Best Face Forward: Logos and Visual Brand Development
We live in a world with an ever-increasing focus on appearances. And whether that thrills you or makes you wince, an industry-savvy person will do their best to keep up. Companies and individuals must consider how to visually develop a strong brand to stay relevant and attract business. Plainly put: How do you look? You’ve decided on a company name, service and target market. Your next step is to find your style. The most important indicator of style is your logo. Let’s break it down. Your emblem. Your crest. Your Bat-Signal. The logo is the visual representation of your brand. (But you already knew that, right?) When people see your logo, it can either inform them of what you are or, in some cases, add another layer of depth to your brand. For example: The logo for Major League Baseball, the silhouette of a male player at bat, is straightforward and informative. Even before seeing the name, you know from the MLB logo what they are all about. Now consider the logo for ING. This Dutch-born financial and banking corporation is known for the recognizable lion in their logo. Do they sell lions? Certainly not. But they want the characteristics generally associated with lions (leadership, bravery, honor, etc.) attributed to their brand. More symbolic. Less literal. Lay it all on the table. During the early stages of logo development, it’s really about quantity over quality. We can’t stress this enough. Quantity allows you to sift through all your ideas before sinking time and resources into what might not be the most viable option. Find your direction, then begin honing in and editing your look until it speaks to who you are. Quality comes with revisions. (And there should be plenty of those.) Sprinkle, don’t shower. We know you’ll be proud of your new logo, but there’s no need to slap it everywhere you can. While your logo is the main identifier for your brand, it’s not the sole visual asset. It’s the jumping off point. You can employ a unified color scheme and cohesive typefaces to carry your brand identity through your content. Logos appearing more than once on webpages, print collateral or social media accounts begin to look saturated and in-your-face. If your logo is good, one glance is all it will take.
Looking for more suggestions about branding? Check out Garrett Pilgrim’s post about building personal brands.