Great Logo, Great Website
Some things just go well together; like fish and chips or nuts and bolts. And so it is with logos and websites. The relationship between a logo and the website on which it appears is a close-knit situation. It is therefore incomprehensible that you have a great website without a great logo to go along with it.
In the blog post What Makes A Website Great, I discussed how important the look and feel of a website is. A logo plays a very important role in the grand scheme of things when it comes to the look and feel of a website. Essentially a great logo literally translates into a great website, although this may not always be the case but it is a decent enough generalization.
Even a superb website design can be spoiled by the presence of a poorly designed or disproportionate logo design. In order to have great appeal and results, a close match is need between a logo and the website on which it appears.
Making A Great Match
Often times, a logo is designed at different times in the life of the business than the website. Typically a business will have a logo designed way before the website ever comes into being. Not that there's anything wrong with this; the issue is that when the website eventually gets developed, the logo is often-times just plopped onto the website with the hope that it will gel.
There is something fundamentally flawed with this approach. Because they were designed at different times, a revaluation of the logo is needed before it is used on the website design. Better yet, the website has to be designed with the design of the existing logo in mind. Alternatively the logo should be redesigned to fit the new website design.
There is of course a price to pay for the redesign of a logo, if the existing log is well established. A logo is a critical component of a business’ brand identity which gets firmly placed in the eyes of the customer and this placement solidifies over time. Changing that brand identity will most probably mean starting from almost square one in rebuilding brand equity.
Seeking The Perfect Logo
In order to get a great logo, it is important to pay attention to some general principles about logo design. Whether you are designing the logo to match the website or the website to match the logo, paying attention to good logo design principles will go a long way in ensuring that you have a winning combination.
Aim For Strong Appeal
Regardless of what you are aiming for in your logo design, make sure that it is appealing. A logo is the most important aspect of your business’ brand identity. It is something that the customer first sees in almost all encounters with your business, and you know what they say about first impressions.
The logo design has to spark a curiosity within your customer to learn more about the brand. Not only should it spark initial interest, the logo should also sustain this interest.
Unique and Conveying Your Particular Message
What will be the point if your logo looks like every other business’ in your industry? Your logo plays a critical role in making your brand distinct from any other and should therefore be unique to your business. When people look at your logo, they should instantly identify it with your business and not any other.
Logos are not simply visual elements pasted on a website, they convey a message. Your logo should be a carrier for the message about brand identity that you would like to convey. In order to successfully convey the right message that resonates with customers, your brand should make use of appropriate symbolism in combination with text.
Less Is More
It is tempting to throw in every idea you have when designing the logo for your business. As tempting as this is, resist! You do not want to bombard the customer with too many messages. Condense your brand message into a single concise idea that will appeal to customers.
In any case, a logo that has too many messages to convey does not look great. It often looks overcrowded and it is as a result clear to the customer that you are trying too hard. Instead of trying to convey multiple messages, keep it simple and you will soon find out that less is more when it comes to logo design.
Consistency Will Serve You Well
Often, you will find that a logo does not work well in all the different possible settings and backgrounds. To go around this, you may think of having various versions of the logo to use in the different settings.
So for example; you might have one logo that is wide maybe with text on the right and another one that is narrower with text on the bottom of the logo image. On top of that, you might need minimalistic versions of each of the primary versions and soon enough you will find you need an extra logo for each one of your primary logo and minimalistic versions; one for light backgrounds and one for dark.
If you go on like this the number of logos in your portfolio quickly becomes numerous. Now, the problem with this is that you lose the necessary consistency. Consistency is crucial for your brand in the customer’s eye. By having too many versions of the same logo, you end up confusing customers.
Keep consistency in mind if you are releasing several versions of your logo. It is better to have as few versions of the logo as possible in order to stay consistent rather than creating unnecessary noise by having too many.
Make Good Use Of Colours and Fonts
Colour perception plays an important role in how we perceive brands. Selecting the right color tone and balance can be the defining moment between gaining customer trust and repulsing them. Take the time to study colour psychology in relation to brands and apply it to your logo design.
There is a wide range of fonts out there and some of them are quiet fancy and bordering on “cute”. Be careful how you use font typeface however because cuteness is rather subjective; what might be cute for you may not do the trick for some or even the majority of your customers. Select the fonts to use on your logo carefully.
The Psychology of Shapes
There is an entire field of study dedicated to shapes known as Gestalt Psychology. It has 8 laws that deal with the perception of shapes and these are; law of proximity, law of similarity, law of closure, law of symmetry, law of common fate, law of continuity, law of good Gestalt and law of past experience.
I will not go into detail about these laws; this will probably be the subject of a future blog post. By paying attention to the psychology of shapes you can vastly improve the appeal of your logo when it is being observed in relation to your website.
Never Consider Your Logo Apart From The Website Design
Sometimes our biases make us overlook important factors when it comes to design. We often fall prey to the mistake of considering things in isolation. The same reasoning applies when looking at a logo for a website. You should not consider your logo separately from your website if your desire is to have a winning logo-website combination.