What should your logo achieve for your financial firm? After all, it’s tempting to get priorities wrong when it comes to financial logo design.
Some people place little value on a logo design at all – seeing it as a meaningless (albeit perhaps necessary) “label” to put on your website. Others seem to tie up the entire essence of their brand in this one symbol to the neglect of other visual assets.
Here at CreativeAdviser, the analogy we often use to describe financial logo design is a national flag. Think of the Union Jack, for instance. On its own, this flag is merely a collection of red, white and blue colours arranged in a particular way. The design is good, but not particularly earth-shattering.
What gives the Union Jack its power, then? Arguably, its potency lies in the symbols, feelings and associations that it generates. When you see the British flag, for instance, you tend to think of the Queen, Red telephone boxes, London tour buses, the House of Parliament, steak and ale pie …you get the idea!
Similarly, when you see the Nike logo or another famous logo on a billboard, the design itself has power in that it carries certain images, feelings and ideas with it. This is one of the reasons why financial logos can be so powerful, as they can achieve the same effect when designed effectively.
So, what makes a good financial logo design? There are at least 5 principles which we’d suggest here at CreativeAdviser based on our years of experience designing logos for the financial sector. We hope you find this helpful and invite you to get in touch if you’re looking to discuss your own project with us.
When financial firms talk to us about a possible logo design it’s common to hear them describe how they want an intricate logo with many “bells and whistles”. This is understandable, as it’s easy to assume that complexity equals distinctiveness. After all, how original can a high-quality logo be if it’s not complex?
However, perhaps counterintuitively, it’s usually better to focus on developing a simple financial logo – particularly since this will aid its memorability and flexibility (see below).
An interesting example is the Prudential logo, which shows the Goddess Prudence in an almost “Statue of Liberty-Esque” posture. It’s not particularly intricate, but it’s a powerful icon which generates instant feelings of established authority, freedom and wisdom.
Most of us see logos every day which are quickly forgotten. Other logos are very memorable – but for absolutely the wrong reasons (for an amusing example, check out the Instituto de Estudios Orientales logo!).
Consider the logos for Audi and for the Olympics. Both use a compelling logo design involving conjoining rings. Each is highly memorable for a number of reasons, but their simplicity certainly plays an important role. The sense of order and unity also likely contribute too.
As a financial services firm, it is likely that you will want to create a certain impression through your logo design. Other qualities and connotations are probably not going to be suitable. Brew Dog, for instance, is a great logo and brand for the beer brewing sector. Yet the rebellious, jagged and aggressive tone of the logo design is probably not what most financial firms are going to want to go for!
Care needs to be taken here. After all, you don’t want to go to the other extreme and aim for a logo which is bland, cliched or indistinctive. Here, a professional financial logo designer will be able to offer a lot of value based on their extensive experience and exposure to logos in your industry/sector.
In today’s digital world it’s more important than ever that your financial logo is able to adapt to different contexts, platforms and marketing materials. Whilst 30 years ago financial firms largely needed their logo to fit on a billboard, magazine advert and letterhead, today your logo needs to accommodate:
- Website headers – both on desktop and mobile devices.
- Social media profiles.
- Browser favicons.
- Letterheads and compliment slips.
- Business cards.
- PDF brochures and online presentations.
- Video presentations.
- Mobile applications.
This list is not exhaustive – especially since new technologies are continuously evolving which are likely to always make it longer. The main point here is to ensure your financial logo design is sufficiently flexible to adapt to different marketing campaigns and contexts.
This is another reason to lean towards simplicity in your design. An overly-intricate financial logo is likely to struggle to accommodate these different platforms and scenarios.
If you’ve taken even a passing glance at the fashion industry you’ll have noticed how fleeting different clothing styles are. What’s “trending” can change very rapidly in this world – yet this dynamic is present to some extent in every artistic endeavour.
Logo design is no exception.
Fortunately, you are not destined for your financial logo to inevitably fall out of fashion within a year of creating and adopting it. Certain styles and approaches hold out more timelessness than others, and it’s important to factor this into your project to ensure you’re not investing in something too fleeting.
A good example of a timeless logo is the London Underground. It’s been around for over a century with little/no change to its design, yet people still recognise and value it deeply.
Again, simplicity usually plays an important role in creating a more timeless logo (with some exceptions – e.g. Coca Cola). Here, a professional financial logo designer can help you sift through different design approaches to determine which are just “currently trending”, and which are more tried-and-true.