Logos are important to all businesses. They give potential clients a snapshot of the company: what it does, its values and its sensibilities are all reflected in a good logo. It is one of the few things that companies will put on everything from business cards to white papers, so it has to reflect the business perfectly.
This is all the more important in the fast-paced, easily distracted world of the internet. On the internet, a logo can make all the difference on a website, on a company’s social media pages, on other market materials and on its apps.
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On the website
A company website is like the virtual headquarters of a company. Like an office, it shows what a company is like during its day-to-day operations. It is the public face of the company, acting as company historian, salesperson, customer service and more. With so many purposes, a website has to be absolutely perfect in look and tone.
That need to look perfect especially applies to the logo for a couple of reasons. First, it is usually put at the very top of the website, so it is one of the first things visitors to the site will notice. Second, because it is the one thing that is included in almost all outward-bound materials, like letterhead and brochures, it tends to direct the design of the website. The fact that it is the first thing people notice and the thing that drives the overall design makes a logo the most powerful element in a website’s design.
On ads, emails and other marketing materials
Online ads, email marketing and other online marketing materials are used by companies to get their name and their services out there, the way ads, brochures and other marketing techniques are used in the physical world. There are a lot of fishy (and phishy) people on the internet, though, and internet users often use the look of ads, emails and other materials to judge whether a site – and a company – are trustworthy.
As mentioned before, logos tend to drive the look and feel of the website design. This, in turn, is used to shape the design of ads, emails and similar items. With the exception of search result ads, these tend to include the logo. The logo has to look professional and trustworthy because an unprofessional logo can be the difference between getting a new customer and being flagged as spam.
On the social media pages
Social media marketing has been a sticky issue for companies almost for as long as it has been around. A company needs to have a presence in the realm of social media to look like a credible online service or store, but users of social media tend to have strict rules about what companies can and cannot do. They do not want a company that just blasts them with ads and marketing materials; they want a company that is interesting and one that might occasionally offer a freebie or a discount.
The logo is usually the profile picture of a company on social media, and it serves the same purpose that a profile picture of a person does. It gives other users a way to decide if the company is worth their time. After all, humans judge things by appearance at the initial moment of introduction, nowhere more than in social media, and a company’s logo is its first introduction to a potential new client or customer. Because people want the companies they follow on social media to be entertaining or useful, a logo that looks like it belongs to a friendly or professional company has more power to draw in more followers than a logo that is dull or unprofessional does.
Logos are perhaps more crucial to the success of apps than to the success of any of these other things. Apps are simply little programs people download to their computers or mobile devices which serve some purpose. They can help users organise their lives, or they can distract users with simple games.
When people are deciding which app to download for a specific purpose, they can look at many different criteria. They can look at total worldwide downloads. They can look at reviews, stars and marks out of ten. They can do a simple search on their preferred app distribution platform to see which one pops up first. However they choose to do this, they will always see one thing: the logo. The logo sits beside the profiles, and it is the thumbnail icon on a desktop. The logo will tell users immediately what kind of app they are looking at, and just as with marketing materials, social media profiles and the website, the logo can either assure users that it is a great product, or it will tell them not to waste their time.
As demonstrated above, a logo has the power to influence the look of web design and how people react to the design, the company and its products. It shapes how a website looks, how effective marketing tools are, how well people respond to the social media efforts of a company and even whether or not people will use an app. In short, logos have most of the power in all areas of web design.