Logos can go right, or on the flip side, terribly wrong. People need to see your brand many many times before it makes an impression on them and even longer before they will consider buying from you. The logo is the often the first impression, so it is important to get it right from the start. A great logo should contrast your company from your competition through the use of curated colors, implementing appropriate fonts in the simplest way possible, while remaining memorable and avoiding distractions or taglines. The 6 logo principles below will help you determine if your logo is right or needs another look.

#1 Set your company apart

Your logo is the first impression that your clients will have of your business. This is how they will remember you and contrast in their minds your products with other company’s products. If your competitors brand colors are yellows and greens, a stunning blue can set you apart as well as a clever or iconic design. Your logo must build familiarity and trust. People tend not to like what they do not know, which is why we tend to buy the brands we are familiar with. Your logo should feel inviting and familiar to your prospects while distinguishing itself from your competition.

#2 Be meaningful

Colors create an emotional response in your audience. There is a correlation between emotions and colors. Consider which emotion you would like your brand to spark. If you are a fast food restaurant, for example, then red and yellow may be optimal colors because red stimulates hunger while yellow instills a sense of optimism. According to the Huffington Post, metallics convey luxury. Chanel uses gold, black, and white in their branding and it has been a status symbol for decades. Orange feels friendly while purple is often associated with creativity. The world’s most preferred color, blue, guides the viewer to trust, and green, not surprisingly, brings a sense of health and cleanliness. Gray harmonizes with balancing energy.

#3 Use fonts to tell a story

Fonts all have a story, creator, history, and fan base. They express to the visual world what you want to convey much like colors do. For example, Comic Sans is the world’s most hated and loved font. The polarizing typeface resembles an old-fashioned comic book, and just as some love or hate Star Wars, this font can be risky to use. More favorable fonts include Helvetica, seen in the New York City Subway signage and the Jeep logo, and Times New Roman, the preference of most college professors.

#4 Make it simple

Company logos are meant to convey a brand’s identity to foster recognition and loyalty. In the digital age where everyone seems to be shouting at one another, being simple is truly the only way to stand out. Simple, however, does not equate to being boring. Simple designs convey a sense of confidence..

#5 Be memorable

If you were asked which company has golden arches or looping red and white script, you would most likely correctly identify McDonald’s and Coca-Cola. You remember their logos because they are part of the cultural lexicon. These established companies have crafted their visual representations by projecting the right brand image. Cokes are bought year round, but they convey a sense of summer relaxation and fun with their casual logo and flowing lettering. Everyone loves summer and the brand is part of the memory of lazier days.

#6 Eliminate distractions

Your logo should be creative. However, there is a danger in going overboard. Attractive logos, with curated colors and cohesive designs are more well-liked than logos perceived as abstract or disjointed. The adage, “too much icing, not enough cake” applies here. Heavy embellishments and design elements cannot save an inherently poor logo. Bold colors and agreeable types cannot compensate for poor structuring. The London 2012 Olympics are a warning – the logo essentially spells out 2012 with jagged numbers and clashing yellow and fuchsia. The response ranged from crude Lisa Simpson jokes to conspiracy theories. Ornamental designs can be distracting, keeping it simple and memorable is a much stronger way to draw in your audience and beat out your competition.

Is your logo right?

Keeping in mind the 6 principles above, is your logo right? Is it grabbing your audience and making it memorable in their minds? Logos are two-way streets. You must express yourself and expect a reaction from the public. A logo design should be creative, yet functional. You do not have to do a song and dance to earn recognition; your products command attention simply by their high-quality attributes.

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