Learn what it takes to have an outstanding logo, and why most companies get their logo completely wrong.
What does NewGlue love doing most, you ask? Invest our time into helping you build a professional brand without breaking your bank. How?
People ignore design that ignores people.
Table of content
1. Learn what it takes to have an outstanding logo
What makes the perfect logo?
It all starts with really understanding your brand’s identity. Imagine your business was a person…
Who would you be and what would you look like? What style and colors would wear? Are you lively, bold and colorful… or more conservative, polished and prefer muted tones?
Take the time to really map out what your company identifies with, and how it all mirrors the customers it wants to attract. Depending on your audience, your logo may catch their attention and get you noticed… or miss seeing you entirely. Do you want to have an invisible business? We didn’t think so!
Your logo is the first thing people see when they come into contact with your business. An amazing logo leaves a lasting impression, creates loyal customers, generates new leads, and ultimately adds a tonnes of value to your business.
Now think of the opposite situation… What if your logo doesn’t match your identity and looks completely unprofessional?
This easily leads to people thinking that your products or services may not be all that great all together. And that’s definitely not what you want!
You’re probably already wondering, what options do I have to get a professional logo? Hold on, we’ll get to that.
We’re still not done explaining what makes the perfect logo. Now that you know how to dig into your company’s identity, the next big question is…
What to think about when finding your visual identity?
You probably have an idea of what your brand should look like.
You may have even dabbled into some do-it-yourself tools and tried to create something that comes close to the vision in your head.
Most people do.
Some know EXACTLY what their logo needs to look like…Some know what they want but have no clue on how that translates visually.
But most lack the skill to deliver a fully fleshed out visual identity.
Before we give you further tips on how to gather logo inspiration, there’s a few more things you need to think about.
See the image below.. What should you think about for finding your visual identity?
How to make the right design choices?
The logo must embody the unique features and values of the company, product or service that it represents. Must capture the story and emotion of the brand, extract it and communicate it in a concise manner.
The logo must stand out. It is a mark and in order to accomplish its representation function it has to be noticeable. Think color, size, design and concept.
The logo needs to work in many sizes and colors, and on many mediums (prints, outdoor, digital, etc). So it must be versatile and adoptable.
The logo must have a special ingredient that sticks in people’s minds. Go for something special and stay away from cliches. Memorability helps the user stay connected with your brand.
The logo must transmit the message that it embodies to large groups of people. It does so by following universally accepted symbols or visual language principles.
The logo should be designed with a forward thinking attitude, so that it will represent the business throughout its life-span. It must stand out by its distinctive features and not be a product of ever changing design trends.
The design of a logo must be simple, concise, accurate, balanced. This takes careful consideration by professionals that have an eye for design, and is best produced through a repeated process of distillation of an idea.
The beauty of logo design captures the complexity of these seven principles in a simple design using the fewest possible elements, yet being distinctive and recognizable at the same time.
How to make the right design choices?
When looking for inspiration your goal should be to build a mood board.
The easiest way you could bring it all together is to create a Pinterest board where you can pin images that speak to you:
Basically, all the inspiration you can find – just make it nice and structured.
- Fonts and Lettering
- Other company’s logos
Follow these five easy steps
- Create a Pinterest account and start your first pinning board. Although the boards are public by default, you can choose to create a private one.
- Begin searching for all the things and save only the ones that match the vision in your head. This is not the time to be picky! We’ll sort that out later!
- After you feel comfortable with your newly-created collection, start editing it! Be ruthless. Eliminate all the things that do not clearly speak to you. Think of your customers and see what aligns with who they are.
- Go through your board a second time and try to understand why each piece made the cut. Edit the image’s caption and note down the reason you like it.
- By now you should have a pretty consistent board, full of inspiration
Traditionally, with all this information and a rough idea of what your logo should look like, you’d go to a professional designer and consult with them, looking for the perfect solution.
Usually, the entire design process is a back and forth exchange of information.
You, the business owner, contact a freelance designer or a branding agency, browsing for an offer. Once you find a compatible creator or creative team, the real work begins.
First, you will need to sit down with them, either in person or online… Brief them on all things business: your vision, mission, how did you start, where do you want to go from here, what are your ideas and expectations, and… most of all…
What is your budget?
Sadly, if your a small business, your budget won’t meet the designers’ requirements. Read more about the true costs of working with a traditional branding agency here.
Let’s just say you’re one of the few lucky ones that can afford their services… They’ll come back to you with a few options, different designs using the info received. After going through the first review, it’s revision time!
The design goes through a second edit, refining details to fit your last discussion. You pay per hour and good designers easily cost more than 80 USD / hour, so every revision will cost you a few hundred bucks.
Once again, you will do a second revision (maybe more, depending on how they work). You’ll discuss all the pending details, what goes, what stays… and then decide.
After a second revision, you will (hopefully!) have the final logo version.
And then there’s more! You either finish the design process here, receiving the logo files and guidelines…
You continue with creating the collaterals, things like web banners, social posts, stationery, branded merchandise, the list goes on.
ALL OF THIS costing you even MORE time, and MORE money!
Because you made it this far in the article, we’ll let you in on a little secret:
You can make your life easier, and replace all these costly steps with just a few clicks!
Just click here and see for yourself. The results will shock and surprise you – in a good way!
professional and unique!
2. Choosing the right type of logo for your business
Struggling to find the right logo for your business? No need to sweat. We’ve got you covered. We guess you’re ready for some more branding secrets?
This simple guide takes you through actionable steps to find a new the right logo type for your business.
Professional branding made breezy! Let’s do this!
We’ll walk you through each type of logo with visual examples from well-known companies, and share logos from NewGlue’s marketplace to inspire you on your journey of finding your new logo.
What are the different logo types?
Object Logo – Any type of logomark represented by an image.
Mascot Logo – Takes the shape of a mascot, often a person, animal or character.
Emblem Logo – Resembles an emblem, often includes wording or business name inside the emblem.
Abstract Logo – Uses an abstract shape or form, often geometrical shapes.
Lettermark Logo – First letter or an abbreviation of your business name is used in the logomark
- Wordmark Logo – Logomark and business name are the same entity.
When we say object logo, we use it as a broad term for any type of logo represented by an image. This includes several sub-categories for logos such as mascot, emblem, and abstract logos.
Basically… Any type of icon that represents an object.
An object logo can become a strong symbol for a brand (which is why it’s also referred to as a logo symbol).
A good example of a simple, but an impactful logo, is Nike’s “The Swoosh”. Fun fact… It has stuck with Nike since 1971 and is often viewed as one of the most recognizable logos in the world.
An object logomark can become so recognizable that companies opt to not display their name in their logo.
This is known as debranding.
Debranding – When a company takes away any elaborate advertising to become more generic, with the intention to relate personally on a “known” basis with the consumer. In this case, it’s the removal of words from a logo to only appear as a symbol.
Nike has made their wordless logomark instantly recognizable, rarely using their brand name in promotional content. To accomplish the positive effects of debranding, however, one requires an incredible level of brand recognition.
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) branding is a great example of using a mascot logo successfully. The monochrome panda icon has become a hugely recognizable symbol for WWF.
Along with many others, we feel that…
The Panda has become synonymous with the battle to preserve nature and fighting to help endangered species.
An object logo is the most common type of logo used by businesses and organisations.
However… It’s a broad term and there are many subcategories of logos, we’ll continue into the subcategories below:
You’ve probably seen a bunch of these before!
Lettermarks can be used as a single letter or for an abbreviation of a long business name, for example, PP is an abbreviation of PayPal.
Lettermarks can be included in the business name or kept separate.
PayPal makes use of both their Lettermark and their Wordmark, depending on the situation, they’ll use either one or both.
A Lettermark is a logical choice if you have a long or complex business name.
Bear in mind that if you abbreviate your business name, you run the risk of losing the message of your brand.
A middle ground would be to do as PayPal did and sometimes use the letter mark and wordmark in different contexts.
Instead of using a lettermark you can combine your business name and logomark, which is known as a wordmark.
A wordmark is often accompanied by a custom font, a unique layout and a specific color scheme. Two examples of very recognizable designs are Coca Cola and Supreme.
You can find more complex designs within sports for example, like the New York Mets, but in general, for wordmarks, font and color schemes are key.
How do you go about creating your own wordmark?
Creating a unique wordmark requires a unique font, which is costly and time-consuming to produce.
But, lucky for you… There are other options though such as using fonts under the Creative Commons (CC) license.
If you’re looking for a simple Wordmark logo, we recommend checking out Google Fonts for inspiration. Their library of font families is of high quality and under the CC license.
But more on fonts later!
A wordmark may be the right choice if you want your business name to stick, just make sure that your business name is simple, unique and memorable.
If you want to find out more about how to name your business, click here.
Can you make use of an Ideogram in your logo?
We’ve mentioned the term debranding earlier. Remember?
A debranded logo can easily be confused with ideograms, which is a term used for symbols that represents an idea and/or concept. Ideograms make for powerful symbols that can help communicate what your business is all about.
An example of an unknown but commonly used ideogram is the Rod of Asclepius. An old Greek symbol used to represent healing and medicine, which is’ still used for today.
The World Health Organization (WHO) uses the symbol in their flag, and it’s also shown in the “Star of Life”, an international symbol for emergency medical services.
So, how do you apply this when designing a logo?
Whichever logomark you choose, we recommend you to consider if it’s related to any type of ideogram and what that symbol might stand for. It helps you ensure that you communicate the right ideas and concepts with your logo.
Why choosing the right type of logo worth spending time on?
Congrats on getting this far. You’re a trooper!
You’ve learned a lots about what type of logo marks exist, and what makes the perfect logo. Now… Let’s understand why it’s important!
There are many steps that go into creating a logo and branding a business. Choosing the right style and color palette for your logo and brand are just a few of them.
And you can update your logo. We see it all the time! Which is why we built your personal Edit Tool!
However… You will notice that while businesses may update or polish their style and/or color palette, the type, as we’ve discussed, rarely changes.
Because this is the core of the logo.
Changing the color and style of a logo
3. How wrong are you about your logo colors?
We reveal some surprising logo color secrets that every business owner should know.
Why are brand colors so important?
Take a quick look at the logos in the image above, and name at least one that immediately stands out to you. 1, 2, 3…
Which one did you recognize? Probably you had to read the names, look closer, compare and look at the shapes, right?
Now take a second look at the image and time yourself on how fast you can identify the Skype logo! Yes, the light blue one! Got it? Good!
That’s why brand colors are important: they help you differentiate between logos, integrate shapes, naming, fonts, and the overall look.
Color helps you integrate visual identities for company logos. It helps to make you stand out. And what happens when customers recognize you?
Damn right, the chances of them buying your product or using your service increase dramatically!
Brand colors help with being chosen. With you becoming their favorite. And in an increasingly competitive world, the first thing you want to do is maximise your visibility.
What brand colors say about your business?
What do different colors communicate?
We use words and language to communicate, but many studies show that most of the message is transmitted nonverbally through body language and tone of voice.
Brands can similarly speak to their audiences using only shapes, fonts and colors. Each cue can say something different. Our minds love detecting patterns.
Our experiences and memory may also give each color a completely different meaning compared to our peers. For example, someone could associate green to being out in nature, while another may immediately think of the favorite jacket they wore when they were young.
But while everyone may perceive colors slightly differently, there are also general trends in how each color makes us feel!
Let’s dive a bit deeper into some fascinating color psychology! You’ll understand what we mean…
The psychology behind brand colors
How do colors influence our decision-making and help us remember certain brands?
How does color popularity change with industry?
Together with all the other sales promotions and advertising plans, your overall marketing strategy relies on spreading the word about your business’ uniqueness.
It can help you paint your brand exactly the way you want it to. Just like buying yourself the right outfit can serve to enhance your personality. In branding, as in day to day life, the way people perceive you is crucial.
And color helps you do JUST that!
Like we said before, color influences the way people think and behave toward a brand and shapes the way we understand the information presented.
That’s why understanding the different meanings each color is huge!
Speaking of McDonalds! Yellow is the other color in their logo, bringing life to the two arches that form their inconfundible “M”.
The color most people associate with gold and sunshine, it is one of the oldest colors, and, like red, a primary one. It has a special relationship with the world of art, as it was Van Gogh’s signature color.
In his paintings and beyond, yellow is the color of warmth and happiness, of good energy and joy! The downside speaks of meanings like cowardice, terror and illness.
As the most visible color of the spectrum, its use in branding is often related to attention grabbing, speed or efficiency. Think of a brand like Ferrari or Lamborghini. It can also embody fun, like it does for the Snapchat logo.
When they think of blue, most people might imagine a sky without clouds, or a tropical scenery down by the beach. Blue is the color that has been associated with royalty, seriousness and, in Ancient Egypt, with decoration and jewelry.
Its ties with art also go a long way, as it was used in paintings, ceramics and architecture. Think Picasso’s Blue Period canvases, the azulejos in Southern Spain, or the Voronet blue used to decorate Orthodox churches.
One of the three primary ones, blue is a branding favorite. It is thought to promote productivity, trustworthiness and calm. Mostly used in tech companies like Facebook, Intel, IBM, or Skype.
When using it for your own business, see if it resonates with who your brand is, and add some creative touches, as to stand out from the rest of the crowd who is using it.
Black and white
How many brand colors should you have?
Studies say that it’s recommended to use one or two colors, with maybe a few accents and neutrals.
The more you use, the more cluttered the design becomes, reducing from your logo’s clarity, visibility and reducing the chances of it being instantly recognized.
What colors should your brand have?
How do I use my brand colors effectively?
Considering the emotional value and meaning behind a color can do wonders for your brand, and it can make or break a logo. It’s easier to work with simple colors, and the impact of a strong and consistent hue will help to make your brand memorable.
Keep it simple and stick to just one or two well-thought-out colors.
Your branding will have multiple uses: logo, website, paid advertising, social media graphics, merchandise. Color consistency and vibrancy needs to be kept throughout. As we talked about the Hex color codes above, another type that you need to be aware of is Pantone.
This color range is used in printing, ensuring consistency: “a system for identifying, matching and communicating colors for consistency across the print and textile design industries”. Although it can be expensive, it allows for amazing color representations of your brand.
What brand colors to use on your website?
A website is your digital home. All the visual identity elements that make up your brand need to also be found here. From logo to colors, fonts and imagery, it all needs to be recognizable from one platform to the other.
Not all screens are created equal, so that’s why you need to make sure that the colors you’re using are keeping constant, while respecting the brand guidelines once you have chosen them.
That’s why knowing your color codes, like Hex, are recommended.
These color codes are “a way of specifying color using hexadecimal values […] generally associated with HTML and websites, viewed on a screen, and as such the hex value pairs refer to the RGB color space.”
4. How fonts can supercharge your brand to reach your target audience?
Why are fonts important for branding?
You can create excellent pictures and other graphic content for your brand. If the typography of your design is not good, it could easily turn off potential buyers of your products and services.
When we consider typography, it is not just about selecting and using a particular font.
All typographic elements should also be arranged correctly in your design:
- the visual arrangement
- the color contrast
- the blank space
- the fonts selected
- the size of the font
Each of them impacts your design on both macro and micro level. Simply said, typography is the style and way of presentation of the text.
When a company is developing a brand identity, the type of fonts used should be consistent, each with a particular reason.
Typography enables you to create a particular context and have a certain personality.
It can be modern, vintage, romantic, shy or rigid just by selecting an appropriate typeface and creating it rightly.
Work on your typography so that it expresses the personality of your brand.
A professional logo designer can help you to create appropriate typography which can upgrade your brand promotion. Typography represents the tone and values of your brand just like color represents a feeling or visually transmits a message to your customers.
Every category of the font has a different meaning and thus will portray a different representation of your brand and what your business stands for. The purpose of having several categories of the font is that they all have a vastly unique effect or tone.
For instance, sans-serif fonts are typically advanced looking. They are usually clear, easy, simple to read on a big scale and perfect for several things today.
However, serifs seem outdated, look conventional and give an older feeling, but they are considered easy to use for the longer type of content which includes blogs and books.
How to choose the right font for my business?
Fonts communicate more than just words. Your choice of typography instantly says a lot about you and your business, and it influences how people perceive your messaging.
The right font will drive your message home, and the wrong font will distract your audience and detract from your credibility.
The typefaces you choose can have a huge impact on the way your brand communicates. Decide Which Characteristics You Want Your Brand to Convey..
Consider these questions:
- What are your brand’s main qualities?
- What’s your brand personality?
- What do you stand for as a company?
- What are their interests and aspirations?
- How do they communicate?
Make Sure Your Font Style Aligns with Your Brand’s Character. The next step, to pick a font that matches the mood and feel of your brand, is key.
Every font has a distinct personality and character, so you need to be thoughtful when you select one.
Some fonts are elegant and refined, some are whimsical and playful, and some are traditional and formal.
What is a font family and what are the most important font families?
A font family is a set of fonts that have a common design.
There are two types of font family names:
family-name – the name of a font-family, like “times”, “courier”, “arial”, etc.
generic-family – the name of a generic-family, like “serif”, “sans-serif”, “cursive”, “fantasy”, “monospace”.
Start with the font you want, and always end with a generic family. Fonts within a family, however, differ from each other in style such as:
weight (light, normal, bold, semi-bold, etc) slant (roman or upright, italic and oblique) stroke (the main diagonal portion of a letterform such as in N, M, or Y) serif (a stroke added as a stop to the beginning and end of the main strokes of a character).
An example of a font family is Times New Roman, which consists of a roman, italic, bold and bold italic version of the same typeface.
Are all fonts free for commercial use?
Where to find fonts?
So, all this being said… where do you find fonts?
We have a few resources lined-up for you to check out and select the ones that are best suited for your brand.
ADD PRICES + with NewGlue you don’t have to separately pay for fonts
However, we do recommend choosing a professional and simple solution such as our tech-powered marketing and branding application, that can both guide and shape the way your brand looks on and offline using all the necessary brand elements.
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How to correctly use my brand fonts?
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There you have it!
We’ve covered the most common types of logos and when to choose them.
Keep in mind, when you add styling and color themes to the type of logo that you pick, you are sure to find a unique logo that stands out.
If you want to get started with your own logo, you can check out NewGlue’s marketplace or use our Guide to get started, here you can choose whichever type, style and color that you see fit.
You can even specify your area of business which helps make the choice even easier!
Thank you for reading!
We really appreciate you educating yourself on what branding works for you.
Stay tuned for more guides on how to grow your business and ways to keep your branding professional!