5 ways to give your logo the personality it deserves

Around the turn of the 20th century, the wealthy used personal calling cards as a simple way to establish social connections. The cards were understated and elegant, and were expected to express a great deal with just a name and not much more info.

Logos are much the same way. A logo is the company’s signature, and tells the brand’s whole story with just a few words and images. While a logo is merely the tip of your branding iceberg, it is still your company’s calling card and should reflect your brand’s core values while it tells your brand’s story.

It’s an awful lot for a logo to do, isn’t it? How do you go about designing your logo so it properly reflects you and your company? Here are some basics to consider as you get started on your logo’s personality.

1. Voice

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Design by Stevanus Gerald

Before you start working on your logo — yes, we said before — you need to determine your brand’s voice and personality. Before your logo can accurately reflect your brand, you need to know who your brand is. Is your company high energy? Contemporary? Traditional? Quirky? This is information you need to pin down before you can begin developing your brand’s logo. Here is a quick “brand personality” test that can help you get started.

2. Color

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Design by Agi Amri

This seems like an easy thing to choose, but color is actually a tricky subject. Did you know that colors can trigger specific emotional responses? Blue can be calming, while yellow is happy, orange is inspiring, and red is powerful and bold. There is an entire science dedicated to how we react to colors, but this doesn’t mean you need to be a psychologist to choose your logo’s colors. Once you have a fair sense of your brand’s personality, it’s likely that the color choice will be fairly obvious. However, it’s also important to remember that logos require readability, even when reproduced at small sizes. So using a yellow font might make your company appear cheerful and optimistic, but no one will be able to read it.

3. Typography

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Design by Bresquilla

Unlike the days of calling cards, today we have thousands of creative and original fonts that can showcase personality perfectly. But you can get lost hunting through the massive libraries of fonts trying to find that one ideal font. You need to remember that your logo typography should be both original and timeless — while also being easy to read. Once again, it is an awful lot for typography to do, but it is possible. You’ll find more detailed info about choosing your logo font here.

4. Symbols & Images

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Design by dialfredo

In 1886, Jean Moréas celebrated subjectivity over realism, and his thoughts brought change to the art world as painters moved away from painting what they saw, and instead began painting how they felt. This move toward symbolism in art is still relevant today when it comes the use of imagery and symbols in logo design. The Nike “swoosh” (probably one of the best examples) looks about like the dust in a runner’s wake. Toyota’s logo evokes both a ‘T’ and wheels. The World Wildlife Federation uses an acronym and a silhouette of a panda, and everyone loves a panda. The ideal symbol will tell your company’s story with a single image.

5. Appeal

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Design by n4t

This part is trickier; after all, you’ve already picked the perfect color, font, and symbol for your logo, but it has to be assembled in a way that is both beautiful and appealing. You don’t want to be like the London Olympics, for instance, who used their design elements in way that proved so aesthetically offensive that some folks boycotted the Olympics all together. You need your elements to come together in a way that highlights your brand’s personality while emphasizing your competence and professionalism and drawing your customers in.

Your logo might just be the tip of the branding iceberg, but it needs to convey the full scope of your company’s message. Choose carefully and you will have the perfect endurable brand identity.

 

Cecily Kellogg became an accidental designer when she worked at a short-handed non-profit and although she now prefers designing with words, the lessons she learned from doing graphic design make her work in content development more well-rounded. She writes about the intersection of family, technology, and social media for Babble Tech and runs her own web content business. She is also known for her raw tone and humor on various social media platforms including her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Cecily lives in the Philadelphia area, is happily married, is mom to a fierce and amazing daughter, and has occasionally been called a bad ass.

1 Comments

  1. Pamela Wilson

    Cecily, thanks so much for sharing a link to Big Brand System! I hope your readers find the brand personality quiz helpful.

    Best wishes,
    Pamela Wilson

    Reply December 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm

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