The Anatomy Of A Logo

Not all Logos are not created equal.

Congratulations! You’ve started a business. Next, you’re sitting there with … “now what” … thoughts. What’s next? Do I create a website, business card, flyer, logo, social media…? Where do I start, Should I hire someone to help? Should I go the DIY route?

 

 

You are not alone in these thoughts.

I hear this all of the time, and I’m here to help. First, breathe. I know how you can have a paralyzing, overwhelmed feeling of the unknown. I understand the thoughts mulling around in your head … The “What If, I choose the wrong thing” thoughts. This feeling of being overwhelmed and/or paralyzed can be easily remedied by sharing your vision with a brand strategist who can craft your brand strategy. and a designer who can implement that strategy.

First, it is always a good idea to talk to a Brand Strategist.

Why? Because yes, now that you started your new company, you will soon see it is not really about you, it is about your ideal customer and attracting them to you. A Brand Strategist will help you nail down how to make your brand stand out from your competitors and to your ideal customer. They will help you figure out who your ideal customer is and where those customers hang out (online and offline). They will also assist you with naming products or services and where to start in the process.

Once you have completed these efforts, the next step is to focus on the creation of your brand’s identity. It’s appearance to the world. You will want to create a design and color palette that is symbolic for what you brand is, what it offers, and ultimately, to make it attract the clientele that will propel your brand forward.

To start this process, you will want to do a little recon…

  • Study your competition (small and big) and how they appear to the world.
  • Study your ideal customer. Know their likes, dislikes, where they hang out, and general feelings toward one brand over another.
  • Create a mood board of colors and images that captures the feelings you think your ideal client should have for your company.
  • Gather styles, and other logos that align with the vision for your brand.

A good place to collect colors, images, styles and logos is on Pinterest. Create a board, and share this board with your brand strategist. They may also put together a separate board for you based on your work with them and their experience with attracting the exact clientele you are after.

Next you will want to get help from a designer. The designer will implement the strategy created in collaboration with your brand strategist to best capture the essence of your brand and to resonate with your ideal customer.

The foundation for your brand identity begins with the creation of your logo.

A logo is the starting point for all of your branding and marketing pieces online and offline.

It determines the style, feeling and color palette. It is the visual face of your brand, and helps to shape your potential customer’s opinion about your brand when you are not personally standing in front them. It is a memory tickler to potential or current clients that helps to craft and solidify their feeling about your brand.

One thing to keep in mind is that not that all logos are created equal.

In Fact…Logo Design falls into one of 5 categories.

These five logo categories are:

1. The Wordmark

This type of logo is designed using the brand’s name as the logo itself. Many times, custom fonts or font alterations along with symbolism are used to represent these logo types. This customization can be used for the brands they represent across all of their marketing and branding collateral. Below are examples of companies using the Wordmark logo type.

2. The Lettermark

This type of logo is designed to use one or more first letters from the brand’s name to form a typographically styled logo. Many times, this style of logo is created to showcase a graphic style of the company’s name and is often times used when the name itself is too long. The Lettermark itself is created to give a weight to the name. Below are examples of companies using the Lettermark logo type.

 

 

3. The Emblem

This type of logo is designed to use embed the brand’s name inside of a pictorial element and encases the name within the design. Below are examples of companies using the Emblem logo type.

 

 

4. Pictorial Symbol or Icon

This type of logo is designed to represent the visual element of the brand it represents. Typically, the image is abstract and stylized to give it visual interest. Since, as humans, our minds can remember simple forms easier than complex ones, it is best to avoid getting too elaborate with this logo style. Included below are examples of companies using the Pictorial Symbol or Icon Logo type.

 

 

5. Combination Mark

This type of logo combines a wordmark with a pictorial symbol or icon. These logo types provide the most flexibility for the brands they represent as they can be assembled together as a unit, or the elements of the logo can be pulled apart to stand on their own. A well-designed Combination Mark looks just as good with all elements together as it does with them used separately. Below are examples of companies using the Combination Mark logo type.

 

Yes, I know that the process for creating a logo that best represents your brand and resonates with your ideal customer can be overwhelming and scary.

Your brand strategist and designer are there to hold your hand throughout the process. Start with your logo, colors, and look and feel, and then move your brand forward by creating its business cards, website, social media presence, printed marketing pieces, and other online and offline marketing collateral.

Following these steps will help to create a great client attracting experience.

Enjoy the journey!

 

 

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Gina O'Daniel

Gina is an award-winning designer and brand strategist with over 30 years experience in the design industry and has worked with small start-ups to large corporations both nationally and internationally to ensure their logos, business sets, marketing materials, signage, display advertising, social media design and website work together to ensure brand identity and maximize the company's image potential and profit.

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