In this article we discuss Creating Blended Logos to Reflect a Retailer’s Contrasting Qualities.
There are over 200,000 registered retailers in the UK, trading from over 300,000 shops and other outlets. Whether they are selling popular branded merchandise in store or offering unique and unusual products online, all retailers want to attract new clientele and, where possible, build up a loyal customer base. This could be made up of regular, local clients or include international purchasers from all over the world.
Either way, an inviting logo is not only an effective way to reach out to your target audience, but it can also tell them more about your business and the products you sell. When provenance is as important as your products’ unique qualities, or your client base is a mix of demographics, cleverly combining contrasting symbols or mixing colours and typography styles can really help to make your brand stand out and reach a wider audience.
Reflecting Tradition with a Modern Twist
In a competitive market, retailers selling unique and traditional products also want to show that their products meet high contemporary standards, and that time-honoured items are still relevant today in a modern setting. A logo that merges contrasting icons and symbols to reflect a combination of rich heritage and modern relevance can be a bold way to tell customers more about the high quality of the product you are selling, while at the same time revealing a strong link to the past. In this way, the right logo has the potential to reflect two contrasting and divergent qualities of a traditional, high quality product.
Blending Place and Product
While shopping in physical outlets that sell local produce or unique regional souvenirs, customers don’t need to be reminded of where the items have come from or what they represent. However, if you’re selling local items from a specific region or country online, your customers may appreciate a logo that includes a local feature or national emblem to indicate the provenance of your products.
Flags and iconic landmarks are quite common in logos and you may feel that they are overused, but if they are blended with a symbol of the unique product you are selling, or presented in an unusual and abstract way they could be an effective way to attract and inform interested customers.
Accommodating Local and International Clients
Unique, local products are attractive to an international market and, from a small physical shop, you may choose to widen your client base globally by opening new outlets or expanding your business online. Even if your target audience remains localised, if you have an e-commerce platform, your site and services are already potentially accessible from anywhere in the world.
In order to create an international presence and trade successfully in foreign markets, you will need to make sure your current logo is culturally sensitive and globally acceptable. This may mean changing any wording in your tagline and other marketing material that is ambiguous to non-English speakers or that fails to translate appropriately into a different language.
As for your logo, unless you are looking to deliberately shock or offend, then symbols that could be considered insulting or inappropriate, such as those historically linked with racism or unsavoury political movements, should be avoided. Cultural misappropriation, when one generally more dominant culture uses elements traditionally associated with another, can easily cause offence even when none is intended.
If your business has links or shops in particular countries, use your contacts there to take a look at any new proposed logos, and give you feedback, not only on how effective they are but also to confirm that they are appropriate and inoffensive.
Linking Outlets with a Logo
An increasing number of shops are struggling on the High Street and, over the next ten years, it is predicted that more than half of retail sales will be online. As rates rise, shops are forced to close, so pushing more people to turn to purchasing goods and services on the internet. At the same time, consumers are not always happy sharing information online and would like to support local shops.
To stay relevant in an evolving market, retailers are constantly having to reinvent themselves, and this may mean splitting their sales between their traditional town centre shops and an online portal.
It’s easy to stop passers by in a shopping centre with colourful signage and large banners, but moving to the internet means being more creative with your branding in order to attract shoppers who are idly browsing the internet with no particular destination in mind.
A striking logo that stands out online will draw attention to your shop and can then be included on signage in physical stores, linking the two separate channels with a recognisable identity.
Coupling Colours with Emotions for Maximum Impact
Whether consumers are browsing in a shop or online, it only takes them one and a half minutes for them to make up their minds about a product. And, during this brief initial assessment, colours account for 90% of their decision. This visual appraisal influences their choice far more than taste, smell or other senses.
Most retailers would agree that there are widely accepted associations between colours, emotions and concepts. Sales signs are traditionally in red to indicate a sense of excitement and urgency, and bright yellow and other primary colours are used for products aimed at young people.
One of the most intuitive associations is between the colour green and services promoting environmental awareness or natural products for health and wellbeing. In understanding these subconscious connections, you can make better use of colours in your logo, and mix them effectively to convey more complex messages in your design.
Too many colours can be overwhelming and unsettling for consumers. However, a combination of two or three colours can be powerful. The authoritative combination of black and red will immediately grab the attention of customers, while a pleasing pastel blue and green will entice clients with a promise of tranquility and wellbeing.
Combining Shapes to Appeal to Mixed Audiences
As well as reflecting your brand’s personality and style, you can tailor your logo’s design to target a specific audience. Over 50% of customers remain loyal to brands when they feel the brand understands them and is speaking to them directly. Of course, if you want your products to reach a wide variety of people, this relationship can be more difficult to achieve.
To appeal to serious athletes, a logo for sportswear may use sleek typography and simple design lines, but it’s possible that this could alienate spectators and fans. Studies have shown that consumers are heavily influenced by the shape of a logo, so by combining hard lines to signify durability with softer shapes to imply comfort, a wider range of clients is reached.
Using Asymmetry to Challenge Convention
Symmetry is a property that is universally appealing, and generally preferred by consumers to a potentially jarring imbalance or unevenness in design. A survey of several hundred retailers has highlighted the fact that 95% of major brands use symmetrical logos.
People tend to be more readily drawn to a balanced composition, as they see it as more familiar and find it easier to process. They don’t have to work as hard to absorb the message of the design as it is presented in a simple and easily recognised way. However, because symmetrical shapes and arrangements are so commonplace, the unexpected use of asymmetry in logo design can convey a powerful message.
Consumers are made to question the logo’s striking construction, and this makes asymmetrical design particularly useful for those retailers who want to challenge convention and add a sense of excitement to their product.
Creating a striking logo can certainly help your high street shop or online store stand out, and it is a very important element of any brand. Mixing powerful and contrasting colours, or taking a risk with an unusually asymmetrical design, will not only challenge your clients’ expectations but also create excitement about your brand.
In contrast, culturally sensitive icons, balanced shapes and a blend of subtle shades may have greater global appeal, conveying to consumers a more relaxing and tranquil presence. By seamlessly merging contrasting shapes and symbols, your logo can also be used to tell your customers much more about the individual style of the products you sell, their suitability for a particular clientele and their unique provenance.
We hope you have enjoyed this article about Creating Blended Logos to Reflect a Retailer’s Contrasting Qualities, If you are looking to hire a logo designer feel free to reach out we are always happy to discuss new projects.
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Also published on Medium.