How To Choose a Logo
Logos act as a visual first impression of your brand for your customers. A lot is communicated within that first impression, including the type of business, its values, and overall mission.
Consumers will grow to associate your “vibe” or company aesthetic with the logo design you select. It’s critical to be on the same page as your logo design partner to execute the perfect logo for your business.
But how do you know which logo is right for you? How do you choose a logo?
While seemingly abstract, there are helpful steps you can take to learn more about what kind of logo your business needs. From there, it’s a matter of balancing business needs with brand identity. This article will offer you 4 tips on how to choose a logo.
How to Choose a Logo
- Research industry trends
- Showcase brand differentiators and history
- Select a logo type
- Focus on each part of your logo
Research Industry Trends
Consumers have varying expectations for their customer experience with brands in different industries.
Your business would catch consumers’ attention if it were completely different from any logo they’d ever seen in your industry. However, relying too much on breaking the mold isn’t entirely positive for a smart logo design.
Unique and complex logos are great, but it’s also important that your customers understand your business and industry. The best way to communicate what type of business you’re operating is by following some industry trends with your logo.
Don’t know logo trends in your industry off-hand? Not a problem. Your competitors are probably using them, so you may be more familiar than you think.
When researching logo trends, make a list of your competitors and review their updated logos. During this time, take note of the following:
- What do you like about each logo
- What you don’t like about each logo
- Which components are similar across all or several of the logos
- What aspects of each logo seem to apply to your business
- Which elements of the logo seem distant or have nothing to do with your business
A core part of learning how to choose a logo is through industry research. Learn what your competitors are doing and how you fit within the industry landscape before moving into the design process.
Showcase Brand Differentiators & History
Doing industry research helps you align your business with relevant trends, but you’ll also want to diverge from some trends to stand out from the crowd.
A great way to showcase how your service is different and better than your competitors is to highlight key differentiators or an enticing brand story that speaks to your identity.
Standing out from the crowd will also require you to locate logo design gaps that you can creatively fill with an appealing, informative design that reflects your brand.
Linux software company, Red Hat, used its history to inspire its logo and demonstrate its critical differentiators. The logo appears simple: a red hat with a black band placed to the left of text spelling out the company name.
Source: Red Hat
The red hat icon itself has a special meaning that relates to the company’s humble beginnings. When one of the company co-founders was working in his college computer lab, he wore his grandfather’s red cap.
Classmates began recognizing him by his hat and for his impressive tech acumen. Whenever someone needed help in the lab, people would suggest that they “...look for the guy in the red hat.”
The red hat in the logo remains an indicator of the trustworthy, reliable services Red Hat provides. The company is known for offering stable and consistent access to Linux operating systems.
Companies should use their own brand origin stories to showcase their mission and value proposition, looking to Red Hat as inspiration.
Select a Type of Logo
When selecting a type of logo for your company, you’ll want to think through what kind of design would best suit your business.
There are countless ways to describe your logo, but you can narrow down your desired visual aesthetic by thinking through the following logo types:
- Simple logo: contains either branded typography or a symbol that reflects the brand
- Complex logo: contains several visual elements, such as both typography and images
- Abstract logo: sleek, modern designs that communicate brand while being nonrepresentational
- Emblem logo: design containing text inside of a logo symbol
Digital logo: designs that are created specifically digital spaces
Each company will have a different set of needs when designing a logo. Being discerning about what type of logo to create will help you tailor your design to the core tenets of your company.
Focus on Each Part of the Logo
Once you’ve selected the type of logo you want to pursue, it’s time to move toward the design process.
Starting from square one can be difficult, so it may help to break down the process and focus on each individual part of the logo at a time. There are three main parts of a logo to consider during the design process:
- Brand mark: a symbol that serves as the identifying image for a brand
- Logotype: a logo that prioritizes the company’s name or initials typography
- Tagline: a logo that incorporates a short, catchy promotional phrase that aligns with a brand’s mission
Your company may want to use all three parts of a logo in your design. Or, you may feel that it’s best to design a logo using only one or two parts.
Regardless of your decision, breaking down complex brand designs into individual parts will guide you on your path to choosing a logo.
Be Discerning When Choosing a Logo
No company can understand how to choose a logo without extensive research and discovery. By digging into industry trends, types of logos, parts of logos, and your own brand preferences, you’ll be well on your way to choosing a logo that works for you.