Your logo is the face of your company. It introduces your brand, sets a precedent for the company’s personality, and provides a visual for the public to recognize and make a connection with. For small and mid-sized businesses that lack a substantial advertising budget, it takes some intention to create and maintain public recognition. It can be easy to jeopardize this recognition with common potential pitfalls. For your benefit, these 4 tips will put you on a head start to avoiding these issues and creating a consistent, valuable logo and brand identity.
1. Don’t: Change your logo department-to-department.
An issue with logo design consistency can pop up when companies attempt to create subdivision or department logos with independent identities. The temptation is great to give the subdivision its own identity. However, competing logos under the same company risk the company’s consistency in public recognition.
Don’t jump too quickly to the conclusion to create a new logo. After careful thought, if a unique identity is necessary, pay heed to the following two rules to ensure a clearly recognizable consistency between logos.
2. Do: Use style and typography to ensure consistent brand recognition.
The logos below, a sample of Texas Tech University’s departmental logos, shows a consistent use of their Coat of Arms, colors, and font. The departments, though unique, are all obviously recognizable as a part of the university.
The same can be said of the Northern Ireland government divisions, who incorporate unique department colors (while retaining a consistent primary brand color) to differentiate departments.
3. Don’t: Rely on icons alone.
Unless you are on the same public recognition level as Nike, it is unlikely that the public will recognize your icon without your company name nearby. Icons are symbols: easily identified, quickly understood, and representative of a larger whole. However, they are often abstract and need a clear relation to a specific entity. This relation can come from years of public recognition; the Nike swoosh, for example, has entered the public lexicon as symbolic of the company. Over time, it has come to stand in place of the company itself. However, most of the time the relationship must be clearly defined through the combination of an icon and company name.
For more insight on different categories of logos, including wordmarks, icons or combination marks, checkout our blog titled Logos For Small to Mid-Size Businesses – Are They Important?
4. Do: Use a similar personality throughout your branding.
This tip could really be called “Branding 101.” James Heaton of Tronvig Group defines branding as “The expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is a communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.”
When designing any digital or print materials associated with your company, it is necessary to use the same tone of voice in your content and design. Your customers will recognize this tone of voice in the same way they recognize the mannerisms of a person. This avoids the cold, “robotic” feel that can come from cookie-cutter language and design.