Let's start off this post by getting something straight; your logo is NOT your brand!
What a logo design really is is an importance aspect of your visual identity, also know as your brand identity. Your brand identity combines all of your visual brand aspects including your color scheme, typography, logo's, social media graphics, email signature, blog post graphics and everything that is visual for your brand.
Logos are a design - or a symbol - that is used to identify a brand easily. It also helps to identify that brands products, services, content and much more. So did you get it?
A logo is NOT your brand!
With that being said, there is a lot to learn about logos because no two logo's are the same. Every single logo is designed in a different way from the next and depending on your brand goals they are often used for different purposes. For example, a service-based business might use their logo completely different than a product-based business. These two businesses also might have their logos designed in different ways to fit their digital or physical needs.
But why is all this important?
Because logos are important!
This post is going to be your comprehensive guide for all things logo-related. It's going to share with you the importance of a logo design, types of logo designs available to you, and the file types that your logo can come in. These are the beginning things to consider when DIY'ing your own logo or hiring out to a professional. Because trust me, you don't want to get this part of your brand wrong!
Let's get right into it:
Why are logo's important?
Do you know why people are often under the impression that your logo is your brand?
Because it's such an important focal point of a brand. Along with being an important focal point for your brand, it plays its own very important role. The very first role it plays is helping to set your brand apart or differentiate it from others on the market, especially those within your niche. Imagine if you and your BIGGEST competitor had the exact same logo design. You wouldn't want that right? No! You want people to look at your logo and know exactly who your brand is.
Going right along with that differentiation for your brand, your logo also helps do that for your products or services. You can think of some of the biggest brands in the world - McDonalds, Coca Cola, Revlon, etc - many of their products are embellished with their logos. This helps you see the difference in their products versus their competitors. This works the exact same way for service-based businesses expect your logos doesn't appear on physical products.
If you are spending your time to build your target market profile and implementing strategies to capture those individuals don't you want them to come back? Oh, your logo can help you with that too! Your logo - if well designed - helps establish you as an authority in your niche, someone your audience can trust, and someone who is professional!
And one of the biggest impacts your logo can have...increased sales! How? One of the best examples is if you are a service-based business, specifically a brand or logo designer - like myself. Your logo is going to speak to your body of work. If you're logo is great, chances are your work is great. This is going to help convert those prospects to clients REALLY fast!
And if you aren't a brand or logo designer don't worry you can still make this work for you. Imagine your in a Facebook Group and you've posted your link and your preview to that link is your logo. Individuals are going to start recognizing this logo and soon you will notice your traffic numbers growing and your sales growing right along with it.
Let's sum this up! Your logo is important because:
- Differentiates your brand
- Differentiates your products or services
- Builds authority within your niche
- Builds a dedicated and loyal audience
- Increases sales
Types of Logos
You've determined your logo design is an important asset to your brand. Now it's time to determine what this logo design is going to look like. Like any good visual element out there they can come in various different styles from horizontal to vertical, text-based or visual-based, minimalist or jam-packed .
Before diving into DIY'ing your own logo or hiring a designer, you might want to think about which logo style is going to be the best fit your brand. How? Oh don't worry, I'm going to discuss with you the 5 most popular logo styles! From having a clear understanding of these five styles, you should be able to decide which one is the best representation of your brand!
Symbol or Icon
This concept is pretty simple. It's where your logo design is in the form of a symbol or icon that best represents your brand. For example, if you were a tech company or Virtual Assistant you could use a computer as your symbol or icon and this would be your logo.
Symbols and icons are some of the simplest logo designs out there and are being used by companies like:
- Google Chrome
This is another pretty self explanatory logo. That's because this is a logo that consists only of fonts or text. Wordmark logos are often called logotypes because of this single use text logo concept. But these concepts are often a little more detailed then that. Wordmark logos require that the user have a strong typeface (fonts) to represent their brand and that this typeface be presented in a unique and eye catching way. How? This can be done through alignment, color use, weight, letter spacing, line height and more.
Many brands have adopted this style as there own, including:
- Coca Cola
Lettermark logo styles are similar to wordmark styles in that they also include a focus on typeface (or text). But these concepts are done on a much simpler scale in that they usually involve just a couple of letters. Lettermarks are better know as initials and many brands have adopted this simpler style including:
- HBO (Television Network)
- Procter and Gamble
- H & M (Clothing Retailer)
And as you would imagine, all three of the above concepts can be combined with each other to create their very own and unique logo style. For example, you can combine a symbol with a wordmark logo or a symbol with a lettermark logo. When combining these types of logos it's just as important to ensure the design is readable and translates well for your brand.
Speaking of brands. Some of the most popular brands implementing this combined style include:
- NBC (Television Network)
You might think that emblems are quite similar to a symbol but this isn't true. The difference? Emblems consist of placing typeface (font or text) inside of a symbol or icon to create a unique design.
Emblem logos are another concept popular among many of our favorite brands including:
- Harley Davidson
- Burger King
Aside from the different styles that logos can come in, they also can come in different files types. When considering what logo file type you need you might have to reference good ol' Google - or hopefully this post. It's all about the needs and wants of your concept. However, there are two main formats
Raster-based images are comprised of square areas of color called pixels to form the overall graphic or image. Images can contain hundreds of pixels to create the overall image. But the downside to raster-based images is that as you enlarge them these pixels become more pronounced, making your image blurry and low-quality.
Common types of raster-based images include:
- GIF (animated or static design)
- PNG (transparent background)
Vector-based graphics are comprised of nodes or points throughout the graphic in which you, the designer, can adjust and move to create a uniquely designed graphic. The best part, unlike raster-based graphics, vector-based graphics can easily be increased or decreased in size without compromising the graphic quality.
Common types of vector-based images include:
Each designer will have a completely different mindset as to which format they use when designing. It's often said that vector-based logos are the best, but that just isn't the case. Depending on the client wants, needs and uses for the logo either a raster or vector-based format works. You, as a designer or client, need to determine that for yourself. But just know, there is no right or wrong answer.
We've just scratched the surface of logo information! Hopefully by now you should be able to determine which style of logo you are after. You should have also been able to identify what file format would best suit your logo - I'm a raster-based PNG format kind of girl, and many of my clients are extremely happy with that format and others!
But now, how do you get to designing the perfect logo?
Stick around in the coming weeks and months when I continue to expand on 'The Lowdown on Logos' little mini-series that I'm going to be doing. We will cover everything from DIY'ing your own concepts to hiring a designer, implementing your design, building a brand around your design and so much more! I promise you won't be disappointed!
But in the meantime, don't forget to join the Facebook Community to receive 1-on-1 help with all things logo related and business related! And best part, this group is FREE! CLICK HERE to join! And last but not least, help me expand this series by shedding some light on the areas of logo design that you need help with, answer one of the following in the comments:
What is the biggest struggle that you face when it comes to logo design?
What is ONE burning question you have about logos?