The old adage, “you don’t give a second chance to make a first impression,” certainly rings true when you are trying to land a new client. We’re told most our lives to not judge a book by its cover and to dive deeper rather than taking things at face value, but the truth is most people do just that. First impressions do matter. That being said, it is extremely important that you develop your business branding to reflect your business’s style and concept directly. Your audience’s first impression of your brand should be the right one. The center of your brand is your logo.
Think of your logo as a letter of the alphabet; when you look at the letter ‘A’, you immediately recognize it and know the sound it makes and exactly what it means. You want the same level of recognition with your logo.
A good logo is simple, appropriate, and memorable. Your shape should be exclusively associated with your company, and your company alone. You should be able to take away all the text from your design and it still be instantly recognizable as your company.
To figure out your company’s shape, you need to know what the shapes mean to people when they see them. Choose one or combine a few to get your message across, but always remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE. It should be simple enough that a child can easily draw it and still be recognizable.
Vertical vs. Horizontal-
Before we get started breaking down shapes themselves, we need to talk about their orientation. How your shape is angled is more important than one may realize. It can directly convey certain attributes about your company at first glance.
Vertical designs exude strength, power, masculinity, and dominance. While horizontal designs give off a sense of rest, composure, femininity, and peace.
Now, let’s start looking at what each shape means.
Circular- The circle, one of the most popular shapes used in design, exudes positivity. Perhaps it is the its relation to the all too familiar smiley face. It has no beginning, and it has no end; therefore it is infinite and whole. There’s a flow that comes with a circle thanks to its lack of hard lines and its bubbly nature which is soft on the eyes. It is useful for encapsulating and confining ideas, and when combined with other circles it can display partnership and unity.
Square/Rectangular- This shape shows structure due to its flat lines, making it appear stable, like the foundation of a home. Balance comes to mind when faced with these shapes.
Triangular- Depending on how it lies, the triangle can either convey balance if placed on its flat lines or lack thereof if placed on one of its sharp points. It can also represent direction. Often seen as aggressive and sharp, this dichotomy makes it a versatile shape in design.
Organic- Based off forms we see in nature, organic shapes come across as comfortable and interest based.
Abstract/Stylized- These shapes are literal representations of whatever your message is, not found anywhere in nature nor amongst geometric shapes. It is a direct reflection of your business.
If you’re reading this article it is likely you’re in one of two groups - someone making their first logo or someone who already has a logo and is wondering how it is holding up. If you’re a member of the second group and the “keep it simple” part hurt your soul a bit because your logo is anything but simple, I urge you to re-assess your brand message. Remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. What message are you conveying with your logo? Is it the message you want to convey?. If you look at the logos below from large companies, you can see overtime how they simplified themselves to be more recognizable.
Each of these brands are highly successful and have stood the test of time. Take this into consideration as you review your logo. If you’re just getting started, I hope these guidelines will help you craft the brand message that is right for you that will clearly communicate your message to your audience.
Are you looking for a qualified resource to dialogue about your logo design? Contact the XLDesign4U team today for a free 30 minute consultation.