This lesson will capture 4 key items: Logo, brand identity, brand image and trademarks.
To begin, take a look at these pictures. Seeing them immediately brings the name to mind.
What makes you form the names in your mind immediately you see the picture?
- Popularity of the image
- They are unique
- They are well-branded
- They stand out even though they don’t represent the exact products.
All these iconic symbols are logos. What then is a logo?
A logo is simply a visual symbol which may or may not include a business name used to identify the business. A logo portrays the ideas behind a particular business entity. It is one of the many components that represents a brand and commonly appears on signage, products, stationary websites, uniforms, advertising, branding and marketing materials. So when someone sees your logo, they immediately associate it with your business just like when you saw the images above.
The brand identity is how a business presents itself and wants to be perceived by its customers. It informs the way a company chooses its name, designs its logo, uses colours, shapes and other visual elements. The logo is related to brand identity because it is the foundation of your brand identity.
The success of your brand therefore is in how well you tell your business story in order to influence customers’ emotion. The logo then serves as the foundation for the entire narrative on which the brand is built: the colours, tones, fonts- all of this is determined by the story you are trying to tell and your logo therefore sets the stage for this story. These elements will later translate from your logo on to all your branding items- letterheads, business cards, websites.etc so as to create a concrete marketable brand.
Pointers on getting a good logo:
- Most viewers take less than 3 seconds to scan a full page website to form their first impression. The next thing they look for is a company logo.
- A unique and good logo separates you from competition and reveals your identity.
- A well-designed logo can communicate everything from company background (professional, relaxed or fun) to their mission (entertainment, efficiency or innovation) through the rift icon or the proper fonts.
- Changing a logo from time to time is not good though in some cases it is. This is because changes in a logo sometimes becomes necessary when one wants expansion or new dimensions as in the case of Ink Company limited. GAP clothing line however made a change in their logo in 2010 and it affected sales so they were forced to revert. Windows on the other hand, have evolved over the years and it seems they are heading back to the foundation.
- A good logo also fosters brand loyalty.
Think about this:
When you’re out shopping for workout gears or tracksuits and suddenly you spot a tack pants with the Nike swoosh, you are instantly ready to buy. Why?
Because with Nike Apparel, you know you are in safe hands and Nike is a brand you trust. Trust is therefore built on a well-designed logo and brand loyalty is quick to follow.
Factors to consider in choosing a logo:
- A logo should be distinctive enough to be easily recognized and simple enough to work across multiple media forms: a good logo is memorable and makes a good first impression.
- A good logo should be effective at any size whether it is on a billboard, poster or any artwork: a good logo makes an impact both in colour and in black and white.
- Particular attention should be paid to every element of the logo including colour, shapes and fonts. All of these elements help convey a message about the brand. For instance, a gym may choose to use thick bold fonts whiles a wedding planning agency may use a fanciful and cursive font.
- The visuals and imagery should be appropriate for your company to avoid discrepancies and confusion. All the colours, shapes and images must be consistent with the brand identity. That is not to say your logo has to explicitly identify you do or sell. For instance, if you are a finance company, you don’t need to include a dollar or cedi sign in your logo. What your logo needs to do is to communicate your broad attributes and personality using visual cues like colors, fonts, symbols, shapes and slogans. It needs to be done in a way that is simple, straightforward and adaptable across mediums.
Quick word: People remember 80% of images and 20% of texts in every logo design.
In summary, there are 4 essentials to a good business logo:
- It must be appropriate to the business.
- It must be memorable.
- It must be simple in form.
- The concept must be original.
“A strong logo is the beginning of your company’s branding and conveys your business vision.”