Your logo is your company’s calling card and the foundation of your brand’s identity. Every new business owner wants a logo that is not only aesthetically appealing, but also unique to your brand’s mission and instantly recognizable. Hitting all of these targets, however, can require some delicate balancing. To add even more pressure, it’s also imperative to get the logo right as early on in your brand’s lifespan as possible. Sure you can make subtle updates along the way, but constantly overhauling your logo can be problematic, because it’s confusing and distancing for audiences. Furthermore, designing an effective logo in 2017 also requires an adherence to multiple digital environments. Your logo will be seen across desktops, tablets, and smartphones —it may even evolve into an application icon. Starting the design process with these variables in mind will save you from potential setbacks when your logo is ready to be implemented across your site and marketing campaigns.

The stakes of designing the first iteration of your brand’s logo can feel incredibly high. However, there are simple steps you can follow to keep you from getting overwhelmed.

Story First

Your logo isn’t just a pretty design — it’s a communication tool. The story your logo tells is ultimately more important than the overall aesthetic or incorporated design trends. The most effective logos on the market today communicate the essence of the brands they represent. Think of Amazon’s logo, the name of the company is underscored by a yellow smiley symbol and an arrow. Both of those subtle graphics communicate Amazon’s overall mission: to deliver customer satisfaction with just a click of a button. To tell a succinct story within your company logo, you must first nail down your mission and target audience characteristics. If you lead with a deep understanding of your company’s future goals, the visual will follow. If you didn’t have something new to offer or say, you wouldn’t be starting a brand. Remember, your story is powerful, and it should shine through in your company’s logo.

Shape Your Brand

When the brain is confronted with a distinct shape, color, or symbol, it immediately applies the image to a certain type of message. Design magazine Creative Bloq recently expounded on the natural messages of specific shapes – circles, squares, and triangles – in the context of logos.

  • Circles give off a positive and emotional energy. Circles are related to human connection and partnership.

Examples: LG and Starbucks

  • Triangles are often subconsciously associate with power, science, and religion.

Examples: Google Drive and Mitsubishi

  • Squares evoke practicality, balance, and stability.

Examples: LinkedIn and American Express

Add Some Color

Colors are often the most memorable facets of a logo; people always remember the red in Coca-Cola’s logo and the green in BP’s. Logo colors stay with us because colors create emotional responses. In fact, colors play a significant role in purchasing decisions. 85% of consumers even cite color as the primary reason behind their decisions to buy certain products. Additional, 80% cite color as a strong factor in brand recognition. In 2006, Satyendra Singh from the University of Winnipeg took a closer look at the impact of color on marketing. Singh found that people make subconscious product judgments within 90 seconds of viewing, and between 62% and 90% of judgments are based on color alone. So before you set your heart on a specific shade, you must first understand what your chosen color will immediately communicate to potential customers:

Blue is associated with the sea and sky, and gives off feelings of calm and trust.

Yellow is closely linked to the sun and immediately creates feelings of optimism.

Red is associated with heat and risk. It is seen as a powerful and aggressive color.

Green is unsurprisingly associated with nature, and communicates health and luck.

Orange is also linked to the sun and emanates feelings of energy and balance.

Purple is often seen as a color linked to spirituality, royalty, and mystery.


The logo font you choose can be just as telling as your brand’s tagline. Like shapes and colors, fonts also immediately project specific messages. For example, Times New Roman is closely linked with tradition, whereas Helvetic is viewed as a bold and modern font and script communicates an air of sophistication. For example, can you imagine Facebook written out in script or Nike in Times New Roman? Probably not, because the specific associations with those fonts are entirely unrelated to the messaging those brands want to convey.

There is bound to be a bit of trial error throughout the design process. And that’s ok ,in fact — it’s welcome, because tweaking means that you’re likely incorporating user feedback and A/B testing results. Because your logo will serve as the basis of your brand’s identity, it has to be given the breathing room to evolve with your brand and audience.