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The Effects of Logo Design on Your Brand Image

How to Use Logo Design in Creating Your Brand Image

May 13, 2021
8 MINUTES
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Danica Popovic

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The logo is the first thing people see when they come across your brand. But why is it important, and how does it influence the success of your business?.

Logo design is just one element of your brand identity. Or is it? Actually, logo design is the foundation on which your brand is built.

So if you want to know how a logo design impacts your brand image, and why it is important for the success of your business, read on as we explain everything you need to know through real-life examples.

Brand identity vs brand image

Although the two terms are very similar, and often used interchangeably, there is a key difference between them. Both are necessary to create good branding.

Brand identity is how you want consumers to perceive your business. Brand image is how they actually perceive it. In an ideal scenario, these two are perfectly aligned, but when creating a logo, it’s important to remember to take into account what you want your brand messaging to be, and how your target audience might perceive it.

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A very basic example would be a white logo intended to represent purity or marriage, whereas in many Asian cultures it’s the color of mourning.

Logo elements and how to use them in building a brand image

Every logo consists of different design elements that will each give your overall brand image a different quality. Here are essential elements of a logo, and how they can shape your brand.

Color

Choosing a color for your logo is one of the most difficult decisions that you’ll have to make. Every design decision you make about your logo will impact the rest of your visual identity since you should use these elements across all visual assets to enforce brand recognition.

However, color is arguably the thing that has the most striking visual impact. A study from the University of Loyola showed that color can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.

Choosing a color to fit your brand identity should be based on three things: color theory, color psychology and your brand’s mission, vision and values.

Color theory and psychology allow designers to choose colors based on their qualities (are they warm, contrasting, primary, etc.), and some generally established meaning behind them. However, these two should always be assessed according to what kind of image you want to achieve for your brand.

For example, although red is often associated with love and passion, it could seem a little too “traditional” for a modern app that completely changed the way people date. For that reason, Tinder’s logo combines traditional imagery for passion (flame), with modern color gradients that appeal to a younger audience.

tinder logo.png

Typography

Not all logos have letters in them, but there are plenty of iconic logos consisting of letters only (also known as logotypes).

Of course, the name of the brand and what it sounds like has an immense impact on the brand image. A name in a language that isn’t English might be difficult to pronounce for international audiences (there’s a funny line about Cartier in the movie Ocean’s 8), but it could also give your brand a sense of exclusivity and uniqueness.

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However, something that’s a little more universal, and therefore perhaps even more powerful in creating a brand image, is the way the brand name is written. It’s no coincidence that some of the biggest luxury brands have very similar logos. They had a shared target audience, and often similar, or shared values (exclusivity, luxury, stylishness, etc.)

New fonts are created almost every day, so finding one that will fit your brand won’t be too difficult. However, it makes a lot of sense to hire a designer to create a custom font for your logo. There are several reasons for this:

  • It will make your brand more unique
  • It can prevent copyright infringement (you can trademark the logo, but also the font)
  • You can make several uses of it to create a consistent brand identity

If you need further proof, just consider the longest-running logotype in history: the Coca Cola logo which remained almost unchanged in over 100 years.

This great logotype works for 2 reasons: the company name itself sounds catchy (which was the logo creator Frank Robinson also thought), and the custom typography perfectly captures the fun and sweet nature of the brand and iconic drink.

Coca Cola.jpg

Graphical elements

A graphical element in a logo can be accompanied by a wordmark, or stand on its own. Think of brands like Apple or Twitter. Not only do their graphical logos (also called pictorial marks) match the company name, thus eliminating the need for words in the logo; they also represent the brand values in a unique and recognizable way.

In the case of Apple, it’s the biblical fruit with a bite taken from it, symbolizing the human thirst for knowledge (and the innovative company’s mission to quench it).

In the case of Twitter, the symbolism is tied to the company name—it’s a platform that allows all voices to be heard, in a delightful (or sometimes not so delightful) symphony of opinions, experiences and different discourses.

So, if you want to use a graphical element in your logo, make sure it’s more than just decorative. The image you settle on can make a strong visual impact and build a connection between you and potential clients.

Of course, make sure that it matches the style of your industry. In both of the aforementioned cases, the images were done in a minimalist, flat style which fits the trends of the tech industry. Compare it to another well-known pictorial mark, Airbnb’s Belo sign, which has a more human, hand-drawn quality.

apple airbnb twitter.png

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Danica Popovic

May 13, 2021

Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.