It’s probably one of the first pieces of your business branding that you thought of, right after the name – but did you truly put enough into it? The role that your logo will play in the branding of your business is exponential. They have the ability to invoke an emotional response, effecting the way that your company and its offerings are perceived. The psychology behind the power of a logo can be undervalued, but some of the biggest brands we know, the shape, font, spacing and colour were all chosen for very definitive reasons.
Let’s begin with shape because it’s the most common aspect to be overlooked. Chances are, you probably had an idea of a shape that you wanted to go with – but do you know WHY? The truth is that the shape of your logo can project and reinforce a conclusive message to customers and prospects about the nature of your business, along with your values and you should determine the shape of your logo and the brand image you want to portray.
Internet Psychologist Graham Jones explains further, “Shapes and designs have powerful psychological impacts. Much of the way in which we perceive any kind of shape is culturally dependent though – which is a problem for businesses. For example, in some African groups the concept of a straight line does not exist. Children are brought up in round houses and almost everything they have or see is rounded. That means if you were targeting them with a straight-lined logo you’d have problems.”
For instance, circular and oval shapes are often associated with family, a union, trust and relationships, forming a very trusting and loyal feeling – many brands associated with children or family life using circular shapes and curved fonts for this reason and these shapes often appeal to females. Triangles are used in symbols of power, authority and religion and tend to resonate more strongly with men, leading them to be used by brands offering masculine services and products, the same applies to vertical lines. Square and rectangular shapes are deemed to be professional and straightforward, implying stability and balance.
Graham continues, “Similarly, it rather depends on gender and personality as well. When you look at the doodles produced by men, they tend to use more straight lines than women. So, if your product or service is targeted more towards one gender, you’d be better off choosing appropriate shapes according to your market. Different personality types are also attracted by particular kinds of design. So, for a business, understanding exactly the kind of people you are aiming at is essential – otherwise your design of your logo or your choice of font could be off-putting.”
Richard LeCount from USB Makers talks to us about his experience in the recent changes in branding, “Being in the branded gadget industry, we have come to recognise the nature of the business that we are dealing with as soon as we see the logo. For instance, mummy bloggers and brands associated with children will always include bright, exciting colours and bold fonts with curved shapes– we also find this with many brands within the food industry. 2 evolutions that we have noticed more than others is the increase in brands shifting to blues and greens as the world becomes more eco conscious and the simplification of logos; brands are moving away from busy and dated images to ones with cleaner lines, less imagery and a focus font and colour to convey the message”
It is a well-known fact that colour is incredibly stimulating when it comes to decisions and feelings, but it lesser known that it also improve reading, learning and comprehension – Kissmetrics actually wrote a blog about using colour to increase website conversions, referencing a statistic stating at least 62% of a customer opinion is determined by colour. Colour can be used to offset or tone down the impact of shape; if you have decided to go for a triangular shaped logo but want to decrease the masculine attribute then using bright and playful colours can alter the brands perception entirely.
Blue – Serene, Trustworthy, Secure
Yellow – Optimistic, Happy, Vitality
Green – Fresh, Natural, Active
Red – Passionate, Love, Bold
Purple – Luxurious, Indulgent, Creative
Black – Formal, Sophisticated, Authoritative
Creative Director of integrated creative and PR agency JAM, Dave Gee tells us, “A brand should encapsulate and reflect the ethos of the business, service, product or person it represents, and colours can perfectly emulate this. Colour choices should be driven by the brand’s message and individuality, while keeping company’s target audiences front of mind. Consider the effect colours will have on people’s emotions and how well intended messaging will be conveyed through colour choices. Having said that, try not to think too literally about associations of certain colours; for example, red as anger or passion, or blue as regal or calming – colours should not be limited to their conventional meanings because they don’t always apply.”
There is an enormous amount of designers out there to choose from, and there is no denying their ability to put something together for you that you will find aesthetically pleasing and happy to accept – the issue being that it probably won’t be a true reflection of your brand on all levels.
Niall O’Loughlin, Marketing Manager at 99designs shares his expertise on finding a designer, “Finding a designer that possess the Industry knowledge and experience is imperative to the successful completion of your project. I would always suggest making sure you work with a designer who understands the environment your business operates in. This ensures your designer will speak your language and be able to convey your messaging, communication and brand effectively through your logo design. A great first step in doing so is to request a designer’s portfolio. Have a look at some of their previous designs and ensure that they are aligned with what you wish to achieve, allowing you to create a great brand your customers will adore.”