September 28, 2022

The science behind effective brand logos

At the heart of any successful company’s brand lies a well-known brand logo.

The science behind effective brand logos

At the heart of any successful company’s brand lies a well-known brand logo. It is the principal design element of your business and serves as a visual representation of your company's personality.A logo must be recognisable, versatile and timeless. While this sets the bar very high for one small design, there is a science behind developing logos. Colours, shapes, levels of description, and the influence they have on consumer behaviour all have their parts in designing an effective brand logo.

To be descriptive or not descriptive, that is the question

A descriptive logo includes a textual or visual design element that clearly communicates the type of product or service the brand offers. The most popular example of a descriptive brand logo is Burger King. Within the logo, the name of the company accompanies the picture of a burger, successfully communicating the nature of the product being sold. Conversely, the golden arches of the McDonald’s logo don’t include a name or a visual depiction of the products they sell, meaning they are non-descriptive.If you’re wondering which is best, a recent study into the effect of logo design on brand equity for 597 different companies found descriptive logos to be far more effective at increasing equity than non-descriptive logos. It comes from the increased ease with which descriptive logos can be visually processed.Humans see a lot of branded advertisements throughout their lives. Some are simple to process and others less so. The easier it is to comprehend the product being offered, the more authentic the brand appears to the consumer. And in turn, the more likely they are to buy from them.Descriptive is the way to go when it comes to brand logos, in order to best engage consumers.

Shape up or ship out

One core element of every brand logo is shape, which communicates significantly about a brand’s style and identity. From geometric shapes, like squares and triangles to more organic shapes, such as curves and spirals. As well as specifically-developed shapes for your organisation (think the Amazon arrow or Nike tick). All such shapes have implicit meanings and suggestions, and your target market will pick up on them too.Even the number of angles in your logo influences its impact. A study from the Journal of Consumer Research suggests that the level of circularity or angularity of a brand logo has the power to influence consumer perceptions of a company and its products. With the smoothness or harshness of the logo communicating differing meanings, from calm and stable to determined and contemporary.

Fortune favours the bold… colours

Another key element is colour. The colour palette of any brand contributes to both its recognition and differentiation from competitors. It is essential to find colours that fit the aesthetic of your company but allow it to stand apart from others in the marketplace.The ‘Impact of color on marketing’ study found that consumers make subconscious judgements about products and brands within the first 90 seconds of seeing them. With almost 85% of people citing colour as the key reason behind buying a product and 80% stating colour increases brand recognition.Companies have all the colours of the rainbow to play with – as long as you choose colours that are dissimilar to those of your competitors! Of the warm tones, red is loud and energetic, yellow is youthful and positive, orange shows vitality and playfulness. On the other hand, blue offers calm and confidence, green is a natural, tranquil presence, and purple is traditionally associated with luxury in Europe. Classic colours such as black suggest professionalism and power, white offers a sense of purity and sophistication and grey a modern, efficient feel.Whilst all colours can be linked to many positive attributes, not all will fit your company’s identity. If you are unsure of which colours to choose, spend some time as part of your business and marketing strategy processes identifying those that may fit.

To know thy market

Beyond your own preferences for colour, shape and description, the culture and context of a company's own market clientele must be considered. For example, while some colours and shapes are cross-cultural, others hold very different meanings across the world.Take the colour purple. In England, it has come to be thought of as the colour of wealth and royalty, but in Thailand, it symbolises the colour of mourning. If your company intends to operate internationally, it is advisable to consider these aspects when creating logo concepts.This may seem like any overwhelming amount of information to consider. But if you take the design process one step at a time, you can’t go far wrong. And above all else, it is essential to remember that your brand logo should only ever represent one business… yours.Do you need support on your branding strategy or need a fresh pair of eyes to update your existing logo? Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.


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