Psychology of a Logo - The Color and the Shape

A logo is the strongest, most recognizable symbol of a brand. Logos are what consumers scan shelves for when they are browsing an aisle full of different choices for same or similar products. Logos make purchases quicker, easier, and they provide a sense of feeling that the buyer has made the "right" choice in their decision. But crafting a logo isn't as simple as drawing a sketch and adding some colors. To make an outstanding logo that consumers will recognize and become loyal to, you need to incorporate a bit of psychology.

A logo’s design will impact how the company is viewed, accepted, or even turned away. It’s for these reasons that a logo’s design needs to instill thoughts and emotions of trust, loyalty, affordability, authority, or excitement. A logo should subliminally convince consumers that your brand is the best choice on the market. After all, 93% of purchases are judged by the customer’s visual perception of your brand.

Let’s start with color. 80% of consumers report that color increases brand recognition. Additionally, 85% cite color as the main reason for buying a product. Those are big numbers! Therefore, it is ideal to choose colors that represent your brand message. Sun Graphics Media has an entire blog post about Color Theory, so there's a perfect opportunity to touch upon what colors send the right message to your consumers.

Just like color theory, font theory is applied in creating a brand logo. Choosing the right font for your logo will set an attitude and tone for your brand. Most brands you see make very particular decisions when it comes to their logo text. Some of these steps are so subtle that consumers don’t even notice it on the surface, but the message is delivered subliminally. Take FedEx for example; the company’s logo has no space between its bolded letters, signifying a tight, time-oriented and punctual service. On another hand, variations of script font are used by companies like Cadillac and Coca-Cola to express elegance and convey creativity. Font psychology tells consumers a lot about your brand before they ever make a purchase, so choosing your brand’s font is critical to its success.

Choosing the right shape for your logo is just as important as color and font. The human subconscious is designed to remember shapes and respond to straight lines, circles, curves, and jagged edges in different ways. A skilled logo designer will use shapes to characterize the qualities of a brand. Circles, ovals, and ellipses represent a positive message of community, relationships, and unity while shapes with pointed edges like squares, rectangles, and triangles suggest stability, strength, and professionalism.

Lines are equally as suggestive as color, font, and shape. Horizontal lines are associated with community, tranquility, and calmness whereas vertical lines are interpreted as aggressive or maintaining strength. Lines and shape also transfer their qualities into text. Jagged and angular fonts often appear as aggressive or dynamic, while softer, rounded letters are more feminine or youthful.

Everyone and their cousin thinks they have the best idea for a brand logo, but the truth is that logos require a lot more thought put into them than what the average person perceives, which is part of the game! A logo needs to be obvious on the surface while planting an idea in the minds of consumers; basically, brand inception.

With this knowledge about the psychology of brand logos, you can now make the decision to hire a media agency who has the knowledge, experience, and skill set to design a logo that genuinely encompasses your brand, sends the right messages, and plants the right perceptions into your target audience.
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