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What Your Logo Says About You

They say you have seven seconds to make a lasting impression. It is human nature to see images and impulsively reach a conclusion well before we can interpret the written word or words, verbalize what they mean and make a decision on whether or not we like it.

Having an idea of this basic human psychology will help any brand find the right imagery to represent them in order to appropriately engage with their audience. Images spark our imaginations and have an immediate impact on us. If you make the right choices up front, your visuals will drive your audience to want to learn more and, ultimately, favor your brand.

Let’s take a look at the lowest common denominator of brand visuals: logos.

Logos are your business’s mark – a visual you want your audience to recognize immediately. Your logo should be unique and accurately represent the brand and look good even in its simplest form. It should display the proper industry color for your audience and professionally represent your company’s name. Your logo should be able to stand on its own without being difficult to interpret.

Think about it. We have all seen good and bad logos. Bad logos are usually complicated in design, have a lot of unnecessary and misrepresented symbolism and can look and feel very outdated. Great logos, however, are easily recognized and feel timeless.

Too busy

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To the point

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Even the best logos evolve as they age. We have all seen changes in some of our favorite brands over time, but the essence of the brand is still present. Take Starbucks®, for example.

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Think about the colors. As you can see, Starbucks® realized its original brown logo represented the dark rich brown of a cup of joe, but it evolved to the green we’re all familiar with now. Why?

Check out this breakdown of the psychology of color:

  • Red: energetic, sexy, bold
  • Orange: creative, friendly, youthful
  • Yellow: sunny, inventive, optimism
  • Green: growth, organic, instructional
  • Blue: professional, medical, tranquil, trustworthy
  • Purple: spiritual, wise, evocative
  • Black: credible and powerful
  • White: simple, clean, pure
  • Pink: fun and flirty
  • Brown: rural, historical, steady

From this short list you can see that Starbucks wanted to move away from the steady, historic brown and move towards green, communicating a feeling of growth and sustainability, an idea that is important to people today. People want to know they are consuming coffee beans straight from a farm, not pre-ground from a can. It is amazing what colors can communicate and the impact they can have. Even without color, this graphic still reigns supreme. What color represents your brand best?

Sometimes logos change too much and have been known to lose their brand’s identity and market share. Even worse, think about how costly it is to rebrand a national chain like JCPenney®.

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Logo design must be clean and represent how you want your brand to be thought of. Think: How do you want to impact your audience? What emotional appeal do you want them to experience from your brand? Be sure to ask yourself these questions before you meet with a designer. Avoid comments like, “I just love what you have done for company X. Go ahead and just make the logo what you think it should be.”

The graphic artist does not know or understand your business goals. Have your ideas together and be concise. Be thoughtful and have a plan; your logo will become exactly what you were expecting and more. You will save time and money by communicating your wants early, eliminating the need for future revisions.

In those first seven seconds that your audience views your brand, what story are you telling them? Take these tips and apply them to building a stellar logo that will leave people wanting more!

Are you interested in diving deeper into your brand’s identity? See how Red Fan can help today.

Image credit: FedEx Corporation, Starbucks® and JCPenney®.

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