5 Tips for Designing a Successful B2B Logo

Oct 14, 2019 - Paul Ryan

Crafting a B2B logo is different than B2C and retail logo design. Unlike brick and mortar retailers whose target audiences shop based on wants, B2B customers shop based on needs. Not only that, B2B customers usually make much larger purchases, have a slower buyer’s journey, and are more informed about industry norms and expectations compared to a common B2C consumer.

All of these differences, and more, must be taken into account when designing a fresh B2B logo.

Choose The Right Colors

When choosing a color, consider where and how the logo will be used. What material are your products printed on? Do your colors make sense for that? If you manufacture sheet metal, it may seem natural to use grey or silver in your logo. But will gray or silver actually show up on your products? If the answer is no, you should rethink your colors.

Colors can also say a lot about a brand. Color psychology research shows that colors are important for marketing and are closely associated with specific feelings. Some colors are even connected to particular industries or business types. For instance, green is most commonly used to denote eco-friendliness or the outdoors. Meanwhile, red is more commonly used in logos related to retail, media, food, and industries that are overtly trying to grab customers’ attention. When designing a B2B logo, be sure it represents your industry or goals for the brand.

The graph below, by Canva, sorts popular brand logos by color.

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Choosing just one color isn’t enough. Your logo should come in variations including full-color and black-and-white. Additional iterations could include a small logo mark, or versions with a company tagline. These differing versions make using your logo on different backgrounds much easier while keeping your content on-brand. Since logos aren’t always printed in full-color, creating a black-and-white version is an absolute must. In fact, designers start with a black-and-white design before adding any color at all.

The Accutemp logo we designed below reflects variations of the same logo:

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Make Your Logo Easy to Read

Your logo should be legible on your biggest products and billboards, as well as on your tiny business cards. A logo that can’t be shrunk down to fit in the corner of a business card is not a good logo. This may mean you have to use less detail than you’d like, but the results will be far more useful in the end.

For instance, businesses often want to use realistic trees in logos. But, because of the complexity and intertwining lines that exist on trees, they rarely look good when resized to be smaller. The same is true for state or country borders. If lines are not simplified, they will be lost or become unclear when scaled down.

Give Your Logo a Modern Treatment

Logos reflect the time periods in which they were made. So, don’t use dated design techniques when designing a modern logo. Bevels and embosses are a surefire way to make your logo look like it was designed in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Adding a heavy outline, dramatic drop shadow, complex cursive, or over-the-top glossiness are other ways to make your B2B logo look dated.

Instead, use modern design trends like minimalism, simplified retro looks, perspective, or creative use of negative space, like how FedEx implies a forward-moving arrow in their logo. The process of discovering the arrow makes the logo—and therefore the brand—more memorable.

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Secure ALL Your Logo Assets

If the only version you have of your logo gets blurry when enlarged, you likely did not acquire all the assets from the designer that you should have. Image files like JPEGs are considered raster images, which are defined by having an exact number of pixels and an exact size. Photos taken on your phone and anything shared on social media are raster images.

A vector image, on the other hand, is an image file that uses mathematical computations to display on your computer. Because vector images are math-based, they can be stretched or shrunk to any size without becoming jagged or fuzzy.

When working with a designer, be sure to collect every version of your logo in multiple formats and the resources used to create it. This way, you won’t be left with only having raster-based images. Logo assets should include:

  • JPEG, PNG, and EPS versions of your 1-color logo
  • JPEG, PNG, and EPS versions of your multi-color logo
  • JPEG, PNG, and EPS versions of your black-and-white logo
  • Packaged files from Adobe Illustrator
  • Exact Pantone color codes of every color used

Hire Professional Designers for a Professional Logo

The biggest mistake B2B companies make when designing or updating a logo is trying to do it themselves. Decision-makers and designers in these situations often struggle to see the forest through the trees. The process often results in a lack of clear direction, a muddled message, or something that is either too literal or too obtuse for your industry.

Instead, hire professionals who are experts at B2B logo design. Don’t get bogged down trying to communicate the intricacies of your products or industry. To ensure your logo is the best it can be and is built to last, let outside designers engage in a full design process, learning about your products and industries, and using modern design techniques to bring your brand to life. If your B2B company needs a fresh brand redesign, or if you’re starting from scratch, Nichols can help. Send me an email anytime to pryan@WeTellYourStory.com or click the button below to start chatting now.