Your Logo Is Not Your Brand

When creating a logo, don’t try representing everything your brand does, instead, focus on the feeling the logo conveys.

Your logo is visual shorthand for your brand. As such, it’s a symbol that will plant itself in the minds of your customers, helping them recall your brand whenever they see it. And to help them recall your symbol, you should focus on 3 key areas: appropriateness, distinctiveness, and simplicity.


The logo should be appropriate in the feeling it conveys. For example, if you’re a construction company, you’d probably want to convey a sense of strength and security. If you’re a premium pet food company, you may want the logo to convey a feeling of luxury that’s a step above other pet food brands.


To create a distinctive logo, it must be unusual enough to persist in your customer’s mind. And one way to test its distinctiveness is the doodle test, which involves briefly showing someone your logo and having them draw what they remember. If it’s distinctive, they should be able to replicate the design without issue. If not, the logo may be too complex to create a memorable and lasting impression. In which case it should be simplified so it’s easier for customers to recall.


Simplicity isn’t only important for memorability, it’s also important for ensuring your logo looks good at every size. Too complex and your logo may become a blurry mess at smaller sizes or when applied to applications beyond the screen. By refining the logo down to its key elements, you can help ensure it will look its best in any format.

When creating a logo, it’s important to remember that it is not your brand, and as such, shouldn’t be used to represent everything your business does. If it did, it would become far too complex and make it difficult for customers to remember.

Instead, focus on creating a logo that’s appropriate, distinctive, and simple. When done correctly, your logo will persist in the minds of your customers, making it easier for them to recall what your brand represents.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh, RGD, is a brand strategist and designer working with business owners to bring their envisioned brand to life with strategic and practical solutions.

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