In the year 2007, a guy thought of an approach to convert fear into fun. Instead of being afraid of letting strangers stay at his place, he decided to invite a whole lot of them and offered services like breakfast, a desk, internet, and a sleeping mat – all for $20. Sounds like a startup on its way to success, right?
However, fast forward to the year 2009, the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy. With hardly $200 per week, the founders struggled to get to the root cause of the impending failure. Turns out, the images of the rooms uploaded on their ads were not even clear enough for people to check what they were paying for. Wasting no time in complex strategies, the founders simply decided to take a page from a recently discovered design thinking book, went to affiliated houses, and clicked pictures using a newly rented camera. Within a week, the profit doubled.
Now, more than a decade later, when most of us look for a place to stay, Airbnb is the first name that pops up.
So, what was it that Airbnb founders did rather more unique than others? A clear answer: attention to visuals.
Nonetheless, jumping right back into the future, visuals have taken many forms. And to think of it, when it comes to a business, what do you think is the first visual that people get to see? For those of you who are thinking about your company’s logo design, you are right to be concerned about it.
Why Does a Logo Design Matter?
As an entrepreneur or a designer, you must have been a part of an instance where people – or your potential customers – must have taken a glance at the logo on your card, website, or a designed t-shirt. And in that tiny moment, they made a decision if that interaction with your company would be the first of many, or told you that “they will call you after giving some thoughts to your products/services.”
You were left wondering why they never called and figured out ways to improve your marketing, services/products, and other huge aspects of your business. Well, let’s have a look at how the next such instances would have been if you would have simply improved the logo design.
What (or rather who) is Your Company?
Yes, we understand that the logo of a company is what makes the first impression and mostly decides which segment of users the company attracts. But to make your logo work wonders for you, it’s important to understand the reason behind why it makes an impression as solid as a lead.
The answer lies in the fact that some customers understand your logo, and form a perception of your company in its entirety. Consequently, making your logo the base of your company’s identity. The logo then communicates the company’s values, direction, and speaks about what the company stands for.
What (or rather who) is Not Your Company?
For a customer, knowing about your company is not as wholesome as we presume it to be. After all, they have thousands of other similar companies to browse – eventually, choosing which seems best to them. Amongst these thousands of companies, your company might be different in numerous ways. However, your logo is the only way that will invite them to understand the uniqueness that differentiates you from the other companies.
A multicolor logo might give an impression of a company that focuses on its design, aesthetics, and quality. Whereas, a minimalist logo would invite a selective segment of people. Predominantly, your logo portrays how you differentiate from your competitors.
Factors to Consider Before Designing a Logo
At some point, some of you might have considered searching for a free logo design – maybe by getting it done from an unpaid intern or simply writing the name of your company on a blank canvas (without giving much thought to it). Nonetheless, you didn’t know what you were doing. Thus, to help you design your logo (or get it designed by a professional) we have carefully hand-picked the factors that play an important role in the whole process. So before you upload your logo design, considering the following as a logo design checklist would be a good idea.
A Logo that Matches Your Company
Here, by matching a logo design with your company, I do not mean that it specifically needs to be customized with all aspects of your company. That would be unfeasible and unnecessary. Nonetheless, your company’s logo should after all be your company logo. It should match with your product or industry you work in. There are 5 different types of styles from which you can pick the one that will complement your company the most:
As you must have guessed, this category of logos involves logo designs with simply the name of the company. If your business is just starting to stand on its feet, it could be a good idea to combine it with a logo that will help people remember your company and its name. Also, it worked for Google, Visa, Coca-Cola, and Yahoo; no reason it won’t help you reach the same degree of success.
Logos of companies such as Apple, Twitter, and Target are what represent the company name without having to have it written using the actual letters. It certainly is a tempting and minimalist logo design category. If you believe your company does not require a text format to be remembered by people, this could be your option to land somewhere between ‘remember us and we are a soon-to-be well-established company.’
If you want uniqueness as your company’s foremost characteristic to be illustrated via a logo, an abstract logo design will do the job. Some of the most memorable logos of companies such as Nike, Playboy, and Pepsi have certainly verified the success rate of leaving an impact with a logo. Also, if you choose to go this way, I highly recommend hiring a professional logo designer to help you create an abstract logo that is specific to your company and overall design.
KFC and Kool-Aid have mascot logos. Now a similarity between these and other companies with Mascot logo designs is that these companies target kids or teens more than adults. Also, this logo design will undoubtedly help you with marketing your company. People not only love to click pictures with such logos but also have given a separate name (identity) to the mascot.
Now we are discussing logos such as Starbucks, Harvard, and Harley Davidson. I can tell you for a fact that this logo works the best when you are designing a logo for a public university or FMCG companies.
Avoid the Trends
Yes, trends might seem a good idea to attract your customers. But it’s not an option when you want a logo to be remembered in the long-run. For instance, matte black is the color of the year – for designs in cars, clothing, and whatnot. However, we do know that it will fade and we will pick another color around 5 years from now. Moreover, picking a trend to design a logo is not only bad in the long run but will also come out as a lack of scalability in the future (as if you aren’t planning for the company to last forever) when you’ll want investors on your side.
Colors Matter a Lot
You might think of color-communication as an old-school concern. After all, with technology integrated into the design as a concept, it has become a lot more than mere colors. However, basics still do matter. The color of your logo speaks to your customers a lot more than you could fathom. Successful companies invest a huge part of their profits in designing a color palette for a website, product, logo, and everything else. Thus, make sure you know what each color represents. If you want your company logo to represent emotional energy or a sense of freshness, a combination of red and yellow would be great. Here’s a list of how all colors can be used to convey precisely what you want to:
Logo Design, Your Company, and Customers
Did you know, an average 5-year-old kid can simply match a logo with its company. Well, in my opinion, that says a lot about not only how important your logo is but also about how much it connects with your customers.
Therefore, if you are amid a debate where one person is telling you that designing a logo is a highly critical task, and the other is saying that it doesn’t matter if a company is doing everything else in the right manner. Find your middle ground. Yes, you may not need to spend weeks in the logo designing process. But also remember, it is the gateway that brings people into the community you want to build around your company.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.