Getting a logo for your business or organization is not just about having a pretty design. It is your job, or the job of the designer you’ve hired, to design a logo that will work to further your brand.
Your logo in itself is not your brand. It’s actually a visual representation of your brand (your “brand identity”); but your logo does influence your brand significantly. That’s why it is not something you should take lightly. Having the wrong logo will actually work against you!
Below, I’ve listed five important questions you should ask yourself when designing your new logo. And if you already have a logo, this is a great opportunity for you to “audit” your existing one to make sure you’re set up for success. So here we go…
1. Is your logo appropriate for your target demographic?
First of all, do you know your target demographic? If not, now is the perfect time to find out. It is the most important thing to consider when you design a logo.
Think about who your product or service is meant to serve. If your answer is “everybody”, I’m here to tell you that you’re dead wrong. You have to get specific here. Who would your ideal customer be? Picture them in your mind. How would you describe them? Male or Female? Low income or upper class? What are their interests? What industry are they in?
It’s so important that you figure this out because you need to design your logo so that it appeals to that demographic. If you don’t and you try to appeal to too wide an audience, you may end up loosing your true buyers.
So let’s you determine that 60-year-old businessman are your target demographic. A pink color scheme and flowers would not be appropriate for a male audience. It also wouldn’t make sense to have an extremely modern, hipster-looking logo because of the age you’re trying to reach. It’s always tempting to want to go for “new and hip”, but that may not always be appropriate.
The goal of this aspect of a logo is to attract them to your business so that they will engage. So it needs to appeal to their interests and goals, and it cannot isolate them in any way.
2. Does it take into account color psychology?
Did you know that colors influence the way we feel about things? You want your ideal customer to have the right emotional response to your product. For each industry, colors can either create positive associations or negative ones.
For example, if you are in the food service industry, you should know that blue is actually a color that suppresses appetite. Of course, that’s just the opposite of what you’re wanting! Maybe you’ve noticed that logos for fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Hardee’s all have red in them? That’s because red in believed to actually raise your heart rate and stimulate hunger.
Red can also inspire action, but in contrast, it can also spark aggression. Blue is a color that feels refreshing or sterile. Green makes you think of health or growth. Yellow is favorable to children. There are so many things to learn about color psychology and there are some great articles out there (like this one) where you can learn more.
3. Does it reflect the culture you’re trying to create?
You also need to think about the mood or culture that you want to create around your brand. In other words, when people see your logo, does it give off the impression that you are sharp and sophisticated? Elegant and classy? Fun-loving? Trendy?
Whatever your business culture is, your logo is an important way for you to communicate that.
4. Does the design fit your industry?
In addition to all that I’ve mentioned already, you need to be aware of what design choices have been traditionally made within your industry.
For example, if you’re in the medical field, you’ve probably noticed that just about every successful medical company uses blue as a primary color. There are certainly reasons for this based on color psychology; but even aside from that, you want to strive for immediate recognition of what your brand is about.
If you were a pharmaceutical company, and you chose to make orange your primary logo color, it would only serve to confuse your clients. And confusion will always repel your potential clients.
There is also more to consider besides color. For example, in the tech industry you rarely see logos with curvy, cursive fonts. Instead, they tend to be symmetrical and linear, which reflects the rigid, mathematical nature of technology.
5. Is your logo design timeless?
I strongly advise against changing up your logo every year. I’ve definitely fallen into this trap myself, but I’ve come to realize that the goal is to create brand recognition with a logo. If you are always rebranding, you risk losing any recognition that you’ve built up over time.
For this reason, your logo design needs to be timeless. This means it needs to be unique enough to make your company stand out, and it also needs to stand the test of time.
As a designer, it’s tempting for me to incorporate all the latest design trends in a logo, but in many cases I know that would be doing that company a disservice. What’s trendy now may not be in two years. In general, you shouldn’t plan on rebranding your company significantly within about 5 years – and maybe never.
What would happen if Apple started using a different logo than their famous apple icon? What if Nike got rid of their swoosh? People know these brands by just the simple icon of a logo. That brand recognition is invaluable, so they have no reason to make a significant change. I’m not saying big companies don’t ever rebrand (sometimes they should), but they do so at a great risk.
Now, there’s a slight caveat to what I’m saying here, and maybe it’ll sound contradictory at first, but bare with me! If you’ve only been in business for a year or two, chances are you haven’t built up significant brand recognition yet. In this case, if you have an existing logo that is not timeless or unique, you should change it immediately!
Here’s why. Because, if it’s not timeless, you’re going to want to change it sooner or later anyway, but by then it’ll be too late. By then, you’ll have created some brand recognition (which is an invaluable asset), but you’ll be left with a logo that you hate and one that is probably starting to fall behind the times. Again, what is trendy today, will look outdated and cliche in no time.
So, I hope this helps give you a better idea of what you need to consider in your new logo. Again, keep your target demographic and your culture in mind, and work hard on the front end so you can create brand recognition with your logo.
And if you find you need help with branding or rebranding your business, please contact me and I would love to be the one to help empower you in that way. I design each logo so that you reflect success in your brand… because I already know that you are a success!
I welcome any comments or questions you have below. Blessings!