Business Anatomy of an Effective Logo

Over the years, we have seen thousands if not millions of logos. What makes a logo memorable? Does having a memorable logo sell more products or services? Should we even care? Heck yeah we should! As designers, it is imperative that we understand how our aesthetic perspective can translate into bottom line business results. I would like every designer to stop asking questions like, “What colors do you like?” or even, “What do you want in this logo?” That should be your job. I want to discuss a few key concepts and ideas here that will give our logos more depth.

Is a logo the brand of a company?

My answer is not entirely. Brands are complex creatures that involve a number of components working together to create positive (or sometimes negative) emotions for customers — a logo being one of those components. The logo should embody the brand of a business. When I start to develop a logo, I always try to understand a client’s brand by asking questions about how they want their customers to view their brand. Allowing them to only use adjectives can really help. Asking simple questions like these will help you create an embodiment of their brand in the form of a logo.

What is the demographic for the logo?

This is a crucial component to understand because it will let you know how edgy and creative you can be. If you are targeting male college students, your choice of type font and color will be significantly different than if you’re targeting first time mothers.

Here are some examples that I think are pretty good.

Pampers Logo

GungHo Energy Logo

The energy drink industry has a different target demographic than a company selling children’s products. Each respective company used the principles of design very effectively to appeal to their core audience.

What separates your business from your competitors?

The first two questions were broad but helped us get a birds eye view of our customer’s brand. This question really narrows down the most important message of a company. Having a clean answer to this question can really help you get to know the soul of the company. For example, let’s say a new shipping company comes along and they will ship your packages anywhere in the world. They are targeting families and businesses alike. Seems like we have heard this story before until we ask this question. The difference is this company can ship your products twice as fast as any other company using a molecular transport machine. That key point of differentiation should be incorporated into your logo somehow.

There are hundreds of other questions we could ask, however, I feel like this is a good start and we get the idea.