It’s undoubtedly true that all businesses need a strong brand identity to claim their share of their target market. It’s vital to success as it’s the key to recognition, familiarisation and reputation. Yet often, logo design is a necessary (yet frustrating) ‘evil’ – an aspect of the conception process which is rushed through after a name has been confirmed so that business can commence. Yet all sales and marketing activity a business engages in following conception hinges on the perception of outsiders – and a logo is an instrumental part of this.
In this article we discuss why branding should never be an afterthought – and why a logo is still crucial for businesses of all sizes and natures.
A strong logo creates a powerful brand
Most of the world’s biggest, most powerful brands can be identified instantly by their logo alone. In some cases the logo consists of just a few lines, or an iconic symbol, a single letter or a colour.
Your logo gives you a presence where words and other design techniques are unable to – on signage, for example, or in the form of a social media icon. It also forms the basis for all other marketing material and for important integral elements such as stationery, uniforms and vehicle livery. Your whole business identity hinges on your logo – so it’s crucial that it speaks to your audience in a way that makes them feel as though they’re confident in engaging with your brand.
The logo for the Michelin company has always been the Michelin tyre man, who’s shape, level of intensity, and size originated from the company’s early days. The tyre man was inspired by a pile of tyres that Édouard Michelin imagined to be a man when they were attending the Lyon Universal Exhibition. In 1989, the Michelin man was created by O’Galop.
Your logo design conveys your message subliminally
A logo’s ability to deliver multiple messages about a company or product without words is undoubtedly the main reason it can have a powerful impact (positively or negatively) on a business. Predominantly a logo is the first impression potential customers are exposed to, so if it’s amateurish, inappropriate or confusing you could lose business as a result.
Mistakenly some companies invest in complex logos which confuse or frustrate their demographic, when often the simplest yet intelligent designs are the most eye-catching and compelling. Another common mistake businesses make involves directly lifting ideas and colour schemes from an existing successful brand – which immediately causes confusion and looks cheap, even if it does initially command attention. Your logo needs to be original and tailored to your business with your clients in mind to set you apart from your competition.
As the second largest hamburger fast food chain in the world, the Burger King logo has developed a recognition second only to that of the McDonald’s “Golden Arch.” Starting with a simple logotype of “Burger King” in 1954, the company introduced the complex logo of the Burger King character sitting atop a burger the following year. The character of the King remains in use to this day in the brand’s advertising, though the logo faced a monumental evolution in 1969 with the introduction of the “Bun Halves” design. Now instantly recongnisable, the Bun Halves design of 1969 remains a key element in the Burger King brand image.