The way we interact with brands is changing, and in turn, logo design has had to evolve. At one point a “one size fits all” approach was taken to logo design. The only place your company logo was seen was hanging high above your retail store.
However, thanks to the rise of technology and fluidity of which consumers travel across screens logos now have to transcend platforms like never before. So, what does this mean for logo design and how does this affect UX?
Screens are shrinking
Today we interact with brands using smart phones at an astonishing rate. There are over 3.17 internet users today, with projections of around 2.5 billion smart phone users by 2019. With figures like these logo, designers have to rethink their designs to suit small screens.
Scaled logos can become distorted, confusing customers who won’t recognise the design. All this disrupts UX (user experience) and forces customers away from your company. How can logos be tweaked to ensure the brand’s design is not lost when shrunk to just millimetres in size?
Your logo should be able to be dissected to accommodate smaller screens. The Wholefood’s logo when on a store front is continuous; however, their online logo shows the words stacked on top of one another. This ensures the logo can still be read when confined to the parameters of a smart phone.
If your logo’s text and images are completely intertwined, it will be difficult to create a versatile design that works across multiple platforms.
What do we want? Fast Loading! When do we want it? Now!
Did you know that and decrease of load time by just one second can increase your sales by 7%? By choosing an uncomplicated logo you will increase the load time of your website, encouraging sales and enhancing UX.
The flat logo design trend is dominating the market in 2016, not just because of the clean crisp aesthetic, but because of their speedy loading. Flat design eliminates patterns, shadows and gradients and allows for a logo to be identifies easily across any platform, no matter the size.
Logo redesign enhances user experience
Google, according to Forbes, is the second most valuable brand in the world, and where they go, others follow. The search engine giants changed their logo to flat design in 2014.
The brand went one step further and created two supplementary logos. The logo will be one of any of these three depending on what device the user is accessing the search engine.
• The Original Logo - A redesigned sans-serif flat design that mimics their playful nature.
• The Google “G” - A scalable mark that could convey the feeling of the full logotype in constrained spaces.
• Coloured Dots – A distilled version of the logo to be used in periods of transition.
Google were one of the first to move to flat logo design and in the past have said: " 'Focus on the user and all else will follow' With this in mind, we seek to design experiences that inspire and enlighten our users."
Flat design has been around since the early 2000s and takes inspiration from minimal and Swiss Style typography. It has grown in prevalence over the last five years as Apple adopted flat design in their iOS7 launch.
Today we engage with more screens than ever before and flat logo design allows for fast loading and simple scaling, perfect for social media! This design style is makes for quick loading and improves customer satisfaction. Did you know that a decrease of load time by just one second decrease in loading time can increase your sales by 7%?
MasterCard’s UX rebrand
One brand who has followed the lead of Google is financial powerhouse MasterCard who launched their new logo design in July. The flat design providing great UX for digital customers who use multiple screens to bank. The shadowed “MasterCard” text is removed from the design, yet 80% of users still recognise the brand.
One such brand who has followed the lead of Google is financial powerhouse MasterCard who launched their new logo design this July in the wake of the online banking phenomenon.
Their classic design was re-worked for millennial bankers who were interacting with the brand online. Though, care was taken to ensure the design remained recognisable so as not to alienate their loyal customers who had banked with them for over fifty years. The flat design providing great UX for digital customers who use multiple screens to bank.
Logo design step-by-step
Love, at first sight, doesn’t apply in logo design and it is very rare for a professional company to go with a design first time. UX Brainstorm go through their logo design process and claim that:
“Logos tend to be the hero unit of a branding visual system, along colour and typography. By suggesting that familiar shape in different places, the user will be left with the impression that some thought went into building a thoughtful presentation – even if that’s not consciously perceived.”
They use the London Underground logo as an example of this. If a brand was to build their new logo with a blue circle with a red line across the middle, many people in the UK would be confused as they would fail to distinguish it from the London’s Underground logo, even if it never had typography.
UX Brainstorm’s final logo is balanced with simplicity and character and in the image below you will see the stages the brand went through to get their logo just right.
Logo design today
The secret to minimal logo design success is:
“Try to narrow down your ideas to the main message you are trying to convey and start there. Once you decide on one main concept, try to reduce it down to its most basic and iconic form.”
Ensuring the design is minimal and scalable enhances UX in the modern world. They transcend the plethora of screens consumers interact with today. A minimalist design ensures the logo can be used across screen, print and merchandise without any brand recognition being lost.
Logo design is just one small aspect of UX. However, these building blocks all combine to create a brand that users love to engage with, and an engaging brand have the competitive edge when compared with company’s who fail to meet their UX needs.
By Tom Wishart, branding expert at Repeat Logo
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