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Education Logo Design Explained

Schools, colleges, tutoring services, and other educational providers might be selling something more important than coffee or sneakers, but that does not mean that they don’t need an effective education logo to help them do it. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, there are 98,817 public schools and 7,021 colleges and universities all competing for the opportunity to educate America’s next generation. An effective logo can help yours stand out from its competition.

What Should Your Logo Do?

Most people will encounter your logo before they ever make contact with your board of education or other representatives. Your logo will help potential students and their families form their initial impression of your institution. Your logo essentially serves as the face of your institution.

An effective logo can communicate your school’s outlook on education and highlight specialty areas to potential new students. A logo featuring the male and female symbols, for example, may express that a school celebrates co-ed education. Your logo, as the public face, should tell the public about your type of teaching and what it stands for.

Your logo should also work across a range of applications. A colleges logo may need to be more flexible than one for any other sector because it will be reproduced in so many different places.

Tertiary institutions in particular seek to foster school loyalty through branded apparel, stationery, coffee mugs, license plates, and more. A good logo must look equally at home on whatever merchandise a school hopes to produce. It must also have as much impact when scaled down onto a business card or pencil as it does when blown up on a billboard or football stadium.

A school’s logo also helps to foster school spirit. Students become connected to a logo, and often that bond continues long after their graduation. An effective logo unites a school and its community, so it is important that you consider yours carefully.

Images for Education

Books, pencils, pens, and mortar boards have long been used in educational logos because they are commonly associated with imparting knowledge and the classroom environment. Owls are also a traditional choice as the animal is known for symbolizing wisdom.

Any design element can appear fresh in the right hands. However, these traditional images have been used so often that many educational institutions question whether they can truly set their brand apart. This is leading many designers to create more customized logos which say more about the specific institution.

A more unique logo might feature a school badge, the school’s crest, or an institution’s mascot, for example. A more personalized school logo could also reference its local area. The Penn State logo, for example, features a mountain lion, an animal that was once common in Pennsylvania.

Colors Reflect Students

The right logo colors can tell the public a lot about your student population.

  • Bright primary colors are commonly used for early childhood education as these hues represent the energy and optimism of very young children. These vibrant colors work particularly well when paired with cartoon-style graphics.
  • Tertiary education institutions often use deeper jewel tones such as burgundy, emerald green, and navy. These colors are more mature than those used in early education, but they are also bold and attention-grabbing. Such hues are typically repeated throughout the school’s branding, such as on the uniforms and merchandise of the school’s sporting teams.

Colors can be an important way of creating brand identity, but a logo should still be effective when these hues are stripped away. Official letters and other documents are often printed in black and white, so an effective education logo must be just as recognizable in this form.

Choose Text Carefully

A logo is most effective when it incorporates at least a little text. An educational institute or provider should include its name, at a bare minimum, to ensure the public begins to associate this with the logo’s visuals. This process helps create brand awareness.

Long-standing institutions often include their year of inception to promote their history and make themselves appear more trustworthy and credible. A school motto is another common inclusion as it conveys the school or education company’s values in just a few words.

It is important to choose only small amounts of text for your logo as the shortest messages make the greatest impact. Small text is still legible when logos are shrunk down in a variety of applications.

The Right Typography

The type of typography you use in your logo can say a lot about your institution.

  • Serif typefaces, such as Times New Roman and Century Schoolbook, are commonly used for educational logos because they are a traditional choice. They are ideal if your school trades on its rich heritage and history, or if it hopes to attract older students or even mature-age learners. The professional image of this typographic family also makes it an appropriate choice for official education bodies, such as a department of education.
  • Helvetica and Arial are primarily used in American education services and reflect a much more youthful image.
  • Nurseries and early childhood learning centers can use novelty fonts to convey a playful image. This is a nontraditional approach, but when it’s done well, it can help a logo really stand out. Make sure you give your novelty font plenty of space, and ensure it’s easy to read, no matter what size the logo’s reproduced.

An interesting typeface can even become the centerpiece of your logo if it’s used correctly. Consider the logo of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which features its well-recognized MIT acronym in an unusual font beside the university’s name. It sets itself apart from many educational logos because it contains no visual images at all. This logo trades on the company’s already established brand and succeeds because of it.

Competition is fierce amongst America’s many schools and tertiary education institutions, but an effective logo designed by The Logo Company can give your school or college a much needed vital edge.

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