you need a business logo? Let us help! Contact Grand River Agency today.