Saturday, May 22, 2010

Logos & Fonts As Part Of Your Branded Identity

Branding encompasses everything that has to do with your company's image. Logos, colors & fonts used are components that make up only a part of the entire branded identity but it's a very important part.
Your logo is the first impression, of not just who you are, but how reliable your company is. Logos are a representation of your entire's products, it's philosophies & it's mantra. All of that has to fit into one simple design.

Whether you are using your logo on packaging, printed material, promotional custom products or online; it is most often the first point of contact with your company's brand. If it creates an initial image that is inconsistent with your brand identity, then it starts off the branding experience by sending mixed signals. And you don't want that!

The most common & safest route to go when creating a logo is to use both images: your logo (ideogram) & your company name (logotype). Many national & international corporations use only ideograms as their logo, but if you're not one of those large, well-known entities then using just an ideogram will not bring you recognition. To be identified by the public, it's important that your company name be part of your logo.

Your logo is one of the most important parts of your company's identity since it's used to aid & promote instant public recognition. Because of this it's counterproductive to frequently redesign logos. In other words, once you display it as part of your identity, think of it as being carved in stone.
Fonts are as important to your business image as color & your logo. Many typefaces already represent certain industries, & by using them, a company who's part of that industry shows they're trustworthy & values long-standing tradition.

Three examples are:
BANK GOTHIC depicts action or sci-fi movies but works against the food or restaurant industry.
ITC AVANT GARDE is a fashion industry standard but is not appropriate for banking or financial institutions.
TRAJAN PRO is a font influenced by the style of ancient romans' chiseled writings, yet the clarity of this font also makes it work well with modern printed materials. Law firms & universities use this but it would have a negative impact on packaging for baby products.

A font, alone, can act as your logo without a design or shape if you choose a type style that stands out & represents you. You then have to use it consistently as you would an ideogram. Make sure it's part of your signature at the bottom of your emails & that you use it on all mailings, advertising & on the promotional imprinted products you give out.
Type is everywhere so be certain your choice ties in psychologically with your service or product & your goals.

Whatever you do, don't rush into picking a font & designing your logo because once it's out there for everyone to see, it tells the public who you are. It's introducing you to people you can't possibly meet in person so you need to put your best foot forward in this arena just as you would if you were to personally meet them face-to-face.
Look at other company's fonts & logos & see if you feel it accurately represents them. What does their logo tell you about their business? It may help you decide what to choose for your own & what to stay away from.

Ronni Sherman


  1. Another good article packed with information everyone who has a business should read. Our logo was around long before the term "branding" became popular. We had it modernized so it could fit our new image. It's now "written in stone" as you say.

  2. I wish my father-in-law would read this and change our logo and typeface. They look like they're from the 1800's and too formal for today's look.