Don’t Be So Literate With Your Logo Design

February 19, 2015In Design, Branding4 Minutes

Trying to design a meaningful and solid logo can be challenging. It’s not unusual for companies to go through multiple artists and renditions to find the right look. And when it comes to the right look, the common thought process is that the logo needs to communicate what the company does. That’s why the goal with logo design is often simplicity. More often than not, simplicity works wonders, but it may be acceptable to make the logo it a bit more complicated, subtle, and distinctive.

Many companies are too literate with their logo. You want your logo to stand for something that makes your company unique. The key is to come up with characteristics that make your company or brand stand out from the competition and work with a designer to try to incorporate them into the look.

Another common mistake is looking too much like your competition. What you often see in an industry are companies using similar themes in their logo. For instance, you will see many nutrition companies using green and using vibrant nature-like symbols. If that’s the case, it may be a wise idea to try to come up with something that departs from the norm (as long as it conveys the right message and identity) so that your company or brand is viewed as vastly different from the existing companies in that marketplace.

On the matter with complex logos, the general advice is to not make logos complex. But there is always an exception to this rule. A good example of a simplified logo throughout the years is Starbucks. It is far more than your simple everyday symbol you typically see in logos but it works for the company. They stand out from coffee shops that typically use a cup of coffee as their logo.

It’s important to note that once the Starbucks logo was more complex, and they simplified it keeping the elements that keep eye focused. In this case, it’s the symbol, color and font. So while you can try to come up with a complex logo, you still need elements that create a central theme whether it’s the color, layout, font or a combination of multiple elements. What you don’t want to do is to use too many color or shapes. While you may succeed in getting the attention of your audience, you’ll fail to convey your unique identity and message.

The big takeaway here is that it pays to be creative. Don’t go with the idea that you have to design something simple or too literate, or else your audience won’t get what you’re trying to say. Try different variations of designs that convey your desired message and brand identity. It may take some time, but with enough research and experimentation, you’ll come up with a logo design that stands out from the rest.

A final tip is that you can quickly find out what works by running a pre-launch user survey with different logos to see what people respond to in your advertising. It’s an effective way to choose a logo as long as you’re aware that just because one logo performs better than another doesn’t mean that the winning logo is conveying the right message and identity to your target audience.

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel from Pexels

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