3 design secrets behind big brand logos

Florida-based content marketing agency Fractl recently surveyed 1,000 people about the world's top 50 brand logos, and the results are in.

Covering lots of different industries, the survey uncovered some surprising trends designers should keep in mind when crafting their next logo.

01. Use a simple palette

Of the 50 surveyed companies, a whopping 43 chose to use only one or two colours in their logos. The results also show that blue and red are far and away the most popular colour choices.

Colour psychology is a crucial part of logo design, and blue and red represent opposite ends of the spectrum. Red is urgent and dynamic, prompting instant action from the viewer, whereas blue is more relaxing and encourages trust.

Logo tip

Simple colour palettes are a popular choice

Simple palettes play into the idea of colour psychology and clearly communicate the brand's desired message. A logo with lots of contrasting colours, on the other hand, with leave the consumer confused about the product and company.

02. Think flat

The prevelence of flat logos has skyrocketed recently alongside the rise of mobile internet browsing. Of the 50 surveyed brands, 45 were completely flat, and of the remaining 5, 3 incorproated a mix of flat and bevelled surfaces.

Flat logos simply look better on mobile devices, and now mobile web traffic exceeds that of desktop computers it makes sense that companies have made the switch.

However, not every brand has had to make a flatness compromise. Volkswagen and BMW both use completely bevelled logos which stand out due in no small part to their raised finish.

But with more shoppers browsing on their phones, unless your logo is stronger in 3D consider making it flat.

03. Create multiple logos

Once again a trend emerged when it came to looking at how many brands had more than one version of their logo in use. Out of the 50 companies that were surveyed, 36 had created multiple versions.

As long as your brand is still clearly identifiable, using different versions of your logo can help you promote effectively across a variety of platforms.

While a flat design might work really well on mobile, it's also worth thinking about how you can streamline your logo so it stands out against the other thumbnails that will be competing for attention.

Facebook, for example, recently changed its logo by opting for a new typeface. However this redesign flew under a lot of people's radar because the iconic Facebook 'f', used as a thumbnail on websites and mobiles, remained unchanged.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.