It is becoming more common knowledge out there in the business world that a brand is far deeper than a company’s logo. A brand is the emotional impression that someone is impacted by when they interact with your business. And a brand only truly comes alive when it is genuinely lived in the business. Think of Apple, Zappo’s, Patagonia, and Amazon as role-models for producing a consistent-brand experience, and thus a loyal customer-base. Think United Airlines, AT&T, and Bank of America as examples that don’t.
A brand can run the spectrum of having a strong positive or negative impact, or one that is easily forgotten. I’ve had my own bias in the past that a logo is the tip of the ice berg of branding, and that it’s not as deep, and important, etc.
The Brand of your Logo
In creating the look and feel of my new website, I recently had the opportunity to work closely with a professional designer to work specifically on my logo. Through this, I got to experience the creative process and deep passion and vision that goes into creating a logo that expresses your brand.
Design does not come naturally for me. While I can feel and appreciate a quality design for a business, my brain doesn’t work this way naturally. And while I’m not outright color-blind, I sometimes blur the edges of colors and accept that this is not where I’m gifted.
Once I saw my current logo, I was challenged, then captivated, and then wanting to know more at the same time. I saw my initials RS right away, but didn’t know how to relate to the abstract shapes and what they represented. Then after looking into my logo for a bit, I started to see a story. My story.
More than Colors and Shapes
Starting with the colors, deep blue for me is a serious and impactful, business and professional, while the burnt orange in my logo represents the warmth, humor, and personal-ness that I bring to my coaching. In fact, researching the psychology of colors on Dr. Google, it states that dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability, and burnt orange has a sophisticated appeal yet includes warmth and playfulness. The research confirmed what I actually felt first emotionally after taking in my logo for the first time.
When I looked deeper into my initials, I also started to see 2 people. Coach and client, and the interface where they meet. My designer also pointed out the wide-open space in-between that leaves room for creativity, possibility, and the unknown space from which new perspectives and ways of relating to one’s business can emerge. The white canvas of transformation.
He also also pointed out that the ‘S’ is like a backward question mark, and I immediately connected with the fact that clients come to the coaching interface to get their questions answered. And the ‘R’ symbolizes Response. A good coach knows that often a response is how to ask the right next question to lead their client deeper into their own answers.
The more I have sat with this image, the more I have appreciated that a logo, when done well, reflects and expresses the values of your brand, and thus, of you. I have a new appreciation for the design process and while I was always in awe of people’s artistic ability, it means so much more when your logo is truly founded in your values, passion, and purpose, and the design process that helps you get there.
When you look at this logo, what do you see? And most importantly, how do you feel? How does this exploration have you look at your own logo in a new light? Do you have a logo that truly expresses your brand?