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Branding is absolutely crucial for any small business or startup company. Branding, by definition, is the process of creating and maintaining a company name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. Why is it so important? Because not only does it need to make a memorable impression on customers but it also needs to be distinguishable from your competitors, clarifying what it is that you offer that makes you the better choice.
Your logo is only one aspect of your company’s branding strategy and it’s shape, colour, fonts and images needs to be recognizable, inspire trust, admiration, loyalty and imply superiority.
One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see my customers make, on a very regular basis, is they base their logos on what they like or dislike. Yes, of course, you have to like your logo, but so does your customers. I’ve seen many great logo designs destroyed because of a customers persistence on following their heart instead of their heads.
Your logo has to be memorable, for all the right reasons. Do some proper research and try to identify your target audience. Consider your audience’s demographic information (age, gender, location, ethnic background, marital status, income, etc.) and psychographic information (interests, hobbies, values, attitudes behaviours and lifestyle). Look at your competitor’s logos, research what the design trend is at the moment, and consider breaking or bending some of your own rules.
Balance is very important in logo design because of our minds natural ability to find balance appealing. But the balance doesn’t only apply to the overall shape of your logo, it also involves the colours, elements and fonts. To make a logo seem balanced, we need to make sure that one element doesn’t dominate the other. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your logo must be 100% symmetrical, your logo can also achieve balance with an asymmetrical design.
Avoid using overly dark or overly light colours in your design. Create a balance between the two. Also, try to create a balance with saturated and desaturated colours.
To achieve balance, try placing smaller elements on one side of your logo and the bigger element on the opposite side. Also, consider creating a few variations of your logo (to be used in different marketing material) – for example, one being more portrait and the other more landscape in style.
If your company name does consist of 4 to 6 words, try to design your logo to be as readable as possible. Put your name in two or three lines and create font variation to emphasise the most important parts of your name of logo.
The whole point of creating a logo is to build brand recognition – you want your customers to immediately remember your logo. But if you create a logo that contains not only your company name but also your slogan, company registration number and product description, it makes things very difficult to remember. Use your registration number only on your company letterheads or business cards, if you must, but don’t incorporate it into the final design. Keep it as simple and memorable as possible.
If you’ve followed the previous rule, your logo will be recognisable from any size – from small items like letterheads and business cards to large formats like signage and your vehicle branding.
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Really think about the colours – although colour theory is very complex and as a designer myself, I still struggle to get to grips with it all – here are the most basics to always keep in mind when deciding on logo colours:
RED: The warmest of all the colours and favoured by extroverts and men, red is a very intense psychological colour. It represents fire, blood, passion, energy, love, desire and determination. Red is an ideal choice for a logo if you want to grab customers attention – that’s also why your “for sale”, “buy now” and “click here” website buttons are red.
ORANGE: A perfect mixture of red & yellow, orange symbolises creativity and joy and is associated with autumn. Orange encourages emotional energies of compassion, warmth, happiness and understanding. Studies have shown that orange stimulates hunger – that why many restaurants utilize this colour.
YELLOW: Yellow, associated with sunshine, represents merriness, warmth, cheerfulness and can help boost mental activity. But this vibrant colour can also have negative cogitation – it also represents jealousy, fear (as seen in some safety sighs) and isolation.
BLUE: The colour of the ocean and sky, blue represents peace, calmness, freedom, intuition and imagination. It inspires us to be loyal, sincere, confident and intelligent – it’s mainly used by highly corporate companies, insurance companies and banks.
GREEN: Mother natures favourite colour, green represents the season of spring, life, new beginnings, safety, fertility and continuous growth. Green can also symbolise money, ambition, wealth and greed. Because green is dominant in nature, green takes a lot of space in the human eye’s spectrum – it’s an ideal colour for any design because it is visible everywhere.
PURPLE: Purple is very rare in nature and is regarded as representing sacredness, delicacy, elegance and growth. Violet is a symbol of spirituality, passion, vitality, power, nobility, luxury and ambition. Purple has a luxurious effect that gives a scene of sophistication.
BLACK: As mysterious as the darkest shadow, black is the absence of colour… but still has so many meaning. Black represents strength, authority, sophistication and elegance. But black also has a darker side to it (wait, pun intended?), it represents death, evil and aggression.
WHITE: White represents coolness, simplicity, guidance, innocence, purity and cleanliness. Using white in your logo design makes it look simple & clean and since we want our logo to be not only memorable but simplistic, white is an ideal colour to play with.
So there are my Top 5 design tips for creating a memorable and appealing logo. If you have any questions or if you like us to elaborate on any of the points above, please feel free to leave us a comment below and we’ll respond to it as soon as possible.
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Zoeke is a Creative Design Studio based in Johannesburg. Our main focus is to help build and maintain your company brand through innovative solutions and trendy designs. We work closely with start-ups as well as established businesses to create compelling designs which drive their business forwards.
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