How to create an effective logo design

By Gary Knight, WOLF CEO, explains how a logo has the power to attract new audiences and retain existing consumers

A logo is so much more than just a pretty visual. It’s your brand value. It represents the feeling that you want to convey to your audience. It’s the start of your brand’s story.

It grabs your audience’s attention, it’s instrumental in making that strong first impression, it is the foundation of your brand identity, it has to memorable and separate you from your competition and it can be used to foster brand loyalty and offer your audience familiarity.

It’s the first touchpoint and has the ability to connect a symbol, a shape or a word to a brand, without actually seeing the brand’s name – incredible. The obvious ones that spring to mind are the Nike swoosh, the Apple that sits on our electronic devices and the golden arches.

But, the symbolic logo isn’t just for the big global players. It’s just as important for start-ups and the SMEs of this world, which is what we found when we rebranded our mobile chat community app, Palringo to WOLF, The World’s Online Festival.

Since its launch in 2006, Palringo had attracted over 27 million users across 350,000 user-created social groups. But, things were evolving. The landscape was changing and in order to continue on the growth trajectory we were on, we needed to adapt to new demand. That meant a new identity. And the logo was just the start.

We knew that we needed to change it in a way that still connected with those millions of users, otherwise we risked losing them.  Of course you can’t please everyone, but we wanted to give it a pretty good try!

When you change an identity of a brand that an audience resonates with, it needs to change in a way that still connects with them. Of course, you can’t please everyone but you can give it a pretty good try!

A new identity needs to be fresh but familiar; the birth of a logo won’t happen overnight, there will always be a few iterations before you get there. The thing with a logo is that It has to feel instantly right. It shouldn’t need massive explanation. If it does, it needs to be reconsidered.

It definitely isn’t easy getting to a final concept but there are ways to make it less challenging and there are plenty of considerations to address along the way in a logo design, here are my top five:

  1. Make your brief clear and demanding:

Don’t make it easy, but make it clear. Have a number of requirements the concept must deliver against and don’t overcomplicate what you’re asking for.

  1. Look inside before going outside:

For any brand, a logo always comes back to the brand’s values and what you want your brand to stand for. By briefing your own team to create the identity it enables creativity to come from those who understand the brand the best. Your in-house team understand your customers, your ethos and they can create an identity that reflects all the values you stand for. Plus, it shows the business backs them and believes in them so can be a brilliant force for motivation.

  1. Take the audience on the journey:

If, like us, you’re creating a rebrand then take your customers on the journey with you. Engage with them throughout the process. We did this by introducing our new colourway to the Palringo identity before we fully migrated the brand to WOLF. This ensured our users felt part of the journey and part of the evolution.

  1. Don’t be afraid:

Don’t be frightened of trying new things and stepping a little bit outside of your comfort zone in the early concept stages – it might just work! It’s always good to consider new things and try out new approaches. If it doesn’t work, start again.

  1. First impressions mean everything:

Always remember, a logo must instantly deliver the feel of your brand and tell its values. If you don’t get that feeling that you’re looking for straightaway, the chances are, it isn’t ‘the one’. Go with your first impression, test it on others and take their first impression.