What is a logo?  

I’m Kyle Floyd, director of design at Stone Ward and I’m here to talk about logos. Let’s start by defining them. What is a logo? The logo is a graphic device used to aid and the recognition or understanding of something. It’s your most noticeable brand asset and it has an immediate and lasting impact on how customers think about your brand.

Types of logos: Wordmarks, Monograms, Pictorial, and Abstract

Logos generally fall into these four categories. The first is called wordmark. A wordmark is simply a logo without a symbol, just the characters in your brand’s name. If you think this category is boring, just remember, just because you don’t have a symbol doesn’t mean you can’t have a personality.

Monogram logos, take the initials of your brand’s name and create an interesting visual device from it. Initials can help a long name become a more familiar nickname and many monograms have become truly iconic in culture.

Pictorial logos contain easily recognizable objects from real life. They can be simplified or exaggerated, but because they have a known symbol, there are fewer cognitive barriers to recognition.

An abstract logo is more about a feeling than an actual thing. A logo can use shapes to convey things like motion, security, or connectedness. This can be difficult to pull off, but when it works, it really works.

Creating a Purposeful, Recognizable, and Noticeable Logo

So what makes a great logo? First, you have to start with a purpose. Don’t view your logo just as a decoration. View it as a tool to help you achieve your goals. It might be a simple shape, but it will serve as the cornerstone to your brand. Make it memorable. Visuals lead to recognition way more than words. So choose them carefully. You can introduce a brand new color in your category. Use the power of symbols to make people notice, because if they don’t notice you, they won’t get to know you.

Logos: The Face of Your Company 

Surrounded with a system just like your own face and the way you dress. Your logo makes a first impression. But a real relationship comes with time. A carefully planned system of design and brand personality helps you be consistent when talking to your customers. It has to be flexible. It used to be about the sign on a door or the side of a truck, but now logos live everywhere. How does it look as your Twitter Avatar? Does it move? Can it change color? Your brand has to belong in the space it inhabits or customers will look elsewhere.

Take a look at your company’s logo and analyze whether it’s doing your brand a favor. If your reaction is lukewarm, then chances are your customers feel that way too. Remember that symbols have incredible powers of persuasion. If you choose the right ones, they may be small, but they can be mighty. If you’re wondering if the time is right to rebrand your brand, don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. You can find me at KFloyd@stoneward.com.