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More than meets the eye: Creating an effective logo

DIM Blog - More than meets the eye: Creating an effective logo

Think of some of your favorite brands. What immediately comes to mind? Chances are, it’s their logo. That’s because an effective logo acts, quite literally, as the face of a company. 

Everything we know about brands – their values, products, services, past and present experiences – gets packed into the image that represents them. And when we see a brand’s logo, all of that knowledge is brought to mind, even if we don’t realize it in the moment.

Understanding the finer details that make a logo successful is an essential part of the design process. The colors, shapes, typography, and even the subtlest design choices impact a logo’s effect on us. We’re going to walk you through what the design process looks like and how we take those details to heart when creating an effective logo.

What’s at the core of your brand?

Designing an effective logo starts with your brand’s foundation – your story. We like to begin with a simple question that almost never has a simple answer: Who are you as a brand?

We use this discovery phase as an opportunity to dig deep, sifting out the right details in order to truly understand your brand and how to begin our process of translating that visually.

“The biggest challenge at the start of any logo project is clearly identifying the client’s story – who they are, who they want to be, and what they’re trying to do/say. We ask purposeful questions to pinpoint the core values, characteristics, and beliefs that define their brand.”

– Aaron, Senior Designer, Design in Mind


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: branding agency logo collaboration


All of this determines your brand personality and adds to your overall design aesthetic. Any design choices made going forward have to be able to reflect your brand story and personality. Otherwise, who you say you are and how you represent that visually become disconnected but when your brand story and your logo are aligned, you open up a world of opportunities for impactful brand recognition.

Paying attention to detail

Another brand facet to prioritize before the designing begins is your audience. Understanding your audience is just as important as understanding your brand story. Who are they? How do they connect with your brand? Telling your story through a logo has just as much to do with your audience as it does with your brand’s personality. Your audience is where those finer details do some heavy lifting. 

So much about logo design has to do with associations. What does your audience think of when they see your logo? How do they respond to the typeface, treatments, and colors? How do they feel about themselves when they connect with your brand? The details of your logo design have the power to shape these kinds of correlations.


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: logo design typography


Selecting a typeface

“Typeface can have a tremendous amount of personality, and helps establish an identifiable representation of attitude or character. The first question I ask myself is what kind of typeface feels like the correct expression of this brand?” 

– Aaron, Senior Designer, Design in Mind


Your typeface should communicate brand personality to your audience. Maybe your brand personality is fun and playful or perhaps it’s more sophisticated and thoughtful. Whatever the case, your typeface should communicate that personality to your audience. Even treatment details like title case vs sentence case, all-caps vs all lowercase, send a message and should play a major role in selecting a typeface.


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: logo color palette


Showing your true colors

“Color can speak volumes about a brand’s personality. There can also be great longevity in a brand’s color selections, as color is one of the key identifiers in a brand’s presence.” 

– Aaron, Senior Designer, Design in Mind


When it comes to logos, color theory is an invaluable tool. Colors have their own personalities, influencing people’s emotions, responses, and behaviors. When you know what you want your audience to feel or actions you want them to take, the colors you choose need to have personalities that align with your brand’s. 

In fact, using the right colors can boost your brand recognition by 80%. That recognition leads to more engagement. For example, when deciding whether to make purchases from a specific brand, 90% of customers base that decision on brand colors. That makes standing out among competitor brands essential. When proposing a primary color for a brand, we not only consider what colors are being used by competitors but also the accessibility and legibility of color options in order to make the most impactful, effective color choice. 

The right typeface, treatments, and colors create valuable opportunities to establish connections with your audience at just about every touchpoint, and your logo can solidify this recognition, adding to the longevity of your brand.  

Logos on the brain

Another way to create lasting connections with an audience is being strategic about where your logo appears based on what you know about your audience’s motivations and needs. Logos have the power to help us recognize where and how our needs can be met. And depending on how many choices we have, we prioritize the brands we feel most connected to. 


A brand’s logo, or logo system needs to be versatile, as there are limitless applications for branding. While there may be a “hero” or primary logo format that serves as the brand’s preferred version of the logo, it is wise to have secondary supporting formats that allow flexibility for various scenarios the logo might be seen in.” 

– Aaron, Senior Designer, Design in Mind


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: logo application visual consistency


The need for logo flexibility rings true in almost any scenario. When we’re looking for a product or service, we often keep our eyes open for logos. The more versatile the logo, the more often we see it. 


The key is visual consistency. Whether it appears on a website, on clothing, printed on a sales sheet, or confined to an icon on social, a clean, simple, bold logo across all touch points will be the most recognizable and impactful.


Your unique brand, industry, and audience will largely determine your logo applications, but the principle remains the same: 

Think about your audience’s likely activities and all the spaces and scenarios in which you have a chance to connect with them and make a lasting impression. 

The Design In Mind approach

Our designers are no strangers to logo design and the attention to detail that process requires. From ideation to the final product, helping brands discover the face of their company never brings a dull moment. Whether we’re designing a logo from scratch, or refreshing an existing logo, our designers bring the same level of passion to each project.


“With a logo refresh, a lot of times the client wants to retain some level of brand recognition, in which case, there’s a bit more sensitivity in our creative considerations. We begin by assessing what it is that defines the existing logo.” 

– Aaron, Senior Designer, Design in Mind


Here are some examples of our recent logo design work where we’ve put these principles into practice. Every aspect has purpose and was chosen to not only represent these brands effectively but also to tap into what’s at the core of their brand, products, services, and so on. We love seeing all of those finer details come to life in the final products. 


Children Rising: Rebrand with a symbolic logo

DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: children rising brand logo


After years of growth, this nonprofit came to us in need of a rebrand. Operating under a new name, they needed a fresh new logo that aligned with their mission while still maintaining the equity of their brand and the former logo their audience had come to know well. Using the same color palette, we gave them a new logo that represents the core of their brand while reflecting their growth and new direction.


BLR: Refresh with a modernized logo


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: BLR brand logo


This industrial sign company started as a small business but quickly became a leader among their competitors. When their original logo started to feel outdated, they knew it was time for a refresh. We provided an updated logo that utilized the effective aspects of their original while also reflecting their modern, forward-thinking presence in their industry. 


Foreverhome: A new logo from scratch


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: foreverhome brand logo


We love getting opportunities to create brand logos from scratch. It involves a much more robust discovery phase wherein we get to dig deep to really grasp brand personality, core story, values, mission, and industry landscape. When this home renovation company came to us to develop their logo, we did extensive research to establish a starting point, providing multiple options for them to react to. The look we landed on is minimal and timeless. A clean, classic, and scalable wordmark logo and icon pairing.


DIM blog - Creating an effective logo: logo design sketch

Logo wrap-up

From understanding your brand story to understanding your audience, from typography to color to subconscious associations, logo design, recognition, and effectiveness is a complex process. Whether you’re creating your brand’s first logo or considering whether it’s time to refresh your existing logo, honing in on the finer details is essential. 

Our design team is passionate about understanding brands at the ground level to create logos that not only inspire brand confidence but help create long-lasting, meaningful connections with your audience.

If you’re curious about starting the logo design process or refining your current logo, don’t hesitate to get in touch

Already have a logo or branding-related project in mind? Just fill out our Project Request Form here to get the process started.