Making Your Mark: How to Express your Company’s Aims and Values in your Logo
With so many amazing new technological products and useful services emerging, it takes more than just a cool idea to stand out from the crowd.
More and more, the media and consumers alike are looking past the first page of a company — its product — and putting more focus on its team, mission and values.
This is something to consider when branding for your company. An effective corporate logo offers a window into your company’s identity, and should be much more than just a symbol or image. Instead, it should represent something much more meaningful which helps consumers empathize with who you are and how you aim to make a positive influence on the world.
So how can you express your company’s aims and values through your logo?
Think outside the box
There is a science to choosing the colors you want for your logo, and it goes a lot further than just catching people’s eyes. In an interesting article “What Does the Color of Your Logo Say About Your Business?” Entrepreneur writer Kate Taylor argues that different colors portray different messages and feelings to consumers. Red portrays passion, love, intensity, aggression. Blue conveys comfort, understanding, trust. Yellow says joy, energy and life. Black represents serious, luxury and bold. Notice that most social media companies — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn — choose blue because it exudes trust, strength and dependability. Dress your company in the color which suits its motivation and identity.
People have vivid imaginations and will find a story in anything, so be aware of the implications this could have for your company. Gather your team together and bring on the help of some artistic friends to look at your choices and any possible connotations or double meanings before you make a choice on your logo.
Take Apple for example, whose logo is the simple but iconic apple with a bite missing.
Rumours began that the apple was a tribute to British scientist Alan Turing. Turing laid the foundations for the modern day computer, and despite creating the Enigma machine to crack Nazi communications which changed the course of the Second World War, was persecuted for his sexuality. Tragically, he eventually committed suicide with a cyanide laced apple. However, while a lot less exciting, the truth behind the logo is that the bite was only included to clarify that it was in fact an apple and not a cherry.
However, Apple is well…Apple, and as a multi-billion dollar global enterprise can get away with stuff like this. As an upcoming company, you should try not to make the same mistake.
In such a highly competitive business landscape, our lives are brimming with choices. If we want a coffee, we can choose from various high street brands, or small independent cafes. It is branding and affiliation with the stores themselves, or the values of the company which influence our decisions. If we know that one store prides itself on fair-trade, has an equal opportunities hiring policy, and donates left-over food to homeless people, this could guide our hand. The coffee itself has very little to do with it.
If your company has a strong set of values, then this is part of your story which you should tell. This could be in relation to your team or your big mission to save the world. If you can find a way to incorporate this into your logo, through colors, and images, then it will inspire people to look past the logo, and think about what it means for your company.
A great example is media company NBC, whose logo is the letters of their company with a multi-colored Peacock in the background with stands for color and pride. This image has nothing to do with the company’s day-to-day business of being a news outlet, but it perfectly sums up its company mission statement and values: “We are in business to create and deliver content so compelling it entertains, informs and shapes our world. We believe that the talent, creativity and diversity of our people are our greatest resources.”
Amazon’s mission statement is as follows: “Our vision is to be earth’s most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”Their logo —which includes A-Z with a smile within the Amazon text– portrays this perfectly.
Your logo should represent your company’s aims for the future, the difference you want to make to humanity and the world as a whole. Elon Musk is great at amplifying his big mission and vision. With his companies SpaceX and Tesla he aims to save humanity by colonizing Mars and saving the world from climate change. This is something replicated in his companies logos.
While it has not been confirmed officially, one Reddit user noticed the tick on the X of the SpaceX logo is the same trajectory as the Falcon 9 takes when lifting off. This is the first spacecraft in Musk’s small mission to start space tourism and big mission to save humanity from extinction.
The Tesla logo is in the shape of an armor shield. The idea was to mix the idea of efficient electricity usage with authentic feeling of safety and power, in line with Musk’s mission to create an everyday use electrical car which can combat our reliance on gas, and help with global warming.
Airbnb recently rolled out a new website design with it’s new logo “The Bélo”, a symbol of belonging. The company’s big mission is to create a service, a traveler can feel at home anywhere.
Co-founder Brian Chesky told Entrepreneur Magazine: “You see, a house is just a space, but a home is where you belong. And what makes this global community so special is that for the very first time, you can belong anywhere.”
When you sit down with your team to design your logo, put your product or service to one side and think about what really makes your company different, and what inspired you to invest the time and energy into your idea. It is this story which will appeal to consumers and the media, so choose a logo which expresses your company’s bigger aims, and rallies people behind the big changes you want to make to the world.