Logo Design and First Impressions

Successful business owners understand how important a great logo design that will make a great first impression with customers. Others think of the expenses rather than the very important investment that it is. Let's talk about Logo Design and First Impressions

Written By Matthew Martin

April 19, 2016

I speak with a lot of brands that are looking to have a custom logo design made for their business. Many times, this is a small business that is developing their brand identity and also budgeting for all of the other items needed to get their business off the ground.

It’s no secret that Spade Design is a premium marketing agency, so if there is ever an objection to our services, it’s usually about the price of our services compared to someone with very little experience and no track record.

That said, the reason for the price objection actually doesn’t have anything to do with money. It’s much simpler than that.

Successful business owners understand how important it is to have a logo that will make a great first impression with customers. Others look at logo design as a trivial and unnecessary expense rather than the very important investment that it is. So let’s talk about Logo Design and First Impressions:

Logo Design and First Impressions, you never get a second chance to make a first impression

Logo Design and First Impressions

Your Business Makes First Impressions Every Day

Every customer that sees your business in an advertisement, online, or even driving by, makes a snap judgment in less than a half second. In nearly every case, the first element they see is your logo. That should be enough to validate its importance, but let’s dig deeper.

Like judging a book by its cover, they are judging you by your logo. No matter how great your product or service is, your logo makes the first impression.

Eyetracking studies conducted by the Missouri Univ. of Science & Technology show that users to most websites spend over 6 seconds looking at the logo before moving on to other content.

What is going on in those 6 seconds? They are wondering if the quality of your logo will reflect the quality of service. They are wondering if you invest in the rest of your business like you did on your logo.

In a nutshell, they are determining if you are trustworthy enough for them to continue.

Making a Good First Impression, Design Matters

Making a good first impression is all about design. In fact, researchers at the US Naval Academy found that the look and feel of a website, including its logo design, is the main driver of the user’s first impression of that business.

Not the content on the website. Not the price of the products or services. Not the reviews on Google, Yelp, or Trip Advisor. While all of those elements do make an impression, the first impression comes from your logo design.

Still Thinking First Impressions Don’t Matter?

Here’s a real-world situation many of us can relate to. You’re with a friend at a bar who keeps eyeing someone across the room. You think to yourself “He’s dressed nice, he’s a decent looking guy. He’s likable. He shouldn’t have any trouble talking with her.”

But your friend had a few too many drinks. He walks over to her and blurts out  “If you were a Transformer, you’d be Optimus Fine.”

And just like that, his chances are over. None of those other good qualities matter. He blew the first impression. In her eyes, he’s a jerk…forever.

You do not want your logo design to be doing the same thing, turning off potential customers, costing you money, and being laughed at for trying to use a pickup line.

A Great Logo Design Has Huge Benefits

A study conducted by the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology revealed those that had a positive first impression of a business were more willing to cut them slack when its product or service became difficult to use. This becomes especially important if you are a start-up.

Making a good first impression with your logo and website will make it easier to absorb bumps in the road with customers as you get up to speed. Of course, the reverse is true. A boring logo design will sour that first impression and have you walking on eggshells, competing on price, and having to overcome more objections from the start.

The Impact of a First Impression Lasts for Years

A study published in Administrative Science Quarterly showed that NBA players with a low draft position were given more playing time after their 5th year in the league, even when performance did not warrant such. The powerful first impression they made in college and through the draft influenced their coach’s lineup decisions 5 years later!

Yet another study conducted by Bertram Gawronski and published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, showed that even when circumstances change (contradicting the first impression), a person considers the new situation to be an exception and the first impression still carries significant influence.

In other words, if you design your business logo yourself and 6 months later decide to have a professional redesign it, those that saw the original will retain that impression in the back of their minds. Of course, that should not discourage you from going pro – every customer seeing the re-designed logo first will carry that positive first impression just as long.

What is a Great Logo Design?

There is no shortage of great graphic designers out there. But, to make it all come together the designer must understand the psychology of marketing.

The selection of colors, the graphic symbol, and the font used must all work together to give a logo the edge it needs to subliminally communicate your message. But few do, even in corporate America.


Logos Must Communicate the Right Message

Your logo design should contain a graphic element that communicates clearly what your company does. These are the elements that customers remember.

When you glance at a company logo, you should have a good idea of what that company does and the service you might expect to receive from them.

These elements are carefully incorporated into the logo design so that they will be recognized in the half second that a customer takes to form an opinion of the brand. When you’re a local business, a graphic element is essential because you don’t have the $1.5 billion annual marketing budget of like a Fortune 100 company to push your message.

No matter who you choose to create your logo design, be sure you get a functional identity that communicates the message you want and makes a great first impression.

A Great Logo Design Does Many Jobs All At Once

Conveys Trust

When a potential customer sees your logo for the first time, they make a snap judgment about your business. If your logo looks unprofessional, it plants a seed in their subconscious that your business may not be trustworthy. It leaves you at a disadvantage, having to prove your trustworthiness right from the beginning. A professional logo designer will create a powerful image that leaves a positive first impression and builds immediate trust. When customers see your logo, they will know right away that you are serious about your business. Your logo helps to convey trust automatically.

Brand Recognition

Does your logo remind people of your business? If not, it will be difficult for customers to remember you. A logo doesn’t just communicate professionalism and trust, it acts as a placeholder in your customer’s mind. Think about a small business you work with that didn’t hire a logo designer. When you think of them, what do you picture in your mind? Perhaps a product you purchased from them or someone who works there. Perhaps nothing at all. Now think of your cell phone carrier. If it’s AT&T, you instantly think of their blue/white ball logo. Think of Apple, you likely picture an Apple. These instantly recognizable symbols ensure that their image is solidified in your mind. Your small business can take advantage of this powerful image association by hiring a professional logo designer.

Expectation of Quality

A professional logo design communicates the quality of your business and its services. Even if you are the greatest dry cleaning company in the world, if your logo looks like a hanger, then you’ll likely have an uphill battle trying to convince those who drive by your location to come in and try you out. We’ve all heard the phrase “image is everything”. It doesn’t only apply for fashion.

Logo Design and First Impressions, Excellent Logo Design, Brand Identity, Spade Design

Hiring a Logo Designer

What are some things to look for when hiring a logo designer? Know who you are getting. Many logo services or graphic designers display beautiful portfolios or even fake mockups of someone else’s work. Many times, a print shop or advertising company may have great work, but the graphic designer actually working on your logo is someone different.

If you like certain designs, request the specific artist that created them. If that graphic design is not available, it’s a red flag, move on.

It is very difficult to find an artist that understands the science of marketing, which is a key component to a successful logo design. A designer with this knowledge also knows the value of their work and charges accordingly. Even if they are just starting out, it is very rare to have a professional quote you less than $500 for a logo design. If they do, this is a red flag.

Lastly, hire a graphic design company and logo designer that you trust. One that will explain their approach, what they want to do for you, and cares about the success of your business.

If you would like to speak to our design team, please contact us. We will be happy to. discuss your brand and logo ideas with you. If we aren’t the perfect fit, we will try to refer you to someone who is.


Score Your Website Instantly

With our Website Checker, you’ll be able to see how your website scores for On-Site SEO, Usability, Performance, Social, Security, and other Technical Issues. Even better, you’ll get your scores instantly!

If you would like to check your Local SEO and Off-Site Rankings, please use our Local SEO Checker.

Learn To Grow Your Business

Our Newest Articles

Tips for Choosing a Quality SEO Firm

Tips for Choosing a Quality SEO Firm

In today's digital world, there are a lot of words that are thrown around for advertising or clout purposes. Blockchain, digital marketing, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are just a few of these popular buzzwords that you hear all too often. Sometimes, people leverage these words in order to...

What Is Local SEO and Why Is It Crucial for Your Business?

What Is Local SEO and Why Is It Crucial for Your Business?

You got a web design agency to build your website, and now it's gone live. You're excited, but there's more work to be done. You now need to drive traffic to your website. So, you decide to do some marketing. You send cold emails, hand out brochures, run print ads, and attend tradeshows. Thanks to...

Why You Should Try Email Marketing in 2021

Why You Should Try Email Marketing in 2021

Over the years, a significant number of digital marketers have shifted their attention to social media platforms. Additionally, users have become wary of an inbox full of spam and unsolicited emails. For those reasons, some people wonder whether an email campaign is still effective for marketing....

The Great Divide With SEO Companies

The Great Divide With SEO Companies

Not all SEO companies are created equal. If you are looking for an SEO company to help you reach your marketing goals, there are a few things you need to consider before making a decision. There are plenty of SEO companies to choose from, but unfortunately, many do not deliver as promised. Knowing...

Resources and Guides, Web Design Ebooks

Improve Your Marketing

Get fresh tips, how-tos, and expert advice to make marketing that really freaking works.

(12,500 marketers are already doing it.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!