Designing A logo For Social Media
Let’s get straight to the point. Your logo is super important. It’s your unique signature. And when customers are faced with a plethora of brands when scrolling through their social media newsfeeds, it’s your logo that you want them to recognise and take notice of.
But I’ve heard that content is king? Sure, content will always be critical. Without it, potential customers would struggle to find you.
To strike the perfect balance, think of your content as your language and your logo as your visual language – they have to marry up and 100% complement each other.
Is if YAY to free stuff, or NAY?
While free stuff has one huge benefit in that it’s …. free, the adage of, ‘There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch’ springs to mind. It’s impossible to get something for nothing, and in the case of a free design service this is definitely the case.
For a start, there’s no substance behind these designs, they don’t take your values into account, nor do they help you to present or position your brand strategically. If your logo doesn’t get noticed, or recognised, then it’s a complete waste.
And with the rise of free design platforms, many business owners may be fooled into thinking that design doesn’t matter anymore.
It really does.
Small space: Big impact
With social media being such a crowded space, I guess it’s only fair that the platforms only allow the smallest of spaces for brands to showcase their logos. Now, while this less than generous space may make people think ‘what’s the point’, use this to your advantage. If you’ve got an effective logo, you’ve a better chance of standing out.
The 10 elements that you’ll find in every successful logo
Before I reveal what these essential 10 elements are, let’s remind ourselves of the two most iconic logos of our time. They’re living proof that design matters!
The company Nike was named after the Winged Goddess of Victory, and the fluid ‘swoosh’ logo embodies speed, movement, power, and motivation. All representative of the goddess’ character and the brand’s image to continually inspire today’s athletes.
And, no matter where you are in the world, once you spot the Golden Arches you know you’ve found a McDonalds. In fact, it’s the power of familiarity that drives their success. Go into any one of their restaurants and you know exactly what the menu will be, how to order and where to collect the food. This winning formula is replicated throughout their chain for good reason.
1. Keep it simple
I’ve put this as the number one rule for good reason, without simplicity you cannot achieve the other 9 elements. Simplicity is the ultimate foundation on which you can build stronger associations and trust. Plus, it’s more practical, so if you decide to use your logo on printed material, it’ll scale better.
· Embrace simple designs that instantly stand out and exude universal appeal.
· Don’t be tempted to use a complex design, intricacies can be lost and seen as clutter.
· If you’re using your company name, strip the design back so the name is clear and prominent.
2. Choose your font carefully
The font you select speaks volumes when it comes to what kind of business you are and will influence a person’s perception of your brand in an instant.
· Avoid decorative ‘Serif’ fonts. On social media, there’s no way a fancy font can be read without squinting and all you’re doing is making life difficult for the reader – your potential client.
· If you can, opt for a Sans Serif font to achieve a clean, modern look.
· For a totally unique look, consider a hand drawn logo. But be cautious with them as while they can add oodles of personality, they might not be supported in all instances and leave the customer looking at a weird substitute font instead.
3. Be consistent
To accomplish brand recognition, you must behave like the big guys. Let’s go back to McDonalds for a second – if ever there was a brand that has nailed consistency in everything they do, it’s them. They’re predictable, their customers know exactly what to expect from them time and time again. Ultimately this consistency turns into trust.
· Make sure your logo is always presented in the same way.
· Don’t create multiple versions of your logo – this just adds confusion and can create feelings of mistrust.
· The designs that you use on social media must be echoed on your website and any offline materials too.
4. Understand the meaning behind shapes
There’s a thing called the psychology of influence when it comes to design and marketing. With that in mind did you know that shapes alone can send messages to our brains?
We see symbols in our everyday lives, for example when we see a triangular shaped road sign, we instinctively know that we must take action. Triangles exude power in the world of shapes and tend to be favoured by brands associated with religion, science, and law – that said, triangles are an absolute nightmare to work with, so I’d recommend avoiding them at all costs!
· To promote positivity, choose a circle or an oval.
· To project a feeling of stability, balance, and efficiency you should consider incorporating straight lines into your logo design.
· Vertical lines are known to evoke feelings of aggression while horizontal lines promote calmer feelings.
· Along with triangles, avoid octagons and dodecahedrons. They only over-complicate the design process and have no obvious meaning to the customer.
5. Put brand image before perspective
Logos have traditionally always been 2D. But since Apple created a 3D logo back in 1998, many brands followed suit. Now, if you ask me, just because someone else does something, that’s not a good enough to do the same. There’s so much more at stake here – your brand image for one.
· You can’t go wrong with 2D. It’s agile, scalable and is translatable on all mediums.
· 3D can give depth, but you must weigh up whether the extra cost (which can be considerable) is a sensible use of your marketing budget.
· If you do go ahead with a 3D logo, never make this your primary logo.
Your brand’s colour palette, just like the shapes you choose, will trigger emotions. It really is worth working with a design expert, or at the very least doing your own research, to make sure the colours that you use mirror your values.
· Don’t be hell-bent on using as many colours as you can in a bid to stand out. The only time it would make sense, and have meaning, is if the word Rainbow is in your company name.
· Primary colours are always visible and easy on the eye. Think red, blue, green, and yellow.
· Monochromatic colour schemes (a single colour with a variety of tints and hues) will give your logo a classic and established look.
· Consider the different backgrounds that your logo may sit on and if you are going for a variety of colours select from the same colour spectrum to create harmony.
· Be inclusive. Be mindful that visually impaired and colour-blind people struggle with certain colours, and certain combinations of colours.
7. Know your audience
I’ve seen instances when ego takes over when it comes to logo design. While the end result may look great, it has zero meaning. It’s vital that you think about your message – what is it that you want your logo to say to your customers and your potential customers?
· Take time over your brand positioning. Who exactly are you? How do you want your customers to feel every time they interact with you? What have you got that your customers want?
· Create a logo that suits their expectations and taste.
· Identify what resonates and appeals to them.
· If you’re outsourcing the design of your logo, watch over the designers carefully. Your logo is for YOUR customers, not just another project for them to put forward for a design award. Yes, this does happen!
8. Make it memorable
This is a tough one, but not impossible. Logos that can stand alone, easy to understand and say something about the brand are the most memorable.
· Be prepared for plenty of revisions. In the early stages of design, it’s okay to reject some. Discovering what doesn’t work, it’s just as important as homing in on the elements that do.
· Using a shape, symbol or texture that highlights an aspect or USP of your brand or service is incredibly powerful.
· If you want to add words, don’t use more than three.
· For every revision, ask yourself, ‘does this relay what I want to communicate?’
9. Strive for simplicity and uniqueness
No doubt, you’ll have realised that simplicity rules when it comes to designing an effective social media logo, but the pursuit of simplicity can often render a logo bland and uninspiring.
· Step away from those free online design platforms.
· Employ simple styles, maybe it’s a chamfered or a rounded corner, or the clever use of negative space.
· If a company has several components to it, be creative in how you represent those different elements coming together. Afterall, a well-crafted logo is one that is a visual manifestation of the company and its offering.
10. Make it dynamic with animation
If you’re looking for a way to stand out from your competitors, and if your logo can support it, consider animation – maybe think about having a loading logo to make waiting a bit more fun. Take Reddit for example, their robot logo is elevated when its antennae rotates, its eyes blink and its mouth moves.
· Done properly, animation will add the wow factor making your logo look slick and cutting edge.
· Think about how the animation can reflect a facet or element of your offering or service.
· Speed, flexibility, agility, and innovation for example can all be communicated through animation.