Why You Need a Branded Logo Design | Brand vs Logo
What is a Logo?
A logo is a unique, identifiable emblem or design used to symbolize a business’ brand. It’s found on anything representing the business, from in-house resources to all publicly-accessed materials. The more competitive your industry, the greater the need for a unique logo to set you apart from your competition.
Logo vs Icon
Icons are simple, one-dimensional images illustrating an action (example: ► indicates an action to “play”). While a logo may incorporate an icon, its purpose is much greater: to explain a brand’s identity.
Logo vs Symbol
Much like an icon, a symbol is a simple shape designed to convey something and can be incorporated into a logo. But unlike icons, symbols represent a product or an idea, rather than an action (♡ symbolizes love).
What Makes a Good Logo?
A good logo is distinguishing, practical and simple in design. It should be memorable, and scalable for use on all branded materials of any size—from pens to billboards. But most importantly, a good logo should be relevant; depicting the brand’s significance, more than just what they’re selling.
Types of Logos
Any given logo may not necessarily follow a set of specifics regarding design, but it should be relevant to the brand. There are endless versions of logos that you see each day, but there are a few standard logo categories that brands typically follow.
1. A logomark does not contain the name of a company, but rather a familiar image associated with the brand. A common example of a logomark would be the brand, Apple.
2. Logotype, or “wordmark,” is a logo comprised of a styled brand name. Coca-Cola is a well-known example of a brand using logotype.
3. A combination is just what you would imagine—a blend of logomark and logotype. It affords a brand the creative liberties of a logomark, with the quick recognition associated with the logotype.
Branding vs Logo
A business is the internal mechanisms that keep a company running, while the brand accounts for the features and benefits a customer uses to make purchasing decisions; it’s important to execute a logo based on brand logo design, rather business logo design.
What is a Brand?
A brand is the collective perception of a business based on an audience’s knowledge, experiences and impressions of the organization. The brand of a business is more than just a logo or a color scheme; it encompasses everything—from marketing materials to mission statements and customer service—to set your business apart from competitors.
Branding Should Be Deliberate
Deliberate branding allows for control over the impression a business makes on its audience, showing them the best parts of the organization, and ultimately encouraging them to become new or repeat customers.
What Role Does a Logo Play in Deliberate Branding?
A logo is the creative representation of how a brand wants to be perceived by its audience, and a branded company logo is the most effective (and memorable) way to achieve it. Since a brand’s logo is usually the first visual impression a customer will have of a business, it’s important that it summarizes the organization’s overall brand identity.
How Your Logo Fits into Your Brand Strategy
Since a business’ logo is used to encapsulate the brand, customizing it to fit the brand strategy is crucial. Logo design templates are quick and inexpensive options, but these automated logo generators lack originality and professionalism and can be easily copied. Custom logo design provides a solution unique to the brand and typically comes with a review and revision period, so the company can get something they’re proud to share.
How To Design A Brand Logo
You understand the concept, now let’s execute a quality branded logo in under 10 steps
Your Step-by-Step Guide
1. The Brand Discovery Process
This is a key piece of developing a long-term success strategy, not just for logo development, but for your business as a whole. Upon completion, you should be able to identify:
• Your brand’s values
• Problem(s) you solve for customers
• Your most profitable products and measurements of success
• Competitors and your differentiators
• Ideal customers & where they engage with the brand
• Why customers buy from you
• Who you’re not reaching
2. Overarching Brand Strategy
Once you’ve answered these questions, begin mapping out a plan for brand success, including messaging around your values and the solutions you provide, as well as how, where and when to reach new and returning customers.
3. Define Brand Identity
Brand identity is how you present yourself to your audience. When choosing your brand’s identity, be sure to consider:
• Personality: human characteristics you attribute to your brand
• Voice: how you address your audience: casual, informative, technical, formal
• Values: how you position your priorities to your audience
• Visuals: your brand’s look and feel including colors, typography, shapes, and styles.
4. Find Inspiration
It’s time to get inspired! Pull visual inspiration from other brands, non-branded design, or even the real world (think: nature and/or architecture).
5. Create Drafts
With a brand strategy in mind, create a few drafts of your brand’s new logo—keeping in mind branding vs logo design.
Pro Tip: design your logo drafts in grayscale to ensure a strong concept without color as a distraction.
6. Get Feedback
Once you’ve landed on two or three logo designs, get feedback from people you trust who understand your brand’s identity.
7. Refine, Adjust & Tweak
Make any necessary changes and develop your final draft. This is the time to start incorporating color into your logo.
8. Build a Brand Guide
Your logo is ready and you’ve developed a color scheme around it. Document your colors, fonts, and logo placement specifications; your creative team will adhere to these guidelines for any and all branded materials moving forward.
9. Use Your Logo
You have a logo, how does it feel? Now, get out there and expand your audience!