When developing a new business idea, you must focus on many different elements and logistics. When it comes to marketing and advertising, your brand makes a huge difference in whether your company succeeds or fails. Without the right logo, you could set yourself up for failure before you even open your doors.
But, what makes a good logo? How can you determine if yours is the best it can be? Fortunately, we’re here to help. We’re going to break down the top four elements of a logo so that you can come up with something that will really shine. Let’s begin.
The Font Selection
If you’re not familiar with fonts, they’re the style of text you use for everything from writing an email to designing a logo. When developing your logo idea, you must figure out which font style matches your brand the best. While some logos don’t have any text (i.e., Apple), most do. Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of fonts you could use:
- Script Fonts – These font styles are light and delicate and give a sense of class and elegance. One of the most famous script font logos is Coca-Cola, which uses iconic text that’s instantly recognizable. As a rule, script fonts are used for luxury brands or businesses that want to capture a vintage flair. Cosmetic and beauty brands also take advantage of these pretty fonts.
- Serif – Serif fonts have little tails at the end of each letter. These fonts often give off a sense of old-fashioned sensibilities because they’re the kind that was used for old newspapers and prints. Wells Fargo uses this feeling to its advantage since the bank wants to let customers know it’s been around since frontier days.
- Sans Serif – Most modern fonts are sans serif because they are easier to read and look clean and streamlined. There are tons of sans serif font options that can make for a good logo. Thicker text is bolder and captures your audience’s attention, while thinner letters may look more futuristic or modern. There are many logo examples, from Jeep to LinkedIn, using sans serif fonts.
- Informal – Although you want your business to be professional and well-run, perhaps you want to give off a more casual vibe to your customers. Informal fonts often look hand-written with brush strokes and uneven lettering. One notable example of this kind of lettering is Kleenex, which looks both playful and professional.
- Textured – Textured fonts add depth and character to your logo. Perhaps the text looks dingy or faded, or maybe it looks three-dimensional. For example, you could use wood-textured fonts to highlight your natural ingredients or source materials.
When developing your logo, you’ll likely want to use some graphics to accompany your font selection. Or, you could skip the fonts altogether and just focus on creating an image that captures the essence of your business. There are a few ways to go with this, including:
- Abstract Logos – In this case, your logo icon doesn’t necessarily reflect what your business does. Instead, it’s a unique graphic that will be tied to your brand only. Famous examples can include Pepsi, Microsoft, and Nike.
- Symbolic Logos – If you want your logo to be more straightforward, you can use symbols related to your company. For example, if you’re in food service, you can use icons like serving trays, utensils, food, or animals. This way, customers know what to expect even if they’re unfamiliar with your brand. Sometimes, the icon can reflect the brand’s name, like Apple or Shell.
- Mascot Logos – Mascots were very popular during the mid-20th century, and it seemed like most businesses had one, especially those in the food industry. In fact, KFC, Wendy’s, and Pringles still use their mascots to great effect. One of the benefits of coming up with a mascot is that you can use it in your marketing materials as a spokesperson for your brand.
The Color Scheme
Colors can impact your logo almost as much as your font selection and iconography. Using the wrong color could give off the wrong vibes, making it harder to win over customers. For example, if you’re a fun and upbeat business with a dark and drab logo, customers may not know what to expect when they walk through the door.
The psychology of logo colors is helpful because you can determine which hues will have the best impact on your brand. Here’s a quick overview of the top color choices and what they mean.
- Blue – This color has been co-opted by the tech industry, as many companies use blue to show that they’re sleek and innovative. Facebook is the most well-known example, but others include IBM, Microsoft, and HP. Blue can also have a calming effect and help build trust between you and your customers.
- Red – You’ll mostly find red in the food industry because it triggers hunger. There are many examples, ranging from McDonald’s to KFC to Popeye’s. Red can also signify intensity and passion, especially when using bright red variations.
- Green – Green logos usually work well for natural companies, like Whole Foods or Animal Planet. Green can also work well for financial businesses since it’s the color of money (think TD Waterhouse).
- Purple – Purple is a royal color that brings a feeling of luxury and/or whimsy. Famous purple logos include Crown Royal, Cadbury, Yahoo, and Hallmark. Purple stands out because it’s not used as often, so these logos really run the gamut of types of businesses.
- Yellow – Yellow is a bright and cheerful color, but it can change its meaning based on what other colors are present. For example, red and yellow work well for food brands (like Popeye’s), while black and yellow can seem professional and timeless (i.e., Cat or Hertz).
Finally, your logo needs to be a reflection of your business. So, what kind of company do you run? Are you a fun and whimsical business that tries to infuse positivity with each customer interaction? Are you a brand that wants to convey trust and reliability? Here are some examples of brand personalities and how they can influence your logo elements:
- Authoritative – If you want people to listen to you and take your company seriously, you need a timeless logo that looks like it would work today as well as 100 years ago. Serif fonts and muted colors are best for delivering an authoritative persona.
- Edgy – Some brands are just dripping with style and personality, such as Red Bull or GoPro. In this case, you want to let customers know that you don’t necessarily play by the rules. Textured fonts and abstract graphics can work well for this identity.
- Whimsical – Your business likes to infuse a sense of wonder and magic into its products and customer service. Script fonts can work well for this purpose, as can soft letters and unique colors (i.e., purple and white).
- Innovative – Are you on the cutting edge of your industry, trying to push the envelope and break new ground? If so, you might want to use futuristic fonts, sleek colors (i.e., blue, silver, and white), and abstract graphics.
Overall, developing a logo takes time, and you don’t want to get it wrong. Since this one piece will be on all of your marketing materials, it’s imperative to flesh it out completely.