What is logo?According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, logo is "a symbol that is used to identify a company and that appears on its products". Even this quite broad definition contains the obvious message: logo somehow becomes the first visual association that is brought out when people think over or hear the name of the brand. As any other visual element, logo itself can contain and transfer the message about the nature of goods or services presented by the brand, the tone and voice of company's communication with the customers, the general brand image. Logo design usually becomes the basis for the whole brand strategy which is often fixed in a special set of rules and guides about the brand strategy called a brandbook. Efficiently designed logo can definitely increase the recognizability of the brand or company which enables the business to achieve its goals, be it selling more goods, involving more customers, getting more subscribers or obtaining wider recognizability. In addition, logo is the sign that makes the product or service different from its competitors which is also an important pre-condition of the company's fast and successful development. Most logos look like a simple sign and that makes people think the process of its creation is fast and simple, not needing too much effort or special skills. And that is quite a mistake. Efficient logo design is a complex strategy that includes all the stages of design process and marketing process such as:
- user research,
- marketing research,
- creative search,
- choice of style direction,
- choice of color palette,
- testing in different sizes and environments,
- creating a style guide setting right and wrong cases of logo use etc.
Types of logosHistorically companies tried different variations of visual elements to strengthen their branding: some of them preferred images or mascots as the central element drawing attention while others favored the idea of nice lettering immediately showing the name of the brand. Through the decades, designers outlined five basic types of logos.
Icon/ SymbolThe logo of this type is represented with the visual element of a high symbolic potential. The image can represent the name of the company, perhaps its mascot or the sign that symbolically shows the nature of the product or service. Lion browser icon fOxygenic logo Saily logo Elephun Logo
Logotype/ WordmarkThis is a widely used type of corporate identity mark represented by artistic lettering featuring the full name of the brand. It is a well-know fact that different sorts of types and fonts can immediately transfer the messages and whole stories to their readers and this trick is frequently applied by logo designers and marketers. Ribbet wordmark Toonie wordmark
LettermarkThis type of logo uses the technology close to the previous type but features only the first letter of the brand name presented in artistic manner. This sort of logos are often effective in small sizes, for example app icons, when reading the full word is difficult. However, they need special attention in the aspect of originality and recognizability as it can be a complex task to make this one letter different from the other same letters representing other brands. Passfold logo
Combination markCombination mark is usually the logo applying two techniques simultaneously: symbol or lettermark and wordmark. In this case observers obtain two different sources of information, being able to see the image and read the word representing the brand identity. Genius bar logo Andre logo: different variants of lettering placement Tubik logo Swiftybeaver logo
EmblemThis is also a sort of visual elements combination. The difference of this logo kind is that it inscribes the wordmark or lettermark presenting the name of the brand into the symbolic image instead of placing it over, under or besides the symbol as it is done in the previous case. The logos of this sort when created thoughtfully feature the integral and compact identity sign. Design4Users logo is accomplished in this style.
Features of an effective logoWhatever is the choice of the creative direction in the logo design for a particular brand, any logo should include the basic number of efficiency features:
- consistency of use
- appeal to the target audience