Many businesses are continually working to improve their online presence. They know that even the most callous of visitors to their site is likely to judge a company’s product line or services by the quality of its web site presentation. This presentation has to sell and inform, and it often has to do it very quickly. At the core of this process is a logo that encapsulates the most important thing the business wants to convey.
• Logos need to be idea dense
In some respects, a logo is like a billboard that comes into view when you’re driving down the road. When it’s big enough to read, you glance over, process it quickly and drive by. Everything that business had to say took place in a brief moment. If the message was understood then the medium was effective. In similar fashion, a web site’s design has to work the same way. The logo provides focus to that layout. Granted, visitors have the luxury of spending as much time as it takes to really take in the message, and they’ll be likely to do that if the logo is effective at encapsulating the brand. This isn’t to say that a logo should say everything there is to know about a business. Logos that are rife with multiple symbolic meanings are usually cluttered. Rather, focus on the business name (think of the Microsoft Windows™ logo, or take a look at the logo for http://www.godaddy.com). Here is a logo (creative commons license) that express the name of a church along with a sketch of a jubilant looking character: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4101/4787706093_8b517352a3.jpg . Alternatively, consider depicting how a product is expected to make customers feel. The Nike™ logo just looks fast and graceful.
• Logos need visual impact
It could be argued that the big players in the world of commerce may have the luxury of relying solely on a textual representation of their name. Coca Cola™ and Disney™ come to mind. However, most business can benefit by integrating an illustration with the logotype. http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/01/88/26/1882682_82934da1.jpg is one example of a clever combination of typography and imagery. An approach that some designers take when designing a logo is to sketch it out with a pencil on paper. If the concept works there, in its crude, black and white format, then it’s a good indicator that it will REALLY work well when it’s cleaned up and rendered on a web site in the full color that a computer monitor is capable of displaying. A fringe benefit of designing the visual impact this way: the design will usually scale well (back to one color for silk-screen printing, faxes, embroidered t-shirts, vehicle graphics).
• Rules matter…usually
When creating graphics to emphasize a web site’s message, it makes sense to establish design criteria: what fonts will be used where, what are our colors? Above all it’s usually best not to modify, cut apart, collage or otherwise mutilate a logo. There are notable exceptions to this (Google™, Apple™) of course.
As a branding strategy unfolds, consider the colors and shapes of the logo. Make sure that the colors and shapes of the rest of the web site support the logo, and that the logo itself is idea dense and has high visual impact.
Sarah writes on behalf of Fluid Brandinga promotional products specialist. Fluid Branding have thousands of promotional product from promotional mugs to calculators, from promotional pens to umbrellas. Fluid Branding have something for everyone.