Logo design may seem all about appearance, but online it’s actually equal parts practicality and psychology. Every element of your design will convey an internet marketing message to your customers, telling them about your business’ personality, reputation and aspirations.

Here are some of the factors that count in your logo, and what your choices say about your company:

Colour

Colour is a major factor in a logo. Above anything else, it will create an impression of your company’s personality and even the industry you operate in.

  • Bold and brash – primary colours convey strong emotions. They can also be used when dealing with children’s products. A single primary colour is usually strongly related to a single emotion, such as red for passion and danger. It’s important to be very careful when only using primary colours, as too many strong colours can look a little amateur.
  • Pastels for subtlety – many companies tone down their colours, creating a gentler impression. The sole use of pastels can mute all emotions within the logo, but a mix of a strong colour complemented by a lighter colour can consolidate a theme. A primary blue and a pastel blue, for example, can create a feeling of tranquillity, while primary green and pastel green convey both nature and growth.
  • Corporate greys and sombre shades – as you might guess, sombre colours tend to be used to convey a professional, reputable feel. Navy blue has long been the colour of establishment and reliability. Too many sombre shades can make you seem aloof, which is alright in some industries but use carefully.

Getting the words right

Logos don’t tend to be wordy, but many contain at least a word or two. The font you choose will convey another layer of information. There’s a reason that marketers pay attention to the classic typographic techniques of using serif fonts. Serif fonts, the ones with the little tags on the letters such as Times New Roman, create a flow of information. Sans serif, for example Arial, provides clearer reading. There’s also the consideration of the style and fanciness of your font – too fancy a font can make your logo hard to read and make your company seem too fussy. You may also choose your font according to the demographic of your audience.

Another consideration is which case in which to put your text. Using all lowercase lettering can send the message that your company is simple and down to earth, and proper capitalisation can add to the feeling of authority. Be aware that all capitals read as shouting in the online world, so that MY COMPANY can seem a little brash. Your word choice can influence your SEO and internet marketing, too.

And all the rest…

Perhaps one of the most famously 'bad' logos belongs to the Instituto de Estudos Orientais - just in case you're wondering it's an oriental style building in front of a red sun

It might seem strange that I’ve kept the actual design until last, but this is because the graphic of your logo has a smaller impact than other elements. Sure, a cute cartoon of a puppy will convey a certain amount of information to your customers, but it’s often the colour, font and text that a person perceives first. A word to the wise though – if you are using graphics in your logo, make sure they can’t be misinterpreted to have different meanings from that which you intended!

More relevant than the actual picture are the lines that compose it. Sharp lines convey power, but they also convey a certain harshness. Softer lines and gentle curves can create a gentle feeling, more suitable for personal products or services.

Before you do any design on your logo, it is absolutely vital to research your target market. You must know what will appeal before you’re able to create something appealing. As many businesses have found out to their dismay, personal preferences play only a small part in good logo design!

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