What Is a Company Logo?

Many small business owners spend weeks or months creating a business plan and days inventing the perfect company name, but another key element in marketing your brand is your logo. A logo is a visual representation that appears on company signs, paper and advertisements that customers use to identify your company. The best logos offer more than simple identification: they also give customers a sense of your company’s character and values.

Significance of a Logo

A company logo is a symbol of your company’s identity. It creates your customers’ first impression of your company. The best logos send a message to customers about the company’s values, create brand loyalty and give company letterhead, vehicles and signs a more professional appearance.

Some company logos convey a message with no words or explanation required, such as Mr. Clean, who represents strength. Others are fun or memorable once consumers associate the logo with a particular product or service, such as the Aflac duck or Geico gekko. Eventually, consumers get the business logo meaning. Popular logos and brands go hand in hand after the connection is established.

Types of Logos

The three basic kinds of logos are font-based, literal illustrations and abstract symbols, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Some logos use a combination of these types. Font-based logos consist of just the company name in a carefully chosen font that makes it stand out. Literal illustrations, such as a loaf of bread alongside the name of a bakery, simply send a message about what that company does.

Abstract symbols, such as Nike’s swoosh, are immediately identified with the company’s brand and image that promotes an athletic way of life. Using just a symbol as a logo is a risky move as it requires customers to immediately associate your company with that symbol, whereas a font-based logo allows consumers to recognize new companies by their name.

Features of Logos

All of the design choices involved in creating a logo ultimately represent the company in a specific way: as classy, cutting edge, inventive or sincere. Imagery, font and color all work together to create this image. For example, a bakery called “From the Hearth” that wants to create an image of warmth, love and sincerity might use script that looks handwritten for their company name. They might also incorporate hearts, an image of home or other symbols that suggest love and sincerity.

Red could become a predominate color that communicates the image they have in mind. When business owners begin to design logos, it’s important to consider how their logo can communicate an image that will attract their target audience and differentiate their company from the competition. They should also consider how this logo will look on business signs, vehicles and packaging.

Considerations When Creating Logos

Using more than three colors can become expensive when reproducing a logo on letterhead, business cards and elsewhere, so it’s best to stick with three or fewer that will best emphasize your company’s image. If you don’t have a background in design, it’s worth it to hire a logo designer who is experienced in creating logos for companies within your industry. You can share your ideas with the designer and work together to create the best logo for your company.