Help Files and Tutorials for Computer Users


Introduction to Logos:

A logo is a name, symbol, or trademark designed to help identify a company. It can be as simple as one or two initials, or as complex as an animated graphic on a website. 

The important thing to remember in designing a logo is not to lose sight of the purpose - to help the potential customer identify your company, unique from all others.  This is sometimes referred to as Name Recognition

A marketing and advertising study once hypothesized that it takes seven times for a company name to work it's way into a customer's memory.  In other words, a person has to see a combination of brochures, business cards, vehicle or building signage, T.V. ads, etc., a total of seven times, before the company name "sinks in".

Below are some popular logos. If you recognize them, and can identify the product they relate to, they must be working!

Do the graphic images have any significance to the product, services, or possibly the history of the company?


 

 
         

 

 


You will notice that some of these logos do not include any text indicating the company name.  The shape of the logo, and the colours, play an important part in the design, and are equally important in the recognition process.  Trade mark registration often includes exact information on the colours of the parts of the logo.  If a quick glimpse of a logo, even at a distance, allows a consumer to identify the company, then the logo is effective in it's purpose.

Designing a Logo:

Your logo should have some significance to, or reflect something about your business. You should not just pick an image because it looks nice.  An example of a logo with some significance to the business is the popular Ford Motor Company logo.
The cursive script of the name "Ford" was rumored to have been taken from Henry Ford's own signature.  Whether intentional or not, this might imply that Henry Ford was putting his signature, and therefore his approval, on each of his products. This is a great attribute for a company logo.

In some cases, the company name implies the nature of the business, but in other cases, it does not. Where a name or set of initials is used in the design, it might be beneficial to have a relevant graphic to give the consumer an idea of the nature of the business. 

The following example is a simple logo I designed for a drafting and metal fabricating business. I used a drafting T-Square, and a C-Clamp for the first two initials of the business name. The word 'designs', in the business name, implies that there is a design or drafting component to the business, but the use of the tools in the logo reinforces the suggestion.

The cursive script of the name "Ford" was rumored to have been taken from Henry Ford's own signature.  Whether intentional or not, this might imply that Henry Ford was putting his signature, and therefore his approval, on each of his products. This is a great attribute for a company logo.

In some cases, the company name implies the nature of the business, but in other cases, it does not. Where a name or set of initials is used in the design, it might be beneficial to have a relevant graphic to give the consumer an idea of the nature of the business. 

The following example is a simple logo I designed for a drafting and metal fabricating business. I used a drafting T-Square, and a C-Clamp for the first two initials of the business name. The word 'designs', in the business name, implies that there is a design or drafting component to the business, but the use of the tools in the logo reinforces the suggestion.

Although you can't do this for every letter of the alphabet, graphic artists often incorporate an initial into the logo.  I was able to use the T-square, (drafting), and a C-clamp, (metalwork).

Another use of a graphic image in a logo is to support a claim as to the nature, attitude, or "personality" of the business.  Certain car alarm companies have used Black Widow spiders, or Cobra snakes, to imply the strength or power of their product.  The message is, "you don't mess with cars protected by their product!".

On the other hand, toilet paper manufacturers tend to use images that are soft and cuddly.  Think of how effective, (or rather, in-effective), these logos would be if these companies were to switch graphic images.  I don't think I would feel secure knowing that my vehicle was being protected by soft, cuddly kittens.  I'll let you make your own toilet paper/Black Widow spider analogy.

The visual impact of the logo should definitely reflect the image the business is trying to project. For example, an insurance fraud investigation company will likely want to project a different image than a family restaurant. Know when to use comical, or cartoon-like images, and when to use serious, business-like ones.

While choice and use of colours is very important, many businesses have similar "gray-scale" logos as well. Having a gray-scale image ensures proper reproduction in advertising or contact material that will likely be faxed, or printed on non-colour printers.

Logo design is a field in itself, with many industry professionals working exclusively in logo design.  The ability to create a suitable logo may depend on artistic ability, mastery of software, and knowledge of the needs of a particular business, but even the most simple of logos can serve the intended purpose.

Logos on this page are displayed  for educational purposes only, specifically review and comment.  Use on this site is not intended to promote, endorse, or show affiliation with the respective companies or Trade Mark owners.  It is believed that logos displayed on this page, other than those owned by the author, may be used under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act in Canada, and under the Fair Use provision of the United States Copyright law in the U.S., however, any logo will be removed at the request of the respective owner.

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