HOW TO DESIGN LOGOS USING SYMBOLS
Logo design has been used from time immemorial to express different ideas, beliefs, concepts, emotions, or things. They are the perfect way of telling an entire story with just a small picture.
USE OF LOGOS
Logos are still widely used for the same purpose. Whether it’s the early Christians using the Ichthys to identify each other during an era of persecution or it’s a family of four identifying the golden arches of McDonald’s while looking for a place to sit down and have a meal. Whether it’s a Harley Davidson fan tattooing the logo on his arm or an Apple iPhone fan waiting in a queue to get his hands on the latest iPhone. Logos are everywhere and they affect us in ways that we don’t understand ourselves.
GOOD TO GREAT
A good logo is hard to make but a great logo is even more difficult. You have to achieve the perfect state of nirvana between all the elements present in the logo as well as tell a compelling story that makes the viewer feel closer to the brand. Some artists use “intuition” to come up with the perfect logo and some depend on years of experience. But, if you connect the two: intuition and experience, what you get is something that is amazing and eternal. That is something that will definitely stand out from the crowd and be remembered.
Before you take a pencil and a sheaf of paper, you need to do your homework. Designing a great logo is not just about drawing a few shapes together, it’s about telling the story that the client wants the logo to tell.
This is where you do your initial information gathering and try to come up with something that is creative, functional and expressive.
How will you know all of these things? By asking the client of course. Now some designers loathe this step and try to rely only on their own research and their gut, but that can easily become a recipe for disaster.
- Ask your client the following questions:
- What is the story that they want to tell?
- Do they have their own preferences?
- Who are the people that will be viewing the logo?
- What are their likes and dislikes?
- What are the different mediums where the logo will be used?
- Who are the competitors?
This is not a complete list but it’s enough to get you started.
WHY USE SYMBOLS IN LOGOS?
The use of symbols in logos is an efficient way to communicate with customers. You can tell entire stories with just one symbol. Include an abstract symbol in the logo and your brand’s name will be recognized far more quickly than just a name.
An excellent example of this is the Apple logo. Just one look at a bitten apple and all sorts of images and ideas start generating in our minds. One symbol is powerful enough to bring up strong memories and feelings. The symbol has become so powerful that it now personifies the brand globally. The same can be said for the Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s golden arches. The symbol is a powerful language that transcends all barriers and brands take full advantage of it.
SHAPES OF SYMBOLS
The most basic symbols are the shapes that we all know like square, triangle, rectangle, circle, pentagon, and others. Each shape has a unique set of emotions and meanings attached to it and can make us feel it. These shapes are used in logo designing as actual elements of the logo or the containers.
If we change these shapes just a bit, they will take on a new meaning. If you are working for a brand that wants to convey the message of everlasting value through its logo design infinity symbol might do the trick. You can try different variations of it until you find the right one.
Another element that weighs heavily in symbols is the line. Whether it’s the line dissecting a full circle to represent danger or it’s the line in the middle of an open circle that denotes ON/OFF, many symbols use different weights of lines to express sophisticated concepts in a simple and elegant way.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO PLAY WITH SHAPES
There was once a time when people would sit at their desks for hours on end and make a dozen or more different renditions of a shape or a symbol until they found what they were looking for. With the advent of technology, that has become obsolete. Now with different software in the market, you can use a whole set of features and tools to play with the shapes and come up with something new and innovative.
USING HUMAN ANATOMY
Different parts of the human body have been used in logos and are still going strong. They can be used in all forms and types to convey a host of emotions and feelings.
You can use the head or the face to represent anything like the senses of smell, touch, sight, and hearing. You can use the hands to represent something related to taking care, rebellion, victory or a host of different ideas. Eyes can represent watchfulness or wisdom.
YOUR LOGO’S PERSONALITY
Using the symbols in different ways expresses different emotions. Remember to always work according to the feedback that you took from the client at the beginning of the process. You don’t want the logo of a car detailer to look funny or the logo of a bakery to look stern and aloof.
In the end, symbols are an excellent way for any brand to completely and tastefully share their message across all platforms and ensure that it is heard. Even though these symbols have been used for centuries, but still they create value and demand.
Try out different symbols in your work and let us know how you used them to come up with something unique and creative for your client.