A logotype, or logo for short, is a graphic mark or symbol used by organizations or individuals. It helps build an identity and boost public recognition. Logos, in the most basic sense, are the “faces” of companies.
Logos have their roots back when Ancient Egyptians branded their domestic animals with hieroglyphs to indicate ownership. In Ancient Rome and Greece, they marked pottery to identify the manufacturer. The different Greek city-states each painted their shields with animals, like bears lions, eagles, chimeras, etc. Even religions around the globe use symbols to distinguish themselves from other religions. Christianity has the Cross, Hinduism has Aum, Muslims have the Moon and Star, and Judaism has the Star of David. It’s interesting to see how logos have evolved over time.
A logo is a crucial part of branding and is the most common way people recognize your product or company. Your logo should have a connection to who you are as a company and what you do. It also needs to be unique and memorable so it becomes imprinted in the minds of your customers.
Conceptualizing or modifying a logo is a real challenge because you’re trying to create a visual representation of your company’s values and purpose. By understanding concepts behind different types and elements of logos, it can help you decide what design direction to take.
Types of Logos
Word Mark or text type logos are uniquely styled logos that spell out the name of a company or band. Custom-designed fonts are created specifically to convey to the public a sense of what their services are. For example, Walt Disney gives you a whimsical and fun feeling. Using custom fonts ensures that others will have a hard time copying your designs. Some examples of Word Mark logos are Facebook, Sony, and Coca-Cola.
Iconic logo types feature compelling yet simple designs that convey, literally or abstracts, what the company’s services are. Some of these icons are so successful that they can stand on its own even without their company name. Examples are: The Apple icon, Nike’s swoosh icon, and NatGeo’s yellow frame icon.
This type of logo has the company’s name within the design itself. Some of this type of logos are highly detailed. Also, an emblem type logo implements the brand name and provides a very descriptive image about the business. You can tell what a company is just by looking at the emblem. Examples are the NFL logo, the old Starbucks logo and Porsche.
Elements of a Logo
The logo’s shape is essential in determining what the initial reaction or feeling should be when someone views it. As I’ve mentioned above, the Walt-Disney logo gives a whimsical and fun feeling. Every curve and edge of the logo, especially the outer edges, contributes to what the viewer should feel.
Sharp edges tend to suggest masculinity and aggressiveness. Rounded edges are kinder and relate more to femininity and youthfulness. Triangles relay power, science, religion and law. Circles give a sense of closeness like community, friendship, love, relationships and unity. Squares provide stability, balance, foundation and dependability.
It’s imperative to know that color plays a vital role in conveying what a logo should mean. Human beings are subconsciously hardwired to have colors affect their emotions. Like Red entices activeness, emotional, trust, aggressiveness, and love while Blue speaks out comfort, faith, trust, clarity and calmness. Greens offer a sense of growth, relaxation, peacefulness and hope while Purples convey glamor, power, and romance. Black creates a bold, serious and corporate feeling while Brown means reliability, support, and dependability. I could go on with the other colors but it would make this article really long.
Hidden Meaning in Logos
Logo designers can incorporate obvious or hidden messages within the logos they design. The Adidas logo’s slanting stripes mean “Conquering the Mountain” because the mountains represent the struggle athletes must endure to achieve greatness. Another example is the FedEx logo, notice that between the letters “E” and the ”X”, there’s an arrow that points to the right which means that the company is always moving forward.
One of the weirdest logo meanings I’ve ever encountered is the Pepsi logo. This 27-page document titled “BREATHTAKING Design Strategy” elaborates on the meaning of their logo. It says that the Pepsi logo represents mystical secrets such as the earth’s magnetic field, feng shui and the theory of relativity. It seems like the Pepsi logo is the Da Vinci Code of logos.
Don’t Over Do It
There are times designers tend to put too much on a logo they design. Too many meanings or details within the logo can distract and keep the viewer from seeing what it really represents. It’s my job as a designer to keep it simple but effective in conveying a company and its services.
How does your logo affect your online presence?
Logos are not fancy little things for people to look at. They’re essential for expanding your business especially on the web. Customers will remember your brand a lot better when they see it, rather than just hearing or reading about it.
Taking your business to social media can increase the size of your social community. Just keep in mind to stay true to your services and ensure a striking impression on your target audience. Combine that with a logo that stands out from your competitors and you are bound to be remembered, liked, followed, and shared across multiple platforms.
How We Design Our Clients’ Logos at Project Assistant
Here at Project Assistant, we think outside the box. Our Graphic Designers are dedicated to knowing and understanding everything about our client and their business. We work with our clients every step of the way until we come up with the best logo design that truthfully represents them. Project Assistant can help you stand out from your competitors and create a lasting impression on your customers.