Woman's head with education icons

Logo design is one of the most important aspects of a successful business venture. From a psychological standpoint, this visual detail is the key to generating widespread appeal. An iconic design can help transform a small brand into a big name. There are a lot of ways to maximize the effectiveness of a logo. Because advertising is meant to entrain the subconscious mind, brand imagery holds a lot of sway over consumers. Here is an in-depth guide to the cognitive elements of logo creation:

Color Choices

The fastest way to communicate a company’s purpose is through color-coded imagery. Every profession can be distinctly represented by a matching shade on the color wheel. According to The Huffington Post, all brand logos can be summed up by the unconscious messaging that occurs through color selections.

For example, yellow and gold are supposed to showcase optimism and clarity. As proof, brands that opt for this hue include AOL, McDonald’s and Best Buy. Meanwhile, orange reveals friendly confidence and cheerfulness. Outgoing orange companies include Nickelodeon and Hooters. To generate excitement, businesses often pick red for its boldness. Nintendo, Coca-Cola and Lego are just a few of the assertive companies that rely on red. On the other hand, purple reveals creativity. The powerful purple companies include Taco Bell and Barbie. Blue is utilized to bolster trust, which is why it is incorporated by Facebook and Twitter. Finally, green is used to signify growth, peace and health. Environmental organizations often affix green to their logos. Popular green groups include Whole Foods, Tropicana and Starbucks. On a side note, rainbow colored logos symbolize a brand that multitasks. For example, look at Google’s multicolored flair!

Font & Readability

If text is involved, the typeface must be clear enough to allow easy reading. Consumers are not going invest extra time in deciphering an incomprehensible font. Cursive should be avoided to make sure everyone can ascertain the company’s name. Many people do not even process words at all. The brain picks up pictures 60% faster than accompanying text, so athropomorphic symbols work best. Target’s target logo is a great example of this trend!

As such, many established brands eschew text entirely, but this is not a wise move for new start-ups. Any company that wants traffic needs to have their primary search term ready. Otherwise, impressed onlookers will have no way to look up a brand. There is no way to Google a flashy logo by memory, so make sure to include some variation of the brand’s name.

Graphic Design

Compelling imagery is tantamount to building brand recognition. The illusion of motion can prevent a company from acquiring the appearance of stagnation. It can also tie into a company’s core offering. A strong example of this comes from Hertz. As a car rental company, their slanted lines mimic the zooming look of speedy transportation. Overall, the picture should be accessible to the masses.

Ease of Reproduction & Originality

For logo designers, this is the major tightrope that needs to be walked. The symbol has to be distinct enough to earn an official trademark, but it will defy public notice if the picture is too complex or too generalized. On the other end of the spectrum, logos that are too simple can be copied without fear of copyright issues. For example, Wal-Mart and AIM have respectively utilized smiley faces and stick figures. Their ad campaigns have been effective, but they have no recourse when it comes to stopping copycats. Brands like Nike don’t have this problem, and their basic check mark icon is now a worldwide indicator of success.


The logo serves as a platform that everything else stands on. A compelling logo will naturally catch the eye from afar, which will generate more public attention for a company’s next move. Because there is nothing else that looks like the famous icon, zero confusion will exist among new loyalists. When a logo is clearly one of a kind, people will attribute the same level of uniqueness to its brand.

Simplified Version

The best brands possess logos that can be condensed into shorter versions for quicker advertising. Ultimately, a good logo will be used in a variety of fashions. Often times, it will be shrunk to fit a website’s thumbnail image. It is also expected to be splashed across the top as a header. Mentally, fans will appreciate seeing such adaptive prowess. A company that knows how to handle its logo probably knows how to handle other important things too!

Sense of Humor

In this day and age, people don’t like a brand that takes itself too seriously. Funny qualities will help broaden any companies appeal. This is especially true for makers of kids toys and entertainment products. Puns always help a company reach new audiences, and a crafty logo can be adapted for clever social media advertising through this route. Being silly never hurts a media oriented brand. For example, Nickelodeon has endured for generations with their signature slime splat logo. Meanwhile, reputable news organizations stay away from any symbol that might detract from their balanced journalism and stern credibility.

Final Note

The world of advertising is a psychological game, and the logo is always the first element that is introduced. To instill a positive reception among large audiences, it is smart to grasp how the inner mind functions. With the aforementioned tips, any company can create a lively logo with mass public appeal!

Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in interior design and home decor. She currently writes for www.custom-mats.com, a leading vendor of plain and custom mats.

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