Your logo design says a lot about your business. Many times, it’s the first thing your prospect sees. Who doesn’t want to leave an amazing first impression?
When it comes to designing a memorable logo, less is usually more. Cognitive psychologists advise that we can only pay attention to small amounts of information at any one time. What’s more, they’ve identified some key design principles that improve our ability to store and retrieve information. When you apply these principles to logo design, you find that there are 3 vital ingredients to a memorable logo: symbol, color, and font.
- Find a symbol. Most (but not all) logos include a compelling graphic – a symbol. Choosing the right symbol is perhaps your biggest decision, and should also be your first. Your goal is to find something clever and clean that represents your brand. Find inspiration from what you sell, or your name. Instead of being literal, many brands (like Nike) choose an abstract logo. Abstract symbols can be great choices for technology companies.When looking at logo symbols, remember that digital real estate can get pretty tiny. Online, there will be times that all you’ll be able to show is your symbol – for example, your website’s favicon or your Twitter graphic. This means your logo symbol needs to look good at any size, small or large. Avoid symbols that contain a lot of gradation or fine details.
- Choose one primary and one complementary COLOR. Research shows that color plays a powerful role in memory recall. In fact, when something grabs our attention, the brain notices color first!The most important consideration when choosing colors for your logo design is how they will make your customers feel. (For brief discussions on “color psychology” see our previous posts on blue, green, red, purple, orange, yellow) Blue is one of the most globally appealing colors, while orange is one of the least. Of course, gender also plays a role. It’s best to stick to one primary and one secondary color for your logo design. Rainbows are great for Skittles and printers, but that’s about it.
Colors generally fall into 2 camps – cool and warm. Cool colors, like blue, are relaxing but less stimulating. Warmer colors like red and yellow are more stimulating – but if they’re too vivid, they can also be alarming and off-putting.
- Select a FONT for your brand name. Typefaces fall into one of two categories: serifs (with “feet”) and sans serifs (without “feet”). Times New Roman and Cambria are examples of serif fonts. Arial and Helvetica are examples of sans serif fonts. In general, sans serif fonts feel clean and modern; serif fonts look friendlier and more conservative. The main goal is to make sure your logo’s font works with the symbol you chose. A serif font with bold strokes and heavy flourishes will “fight with” a delicately drawn symbol. Pro tip: trends in fonts fluctuate, and a serif font is more likely to become outdated than a sans serif font.