“Ba ba ba bum…
Mister Sandman (Oooh…)
Bring me a dream.
Bring me the cutest girl that I’ve ever seen…”
This is the beginning of a classic, harmonized song. Sure, one person can sing this song, and it will sound just fine. But, if a group of three people sings it together, with one singing the low notes, another singing the mid-range, and the third singing the high part, as a chord, then the song takes on more richness and depth. It immediately becomes a more sophisticated sound through the element of harmony.
What does singing together have to do with your logo?
Just as a harmonized song is made up of a set of three notes, every small business’s logo should be made up of three pieces of art: the icon, the font, and the color palette.
These three pieces all work together, singing the same basic song, to tell your business’s story. In your logo, each of them gives you an opportunity to build in meaning and symbolism.
And together they allow your logo to sing a richer song than if it had just one or two of the elements—for example, a text-only logo, without an icon, or a symbol-only logo without the text component.
If the different elements in your logo sing together, you’ll have a logo that really drives your point home to your audience instead of being off-key and clashing.
A bit more about the notes these elements can sing for you
The first “note” is the icon—the picture in the logo. The elements of your logo’s icon will all be symbols that have visual meaning. There are both abstract symbols, like basic shapes and swooshes, and representational symbols, which look like something. For example, an abstract symbol of a circle can be used to symbolize trust or completeness or to highlight another foreground element. A representational symbol of a leaf can be used to represent nature, growth, health, or eco-friendliness. The icon you choose should not only be meaningful but also memorable and unique.
The second note is the font, or fonts, that your business name appears in. Each font has a different personality. There are businesslike fonts, fonts that look educational, fonts that are funny, and others that are clean and modern. Your font also has the added job of being legible, both at large sizes and when your logo is very small. You don’t want viewers to struggle to make sense of your business name, so use a highly legible font that makes your name readable at a glance.
The third note is the color palette. Colors all have different psychological meanings. And each color can have several meanings, depending on context. For example, red is a “hot” color that can also show urgency, signal “stop,” and express love and passion. So, depending on the types of messages communicated by the other elements in your logo, your color palette may be interpreted in different ways.
You just need to make sure that these three pieces of art in your logo sing together in harmony instead of being off-key.
How to make sure your logo will sing on key and not fall flat
- Make sure that the three pieces of art are all singing the same basic song. Figure out the basic message your brand needs to sing—and then create an icon, choose a font, and apply a color palette that all reinforce that message.
- Consider giving the three elements different notes to sing. Even if the three elements in your logo are singing the same song, they can sing different notes, like a chord. In other words, they can all communicate your message in a slightly different way.
- One element may stand out and take a solo with the other elements singing backup. One element may even be singing a different part of your message—another melody—which can make your logo more subtle and complex. Whether the elements in your logo have a solo or sing backup, your message will be determined by the complexity of your brand’s story.
- None of these elements is meant to carry the entire song by itself. All the elements in your logo are meant to appear together. The logo icon won’t appear by itself without the font or color, and the color palette won’t stand on its own. So, keep in mind that they’re all telling parts of your business’s story, but none of them has to tell the entire story alone.
Design your logo with the notes these three elements are singing in mind and what those notes mean. If you make them work together and sing in harmony, your logo will have more depth and sophistication than if they sing off-key.