Designing a website logo is one of the most important things new businesses have to do to establish their place on the market and differentiate themselves from the competition while conveying a clear message to their desired audience.
Business branding is important beyond just conveying the ownership of your brand, it also helps customers recognize your products, as well as helping potential customers decide on their first purchase.
A logo tells them the level of quality, price, brand values, how long the brand has existed and more. Even if it’s more subconscious, website logos can share powerful messages with customers and in this article, we’ll show you how.
Starting with the importance of a good website logo design to sharing tips on designing one, and finally showing you how to redesign an existing logo.
Importance of good logo design
Your logo is a communication tool that will appear on your products, social media, website, official documentation, business cards, and more. Therefore, it is visible to everyone in your company, stakeholders, consumers, and potential customers. With all that being said, it’s easy to see how your logo design can affect brand performance.
Think about it, you would have to have a very strong character not to get hungry just from seeing golden arches or the words Burger King nestled in between two buns. Descriptive logos like those do well with customers because they tell a broader story.
When you’re not familiar with the brand, a more descriptive logo will tell you more about it and its products than a non-descriptive logo, like let’s say something entirely made from basic typography.
Your website logo is supposed to invoke a positive emotion with your audience. It should advertise your values, as well as the experience you provide to your customers. An unprofessional logo will make people second guess your ability to deliver quality products and services.
Depending on your industry, people take a certain amount of time deciding between brands and if you belong in the category where people make snap judgments, they may reach for your competitors if they don’t connect with your logo.
A good logo needs to be clear, small, work in different sizes and create the same associations for everyone in your target audience. Let’s get into the specifics.
Storytelling in a corporate setting
No matter how old we get, we love a great story. It serves as a bonding experience and helps us build relationships with other people as well as brands. What customers are buying, at the end of the day, isn’t just a product or service, but a promise that their life will be made easier after the purchase.
That’s how winning marketing campaigns are made. Companies that sell kitchenware usually don’t put too much emphasis on the process of creating said items. That would be too technical for people to understand.
Instead, they create a lifestyle around their products. They show the health benefits of using their dishes and utensils, they show how families gather around the dinner table, as well as how much time you can save while using their slow cookers that prepare the food while you’re at work.
Showing the bigger picture is a huge part of marketing storytelling. Logos have the same ability to tell a story and help people connect with your brand. Designers use cultural, sociological and artistic cues in order to humanise brands and help people relate to characteristics they perceive as positive.
One of the ways you can do this is by evoking nostalgia. Some brands use typography that resembles the trends of the childhood years of their target audience or the year the brand was established in order to get people thinking about a certain time in their lives.
Another way you can use storytelling in designing your website logo is by telling your company values. Every company has a set of values, whether it be social issues, ecology, ethical farming, sustainability, or something else.
Those values can be intertwined in the fabric of your brand identity and subsequently, your logo. Seeing a green logo automatically makes people think of an eco-friendly company that strives to be sustainable. Logos that incorporate a picture of the Earth, or a triangle made from arrows invoke the same associations.
Make sure it’s scalable
Your website logo needs to be versatile, meaning it needs to work for a variety of different situations. It needs to have the ability to adapt to work with different colour backgrounds, even ones that aren’t monochromatic.
Once you work those factors in, your logo should also be scalable and easily adaptable for any size - from a billboard to a business card. This means that your logo firstly needs to have good proportions between all the elements in it.
As you can see in the picture above, Heineken has different variations for its logo, since the first one has a lot of small elements that would be undetected in a small format.
Secondly, your website logo needs to be clear enough that it doesn’t lose its form in a big format. It needs to stay recognizable and have an impact at any size, so we suggest not putting too many details on it.
The best way to secure your logo looking good in all situations is to have it made in vector format, so keep that in mind whether you're using a logo maker or having it professionally made.
Let the colours tell your story
Did you know that colour improves brand recognition up to 80%? Your choice of colour should first of all depend on your industry. Because there is an unofficial colour palette for every industry, yet you want to distance yourself from the competition, so it’s a tricky situation.
If you think about it, you’ll realize that blue symbolizes calmness, health and clear skies, so it’s easy to see why cosmetic companies that use clean ingredients use it, just like aeroplane companies and health care providers.
Food companies, on the other hand, won’t use blue as much, since it’s not a common food colour, unlike yellow or orange. A big factor in the colour you choose should be the feeling you want to evoke with your customers.
Do you want them to feel tranquillity (blue + green), optimism (yellow), know that you’re a luxury brand (black or purple) or that women are in charge of your company (pink)? Let’s take a deeper dive into those colours.
Red is the colour of passion, usually associated with love, strong emotions and even anger. It is stimulating and signifies strength. It’s not a colour that blends in the background. It motivates us to act and that’s why it’s often used for sale signs.
With all that being said, it’s easy to see why brands would use the colour for their logos, after all, it does attract attention more than other colours. However, it can be overbearing, especially if you use more than one shade of it in your branding.
Orange is a colour that also brings attention but it evokes feelings of optimism and confidence. It’s a warm colour that stimulates appetites and goes nicely with earth tones. It is a playful colour often used for children’s products, as well as brands that help adults connect with their inner child.
Yellow is a colour that symbolises creativity, happiness and summer. It’s said to help people memorize things, which makes sense once you realize it’s the most popular highlighter and post-it colour.
It will evoke mostly positive emotions with your audience, however, it needs to be paired with other accent colours, otherwise, it will create a sense of anxiety. Yellow can symbolize affordability, with brands like Ikea and most fast food brands out there using it in their branding. If you’re aiming for a high-end solution, we don’t recommend using yellow.
Green is the colour of nature, ecology, organic ingredients and sustainability. Lighter shades symbolize eco-friendly, healing solutions, while darker ones can represent money and greed. Don’t worry, we won’t make you read our high school essays on the symbolism of the green light in The Great Gatsby, just make sure you’re using the right shade if you choose green as your main colour.
Shades that resemble turquoise and mint are often used to symbolize healing, tranquillity and peace.
Blue also symbolises serenity, peace, calmness and trust. It can also represent loyalty, which is why you can often see politicians and policemen wear it. Blue is often used by healthcare providers, IT companies and anyone who wants to evoke the opposite of red emotions.
Seeing how most people choose blue as their favourite colour, it can help you build loyalty among your customers. Make sure to find the perfect shade for your needs, since a deep blue can seem predictable and boring for some industries.
Purple is the colour of royalty, it screams luxury, spirituality and sensuality. It is often used in the branding of high-end products and services. That opened the door for some more affordable brands to use it in their branding and have customers relate purple to high-quality items.
Purple also has this touch of femininity that cosmetic brands use to their benefit. It’s a playful colour that works amazingly with almost all other colours.
Pink is the colour that when used in branding transparently shows that the target audience is women. It’s the colour of womanhood, both playful and mature and it’s often used to brand girl’s toys, make-up, lingerie and more.
Over time, different shades infiltrated all aspects of our lives and now millennial pink makes strides as the gender-neutral shade men are not afraid to wear.
White on the other hand symbolizes innocence, cleanliness and youth. It’s often the background for websites and price tags so it’s safe to say your logo will appear on it most often. It’s used to brand and sell athletic clothes since it works as a great contrast for often heavily branded items.
It’s not often used as the main colour in a logo. More often than not it’s an accent colour. However, most brands will have an all-white version of their website logo to use on colourful backgrounds, since it works better than black in attracting people’s attention.
Black is a modern and luxurious colour often found in high-end retail. It gives the classic brands a modern edge and helps them reach a new audience. If you’re looking for similar symbolism but want to appear more affordable, reach for grey shades.
With all that being said, we recommend you use one main colour and add a few accent colours to create a rounded picture in your audience’s mind.
Use it to build your brand identity
The typography, colours and symbolism of your website logo can be used to build the rest of your brand identity. Once you pick those elements, create a compelling story told through the design.
That brand identity should serve as a guide for all your future marketing efforts. While the design is the most important part here, you should also think about brand messaging and how it will tie into the big picture.
Every time you start working on a new campaign or think about making changes to your marketing strategy, you should think about how you’ll work in these elements. Just because you pick a colour palette, it doesn’t mean you won’t change it up a bit for certain launches or play with different shades in the future.
Let professionalism set you apart from your competitors
Sometimes brands go for logos that feel like a gimmick. The thing is if you’re trying to be interesting to kids, you need to keep in mind that their parents are the ones buying the products.
Standing out amongst your competitors with a “quirky” logo is not the way to go, since it will appear unprofessional and make people doubt the quality of your products. Make sure your logo is made and tested by professionals.
What we mean by that is that your logo must first be accepted by designers, before you ask your target audience for their opinions.
When to go for a non-descriptive logo
There are a few situations when you should go for a non-descriptive logo that doesn’t say a lot about your company or industry. If your company is a part of the industries people don’t like to associate with or think about, like funeral homes and the tobacco industry.
Since people have animosity towards certain industries and don’t like to think about death, the logo and brand identity these industries use are most often non-descriptive and consist of one colour and standard typography.
Once you design your logo it will be on every product you make, every email you send, and every webinar you host, so it’s going to have the power to spread awareness of our brand and become the reason your brand is recognizable. The more people see your logo and products, the more trust they’re going to place in your brand. This is how you’ll build your brand authority and accessibility.
Once people fall in love with your brand, they’ll look for your logo on more products and will be more likely to try them out and get in touch. In that sense, your logo will help you build loyalty. That’s why it’s important to choose one logo and keep using it on all of your products and services. A lot of companies will change up their logo every once in a while, just because they think it will intrigue customers. However, this is a bad idea, since it makes it harder for people to find your products in a store.
Refreshing a logo can be a good idea, but it can only be done once you establish yourself in the market and create a community around your products. If you’re a new company, stick to your logo and don’t think that changing it up will be a good marketing strategy.
Take your logo offline
Print is a different ball game. Once you take your logo offline, you need to know the correct size (at least 300 dpi) and you need to make sure the colours are as true to the original as possible.
Putting your brand in someone else’s hands is not easy, but if you create a brand book for others to use as a guideline, you can rest easy. A brand guide tells others the exact way you want them to use your logo so that they don’t use it in the wrong proportions, colour and in a way that clashes with other logos.
Redesign your logo if needed
Just like McDonald’s, Burger King, Coca-Cola and more, famous brands go through rebrandings and change their logos and visual identity. It helps the brand seem more up-to-date and relatable to a younger audience.
Other times, brands go through some changes and need a new logo that reflects the new company goals. Also, sometimes the market changes so much that you need to put different services front and centre.
If this is the case for you, make sure to improve your logo in a way that will still conserve brand recognition and tell people the new direction your brand has taken.
The importance of your logo design should not be underestimated, because it holds so much power as a marketing tool, a way to build loyalty amongst your customers and a differentiator that sets you apart from your competitors.