The Significance of Logos


Linda Zhang, Staff Writer

Every day in our lives, we can see the presence of logos, such as in stores and restaurants. Logos play an essential role in the consumer industry because businesses utilize them to attract more customers. For example, in many fast-food restaurants, logos are often found in the colors red and yellow, such as McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, and Burger King. The reason for that is that red stimulates appetite, hunger, and attention, while yellow signals happiness and friendliness. Together, they make their customers feel more hungry, thus causing them to purchase more food. In other words, logos serve beyond the purpose of a symbol, it is also a tool for companies to manipulate customers. 

“Although I’m not necessarily hungry, I always feel like getting something from McDonald’s when I walk past it. The red and yellow logo reminds me of their fries and chicken nuggets.” —Han Phan, 9. 

Logos are often designed to be straightforward, with simple shapes and a few colors. However, the real challenge comes when such simple designs have to influence the minds of customers. For example, when letters are present in a logo, the font in which it is written is crucial. According to studies conducted by the Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL) at Wichita State University, Arial and Times New Roman fonts seem the most attractive to those who are “stable,” “mature,” and even “unimaginative”. On the other hand, fonts like Comic Sans attract those who are “causal.” Therefore, large enterprises use formal fonts, for that is how they want to be perceived by their clients, while a cafe would use more casual fonts because its customers are often looking for a relaxing environment.

“The logo of my favorite bakery is written in cursive in a soft, brown color, which makes the store feel warm and welcoming.” —Alice Wang, 9. 

Aside from letters, the shapes found in a logo also influence its meaning. According to White River Design, geometric shapes, such as rectangles, squares, and triangles, convey reliability, order, and formality. Therefore, if a business wants to use its reliability to attract customers, geometric shapes should be a part of its logo, such as the logo of Microsoft, which consists of four squares. Meanwhile, circles are never-ending, so they signal harmony, unity, and eternity. An example would be Tide’s logo, which contains an orange circle surrounded by a yellow circle, for it is consistently seen in many homes. 

Lines, commonly seen as space dividers, also impact the emotions conveyed by logos. According to ArtyFactory, thinner lines express flexibility and fragility, while thicker lines express rigidity and boldness. Moreover, straight lines imply order and predictability, while curved lines convey creativity and agility. To demonstrate, if a company wants gentleness in its product, it would use thinner and curvier lines in its logo, such as Dove. 

Logos are more than a symbol of a business, when created thoughtfully, they influence the minds of those who are seeing them. With different fonts, shapes, and lines, countless emotions can be detected by the consumer. As a result, by advertising their products with these emotions, businesses can attract more customers. 


Photo by Alex Motoc