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The art and science of a company logo

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A company logo stands as the visual embodiment of a brand (Nahrizul Adib Kadri - Unsplash)

By: Dr. Abdul Rahman Zahari

In today’s super competitive business environment, the role of a company’s logo cannot be overstated. It stands as the visual embodiment of a brand, instantly recognizable and conveying core values and identity to consumers. However, crafting a company logo often poses a significant dilemma for many businesses.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Zahari

While AI logo generators like Looka Logo Maker, DesignEVO, Wix Logo Maker, LogoAI, Logobean, Designs.AI, Logo.com, and others offer rapid design solutions, companies must delve into various logo characteristics to ensure their logo carries significant positive impact.

Fundamentally, logos consist of two vital components: the brand name (e.g., Proton, Malaysia Airlines, and others) and the isotype, commonly known as the symbol (e.g., the silver tiger head of Proton, the kite of Malaysian Airlines, and others). These elements play a crucial role in facilitating a firm or brand in several ways, including expediting brand recognition, conveying information, instilling perceived benefits, satisfaction, trust, and commitment, and nurturing brand loyalty and values.

Numerous scholars have delved into the study of logo design, examining factors such as descriptive and symmetry (more descriptive vs. less descriptive; symmetric and asymmetric) and their impact on brand value. Research suggests that international and global logos tend to be more descriptive and symmetric in shape, leading to heightened consumer awareness and increased brand value.

Additionally, past work has shown that descriptive logos can attract equity crowdfunding. These findings are very important because entrepreneurs can gain financial assistance with the right logo. A descriptive logo incorporates textual or visual elements or a combination of both, clearly communicating the type of product or service offered by a brand.

On another note, symmetry, another critical aspect of logo design, refers to the level of reflection of an image around its vertical axis. A longitudinal analysis of brand logo images among the Top 50 most valuable ASEAN countries (including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam) in 2019 to 2021 revealed that most of these countries have more descriptive and asymmetric logos. These findings diverge from studies conducted in Western countries, indicating potential cultural differences.

Due to this, designing a company logo is a complex undertaking. The decision between simplicity and complexity carries significant implications for a brand’s identity and perception. The key lies in striking the delicate balance between visual impact and message clarity, ensuring that the logo is a powerful beacon for the brand in the competitive marketplace.

From the past research findings, a company’s logo is more than just a visual symbol; it represents the brand’s ethos, values, and promise to its consumers. As such, designing a logo requires careful consideration and attention to detail. While AI logo generators offer speed and convenience, they must be complemented by a deep understanding of the brand and its audience.

Moreover, the cultural context cannot be overlooked in logo design. What resonates with consumers in one region may not necessarily have the same impact in another. Therefore, companies must tailor their logos to suit the cultural sensitivities and preferences of their target markets. Furthermore, a logo should evolve with the brand. As businesses grow and adapt to changing market dynamics, so too should their logos. This evolution ensures that the logo remains relevant and resonates with consumers over time.

Therefore, a company is suggested to conduct a logo audit and the findings can be used to maximise opportunities of getting higher brand recognition, receiving commitment from consumers, and gaining future higher brand value.

To conclude, designing a company logo is an art and a science. It requires creativity, strategic thinking, and a deep understanding of consumer behaviour. By carefully considering these factors, companies can create logos that stand out in a crowded marketplace and forge a lasting connection with consumers.

So, how does your company’s logo look like?

The author is a Senior Lecturer at the UNITEN Business School (UBS), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN). He may be reached at rahman@uniten.edu.my

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