A big part of successful branding comes down to your logo. A logo represents your brand. It is a non-verbal communication. A good logo helps readers recognize you and associate you with high quality. You want a logo that distinguishes you from others. It should be unique, memorable, and easy to pronounce and spell. Generally, a good logo:

  1. Is easily recognized
  2. Conveys a similar meaning to all readers
  3. Evokes positive feelings

There are several principles of design when it comes to creating logos. This includes complexity, activeness, natural, abstract, and harmony. We’ll talk about each of these in more detail and how they can affect your brand:

Complexity In order for a logo to be memorable and easily recognizable, it’s important that the logo not be too simple or too elaborate. We often have a tendency to think that the more colors, words, or graphics we include on a logo, the more people will recognize it. That’s not necessarily true. Think about the Nike swoosh or the Apple icon. Simple and clean logos are generally prefered because they are easier to remember than elaborate ones.

Activeness Logos can also show some kind of movement. Active designs are usually considered more interesting because they give the impression of movement. In western cultures, upward movement evokes feelings of success and achievement. An example of this is seen in the redesigned John Deere logo. The logo shows a deer, appearing to move upward triumphantly.

Natural Logos may show commonly experienced objects. Natural designs can be easier to remember because they include something familiar. These designs can also tie the brand in with something to reinforce the brand. For example, the Evian logo depicts snowcapped mountains, leading the viewer to make the connection that Evian water is from fresh mountain springs.

Abstract These designs are the opposite of natural designs. Abstract designs don’t connect the viewer with an easily recognizable object. The viewer doesn’t really have any idea of what the abstract graphic is showing. An abstract designs can be eye-catching because it’s new. It may cause the reader to stop and think about what the abstract design is representing. However, readers are free to interpret the abstract image however they want. It may be more difficult to make sure the logo is conveying the same meaning to all readers.

Harmony Logos that are harmonious have some type of pattern and are arranged to convey symmetry and balance. Symmetrical designs are identical on both sides. Essentially, one side of the logo is a reflection of the other side. Designs that are balanced have a defined center between two weights of the design. This logo from Ecostar shows both symmetry and balance. One study by the Harvard Business Review recently found that people associated symmetrical logos with more ethical behavior. However, asymmetrical logos are still common and are often used to show motion (like the Nike swoosh).

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