Looking at Logos: Market Research
by Taylor Slattery | August 19, 2019
In a previous article, I shared a site called brandpalettes.com. While writing that piece I mentioned that it would be a powerful resource for analyzing markets to find trends and develop branding strategies. I decided to revisit this idea and take a deeper dive to shed light on some of the insights we might gain through such an analysis.
So let’s pretend we’re designing a logo for a tech startup in the home security space. We’ll start by conducting some research.
While tech companies each have a unique personality that is reflected through their product and logo, it’s safe to assume that there are a core set of traits they would all like to embody, such as trust, safety, excitement, creativity, and ingenuity. Because these companies have all spent a lot of money on market research, and a large portion of them fall within one of 3 colors, its safe to assume that choosing any one of these groups would communicate that core group of traits.
In addition to the standard set traits, let’s say that in the case of our startup, the particular traits we’re hoping to embody are a sense of calm and peace, moods we hope our customers will feel as a result of our home security product. Of these 3 groups, I would say that blue speaks most to our company’s specific values, so let’s take a closer look at these and see what we can find.
The first thing I notice is that within this group of logos, there are 2 sub-groups, hardware and software/services. The 3 hardware logos all incorporate some sort of negative space that interrupts the edges of its silhouette. This might serve to imply ingenuity, as the logos extend “outside of the box” so to say. They also make use of comparatively sharper feeling typefaces, perhaps to communicate their position on the cutting edge.
Looking at the group as a whole, I also notice that whether through italic type, or the angles of the shapes used, 5 of the 7 logos convey a sense of movement from left to right, likely to subtly imply progress, a common theme among tech companies.
Lastly, we see that every logo makes use of some sort of round shape language. Circles are the softest of the primitive shapes. Their lack of angles makes them feel less aggressive, giving them a more approachable appearance.
We can use these observations combined with our own subjective feelings towards these companies to help position our brand and decide which approach would best communicate our unique personality. Based on the research, we know that using blue will instantly establish an association with the core set of traits standard amongst tech companies. We also know that incorporating circles will help us to feel approachable, and using some sort of sharp, angled negative space element will balance out the softness and communicate a sense of advancement. With just a little bit of research we now have a much better idea of the direction to take for our logo.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.