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Stephanie Vozza

Whether it's an image, stylized text, or a combination of both, your logo represents your company, and its design may be more important than you realize. Design isn't just the process of making things look nice; it's a tool that businesses can use to support their objectives. Design taps into the emotions and aspirations of your customers, and can create a positive or negative response. It can even influence a customer's perception of your quality and value. According to research from The Logo Company, 63 percent of people say a poorly designed logo makes a brand look cheap.

What is the design of your logo saying to your customers? And could it be time for an upgrade? 

Take a look at your logo with fresh eyes, and consider the three signals it sends to your customers:

The color of these three popular logos sends a message about the company's values.

The color of these three popular logos sends a message about the company's values.

Color

Color has the power to impact how people view your business. Researchers at the University of Winnipeg in Canada have found that up to 90% of our first impression of a company is based on color alone. In fact, people have inborn reactions to color, according to color psychologists at Pantone. The color blue, for example, is calming and indicates safety and stability. If your business has an element of risk, using blue in your logo might let customers know you're trust-worthy. Red, on the other hand, is a color associated with excitement. It makes our heart race and can even stimulate the appetite. Red is a good color if you want to convey a sense of energy in your business. Black is a timeless color that represents simplicity and sophistication. It's a great choice for companies that offer luxury trips. Yellow represents sunshine, hope and optimism. If your business is all about fun, use yellow in your logo. And green reminds people of nature, so it's a natural choice for tour and travel companies that focus on the outdoors.

Notice how the font of these three airlines logos helps convey information about each distinct brand

Notice how the font of these three airlines logos helps convey information about each distinct brand

Font 

Just like color, the font, or typeface, you choose for your company name can share clues about your business. You probably wouldn't use Comic Sans to craft a business proposal, for example, and Times New Roman might feel too business-like for a company that's all about relaxation. Be sure to choose a typeface that represents the feel of your company. Script fonts that look like handwriting say your business is personal and creative. Sans serif fonts say your company is modern and clean. And serif fonts tell customers your business is traditional and reliable.

Some companies use graphics to quickly convey what they offer.

Some companies use graphics to quickly convey what they offer.

Image

A well-designed image tells customers that you take your business seriously. Thirty-two percent of Americans don't trust companies whose logos they don't like, according to The Logo Company study. If you or an employee are a skilled designer, by all means take the time to design your own logo; no one knows your business better than you. But if you're not, hiring a professional will ensure that your logo (and business) looks professional. Make sure the image you use clearly represents all facets of your business, especially as you grow and add new offerings. But don't go overboard: Logos that are too complex can confuse potential customers about what your business does. And hiring a pro doesn't have to be too expensive. Sites like 99Designs and Hatchwise allow you to get input from dozens of professionals. Simply post your job, set a price you're willing to pay, and wait while graphic designers submit their ideas and compete for your business. You choose the logo you like the best.

Now that you know the importance of color, font, and image to a logo, does yours need some tweaking or a complete redesign? Taking the time to make sure it perfectly lets customers know that you value their business—as well as your own.