Starting a business, or already owning a business is an ongoing process with many unknowns and uncertainties. You learn before you start and you keep on learning as you go. One thing is certain – when you do own a business (or when starting one) you wish for it to succeed. Your biggest desire is that your brand will be the first thing that comes to mind when a product or niche or service is mentioned. A visual representation of your brand and your company is what people will link to your business. This is why you go weeks and weeks thinking of your visual identity and inventing a brand logo. A strong logo design will differentiate your brand’s unique story in people’s eyes and minds. But, inventing a brand logo is not the end of your visual branding. It is only the beginning. And visual identity is not the same as branding. It is merely a part of a brand. But we’ll get there.
Branding VS Visual Identity
What is the idea of a brand? Or a logo? What is visual Identity? Let’s try to put it in simple terms. Being that, to kick off a business, you will need to know how to differentiate these terms. Your brand is what people think of your product. It’s everything from the visual form, through emotions it evokes in people’s minds, the use they make of it, the name you build around it and the entire identity it carries. It is, at the same time, the entirety of tangible and intangible that creates the overall experience with people that have interacted with your brand. Or, even stronger – people that have just heard of it. As Jeff Bezos has beautifully said it – “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Visual Identity, on the other hand, is what carries your brand. Or, say – what brands the image of your brand in people’s minds. It is an assembly of all visual and material characteristics of your brand, which make it identifiable and distinctive on the market. And a strong brand logo is the upfront visual element that embodies your brand and that people recognize it by. The logo appears on all company signs, papers, and advertisements that customers use to identify your company. If you create a strong logo it will offer even more than simple identification – it will give your prospective customers exactly what you want it to convey – a sense of your values and character.
Keeping up with the world
As the world is changing, marketing is changing with it, and branding and visual identity go alongside. Market research is changing, because understanding what people think is becoming easier and more difficult at the same time. You have more means to understand people’s desires and needs as they have more ways of expressing them – through the internet, but you have a hard time being innovative as they have seen nearly everything. Visual representation, inventing a brand logo, advertising, digital marketing and everything else you can think of. No matter what industry you are in, modern solutions are necessary if you want to come and stay in people’s minds. Should you need help with marketing analyses or SEO guidance, you can check out moversdev.com, chances are they will be able to help you if you’re in the moving business and are having trouble with keeping up with market changes.
Inventing a brand logo
As we have mentioned previously – the logo is a symbol of your identity. It is the first impression that customers make of your company and bad first impressions are hard to overcome. You want your logo to convey your message the best possible way and you want people to recognize it even if they see a glimpse of it. It doesn’t matter if you are designing a personal brand as an entrepreneur or developing a corporate logo. You want your brand image and your logo to be strong, recognizable and different. A glimpse of golden arches and a red surface and your mind craves a BigMac. That’s the type of association you want people to have with your logo. So, how to inception your way into people’s minds while inventing a brand logo?
At the very beginning of inventing a brand logo, think of all the types of logos there are. And they can all fall into three categories:
- Font based logos – consist primarily of type treatments – company names or abbreviations or company initials. This is a great way to spread your company name and tie the logo directly with the company without a doubt in people’s minds. It conveys a sense of stability and confidence.
- Illustration logos – these are literal illustrations of what the company does, for example, a bucket and a brush for a house painting company.
- Abstract symbols – graphic symbols that don’t illustrate what you do, but connect to your company by a trademark or a slogan, or play with your company’s values in some form. A good example is Nike’s swoosh, that millions of people by the glimpse of it connect to Nike in a split second. Choosing an abstract symbol is not only risky, but it is also much more expensive as it requires time and money for people to connect the symbol to your brand. And growing businesses usually don’t have that much money stacked up to carry out the building of a mental bridge that connects the logo and the identity cue for a lifestyle you are trying to portray. On the other hand, high risk often means high reward. Just don’t be left out with a meaningless symbol only you understand.
In addition, there are combinations of these elements.
Once you’ve chosen a type, or even prior to choosing the type of logo, do the research. Check out the competition. Read all about trends and if you can afford, conduct a survey. Definitely choose the right designer. A professional designer that understands your company, your values, and how you want to portray them is essential for a successful logo design. You need to focus on your message. What emotions do you want to evoke in people when they see your logo? When you see a bitten apple, you don’t only think ‘iPhone’, you think of the quality, the endurance, the elegance. You want your logo to translate your brand message. Nowadays everything is digital. So, you need to think about how your logo will behave in the digital world. You will probably focus on digital marketing as well, so know what advantages and key tools digital marketing can offer. And think of how to create a logo that will communicate beautifully through digital marketing.
What is in and what is out?
When inventing a brand logo and creating an overall visual identity, you should check out current trends, but you shouldn’t strive to be just ‘trendy’. You want a logo that will last. And stand through the test of time. Think of all the great logos – they have changed through the years, but just slightly – little twerks and subtle color adjustments. You need a clean and functional logo that illustrates your business’s key benefit. Organic logos and simplicity are usually best with people’s perspective. Natural symbols, without the use of clip art or excessive abstract symbols and doodles, are proven to outperform when it comes to logo design. Last, but not least – watch the colors. No one says you should use one color, a multicolor logo can be very effective and beautiful. Just think of Google. But, the colors must coordinate with the rest of your visual identity. Bear in mind the functionality of your product when you choose colors. If your brand is gentle and sensitive, use sensory colors and if it is highly functional and active, or energetic use functional colors.
Your brand is your own
When thinking of visual identity and inventing a brand logo, think of your brand. You are building a legacy. Your logo and visual identity carry your values, communicate your brand’s narrative, and build strategic associations in consumers’ minds. Your brand lives in the minds of the consumer and it is your job to communicate who you are and what you are all about through all aspects of your brand. So, take care of every bit of it.