It’s a busy room, filled with people trying to meet the “right” people. You look up and someone is walking your way. They reach out, grab your hand and present themselves. You respond accordingly and smile. And, just like that, your time is up. Seven seconds. According to a Harvard study, that’s your chance to make the right first impression. A fleeting seven seconds for the other person to determine how they feel about you. They look at how you’re dressed, how you make eye contact or smile, how you shake their hand, how your voice sounds. They take all of this in, and by the seventh second, have you figured out.
For companies, this isn’t much different. Your customer glances at your logo, takes it in, and decides how they feel about you. Your logo is your company’s first impression. So, how do you make sure it sends the right message?
Looking Into the Logo
People are subconsciously trained to decipher the message of a logo / identity. We’ve learned to associate certain aspects of a design with certain characteristics. Serif typography? Obviously sophisticated but traditional. Geometric shape? Power. Illustrative logo? Fun! The list goes on and on, but the point is simple: although you may not realize it, the details of a logo can send you a very clear message about the brand it represents.
There’s a million things that go into a logo: the colors, the typography, the shape, the type of logo, etc. And each minuscule choice changes the message your design sends. Picked red over blue? Now, instead of seeming energetic and passionate, your brand is likely to be interpreted as trustworthy and strong. Serif typography instead of sans serif? Your brand seems traditional and comforting, not modern and bold. Is the middle bar of the E in the middle, closer to the top, near the bottom? A small movement of this bar and your brand can go from modern to traditional. Chose a circle instead of a square? Your brand must represent unity, not balance and strength.
Designers think about these things and much more when choosing to design your logo. They understand that your customer will receive a certain message. And they want to make sure they’re sending the right one with your design. That’s why creating a logo shouldn’t be done lightly. It matters more than you might think.
The Case of Warrior Shack
Take this logo for Warrior Shack, for example. It says a lot more about the brand than you might think. That slash across the word mark? For some, it might emphasize the notion of a warrior. For others, it could represent the warrior’s spear or sword. And for others, it may look like a scar. Whatever the case may be, the message is received: Warrior Shack is tough. It’s for the determined, the fighters, the fierce. The colors, the typography, the shape – everything points in the direction of this message.
Our Own Example
And what about our very own logo? Why did we go for this one? What type of message are we trying to send? DesignBro connects clients looking for the right design with experienced designers capable of delivering the perfect result. Take a look at the intertwined DB. It’s no coincidence this DB is designed this way, then, as it probably represents this connection, or interaction that DesignBro provides. And the letters? The way their designed alludes to a more modern vibe, to a technological feel. Our first impression? Clean, reliable, innovative, and all about connection. For every company, a logo design is their handshake, their first words, their eye contact or lack thereof. It’s how they choose to present themselves to the world. It’s what they choose to say, to wear, to do. And it’s a powerful indicator for customers of who they are.
A logo can tell customers that you are modern or traditional, tough or sweet, approachable or luxurious. So it’s important you figure out what you want to tell your customers about your brand, and then figure out how to say it.
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.