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Fundamentals of a Logo

I like to view logos as if you’re shaking hands with a stranger for the first time.  The first impression is very important and is established within seconds. Logos give your brand personality and an image to fall under.  The logo for your brand should serve the purpose of supplying your brand’s message across multiple platforms so people know what your company represents.

So what makes a logo functional and appealing?

Psychology plays a huge role in successful logos and how your logo resonates with people emotionally.

COLOR – I would say color is one of the biggest components of a logo. What colors you decide to use can affect how your target audience views your brand.

Blue: Trust and security.

Orange: Confident and social.

Green: Balance and growth. Usually associated with health (note: Green is also the easiest color for the eyes to process.)

Yellow: Optimistic and warm.

Purple: Creative and soothing.

Red: Alert and exciting (note: We respond to red when we are hungry. Why do you think there are so many fast food restaurants that use red in their signage? They want us to eat there!)

SHAPE – To the consumer, shapes can mean various things.


Circles, Ovals, and Ellipses:  Projects a positive, community message. Also represents friendship, love, and unity.

Squares and Triangles: Projects a message of balance and stability. Also gives a sense of professionalism. But be careful because the sharp edges associated with blues and grays can seem distant and uninviting.

Type: The shape of your font also determines how your logo is perceived. Angular typefaces may appear aggressive, where as soft, rounded letters give a youthful appearance. A script typeface would represent elegance or tradition.

You can get a sense of what I am trying to say about how shapes can define your brand by viewing some of these examples.

There are also some rules to follow…


ms2Does your logo look as good on a billboard as it does in the corner of a letterhead? What about in black and white? A successful logo must be able to cross multiple platforms and still stay consistent. Some brands will add minimal variety within the logo, like a selection of colors to alternate between, a logo with a tag line and without, but only change minor details to where it maintains the brand image.

The Mohawk logo is a great example of a logo using multiple variations, yet still maintaining consistency in its image. Only minor details of the logo changed and the foundation remained the same.


An easy way to make sure your logo stays versatile and readable is to keep it simple; having one single feature of your logo stand out. You want your brand to become a recognizable symbol across the board, and simplicity ensures you can achieve this. It is also easier for the eye to recognize. For example, if you are driving down the highway and a logo displayed is excessive and loud, your logo will only be a distraction and unmemorable.


Unless you want to become a part of the white noise, don’t follow trends. Like every trend, they tend to fade and you will be forgotten in the fog. Make your logo unique to who you want your brand to be, whether it’s a customized font or a specific icon that sets you apart. A brand like Coca Cola has had the same logo for decades and remains to be an iconic brand in our minds. Now, achieving this is very difficult and you can hit or miss, but it is better to try to be original than follow the herd and lose sight of what your brand’s message. Don’t worry, even Coca Cola didn’t have their logo nailed the first time and went through alterations.


The possibilities are endless! Just remember to have fun and get creative. Here are a few logos that I think will inspire you.









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