Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 21st, 2017 | First Published: June 21, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Resources
Smartsign conducted a logo study, that analysed of roughly 2,000 logo designs to determine what the common characteristics are of successful businesses.
The company logos analyzed came from the 2016 Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies having a three year growth of 40% or greater, and booked at least $100,000 in revenue from three years ago.
To create this Logo Study Infographic, Smartsign focused on the following logo attributes: color, type of logo (icon, word mark, or both), shape of logo (rounded vs. angular), and style of logo (minimal vs. detailed).
Note: The logos in this infographic are not 100% accurate, due to possible human error and subjectivity. Colors and vague shapes can often be misinterpreted from person to person. Despite this, the info provided is still a good representation of successful company logos, with some key takeaways.
Logo Study: Which Logo Attributes Correlate With Success?
Any reputable company, business, product, service, etc, should have a professional logo design as the platform for their overall brand identity, as this is often a key distinguishing factor that will help set it apart from it's competitors.
A weak, or inappropriate logo design, can portray a poor message, and competing brands could well take advantage of this.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 15th, 2017 | First Published: June 15, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Designer Spotlight, Guest Post, Tips & Advice
Effective business branding starts with a well-designed logo. Crucial elements for a winning logo design are shown in this logo infographic. Without it, a startup wouldn’t be able to compete on the same playing field as their competitors.
While creating a business logo is not an exact science, the outcome can have a tremendous effect on the success of your business by attracting the right customers.
Therefore, it’s extremely important to work collaboratively with the designer to ensure that the logo embodies the core values of your business and resonates well with your target market.
GUEST POST by www.emediacreative.com.au
With the help of eMedia Creative, a multidisciplinary creative agency based in Newtown, Sydney, we’re bringing graphic, and logo designers: "Logo Infographic: The 6 Steps To an Effective and Winning Logo For Your Business"
Logo Infographic: The 6 Steps To A Winning Business Logo
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 6th, 2017 | First Published: June 6, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Tips & Advice
Rebranding Tips: The exercise of rebranding and updating a brand logo design isn’t new, but it is certainly becoming more commonplace.
Rebranding was typically a hugely risky and expensive undertaking only considered when a company merged or felt their decades-old logo needed a “slight refresh”.
Nowadays, even the youngest of startups and fledgling brands are happy to go as far as changing logos completely, when they feel the business needs it.
AirBnb, and Instagram, have both changed logos completely within their first five years of business.
2016 saw a raft of striking established logo changes: from MasterCard’s simplified “tidy-up” of their red and amber logo, to Calvin Klein’s ever-so-slight typography change to uppercase.
Whilst most of these recent brand updates have been met with general acceptance, and approval, by the public it certainly always hasn't been the.
No one wants to make the same mistakes as GAP, or Uber, after all.
With the help of trade printing company QuinnsThePrinters, we’re bringing graphic, and logo designers, the Top 5 Tips on how to update a brand logo for 2017:
1. How to Implement 2017’s Design Trends
The vintage/retro trend in logos remains strong, emotionally connecting with consumers. This doesn’t always mean designing a new logo in a vintage style, however.
Rather than engage in an exercise of rebranding, camera brand Kodak decided to create a version of a previous design for their recent logo update. It used their first official symbol, designed in 1971, by Peter J. Oestrich.
The red and yellow colours that remain are synonymous with an early childhood of photography that we all remember, an era which even modern photography apps and their filters have nostalgically tried to help us emulate on our smartphones.
The minimalist “flat design” trend is still dominating logos in 2017 and while they can be more challenging when it comes to conveying meaning for completely new brands, these flat logos can be a good update for older brands.
Take for example how the UK’s Premier League professional football competition kicked off their 2016/17 season; a logo overhaul that saw them move to a minimalist lions’ head logo.
They wanted to create something modern but that was also flexible; to celebrate everyone involved, and the multicultural identity of the modern game.
Minimalism brings that flexibility of interpretation of simple shapes for global audiences.
BBC iPlayer’s on demand service for children (iPlayer Kids), welcomed a new logo that is an upbeat animated word mark sequence.
Aimed at those 9 years old and younger, the way the word “kids” crashes into the “iPlayer” in bright colours and accompanying xylophone/wobble board sounds brings the logo to life for a little audience that is itself, full of life and energy.
2. Balancing 2017 Logo Trends with Longevity
When it comes to longevity for logos one of the most important modern day considerations is to ensure the brand will carry across platforms.
That means something that will translate on a small smartphone app as well as on, for example, printed company letterheads.
This is an issue streaming service Netflix have encountered and their solution so far as been to avoid a full logo update and simply introduce a new logo for their online platforms (a capital red “N” shape against a black backdrop).
This way they can maintain the longevity of their existing brand while utilising modern trends across distribution channels.
The danger with this move towards simplifying for online is that logos can appear to merge into basic cookie-cutter copies of each other - something which both Instagram and AirBnb were accused of in their recent rebrands.
As generic as these designs may appear, the trajectory of trends shows that other brands old and new are following suit.
The real key to longevity in growing such brands is to ensure creativity and a uniqueness in the logo itself. Can it stand apart in an app store and still communicate and resonate with people?
Similarly, annual colour trends can be easy to get excited about, and can also continue on for years beyond their announcement (like the green focus of modern eco-friendly brands that likely won’t die out with a 2018 colour palette announcement).
However, some of the greatest branding triumphs are purely monochrome (like Italian graphic artist Francesco Saroglia’s Woolmark logo).
It’s important to think about how much of the brand message could still be conveyed by the logo if colour was changed/updated to match trends, or if the colours were removed completely leaving only black and white.
3. How to Avoid Taking a Logo Redesign too Far
Be aware that going too far in redesign isn’t just about the logo itself, but what is happening in the business and wider economy at the time.
Takeaway delivery company Deliveroo’s recent move from the literal kangaroo into the vector shape “roo” symbol.
This was explained as an update to a young brand that would see it through modern times, however a logo update has to also be seen in the context of the current business climate.
The timing for something this drastic wasn’t great given the bad publicity at the time around delivery driver strikes and so feedback of the new logo was tainted by that.
This eventually saw the company’s Head of Design and Brand leave to “take time off.”
Created completely in-house, there were great plans to localise the logos in each country using national inspiration (such as pink tile patterns in Mexico).
However the harsh reality was that, on a practical level, the app became difficult for potential customers to find in the app store.
When you begin to lose existing customers, or potential new customers, then you’ve definitely travelled too far down the logo update road.
The key advice is to consider a logo update as an evolution rather than a revolution.
You may want to follow in the footsteps of Johnson Banks. The studio embraced the growing public interest in design, and harnessed it during the 2017 logo rebrand process itself for free software community, and widely regarded “heroes of the web”, Mozilla.
It was a hugely ambitious, fully open-source rebrand project - involving the public at key stages of the process and enabling them to steer the creative routes chosen.
4. Incorporating your Brand's Message
Rebranding and logo design is an opportunity to communicate updated brand messages about what a company does, how it does it and what it believes while it does it.
The retro graphic design theme noted above has been particularly successful for some big companies.
The introduction of “new vintage” logos linked in to a wider communications strategy of going back to their roots, marketing their experience and tapping in to a wider public discourse around British patriotism and buying local.
In terms of communicating through crisis, logo and brand updates can also help when it comes to lobbying and brand disaster-recovery.
Take for instance BP’s famous logo update from a badge to a sun/flower-like symbol. This blatant attempt to promote a more eco-friendly persona obviously contradicted their entire solid fuel industry.
Landor’s rebrand work for BP attracted its fair share of controversy for ‘greenwashing’ the oil giant.
Not all emotive logo updates are so explicit, however. Fast food brand Subway’s latest logo update was also more than an identity redesign, although it may not have been so obvious to the public.
The underpinning message was about marketing authenticity and humanity and, as they described it themselves, communicating “a fresh start.”
Social media videos accompanied the logo launch, telling inspiring tales of remarkable feats of triumph by everyday Americans.
The tone was definitely a move towards the good and aspirational, and away from the fast and the unhealthy.
5.Considering your Competitors
Mastercard’s recent logo relaunch was a case in point of how important it is to maintain position, and differentiation among competitors, even while employing modern design trends.
Their new logo is more minimalist and clean in style, and the colours and shapes synonymous with the brand remain.
This ensures they don’t move towards something that would confuse customers, or align too closely with competitors in their industry.
Competitor research is important for new logo designs, too.
Many brands have distinctive features in their logos but how far do we go with accrediting ownership to said features?
An animal may be enough to rule out its use, but does that mean avoiding colours, shapes and styles, too?
In some industries particular colours are common among all brands because of colour psychology, and what it communicates to consumers.
Blue, for example, is really popular in tech across brands like: Dell, HP, Twitter, WordPress and Facebook, to name but a few.
The real deciding factor is whether the new logo is likely to be confused with an existing one, and if competitors are within the same industry then the likelihood of that is higher, so it’s best to differentiate where possible.
Remember that many of the world’s most recognisable logos (think Apple in the 1980’s) stand out primarily because they go against the entrenched branding conventions of their industries and were considered to be ahead of, not of, their time.
Subscribe to the Blog with or | Post Updated: June 6th, 2017 | First Published: April 24, 2017
Posted by: Graham Smith in Categories: Guest Post, Tips & Advice
There are plenty of articles discussing the 2017 colour trends for graphic design: here are Top 6 Tips to help you work with these 2017 colour trends.
These articles detail the heavy, saturated tones that we can expect to see more of this year, but how do we practically incorporate them into our work?
For some brands and clients, these kinds of tones need to be applied subtly, in accents and final touches, whereas for others they may actually benefit from the full injection of colour and life.
From “Primrose Yellow” and “Flame” to “Kale” and “Lapis Blue”, none of these colours intrinsically sit easily together. They clash, powerfully, in a was that seems discordant but can still work given the right canvas and artistic treatment.
The clash of bright and earthy tones is supposed to be representative of the colours that surround us in nature, however they can be troublesome for brands to work with.
With the help of trade printing company QuinnsThePrinters we bring you the Top 6: Do's and Do Not's, of using the 2017 colour palette, taking into account the brand, tone and desires of each client.
2017 Colour Trends in Graphic Design - 6 Top Tips
Do introduce colour sparingly
Colour is one of the most profound elements of branding because it triggers an emotional response and triggers memory, specifically the recall of brands. That usually requires a strong sense of consistency within the designs.
But of course, to keep them fresh and up-to-date, it can be helpful to incorporate some of the hues that consumers will be seeing around them from fashion to interiors. a
This will resonate and strengthen their affiliation to the new designs they see.
Do utilise the meaning behind the colour
Pantone’s overall 2017 colour of the year is “Greenery.” It is supposed to symbols nature, new beginnings and reflects that growing sense in society of a need to reconnect with nature.
PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery
Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
It’s a fresh yellow-green shade which gives consumers a sense of being reinvigorated. This can work really well for new brands who want to present a fresh take on their space in the market.
The Kale tones are explicitly good choices for any clients related to healthy living, diet and food - particularly organics - lifestyle balance, vitality and youth and a focus on the environment or simply enjoying the outdoors.
But even as an accent or add-on colour, Greenery can work within a brand’s existing design to highlight environmental efforts in the responsibility and transparency side of operations.
In photography too, a greater emphasis on natural shades and outdoor scenes would be a subtle way to incorporate this theme.
Don’t clash brand tone with palette emotion
Similarly with the other palettes, there are distinct moods and emotions elicited from each that will only work if it sits emotively alongside the client’s brand tone.
The “daydreaming” palette is light and serene, whereas “acquired taste” is subtle and luxurious. The “reminisence” palette is good for eliciting nostalgia whereas “florabundant” brings drama.
Also take note of the abundance of earthy tones such as terracotta and browns. These may not work with sleek brands, minimalist products or modern services for example.
Do accent; don’t conflict
Trying to use all of the colours together could lead to a real conflict of attention and an unwelcome response from confused or visually overwhelmed consumers.
However it’s worth bearing in mind that alongside these bold colour palettes, the prediction for neutral tone popularity sits alongside that. Rather than contrasting, using both together is the key to balance in graphic design this year.
Powerful colours paired with the blacks, greys and camel hues creates depth and juxtaposition that both seeks attention and also maintains the eye to fully convey the message.
Don’t force through it; find a way around it
If the colours themselves really will not work with the brand brief or the client’s own preferences, then there’s no point trying to crowbar it in.
There are workarounds to bring the same “nature” effect into the graphic design. Solutions include the use of actual greenery - such as scenery or vivid close-up photography that includes the tones.
Similarly, the use of leafy typography or designs the bend and sprout in the way foliage in nature would, or to use natural wood effects as a background rather than an object is another workaround.
Keeping the bright tones to accents only and more fully incorporating the neutral tones of beiges, nude and camel can work well with only too.
Do match the colour trends to the design trends
Colour and design should work effortlessly together to convey and inherent message within the branding product.
However clients may come with a specific graphic design theme in mind, leaving it to you to pair it suitably with the right colour palettes.
So we bear in mind that certain design trends of 2017 will work better alongside particular tones within the new palettes.
Modern retro is remaining strong in design popularity and it works well with the clashing hues of deep and bright duotone colours on the charts.
Think khaki, or olive green, alongside brick red.
Minimalism too remains a common theme and is ideally suited the stark contrast of the bright or monochrome backdrops with neutrals.
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The Logo Smith: Logo Designer & Brand Identity Design Studio, with 25 Years Experience,
in Cahoots with, The PR Room - Public Relations Agency: Tech, IoT & Smarthome PR Services.
Graham Smith: 10 Badgers Copse, Seaford, East Sussex, England.
Tel: +44 (0) 7816 527 462 - Email: [email protected]