Often, your logo is the first image people see. It’s the one piece of your branding that people make their first judgement on, and can be the difference in attracting customers, or not.
While it is only one element of your overall branding, it’s a really important one to get right. Because aside from the message it sends out to your customers, it also sets the precedent for the rest of your branding, your image, and even your voice.
Your logo, in a way, is the very personality of a business. It’s the image that people will most remember, the one they will expect to see when they visit you, on- and offline.
Creating a logo – a designer’s view
When people approach me and my team at The Severn Agency to create their company logo, they expect it to be a quick process, because ideally, they want something simple and unfussy – but it’s a process that takes more time than they realise to get right.
The process starts with a conversation. I want to get a feel for what the company represents; and that means getting to know the people behind the brand, how they see the business or product range, and the type of audience they want to attract.
From those conversations, we start to collate ideas in the form of a mood board, collecting examples of colours, styles, symbols – and we ask them to do the same. Sometimes the client doesn’t want to do that, they just want us to get on with the job – and that’s ok, but it’s always really useful to have a visual idea of what’s in the client’s mind.
In my opinion, the most effective logos are those with a symbol which includes the name, or the name as text with a treatment added, not just an icon with the name typed next to it – I always try to do them like this but it isn’t always possible.
My five favourite logo creations
It’s always hard to choose favourites. Every project is different, and as a designer, you tend to put a lot of yourself into them. But saying that, there are always the ones that you remember. The ones that bring a smile when you remember working on them, and that you feel proud to have created. And these are the ones that do that for me.
Iron and Rose: The client asked me if I could make it look like a seal or stamp, something to give it a sense authority. The central icon represents the rose but we added the small rivet onto the flower head to suggest it’s made from cast iron. The deep red/purple comes from the colour of the wine…
Glouglou: It’s a strange word which we thought sounded squashy or liquid. We hand drew it so it looked more flexible, and made the letters all individual. Originally it was just going to be the lettering, but at the last minute the client asked for some sort of symbol to be included. It was difficult to get something to fit into the shape, so we played with the sizes to create a gap into which we could add something. The shape doesn’t really stand for anything definite; the viewer can interpret it as whatever they want it to be: a tap, a flower or just a splat or spill of liquid.
Concrete Futures: This was one was at the start of the year for an exhibition stand at Futurebuild. The letter shapes show a cut through representing a rising bar, moving forward, onwards and upwards, etc.
Cafe Concrete: A project for the same client as above – this one was for an event, a series of lectures promoting the use of concrete in architecture. The logo is a strong cast block which is, unusually, used as large as possible every time.
Ashmolean Museum: The three blocks come from the curve of a ridged column at the entrance to the museum – as the column curves towards you, perspective makes the ridge wider as it comes forwards. The type and layout of the logo gives it a Romanesque look to match their building, they didn’t go for it anyway…
All of these logo designs are simple concepts, yet portray the essence and personality of the brand. It’s important when people see the logo, they get a sense of what the company does, who they are, and that then spills out into the rest of their branding.