by Austin Johnson
October 29, 2015
Think back to the first time you designed your company’s logo or hired someone to design your logo. How long did it take? Were you conjuring up a storm of ideas, or were you stumped? Did it take a few tries before you found the perfect projection of the style and feel of your company?
Your logo is where it all starts. Brittany Vazquez, Senior Design Engineer at Tap Packaging Solutions, says that a logo is really the first impression of a company and its brand identity.
Logo designed by Vazquez at Tap Packaging Solutions
Vazquez is the head of logo design in Tap’s Design and Engineering department. Most of the time, companies come to Tap with their logo already established and Tap builds their branding around the logo. However if a company needs guidance, Vazquez works directly with them to build this integral part of branding.
Even though your logo is the first point of contact between your product and the consumer, according to Hamish Campbell of Entrepreneur, consumers won’t establish an emotional connection with your product because of the logo. They make contact with the logo and then connect with the brand, which needs to personify the product with an identity.
How do we convey the “person” behind the brand effectively? Campbell defines the role of design as “to make every day experiences easier and more intuitive.” Keep it simple — less is more. Logos must be approachable and recognizable, because they’re the door keeper for a window into your product and its brand identity.
When customers ask Tap for a logo design, sometimes they assume that their logo needs to be obvious about what the product or service inside the box is about, or crowded with multiple images. “It really just needs to be something simplistic (that people) recognize,” Vazquez says. “It doesn’t have to show off everything you’re doing with your company.” The logo design must express an articulate and clear message, with a bit of mystery left to spare.
Vazquez begins by drilling the company about what they’re looking for. It’s a personal process and she stays with them for the entire road. In order to keep the design minimal, she limits herself to the use of two or three colors, limits the use of gradients or patterns, and tries to keep it in vector-based format so that it can be easily scaled.
“The goal is to be flexible enough for all different mediums,” she says. “When I think about designing a logo, I think this might be on a t-shirt, mugs, a website or a billboard.”
The logo’s exact placement on the package is another influential factor. Tap’s designers make decisions that are intuitive and functional when it comes to logo placement, but logo placement involves slightly more strategy when it comes to brand name hierarchy.
According to Aparna Sundar of Packaging Digest, “Consumers expect to see logos of dominant brands at or near the top of packages,” and a consumer’s expectations about a brand’s logo placement effect their buying decision. If they see a powerful brand’s logo placed high on the package, they are more likely to purchase it, because it reflects the consumer’s previous ideas about the brand. The same idea is applied with less powerful brands; consumers are more likely to purchase a product made by a less powerful brand if the logo is placed lower, because it correlates with their previous ideas about the brand.
Vazquez agrees with the research behind this idea. “If you’re a big name brand you can give brand higher priority versus the product, because people recognize the brand,” she says.
Your logo can either make it or break it in that first spark of connection between the consumer and your product’s packaging. When you’re assessing your brand and how it’s portrayed through packaging, keep this principal in mind.
“I like the whole branding part of design,” Vazquez says. “The logo is just the beginning for me.”
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