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In this article, we look at the different types of logo designs and what makes each type effective. Choosing the right type of logo design to represent your brand is very critical in telling your brand story and connecting with your target audience. Read more information on the latest logo design trends.

When people perceive a logo as being effective, besides carefully researched brief and solid design principles, the choice of the type of logo can be critical to the success of the logo.

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Illustrative Logos

Illustrative logos are much more elaborate and harder to design. Depending on the type of brand, the market segment, and the target audience, illustrative logos can create great impact and brand recall. To establish a logo as a brand in a highly competitive market, an illustrative logo can be a great solution.

Illustration in the logo goes beyond iconic representation and involves a very intricately detailed logo that would inspire awe in the audience. Elements of the illustrative logo can then be used in stationery and related promotional material to achieve branding. Enclosed emblem style logos can also be considered as illustrative logos.

A question that a lot of clients ask is, how illustrative can a logo be before it becomes difficult to use it effectively.

My answer would: depends on where you intend to use the logo. If you are a traditional company then your most common usage of the logo would be on your corporate stationery, your collateral marketing materials, your shop/building signage and perhaps on packaging and merchandise.

Illustrative logos are made up of complex design elements, usually illustrations of some element related to what the company does, an illustration of the company name or perhaps even a mascot or character that is used to represent the company. Not all companies can afford to get an illustrative logo.

Depending on the industry sector the company is in and the target market segment, Illustrative logo designs can be highly effective. They can be eye-catching, communicate much more effectively the company message and create an overall greater impact of the brand.

For example, a music company, a construction company, a rock band, a child-related product or club, a fitness company, etc are all good examples of companies that can benefit from having an illustrative logo. Combining different elements of the business in an illustrative way and using effective logo colors can help create an eye-catching design that can then be used in all branding campaigns.

A legal firm, finance, accounting logo design or venture capital company, etc, on the other hand, are examples of industry sectors where highly illustrative logo designs might not really work.

When creating an illustrative logo, we always try and come up with pencil sketches of two or more conceptual directions. Usually, again depending on the core philosophy of the company, we look for opportunities for creating characters that form part of the company logo, as well as be a stand-alone company mascot.

Finally, creating the illustrative logo designs in vector file format and making sure the files are as clean as possible in terms of paths and elements is important. Perhaps creating toned-down versions with lesser colors would also be useful when the client wants to print the logo and wants to keep the costs down.

parkway middle school logo mascot

Iconic Logos

An iconic treatment of a logo involves a simple and sometimes clever representation of an item associated with a product or service the company promotes. Incorporating a stylish and simple gavel in an auction company logo is a good example. Iconic logos do not have too much detail and border on being abstract logos. The designer’s expertise determines how clever the icon is. Read this article about memorable logo icons. Iconic logos usually tend to be minimalistic style logos or text based logos.

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Minimalist Style Logo Designs

As designers who specialize in corporate identity, we have seen many clients who are in need of a professional logo design and feel that having everything including the kitchen sink in their design is the best value for their money. Simple logos are perceived not to be effective.

It seems quite reasonable from the point of view of the client that getting a high detail illustration seems as though it would be worth more than a minimalist design. But quite often the end result can see be very little return on investment.

From the designer’s perspective, the minimalist design style is often the most impactive and best-designed corporate identity around. In the business world that is full of over-the-top logos, designs with the most simple and effective designs often stand out the most.

gluten free bakery logo branding

Text-Based Logos

For many companies, the idea of a logo will mean a graphic or icon next to the name. A classic layout that works for many companies in various industries. There are times, however, when the text alone is ideal for brand identity.

As a designer, the text-based logo can be much more energy and time-consuming than even the most illustrated icon. Because essentially the look and feel of the entire company have to be reflected in just the name and wordplay. There are a variety of styles and representations of how a text-based design works. They can include a graphic that has been a substitute for a specific letter to the whole name itself taking on the form of an image.

manuscript entertainment logo design

Abstract Logos

What does a swoosh mean to you? For most of the Americans, one glance at this symbol is sufficient to recognize it as a Nike product. Similarly three angular stripes creating a shape of mountain would invariably speak of the brand of Adidas. Then there is McDonald’s Golden Arch and Pepsi’s red, blue and white colored earth or Chevrolet’s bow tie.

These are all examples of abstract logos. Over the years they have achieved an incredible task: one look at the any of the above mentioned symbols and you know what they mean is finger licking KFC Chicken, or a cool Nike sports shoe or a stylish Adidas custom t-shirt design.   All of them have been able to build up a brand identity on the basis of their respective logos. Permanently imprinting the product’s name in the customers’ minds, these abstract logos hold immense impact on consumer psyche they have built up unique visual identity for themselves which have become the integral part of their name.

What is an abstract logo?

According to the marketing experts, you get your prospective customers to remember your company name only after he/ she sees the company name at least ten times. A tough scene isn’t it? A successful marketing logos campaign is one that makes it easier for the customers to remember the company name. The only way to do this is: associating your company name or product with certain visual stimulant and an abstract logo can act as the best visual stimulus for the purpose. To be precise, abstract logos are nothing but unique logos images to represent a particular company or product.

How does an abstract logo perform its functions?

The human brain is better capable of distinguishing and remembering a unique design. Thus, the consumers can distinguish an abstract logo quicker than any other styles and it becomes easier for the customers to identify the brand bearing the logo in the crowd of other products.

Abstract logos with their unique font type, colors and illustration easily catch the attention of the customers. But too much abstraction may confuse a customer about the nature of your business. Thus an abstract logo has to be unique and attractive on the one hand and simple in design on the other.

Who needs them and who doesn’t?

The abstract logos are ideal for the big corporate Houses, whose logo becomes the main highlight of their entire marketing campaign and who can afford the expenses for popularizing the logo. Because the abstract logos– as for example the little swirl of the Nike it has no significance of its own. Yet we readily recognize the symbol, because the company has made extensive efforts to make it ubiquitous through all their marketing campaigns.

Similarly, the smaller businesses are not the ones to get the benefits of abstract logos simply because they can not afford the level of marketing that is required to associate this abstract imagery to associate with the company name. For them, a descriptive or name based logo type better serves the purpose.

To be successful, an abstract logo has to combine the right amount of simplicity and complexity. A wrong proportion may destroy the very objective of the logo design. Only a professional logo designer can render this proportion.

hi tech logo

Hi-Tech Logo Designs

The recent trend in the consumer psyche is that: they developed a tendency of judging the product quality on the basis of the quality of the advertisement. In other words, the consumers’ decisions are largely influenced by how well the company has been able to advertise the product.

And at the center of every advertising campaign are the company logos. Logos give a product a larger recognition. You need just a glimpse of the whole or part of the logo to know that it is your favorite product and here lies the strength of a logo it makes any product or company instantly recognizable across the world.

Just like we dress up differently for different occasions, different kinds of logos are generated for different industries. Just like it looks odd to show up in the office in a Bermuda and custom sleeveless T-shirt design, it looks ridiculous to design a software company logo with the fonts used in say in Disney’s logo.

The logos must fit into their industry-specific personality. As for hi-tech logos, mostly used in the IT and electronics industry, they must be chic enough to represent the dynamic character of the industry, at the same time conservative enough to create the image of a performance-oriented serious player.

How to combine these apparently contradictory elements? Let’s look at some of the world’s most adored hi tech logo designs to see how they fulfilled this task.

IBM, Microsoft, Sony, Philips, LG, Canon – all these logos have one thing in common. All of them display company names in distinct writing style. Despite their simplicity and same design approach, all of them are markedly different from each other to create a separate identity for their respective companies.

Each logo has a personality of its own and this is the result of research and a great deal of creative brainstorming.

All these logos have apparently ordinary typeface, but they are assembled in a way, that they stand out as unique in the world. The IBM’s famous stripes, the nick in the “o” in Microsoft logo, the unique C and slightly angular looks of A and O in Canon logo—-all these set these simple logos apart from the others. It is these twists that make them easily recognizable.

One of the biggest qualities of these hi-tech logos is: they come with an air of timelessness. They point out the difference between style and fashion. Fashion is created to be replaced by another wave of a trend, but an inimitable style is never overshadowed by any fashion trend. The hi-tech logos have a distinct style of their own and that is why they have a classic flavor about them.

This is where the hi-tech logos sparks off the interest of a serious learner in the field of logo designing.

hyderabad sweet shop logo design

Elegant Logos

Are you in an aesthetically oriented business such as interior design, fashion, or beauty? You likely are in need of an elegant logo design that showcases your sense of style. If you are trying to sell your expertise in the visual arts, a normal, everyday logo or a free logo design from a logo creator just won’t cut it. Here are a few elements that will help you get the elegant logo design your business needs to succeed.

Use the logo text more prominently. There is nothing as inelegant as a cluttered logo, and one way to avoid that messy situation is to focus in on the most basic element of the logo: the text. Your business name can even stand alone with good effect if you and your graphic designer choose the right font, color, and placement. Sometimes elegant logo design is merely a simple logo design.

Choose logo graphics wisely. If you do decide to use a graphic, avoid free clip art logo. An abstract graphic logo may be a good addition to your elegant logo design if it works well with the text style and font you and your logo design team or logo designer has chosen. Some logos may look better without a graphic, or with only a small graphic element, so play around with the design before settling on anything.

Be careful with logo color. One of the key problems with a freelance logo designer or logo creator software is that there is poor color management. You don’t want a bright and distracting array of colors. Choosing just one or two colors allows a logo to be more subdued and more intense at the same time, allowing the focus to shift to the text itself instead of the bright hues. Many elegant logo designs is created with grayscale or a single accent color.

Think timeless. Avoid trends, because that will leave you with the unfortunate situation of having to either develop a new elegant logo design every few years or make do with one that looks dated and passé. If you are trying to create a brand, you need an elegant logo design that will stand the test of time without losing appeal. While this may seem like a tall order, it is the everyday business for a graphic designer.

You get what you pay for. A free logo offers a price that can’t be beaten, and a logo creator seems easy enough to use, but an elegant logo design can only be created by a trained and experienced graphic artist who knows how to distill your company’s aesthetic sense into a small and attractive logo. If you want customers to come to you for aesthetic and beauty services, your logo will speak volumes about what kind of quality they can expect from you. Because a logo is the face of your company, paying for a high-quality logo is an investment in public relations.

If your business depends on your ability to sell your sense of style, an elegant logo design will be an invaluable investment. Show your customers what you are made of with a timelessly beautiful logo.

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Clip art based logos

We see often that a very easy route for most small businesses in terms of their corporate identity is a clip art-based logo design that is either designed by themselves or by a freelance friend. It is cheaper, fast and sometimes really impressive in the beginning.

But small businesses never stop to consider the cost of using a clip art-based logo design for their company. A free or cheap clip art-based logo design can hurt your company. “Oh sure. You simply want to get our business”, you say. That is true. But the important thing here is that we are talking about your business and your identity.

When meeting clients do you dress up in your pajamas or your swimming trunks? (unless you are in the pajama business or a beachwear shop on a beach). No. You would not. Would you talk to your clients with your mouth full of food and ketchup sauce on your shirt? No. You would not.

Then how can you show your prospective client a clip art-based logo that looks cheap and unprofessional? The first thing a customer notices would be your logo, be it on the shop front, your business card or your website. When checking out the competition, customers are more likely to be influenced to buy from your competitors if they have a better identity.

Imagine this. You are out in Rome and are looking for a local guide. There are two men standing in your hotel lobby waiting for customers. Your front desk operator tells you they are tour guides. The first one is of a medium build with shabby clothes, a worn-out hat, and even more worn-out shoes. It is obvious the guy hasn’t shaved in days. The second one looks neatly groomed, is wearing a clean well pressed, has shiny shoes, and is cleanly shaven. Now, who would you choose to be your guide for the day? Most people would choose the second one. Even if he is more expensive than the first. This is applicable to all industry logos including vacation rental company logos.

The same is the case with your company logo design. If your friend, girlfriend, uncle, brother, or the local butcher offers to design your logo for free or near-free, it is wise to pass up that offer. Would they be in a position to understand the requirements of a professional logo design? Would they think of copyright issues? Would they think of the message the logo is broadcasting? Would they give you vector files developed with PANTONE colors that will be useful for all your printing needs? 9 times out of 10, probably not.

Most professional logo designers think of all these things and with their experience in creating corporate identities, you can be assured of getting a logo that will increase the value of your company rather than diminish it.

For the cost of a decent pair of shoes or a decent meal with your friends, you can get a professionally designed company logo. The same rule applies to your corporate stationery, business cards, website, and anything else associated with your business. Your investment in hiring a professional corporate identity designer will benefit your company much fold.

denn john middle school logo design

Font based logos

When you are thinking about new logo design, you probably think a lot about the image that will be a part of the logo like this brokerage logo we created. However, the font can be just as important. The type that you use will reflect on your business; after all, it will be indelibly associated with your name. Different fonts communicate different things and thus are most appropriate for certain industries. While every business is different, we have noticed a few trends when it comes to font and industry.

  • Accountant and Finance. Money is a serious topic to most of us, and we like it best when the people who handle our money take it seriously as well. This is perhaps why an accountant and finance logos seem to work best with very serious writing. We have noticed a gradual trend in the industry toward serious letters with serifs, often thin and in upper case.
  • Children. There are a variety of different fonts that can be used in logos representing products and services aimed at children and may use punctuation style logos. However, we like to see a little whimsy in these. Whatever the type of brand, it is easy to add a few details to the font that will make it more imaginative and child-like. Imagination and creativity are both an important part in logos aimed at children’s industries.
  • Home Services. There are a variety of different people that you hire to come to your home, whether to fix things or to perform chores. This requires a unique mix of trustworthiness and expert knowledge. In addition, most people like to feel that a friendly, nice person is coming to their home. Therefore, the fonts for these industries will need to have a mix of seriousness and approachability. One option is to use a traditional font without serifs that have rounded shapes within it.
  • Engineering and Science. These industries work with hard and fast laws and a lot of new technologies. As such, bold letters and strong shapes are important in logo designs representing these fields. Thick letters and square shapes without serifs can work well in these industries, as can capital letters.
  • Art and Design. These topics are creative enough that you can really be imaginative here. Their sky is the limit when it comes to art and design logos. You can decide to use a very flamboyant font or one that is somewhat restrained. The only important thing is that it works well with the rest of your logo.
  • Real Estate and Property. We see very serious fonts in real estate, which seems like a mistake because it needs to be an approachable industry as well. While there does not seem to be a signature style, real estate fonts tend to be very classic and traditional. After all, housing is one of the oldest industries in our nation and we like to feel that our agent is part of that tradition.
  • Consultancy. If people are going to hire you to solve their business’s problems, they need to feel that you are approachable and also that you have the technical ability to help. However, consultancy logos often need to feel imaginative as well. It can be difficult to fit so many different qualifications into one font, but that is the job of a logo designer.

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Catchy Custom Logos

So you are on the lookout for a cutting-edge, catchy, custom logo design! Of course, a professional designer can deliver you exactly the thing that you desire! But don’t you want that extra icing on the cake?

For that, you need to do some homework yourself. You give the designer the right clues and the designer gives you back the logo of your dreams plus an enormous cherry-topped icing that you haven’t dreamt of.

Focus on the following areas while doing your homework prior to approaching a professional logo designer.

* Logo designing is perceived as one of the most complex branches of graphic design. A logo is the critical combination of concept and technique; creativity and sense of practicalities. Among these, the most critical step in logo designing is the selection of the logo concept. It may be straightforward; it may be abstract.

Whatever may be, the concept must be in perfect sync with the company philosophy. While the designer’s job involves the right visual interpretation of the business message, your job involves giving the exact piece of mind to the designers with regard to your business goals and values, your positive attributes and your strong points vis a vis your business rivals. The more you are accurate in defining your business, the more communicative and lively the logo will be.

* Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors is the age-old business tricks. This is applicable for the logos as well. You know your competitors; so make a research about the logos used in your field. Your logo must look substantially different so that it doesn’t look cliche. You must develop something that stresses the uniqueness of your product.

The Pepsi logo is a good case in point. At first, Pepsi used to flaunt a copycat logo of the Coca-Cola. It was much later that Pepsi adopted an altogether different logo depicting the earth in red, blue and white and the rest, as they say, is history.

* Also make sure of the places where you are going to use the logos. In this age, the company logos appear in all conceivable places starting from the business cards to huge billboards and balloons to websites. In that case, you have to consider the economic factors as well as the technical aspects of the logo. A very complex logo in a complicated color scheme may be blessed with lots of hidden messages, but they are sheer wastage of money as they are expensive to reproduce.

So you must not be biased in your selection: when the designer shows you the first rounds of works, try to understand the reasoning behind the design. You may not like a particular design, but clients are most likely to like that logo and that accomplishes its purpose, doesn’t it? On the contrary, if you insist on a particular design, that the designer does not think likely to hit with the customers, just discard it.

So, do your own job perfectly – give an articulated picture of your company to the designer and lets the designer do his/ her job. You are sure to find the perfect logo for your business.

oriens aviation branding

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Symbol-based logo designs

Use of Symbols in logos – The primary task of the logo is to render brand recognition to the company it represents. As such the text-based logos do the maximum justice to the startup companies by giving them a unique identity of their own. Does that mean we should avoid the symbolic logos altogether? Not actually—-the symbolic logos also have their own role to play, but elsewhere.

Let’s check the benefits of symbolic logos.

Before weighing up the pros and cons of the use of symbols in the logo, let’s just try to understand the function of a good logo. The logo is the focal point of the company’s marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter how good your product is; it will fail miserably in the market if customers cannot distinguish it in the crowds of hundreds of similar other product. It is the task of the marketing team to send across this message of uniqueness to the customers and the product logo plays a key role in creating this unique identity.

Thus a good logo is one that helps your customers to quickly identify your products. Just try to recall, what happens when you are in a grocery store and shopping in hurry—your hurried eyes search for the familiar symbols that are associated with your everyday life like that of a Kellogg’s signature or Nestle sign. This is the work of a good logo—they help the customers to reach the product. It is not just about logo aesthetics.

Let’s see whether symbolic logos serve this purpose.

The symbolic logos represent a unique design that is associated with a particular organization sans any text. The symbol only logos are hard to find in the corporate world, yet some of them have created history—just try to recall, Apple computer’s apple and the swoosh of Nike.

In the case of symbolic logos, it is the symbol that communicates the message all by itself. In the case of misinterpretation of the message, the fate of the company would suffer. However, the classic symbolic icons such as arch-shaped yellow M of the McDonald or the small swoosh of Nike have emerged as powerful logos over the years. But there is a long history of marketing efforts behind them to associate these symbols with the particular company.

The problem is: start-up companies cannot afford these expensive marketing campaigns. For the small or start-up businesses, it is the logo that gives recognition to the brand, not the brand name that makes the logo famous.

So here we get the answer to our first question: the symbolic logos do have their efficacy, but for the companies that have already established their business identity in their respective fields.

At the same time, we can not ignore the fact that symbols have great visual impact. So the solution lies in combining text with a symbol to get the desired effect. These text-symbol combinations conjure up a unique personality that makes it easier to remember the product and its manufacturer.

The vibrant NBC logo with a colorful peacock or the Puma logo incorporating the image of a jumping puma are the good examples of this phenomenon, where text with a distinct symbol confers the logo a unique personality. This design approach has the capability of creating immortal characters.

dominican republic cigars sign design

Enclosed Emblem Style Logos

Enclosed logos can be categorized as several different kinds of corporate identity styles. Essentially enclosed logos consist of combined designs where all the element, text and graphics come together in one complete package. Anything from labels to signage to badges and seals would fall into this style. For many companies, this type of design is a fantastic showcase what the brand is all about while at the same time are able to serve a practical purpose.

When it comes to restaurants, an enclosed logo design style is an ideal choice. The structured and compacted nature save on space needed for signage, while the distinct traditional appeal of the design conveys a sense of experience and establishment. For our client The Tin Duck Tavern, this kind style seemed to perfectly fit with the traditional English pub theme they needed. Utilizing very traditional elements such as simple a banner and simple filigree, a distinctive duck icon was also created to sit atop the design. The overall design is successful in being able to carry across a hand made wood-cut look while maintaining a clean and professional appearance. Separating the text into different sections helps give the design a sense of dimension while at the same time emphasizing on the most important wording.

Using the same traditional style, Antonios Italian Bakery and Deli also came to us looking for a design that could capture the old world feel but style portray modern design elements. Using different simple geometric shapes a kind of layered effect was created. Enclosed in the center is the text which brings the focus on the name Antonios. The addition of the chef’s hat and grains was also created to bring a sense of context to the image. The symmetry of the graphics, along with the geometric elements really capture the spirit of the company and create a successful design.

Fitting to an iconic image

Enclosed logos are not always about creating a shape to fit around the text. For many enclosed designs the text is almost secondary to the imagery and is utilized in a way where the name is fitted into an iconic image creating the enclosed design.

A good example of this is the design for our client Fire Services Ltd. The traditional fire-fighters shield and banner are the immediate focal point while the inclusion of the name completes the design. Using a combination of bold reds and blacks a sense of depth was created.

The effectiveness of the design comes from the ability to form an instant relation in the mind of the viewer. The classic symbol instantly brings forth ideas of fire safety which grabs the attention of the viewer and draws them into the name.

oriens aviation branding

Shape and style of logos

Often utilizing the shape and style of design from various points in history can really help to make an emotional connection to a companies market. By reinventing a classic design the brand itself will become distinctive from competitors who utilize the same cliched ideas. When the Africa Trading Company came to us, they were thinking about creating a modern style design to better match what they had seen as a trend in their industry. When we showed them what could be using the theme of 19th-century labels it was clear that the identity would work very well. Using a style that reflected the kind of branding one would see in history books evokes images of steamships and steamer trunks loaded with exotic goods from around the world. Because the company was importing goods from Africa this was an ideal “hook” that would grab the intended market and create interest.

For Marquee films, the quest was to capture the same kind of emotional appeal and nostalgia while at the same time coming across a modern company. The name of the company alone invokes images of old theater signs lit up, without needing any imagery at all. Buy playing on the signage theme and enclosed logo design was a perfect fit. Using references to various theater Marques from the 1920s – 1940s a unique logo design was created. By keeping the elements simple and clean the overall design also showcases that the company is modern but recognizes the classic appeal of the golden age of film.

Ventura Elementary School Logo Tiger Mascot

Circular badge logos

Besides creating enclosed logos that match the sign and labels another very common use for the style is with circular logos. They can be called badges or seals by generally they follow a similar structure, a centered iconic image with the text usually wrapped around.

The biggest appeal from a practical standpoint is that circular designs are usually even in terms of height and width. Unlike the more common horizontal or vertical designs, a logo that can essentially fit in a square shape is much more versatile as they create more design possibilities in areas like stationery and packaging.

When we created the concept for Pediatric we tried several different places for the text after we create the unique building block graphic. The circular layout was an instant favorite because it really shows off the bright icon in the center while maintaining a professional and completed look.

By utilizing the idea of splitting the circle in half and using two colors, the focus on the name could be maximized. It also enhances the visual impact of the design and adds a unique visual interest.

Circular “badge” logos can also act as a way to convey the idea of being an authority or official without infringing on any legal issues. Often government agencies and departments will utilize circular designs or crests and as such, the look of a circular enclosed logo can generate that same feeling. Solomon Kennel is a client that deals exclusively with pitbull breeding and training. Breeding that specific type of dog requires a lot of experience and know-how.

By utilizing a design that reflects the kind of professionalism and knowledge associated with the industry a sense of authority and experience is carried across to the viewer. The image itself is quite simple, using brush stroke style lines a dramatic icon of a pit bull face was created. The wide, bold font that wraps around the image and creates the enclosed design completes the design and enhances the impression of strength and stability.

The overall design works well and is effective because all the elements perfectly match the kind of image that is associated with that industry while still keeping the design unique and original.

church of champions logo design

Illusion of perspective

Other times, the main imagery can be used to create the illusion of perspective. By carefully adapting the text to fit that perspective a high visual impact can be created which enhances the interest of the design.

Whenever text is skewed and adjusted to fit into shape the most important issue is the legibility. Often times trying to retain a 100% accuracy with regard to perspective will have to sacrifice in order to improve on the overall legibility of the logo.

When creating a 3D logo design reminiscent of an old neon motel sign for our client of Rockin Fares it was important the balance between accuracy and legibility was especially important because the design was going to be reproduced at a smaller scale on the internet.

The overall theme of the design reflected a 1950’s rock ‘n roll feeling and utilizing a 3D shape helped greatly to create a unique design in an otherwise heavily populated style. The company itself was in the travel industry and this is reflected with the distinctive arrow shape of the image. The starburst shapes that surround the logo further enhance the theme and keep with the nostalgic style of the design.

Top 5 Types of Logo Signage

Billboard for a Brand: Top Five Types of Logo Signage for Small Businesses
What’s in a sign? While many small business owners think of signage as something to hire out to the lowest bidder or even neglect entirely, there are few things as important. Your community and your potential customers are making assumptions about your company’s quality and professionalism based upon the quality of your signs—or lack thereof. Here are the top five signs that are important for small businesses.

Building Mounted. These are the signs that come to mind when you think of signage. They are attached to your locations, usually on the roof or otherwise on the building. Not only do building mounted signs tell customers where you are located, but they also communicate key facts about your branding and the type of experience people can expect to have when they walk in your doors. Clearly, building mounted signs are important, but they are not the only important sign that small business needs.

Freestanding. Like building mounted signs, freestanding signs also provide clues about the location, but they are attached to a foundation or other structure rather than to the building itself. Freestanding signs are particularly important if your building is set back from the road, as they give you higher visibility while allowing customers the chance to make a safe, legal turn into your parking lot. If these signs are inviting and visible, they will increase foot traffic and, hopefully, spur-of-the-moment purchases.

Changeable Copy Boards. This category can include signs with removable and rearrange-able lettering as well as the electronic message boards that have become popular in recent years. Whatever type suits your style and your budget, changeable copy boards give you an invaluable chance to communicate with a large group of potential customers, whether it is about a sale, a new product, or extended hours. Because they cost little to maintain, these offer some of the lowest-cost advertising and marketing you can find.

Interior. You probably have interior signage, even if you don’t realize it. These are the many signs around your physical locations, such as the signs that display your hours and signs that help you comply with legal regulations such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s important that these be both high quality and congruent with your brand, for example having your signature font and colors. You may even want to include your logo as a means of boosting customer recognition.

Wearable Signage. Every employee who interacts with the public on behalf of your business should have a uniform, an imprinted shirt, a name badge, or some other wearable signage that advertises that they are authorized to represent your company. These should be neat, attractive, and include your logo as well as the names of both your employee and the business as can be seen at the top 10 wearable places to put a logo.

How important is signage? It is a visual cue that communicates important information about your business as well as information about branding. Really, there could be nothing more important than this very powerful first impression. Purchasing high-quality signs that match your branding is one important way of spreading the word about your company and your products.

Mash Bonigala

Mash B. is the Founder & CEO of SpellBrand. Since 1998, Mash has helped conscious brands differentiate themselves and AWAKEN through Brand Strategy and Brand Identity Design. Schedule a Brand Strategy Video Call with Mash.