First Things First…
What’s the difference between a brand and a logo?
Your brand is what your audience thinks and feels about you. It’s the sum of everything that your business communicates. Your brand can start with your logo, but that’s not the whole story. You see, branding involves so many other things, from your corporate identity—like the colors and words you use in your stationery and website—down to the stories you tell and how you tell them.
Your brand is your message to the world. It’s the way you express that message, but more importantly, it’s the way others interpret it.
That’s why, even though people sometimes think graphic design is just an art form, I say it’s most certainly not. Graphic design is science too. Artists often express themselves freely and art, in general, tends to be a highly personal endeavor. Some of the greatest artists seldom even want their work to be understood by the masses.
There’s no one right way to make art, but when you’re designing your corporate identity, “just right” is what you need. You don’t want people getting confused trying to figure out what you or your company is all about. You want them to know.
Great branding starts with great corporate identity—great corporate identity, in turn, starts with a great logo design.
Your logo is a big part of your identity. It is to your business, what the stars and stripes are to the United States. Your logo can dictate how everything else will work together—things like stationery, web design and social media. When a potential client interacts with your company, your logo is often in charge of making a good first impression for you.
So now we can see the importance of getting the perfect logo:
- If you make burgers, but your logo is distasteful,
people will assume that your burgers taste bad.
- If you provide consultation, but you don’t have a logo yet,
people will think that you don’t know what you’re doing.
- If you’re an artist, but your identity lacks originality,
it might seem like your art is unoriginal too.
- If you’re an architect, but your logo didn’t stand the test of time,
people might think your designs won’t age well either.
I could list examples like these all day. Instead, I’m going to share a few research studies with you:
In case you don’t want to read through all that, it turns out that when we drink wine from a $90 bottle—especially if it looks the part with a well-designed label to match—the pleasure centers in our brains go crazy. We enjoy the experience a lot more than if we were to drink from a $5 bottle with a tacky design. The kicker? This happens even if the wine behind the label is exactly the same.
A similar effect happens with milkshake labels, with chips, soda, pop-corn. There’s a whole article in The New Yorker titled: Accounting for Taste—How Packaging Can Make Food More Flavorful.
Adequate pricing and beautiful design go a long way in shaping our experiences. However, logos can do even more than just communicate that something is “high-quality”.
Let’s experiment on our own now. Take a few seconds to google the following terms: “FedEx logo” or “Amazon logo“. I’ll tell you what comes up, hundreds of articles featuring those logos. Coincidentally, they both feature a clever use of an arrow in their logo to communicate what their companies are all about. Countless blog posts have been written about their ingenious hidden meanings. As you can see, these companies get plenty of praise because of the creative way they chose to represent their businesses. That’s a ton of free publicity. How cool would it be to have your logo next to theirs, with everyone talking about its clever meaning? Of course, these logos get extra attention because the companies behind them are already very well-known. It’s probably not wise to expect the same treatment even if your logo is amazing. However, even if you don’t get recognition world-wide right away, a really good logo can still be a topic of conversation within your industry or a great ice-breaker at a networking event, not to mention a source of pride and belonging for you and the people you work with.
there are A few tiers of logo design:
- There are some terrible logos out there in the wild. Logos that look bad and don’t communicate anything.
- There are relatively good logos that look good and somewhat represent their company’s services.
- And then there are a few better logos that look great and communicate the company’s values to the to a T.
But there are also logos on a whole different level. Stunning logos that stand out above the others. They communicate, yes, but they also make you think. They make you wonder or even make you feel something.
The perfect logo will:
- Hint to what your company is all about.
- Represent the values your brand stands for.
- Draw your prospects’ attention.
- Prompt a conversation all by itself.
We all do business with the people we know, like, and trust. And no one likes and trusts a company with a bad logo.
To Sum Up
If done right, your logo has the potential to help you skip the first few steps towards persuading your prospects into doing business with you. It can help you develop trust and rapport with someone the first time you hand them your business card. It can even score you some free publicity and give your clients a whole new perspective about what your company stands for.
Who wouldn’t want that for their business?
Now’s Your Turn
If you have a logo you’re proud of, feel free to share it with me so I can feature it in a future blog post. Otherwise, if you’re not too happy with your current logo, that’s all the more reason to show me what you got—I can check it out and give you some guidance, free of charge.
So say hi! ✌ [email protected]
And thanks for reading!
I have ten years of professional design experience and more than five years in lead design roles. I like to write and make behind-the-scenes videos about design, marketing, leadership, and productivity. In my downtime, I'm passionate about illustration, photography, game design; and cold brew coffee. Make sure to say hi → [email protected]