How to Create an Effective Logo

You’ve decided you need a logo. Maybe you’re launching your first business or rebranding an existing one. Many of us get caught up in thinking our logo needs to communicate everything about our company; that, at a glance, a customer should be able to discern what it is you do, and what products and services you sell.

But this is a common misconception. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking that the symbol used to represent your company needs to be a one-to-one representation of what your company does. In fact, a logo doesn’t need to say a whole lot at all. Instead, a logo should convey a feeling, a feeling that tells customers what it is they can expect.

In essence a logo isn’t communication, but identification. And in order to be effective, it needs to be appropriate, distinctive, memorable and simple.

Take Apple for example. They don’t try to tell you about all the electronics and software they make with their logo, that’s what branding is for. Instead, they use the simple shape to help customers quickly identify their company.

By treating a logo as identification rather than communication, it allows us to explore simpler, more effective ways to communicate with our audience. Focusing on feeling rather than story.

If clothing brands all tried to convey that they sell clothes through way of their logos, we’d probably see a lot more needle and thread logotypes being used. Yes, it does help for quick identification, but if all you’re doing is selling clothes, what differentiates GAP from Burberry?

By focusing on the feeling, we’re able to convey a lot more while saying a lot less. Homing in on what’s going to remain memorable in the minds of our ideal customer. Remember, your customers aren’t going to be studying your logo the way you are. Often, they’re only going to be looking at it for a moment, and it’s in that moment you want it to remain memorable.

The point is, we shouldn’t try to make our logos the be all end all of our company. Yes, they’re often the face of it, but we don’t need to tell the whole story. Instead, keep it simple, make It memorable, and make sure it’s appropriate.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh takes the guesswork out of branding, helping leaders grow their business with branding they and their customers love.


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