The Psychology of Brand Logos

Your logo is one of the most important components of your brand. It represents everything your brand stands for in a single design. There’s a lot that goes into a simple logo, and you might be surprised to find out just how much psychology is behind those of big brands. Designing the right logo can make all the difference in the world for the success of your business.

Before You Start Designing Your Logo

Before you even get started on your design, there are some things you need to know. You’ll need to consider your industry, determine what your brand values and its personality, and figure out your target audience. Is your brand casual and laid back, targeting Millennials and Gen Z, or do you serve older generations who are transitioning to senior life? Once you have that all worked out, you’ll need to decide whether you want to work with a graphic designer or try to design your own logo.

Graphic designers are highly skilled and trained and can provide you with plenty of ideas and suggestions, but they can also be expensive. Designing a logo on your own can be intimidating, but with DIY tools like Deluxe’s logo maker, you can create a design based on industry-specific templates, so the hard part is taken care of for you. After you’ve made these initial decisions, you’re ready to start designing.

Factors That Need to Be Considered When Creating a Logo

When it comes to designing a logo, everything has meaning—the color, font, shapes, and symbols represent something to the consumer. Here’s what you need to know:

Color – Colors hold a lot of meaning—they speak to and evoke emotion. You’ll want to be careful when choosing which color(s) you incorporate into your design. Red typically represents love, passion, romance, and energy; blue invokes a sense of peace, serenity, confidence, and integrity; yellow is known for displaying happiness, friendliness, and warmth.

Green typically represents life, nature, money, and freshness while orange is associated with innovation, creativity, and ideas. Purples are historically the color of royalty and are reminiscent of wisdom and dignity. Black represents power, mystery, and sophistication, and even rainbow colors and color combinations have meaning, communicating positivity, boldness, and playfulness.

Font – The font you use sends a big message, too. Serif fonts (like Times New Roman) suggest reliability, respect, and dependability; sans serif fonts (like Arial) communicate simplicity, modernity, and cleanliness; script fonts (like Lucida Script) invoke a sense of creativity, emotion, and femininity; and modern fonts (like Bodoni) strike consumers as elegant, intelligent, and futuristic. Used less often are display fonts (like Gigi), which are much more whimsical and communicate a laid back, quirky attitude.

Shapes and Symbols – There are virtually endless shapes and symbols you could use in your logo. Traditional shapes like circles, rectangles, and triangles all hold their own meanings, while shapes like hearts communicate a distinct message, too. Even curves, spirals, and abstract shapes suggest something to the consumer.

For example, symmetrical shapes communicate organization, stability, and dependability; abstract shapes communicate ideas; organic shapes communicate comfort; circles communicate community and togetherness; rectangles communicate familiarity and trust, and triangles communicate power.

Dissecting Famous Logos

Looking at other brands’ logos is a great way to examine the way logo psychology works for consumers and to incorporate those powerful messages into your own logo. Here are a few top brands and what their logos communicate:

Coca-Cola – What do you usually think of when you see the Coke logo? Perhaps happiness, energy, getting together with friends, nostalgia? Coca-Cola’s logo is red, communicating energy and excitement. They use a script font, which offers a sense of creativity, and they accent it with a curved line under the text, suggesting comfort and fluidity.

BBC – BBC is a news source that almost all can regard as professional and trustworthy. Their logo is fairly simple, but it still holds a lot of meaning. The black color is indicative of power and sophistication, while the box shape around the letters shows organization, stability, familiarity, and trust. Even the font they use, a sans serif, communicates simplicity and authority.

eBay – It’s colorful and unique, making eBay’s logo a strong message to consumers. The multi-colored logo suggests boldness and whimsy, while the bold display font communicates their relaxed buy-sell-trade vibe. Their original logo, with the letters overlapping, was even more representative of their playfulness, while their new logo is sleeker and more modern, emphasizing the company’s growth and refinement over the years.

Final Thoughts

Your brand’s logo says a lot about you in a single image or design. From the color to the font and the symbols and shapes used, your logo sends a message about your brand, its values, and its personality. It’s important to consider all of the psychological factors behind a logo before making a final decision on design—you want to be sure your logo sends the right message and accurately represents everything your brand stands for.