Logos For The Modern Era
What Kind of Logo Should You Have?
Creating logos for entrepreneurs is one of the most rewarding experiences in our profession. For the entrepreneur, however, it can be a real point of tension. It’s a huge commitment to adopt a single visual signifier to represent your new business in the marketplace. The decision can be anxious-making, and the work of it can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to work with creatives like us to get the job done seamlessly along a transparent, organized timeline.
It’s not over once the design is complete, either. Logos have to work for their brand. They need to show up on your new website, on social media, on product packaging and marketing material. It’s a lot to ask of a single object, really. Yet, a well-made logo can do all of that and make your brand stand apart time and time again.
We ask our clients more about how they envision their logo working for them than we do questions about style and inspiration. The latter two are important, but the first thought is primary. If the logo, and variants of the logo, aren’t designed to work . . . well, then you are in trouble.
There are a lot of creative routes we can take to create a modern logo that can be responsive to various environments. Here are a few styles to consider:
Imagine if your business name was your logo. Styled in a gorgeous font, of course. Yet, that’s not quite enough to make it interesting, or to ensure that it can fit in all of the spaces it needs to show up in. Arranging the typography of your name in any way other than a traditional Western left-to-right, linear, presentation is an example of an alternative arrange. You could arrange your logo in various ways:
- Stacked groups of letters
- Split in half
- Oriented along an angle
- Stacked into a solid square
The possibilities go on and on.
In every circumstance, your logo has to fit a prescribed set of dimensions. The idea is never to fill those dimensions, but to utilize the space to create the most appealing presentation of your logo. Negative space is an excellent thing, and with intention can be utilized in interesting ways. In particular, negative spaces help declutter otherwise busy interfaces, and guides the eye. In the hands of a designer, it can be a powerful tool for guiding the presentation of your logo.
The Seal / Stamp
You might have noticed the wave of “seal” or “stamp” shaped logos. They often have the business name oriented around an arch or a full circle with icons to embellish the typography and add an extra oomph. These are incredibly common because of their versatility. They can be scaled to any size, which makes them perfect for a mobile app, a website, a product box or even a monument sign.
There’s also the single icon route. You can create something really iconic with this route. It can be difficult, but it works for some brands. Think of Amazon’s smile (or is it an arrow from A to Z), Airbnb’s rune type symbol, or even Uber’s unique pin drop. You’d of course have a variant with your name in type (ideally), which would help build up the association of the icon to your brand. The icon, however, is what can stand in for your primary logo. As with the seal, it’s a highly versatile stand in.
A variant of the icon approach, is the single letter logo. For certain brands, leading with typography makes sense. It can have a powerful effect, too. We instantly recognize even highly stylized letters and they can be evocative for us. Language is central to everything and so the use of a letter can ignite curiosity.
Creativity is What Differentiates in Business
Now is the time for brands to embrace creativity and partnering with creative agencies. With business formation rising and a marketplace already flooded with inspiring brands, creativity is the only thing that will call attention to the other attribute of your business that are worth talking about. Now is the time to be bold and try new things. Take Typeform for example. They recently went through an introspective process as an organization to determine how to better put forward a visual brand identity. The result is something truly unique, a simple brand image that morphs before your own eyes. It’s animated! And, that’s alright for a brand that exists online.