A logo may not be the entirety of your brand identity, but it is certainly the most visible and recognizable part of it. As an extension of your company’s purpose and mission, your logo is a powerful and poignant way to represent your business to the world and showcase your abilities, strengths, and what makes you different at a glance. To help you leverage this important symbol as effectively as possible, we’ve put together this guide detailing what a logo is, why it’s so important, and how you can create one of your own.
A logo is a visual representation of your business, brand, product, or service. Made of colors, shapes, icons, and a typeface, a logo is a consistent presence of your brand across all platforms, both in print and digitally. It helps customers quickly identify your brand.
While you may not think about your logo — or other company’s logos — every day, the fact that you notice, recognize, and remember them is precisely why they’re important for your business. The three major reasons why you need a logo are:
Logos appear across a variety of digital and print materials to instantly connect customers to your company. Some places you’ll see a logo used include:
Every logo is composed of several parts beyond simply writing out your company name. Here’s what you can expect to include when you make a logo:
If you’re feeling a little stuck on what you want your logo to look like, turn to some of the biggest and most famous brands in the world to see what makes their logos so successful. Here are some great examples to follow:
Perhaps one of the most iconic logos out there, the Nike “swoosh” checks all the boxes (pun intended) for memorable logos. The design itself is uncomplicated and it has a good backstory, and it’s said to represent the wings of the Greek goddess of victory after which the brand is named. That speed and agility speaks directly to Nike’s brand values, providing quality athletic products to professional and casual athletes alike.
The burger chain’s “golden arches,” often set against a red backdrop, are immediately recognizable around the world. It’s considered a master class in success because of its simplicity, as it transcends languages and alphabets while simultaneously reading as an “M” to English speakers. The arches have been a part of the brand since 1968, representing the fast food chain for more than 50 years.
McDonald’s is also a great study in the importance of color. Out of more than 39,000 locations globally, there’s only one place in the world where the golden arches can be seen in a different color: Sedona, Arizona. McDonald’s famously altered the colors from yellow to turquoise at the town’s request, to better conform to Sedona’s rules regarding color use on signage. The occurrence is so unusual and has such an impact on the brand identity that this McDonald’s is considered a tourist attraction.
On its surface, the FedEx logo seems simple: It’s just the name of the company, one part in purple and one part in orange. However, a closer look reveals an arrow between the E and the X. This arrow is a simple and effective representation of FedEx’s global delivery services. Once you notice the arrow, it can’t be unseen, and that’s precisely what makes FedEx’s logo so great.
While Amazon as a brand may be newer to the scene, it deserves a mention in a list of great, famous logos because of its straightforward design. Like FedEx, Amazon also employs an arrow, but this arrow is a prominent part of the logo design. Originally, Amazon said the arrow was to represent its ability to deliver products (originally books) anywhere, but it quickly gained a different meaning: The website delivers all sorts of products, from A to Z.
Car brands evoke strong emotional attachments to drivers who are passionate about cars or have fond memories of the vehicles they rode around in growing up. Mercedes Benz is no different: A symbol of quality and luxury, the famous three-pointed star has been a part of the company’s logo for decades.
The literal fruit depiction, the leaf, the bite on the side: Apple’s logo is one of the most instantly recognizable out there. It’s celebrated because of the simple statement it makes: There are no complicated or intricate designs here, unlike its original logo in the mid-70s. At a single glance, customers know that the product or service is one offered from this inventive and iconic tech company. Fun fact: The bite out of the fruit was included to distinguish this simplified apple shape from a cherry.
There are a few ways to go about creating your logo, depending on your abilities, needs, and vision. One of these three options can help turn your logo’s vision into reality.
When it comes to your logo, that little symbol carries a whole lot of meaning. It’s not just about creating something pretty to symbolize your brand: It’s a way to carry your business forward, no matter the circumstances or environment. Whether you’re just starting out, considering revisiting your branding, or updating your logo, there’s no better time than now to embrace the power your logo can hold.