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Retail Logo Design Explained
The American retail industry is enormous, with around a million stores raking in four trillion dollars in revenue in the last year. Of course, not every store enjoys a comparable share of America’s retail spend. Those that excel are often the ones with the most memorable retail logo design.
The Importance of a Logo
A logo acts as a store’s corporate face. It features on advertising material to encourage people to shop. It’s there again on the shop front, and again on the uniforms of its employees. You’ll even find the logo on the store shelves as retailers encourage consumers to buy their own store brands over the premium label products. Once their shopping carts are full, customers leave the store carrying bags emblazoned with the same logo, advertising where they’ve shopped.
Logo design for online retailers is no less important. E-tailers display their logos prominently on their site and often on the packaging and invoices that arrive once customers make a purchase. Online company logos also appear on apps and marketing emails, which encourage loyal customers to return.
Whether you have a traditional store or an online one, your logo will represent you in a range of arenas so it’s important that it sends the right message.
Use Graphics Effectively
Shops will commonly use graphics that represent the goods they sell. Grocers use logos featuring fruits and vegetables, hardware stores integrate images of hammers, drills, and saws into theirs. This approach reinforces the connection between the business name and their products for potential customers. However, it can make it difficult for retailers to differentiate themselves from others in the same sector.
Store owners concerned about carving out their own brand identity might prefer to select images that are more unusual. For example, rather than incorporating footwear into their logo, as many other shoe stores do, a shop might prefer a logo featuring footsteps or a caterpillar wearing several pairs of shoes.
Abstract images can also work well for retail outlets. For example, department store Walmart’s logo features a contemporary star shape rather than the apparel, electronics, and other consumer goods it sells. Footwear chain Foot Locker uses a logo featuring the image of a referee instead of shoes. The Apple store references its name with its stylized apple logo, rather than the computers and mobile devices it offers. All these graphics tell consumers very little about the store itself, but they’re very recognizable.
Think About Color
Many industries have clear rules about appropriate logo colors, but when it comes to retail, anything goes. This leads many shop keepers to consider the goods they’re selling when settling on their logo color scheme. For example, it makes sense for grocery store logos to use earth tones, like browns and greens, as these stores specialize in natural and fresh produce. However, Albertson’s prefers blue, Kroger loves blue and red, and Safeway chose red and black.
The lack of clear color rules is a real advantage for retailers, as it increases the chances that their logo will feel fresh. However, owners shouldn’t just choose the colors they like, or gravitate towards hues simply because they’re different. Every color carries powerful connotations, which the public will pick up on. Different demographics also warm to different colors, so sellers should consider their target market’s preferences when choosing their logo’s colors.
For example, children are just learning about color, so they respond best to the primary tones of bright red, yellow, and blue. It would make sense to the public to see this trio of colors in the logo of a toy store or children’s clothing outlet. They wouldn’t expect to see a logo for these stores featuring pale blue though, because this is a very calming color out of step with the energy of their youthful demographic. This hue would make a lot more sense for the logo of a high-end women’s fashion store, which looks to make its clientèle feel pampered.
Research the psychology of colors carefully and ensure your logo’s hues accurately represent your business. Using the wrong colors will alienate potential customers so it can limit your business’ success.
Black and white also plays an important part in creating your brand’s identity, because it’s important that your logo can succeed when the hues are stripped away. The best retail logos are recognizable when reprinted in black and white, as they often are in newspapers and on company invoices. Experiment with your logo in both formats to guarantee your brand’s success.
Use the Right Typeface
At a bare minimum, a logo should feature the retailer’s name so potential customers begin to associate the design with its store. Some owners also include a short slogan or tagline which represents their business, or the year they were established to cement their credibility.
Retailers often use bold typefaces, as they are memorable and legible no matter what size they’re reproduced. Narrow sectors often use specific varieties of type. For example, women’s fashion boutiques and jewelry stores often employ script-style typefaces to evoke a luxurious, feminine feel. In contrast, toy stores and children’s clothing outlets employ more playful novelty types, including those mimicking children’s handwriting or bold, bubbly lettering.
Once you’ve settled on the type style you like, it’s a good idea to shrink it down. Logos often appear on a small scale, on invoices, on business cards, and on company stationery. It’s essential that your company name, and its slogan if you’re using one, remain legible at any size. Simple typefaces generally reproduce better than more elaborate ones.
It should also be interesting enough to look good on a large-scale. You could have store bags with a logo that’s larger than the one you’ve designed, and it’s likely that a larger version of your logo will appear on your storefront. Consider both large and small scales when settling on the perfect type.
Contact The Logo Company to discover how its expert design team can design a logo to boost your store’s customer base and retail sales.