The Psychology of a logo

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“People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with a product.” (Singh 2006)

Taking the above statement into consideration gives some idea of the importance of having a good logo for your business. You and your logo shall become inseparable, it will be on all your business cards that you hand out to potential clients or contacts, it will be on all your signage, it will be your letterhead, it will be on all your promotional products, and of course it may be on your own product. A lot of factors have to be taken into consideration when designing your logo, as you can see your logo and you should have a long and fruitful friendship.

“ In a climate of intensifying competition, where there is little functional differentiation in product performance and consumers have become more marketing-literate, articulate, powerful and even cynical, explicit brand claims are scrutinised, deconstructed and dismissed unless they offer genuine news and credible benefits.” (Braithwaite 2002)

There are certain characteristics that your logo should encompass, it should be:

Unique, your logo is your differentiator in today’s competitive market.
Relevant, your logo should be relevant to your market and it should portray clearly the image you want to associate with your business.
Appealing, your logo should be appealing to your target market, do not make it too specific to one market segment though or you may alienate potential customers.

Great consideration has to be taken when you decide which image to associate with your business, people use imagery as a way of aiding memory, a good image which encompasses the above characteristics will have a greater chance of being recalled by a potential consumer.
See, I was just testing you there but I am sure you can instantly recall Starbuck’s prestigious logo.

Imagery does not just help in producing an aesthetically pleasing picture, it has been scientifically proven that certain images produce physiological changes, Braithwaite 2005 states that, imagery of various kinds produces physiological effects of heart rate, pupil dilation and blood sugar. This may surprise you but the right imagery coupled along with the right colour could be unbelievably paramount in the success of your company’s logo. It has been shown that red stimulates appetite and yellow attracts attention, hello McDonalds. Blue and green suggest calmness and hygiene, white suggests purity, sterility and youth. Black is a multi-dimensional colour that can mean classic or new, it also has an ominous characteristic symbolizing death. Orange is energy, enthusiasm, ‘get-it-done’ attitude, and balance. Indigo symbolises intuition and violet has connotations of magic. Colour also has very strong ties to culture so attention has to be paid to which country you are operating in and what colours are going to be the most productive for your business. The human subconscious turns colour instantaneously into messages and this whole process happens faster than it takes to read a single word. Therefore selecting the right colour is one of the most difficult decisions a business will make and is not one to be taken lightly.

“Prudent use of colours can contribute not only to differentiating products from competitors, but also to influencing moods and feelings.” (Singh 2006)

The correct use of images and colour in your logo will go a long way in helping to establish profitable and sustaining relationships with your customers. It is maybe useful to think of some of the most successful logos in graphic design history, what do they all have in common? Simplicity.

shell logoShell – Raymond Lowey 1971

innocent logoInnocent Smoothies – Deepend 1999

london underground logoThe London Underground – Edward Jonston 1918

apple logoApple – Regis McKenna Advertising

In conclusion, get the right imagery, use the right colours and make it relevant, unique and appealing to your target market and you are most definitely onto a winner when it comes to successful logo design.

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