Designing a logo usually takes a lot of effort, especially since logo are like an organization’s signature. Once you see, you should know what it stands for, even without the presence of any slogan.
Logo design is the first order of business when setting up the identity of any organization. As such, a designer must make it a point to use whatever tools are current, while instilling a sense of balance at the same time. One of the most effective designs is using illustrations. In fact, a logo is an illustration, not just a play on fonts or text.
Initially, the two advantages of using illustrations in logo design are the following:
By using unique illustrations, you are able to set the organization apart. In a sea of logos, a designer should aim to make the logo stand. Playing on text generally does not accomplish much, especially in the face of so much competition.
For instance, everyone is familiar with Google, the search engine. Their logo design has these letter Os right smack in the middle. One could imagine them as googly eyes which fits perfectly with their company. Technically, you would not describe their logo as having an illustration, but it has the hint of something hidden. Thus, it is an excellent example of a company logo asserting its identity in a subtle manner.
Google also has a secondary logo design which it uses just like an abbreviation of its company name. In the business of logo design, this is known as a favorite icon, or favicon. It was started by Microsoft and soon caught on because of its simplistic manner of embedding the company image onto a website and creating higher awareness of the company among internet users.
Do you know your toothpaste brand by heart? You could probably copy the logo design onto a piece of paper without looking at it one more time. This is the objective of an excellent logo. Since the market today demands more from a product, jazzing up the logo and having snazzy packaging is part of a company’s marketing plan to pull ahead of the competition. The logo design should inform – in an instant – what the company’s business is. For popular toothpaste brand, Crest, the logo is stark simply with a glow in the middle that comprises the extent of its illustration. It hints at shine and glow which is what one would want in a smile. The play on colors separates the word “rest” from the letter which implies that you can trust and lean on this product.
In the first instance, you have a relatively new company, Google using illustration and play on letters to create an impact. On the other, with the Crest toothpaste, a well-established, decades-old product also making a play on the brand name with a simple background illustration to add more emphasis on the purpose of the product.
There are other advantages why logo design should incorporate illustration such as:
First Impressions Count
The logo is always the first impression. This means if a potential client is not suitably attracted to the logo, the company loses brownie points without even opening its portfolio. In a competitive world, a point lost is a potential account down the drain. Logo designers need to understand the intensity a logo carries with it and design it without cheapening it in any way.
An illustrative logo is extremely important for up and coming companies. It places them on the corporate map especially when competing for market share. It works best for these companies because when a person is looking for a particular product with no particular company in mind, what will attract this person will be the logo. It’s but human nature to zero in on a picture that depicts what you are looking for. This is the marketing edge logo designers need to focus on, if they want to make their mark as a valuable logo designer.
Often, logo designs that flop do so because it tries to put too much in the logo that the message becomes convoluted and messy. The general rule when using illustrations in logo design is to keep it simple, yet creative and striking. Also, the illustration should never overshadow the company name. Thus, instead of being known as a tree company, this company makes sure everyone knows they specialize in holiday trees.
What’s The Story?
A company will always have a story to tell. Each business has a unique history unlike any other. If a logo can intrigue as well as inspire potential customers to click on a logo, then the job of the logo designer is well executed.
In the logo above, you get the inkling that there is an adventure at stake with a lot of action and intensity. The illustration does not take away emphasis from the text, rather, it enhances it and gives a hint of what you can expect. At any rate, gamers will want to click on this game logo and find out if it is something they would want to buy.
The Starbucks logo is something we all easily recognize, but when we first saw it, didn’t we wonder about the mermaid with two tails in the logo? The logo has spawned over 5 million posts on the internet alone, which means on merit of logo alone, this Seattle-based company has generated a ton of interest.
The Shock Factor or Hidden Messages
These are powerful tools any illustrator can use to get people out of their mental block. Often, when looking for a product or service, people are bombarded with so much marketing hype, they end up in some kind of stupor. As a result, they tend to glaze over most of the hype, and can only be prompted to take action with a shocking (translated to mean, extremely interesting) logo.
This advantage does not have to be lurid or too sexy in nature. An illustrator can take other routes like a comedic stance or an “out-of-the-box” kind of illustration such as a swan in the middle of a school of fish, that sort of thing.
If you look closely at this logo, you will notice a couple holding hands inside the white circle. The white circle also means unity and the sanctity of this religious sacrament behind a backdrop of the unknown which probably symbolizes their future.
Here are some examples of the best known illustrative logos of all time
Apple has a trademark logo of an apple with one bite, and no text. No one even bothers to question the bite anymore because they’re more concerned with the products and updates coming from the company.
The twin peaks of this popular fast food chain can usually be seen from miles away – literally and figuratively. What’s even more amazing is that our children from the past couple of generations have been growing up with this logo in their subconscious from the time they could talk. They recognize it even before they learn their surname or postal address.
Finally, here is the simple elegance of the Mercedes Benz. You know the car is a Benz once you see its logo on the hood. This 1909 logo symbolizes a star over land, sea, and air, and exudes its own personality of superb auto engineering and luxurious style.
Using illustrations in your logo is a good way to promote your business but must be done with discretion and style. Don’t worry if the logo undergoes several changes, even after being launched – all businesses have gone down that route and come up with better logo designs.