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Industrial Logo Design Explained

Industrial logo design is not a simple process. To design an effective and compelling logo, the creative team needs to thoroughly understand your products and processes to craft a visual brand identity. The design team uses the natural elements of the logo to express your vision for your company in a way that is recognizable, memorable, and separates you from your competitors.


Elements of Logos


The main elements are shapes, symbols, color, space, text, and fonts. Each component conveys a marketing message and influences your customers’ perception of your brand. It’s especially important to incorporate these elements so they are usable across a variety of media formats, from printed materials, web interfaces and mobile apps, to different forms of marketing and promotional materials. In a nutshell, make your design simple, memorable, and versatile.


Symbols and Shapes in Logo Design


Shapes and symbols express qualities like precision, innovation, and reliability. Consider Volvo’s iconic logo: The company’s name appears inside an iron-colored circle with a right-pointing arrow, the ancient symbol for iron, reinforcing the brand’s message for safety, reliability and strength.


Symbols are an excellent source for any design inspiration. The NASA logo superimposes the agency’s acronym across a blue sphere with a scattering of stars and dots to represent galaxies. It is memorable and reinforces NASA’s mission.


Perhaps the best example of combining shapes and symbols into an instantly recognizable and high impact logo is the Chevron Corporation. The company name, Chevron, placed above two stacked chevrons into a shield shape, projects safety, reliability and a sense of history. The two chevrons reinforce the brand name, and the simple design conveys a straightforward, no-frills corporation that gets things done.


Color Choices


In general, most colors elicit a specific viewer reaction. Reds are stimulating, exciting, and powerful, while yellows are cheerful and optimistic. The Shell Oil Company uses red to draw a vivid border around an inviting yellow shell shape, a combination that projects both power and energy.


Blues represent stability, reliability, and security, qualities most companies need to project. The Mobil logo is a great example of combining colors and shapes to convey the company’s core values: The solid blue letters represent reliability and security, while the letter “o” is a powerful, dynamic red.


Green is another color that works well with industrial type logo designs. Greens evoke balance, possibility and eco-awareness. British Petroleum, striving to position itself as a leader in alternate energy, uses a modern stylized leafy green circle surrounding a yellow flower shape connected to the letters “BP.” It is easy to understand the values the company wants to portray just by looking at the logo.


Browns can also be effective color choices for branding your company. Brown evokes wholesomeness, experience and comfort. One of the best examples of a color representing a company is UPS and their brown shield. The color is familiar and friendly. In fact, the company uses the word “brown” synonymous with the company name: “What can Brown do for you?”


Black and white color schemes convey a sense of simplicity and credibility. Chemical company BASF uses black and white in its stark logo to convey its corporate mission statement of providing simple solutions for its customers.


The Power of Fonts


The choice of font in your logo can either reinforce your brand message, or detract from its power. In general, successful industrial logos avoid using script fonts. While its elegant script reinforces Cadillac’s image, applying the same font to Intel’s logo, for example, would contradict the company’s tech-focused brand.


In general, modern, serif and sans-serif fonts work best for industry logos, although some display fonts work with industrial applications.


Using Space


It’s important to achieve balance between design elements and negative space. Because logos get applied to surfaces of many different sizes, it is imperative that they are easily scaled so they don’t lose impact. Whether they appear on a business card or on the side of a company truck, they need to stay easily recognizable. The Hewlett-Packard logo uses the white rounded type for the “h” and “p” in a royal blue circle, instantly identifiable and easily scalable.


Logo Trends


Industrial themed logos have always trended towards simplicity and maximum impact, and recent trends continue that pattern. More companies are embracing black and white color schemes, or monochromatic themes with a single accent color. Geometric shapes and silhouettes are replacing fussier design renderings. Fonts remain solid and reliable, although sharp, angular types are also turning up in industrial designs. Some companies are taking inspiration from mobile apps and choosing logos in a circular app design. Your design team will show you several options and ways to incorporate meaningful ideas in your visual identity.


Working with The Logo Company


When you work with The Logo Company for your visual identity, a team of design professionals will brainstorm to generate color, shape, and font ideas for a cohesive design. You will receive at least five ideas in just a few days for your review and feedback. You play a role in the design process from start to finish. After we review your comment and suggestions, we revise or redesign your logo as many times as it takes to get the image you want.