Logo design tips for your eco-impact brand

Sustainable Branding Trends

Are you an eco + social impact brand getting started and need some good tips to design your logo? Here’s a step by step guide of what you should take into account!

It should be evident from the very first impression if your company is doing something important—like trying to pursue Earth-friendly practices. And, eco-friendly businesses should have a logo that hints at that commitment. This post will look at tips on creating an eco-focused logo design to appeal to your Earth-conscious audience.

Why You Might Need an Eco-Focused Logo

Even if you are a sustainable or responsible business, you don’t actually have to use a logo that clearly signals that characteristic to your audience. However, a logo should give an immediate first impression of your brand to a potential customer. Eco-focused behavior is highly valued by many consumers and could be a huge selling point for your company.

Creating an eco-friendly logo design doesn’t have to mean earthy colors and incorporating plant illustrations. You won’t be extremely limited in your design, because you can always use some aspects of an Earth-friendly logo and not all of the elements suggested below.

71% of consumers say they prefer buying from companies aligned with their values. Millennials put even more weight on this issue, with 83% stressing the importance of value alignment.

Your logo should convey something important to your company and meaningful to your audience. Another poll from 2019 found 81% of consumers expect brands to be environmentally responsible. And that number is on the rise, since 50% of people in 2021 say they’ve become more eco-conscious since the pandemic hit.

Logo design tips for your eco-impact brand
Photo Credit: OVAN from Pexels

How to Create an Eco-Friendly Logo

So, what exactly does the right logo look like for an eco-focused company? Here are a few key design elements that can help your logo show off your Earth-conscious approach.

Muted Colors

Add a little white and brown to any color, and you get a slightly muddier version of it. Soft and muted colors can express your brand’s commitment to Earth-friendly behavior. A softer olive or sage green can represent the natural beauty of plant life. Dusty blue, sandy coral and French grey are all examples of how you can take colors and shift them into hues that symbolize a commitment to nature. Explore muted colors that look more organic and avoid extremely bright colors.

Bold Colors

Choosing natural colors doesn’t mean the whole logo has to be soft. In fact, you can use very bold colors instead if you choose. Think burgundy, navy, black, army green, emerald, sapphire, java brown, charcoal, ruby red. Deep colors, like jewel tones, can still convey a commitment to nature, but they will take on a more serious, mysterious and bold undertone for your brand.

Font Choice

Did you know there are actually fonts that save ink? Not only should your font appearance look down-to-Earth, but you can choose a font that helps put the money where your mouth is. Century Gothic is one of the most eco-conscious options. Garamond, Courier and Times New Roman are also highly listed options for reducing ink.

The appearance of your font can also convey certain characteristics of your brand. Choosing a more serious font (like Century Gothic or Times New Roman) will help create a no-nonsense logo. Handwritten fonts can indicate that your company is handcrafted, owned by an individual and empathetic. Softer sans serif fonts with rounded edges might showcase how your brand is concerned about caring for things beyond the hard and fast sale. An edgy slab serif could convey your brand’s aggressive approach towards environmental issues.

Natural Imagery

It’s easy to include natural elements in your logo design to help send the message to your audience. Bolden is an example of a skincare brand that incorporated a leaf right into the logotype. Whole Foods has a similar approach, turning the “O” into a piece of fruit. Even though Timberland uses a stylized and simplified nature-based icon illustration to help convey their commitment to using sustainable materials where they can, claiming their audience chooses eco-conscious fashion where possible.

Shape Selection

You can use geometric or organic forms to help convey your message. Shapes immediately give context, and there is psychology behind the shapes we use in logos.

For example, triangles can be used to represent mountains, while circles can represent the Earth, sun, moon or stars. Wavy lines can look like water, while straight lines might look like the horizon or trees. Organic shapes will look softer and give your brand a more natural, relaxed look. Spirals can look like shells, movement, tree branches, waves or clouds. Splatters, leaves and irregular blobs are examples of organic shapes your brand might choose.

Forms might be included in your design or encompass your entire design like an emblem. Each shape also conveys feelings beyond symbolic imagery. Circles communicate a subliminal message of stability, unity and hope. Triangles can show power, strength and daring. Lines indicate movement and energy. Curves can also indicate motion, but they often look more empathetic and friendly. Spirals offer a unique twist that can pique interest and display interconnection.

Logo design tips for your eco-impact brand
Photo Credit: Rachel Claire from Pexels

Tagline Messaging

Choose a fitting tagline to draw in your audience even faster. Avoid popular buzzwords that will make you sound like a wannabe “green company” chasing trends to increase profits. Instead, focus on authenticity, communicating your mission in its simplest form. A tagline shouldn’t be more than a few words if you are going to fit it into your logo design. Consider words like:

  • Fair
  • Better
  • Stronger
  • Cleaner
  • Connected
  • Grounded
  • Committed

Textures and Pattern

Textures can be used to make a logo have a more realistic and natural feel. You can use a more natural texture (like watercolor, wood or concrete), or you can use geometric shapes (like dots) to create your texture for a more stylized look. Patterns can also be used to help create a nature-inspired logo (like wavy lines being used to illustrate water, grass or tree bark).

Including the right details in your illustration without making it look too busy will make it more eye-catching. People will stop to examine details, and texture can be used to create hierarchy of design that directs the eye to the desired focal point.

Outline Use

Finally, you may want to carefully consider how you want your logo to be used. After you design a logo, you should create a guide that explains how to properly use your logo in any setting. This guide should explain color options and choices for logo layouts. You should also include instructions about expectations for logo use.

Brands tend to plaster their logo all over everything to increase brand awareness (which is good!). However, allowing your logo to go onto a mass mailing campaign or placed all over fast fashion could harm your brand reputation. You may want to choose eco-friendly packaging and reduce your waste as much as possible. When your logo is placed on eco-conscious boxes, bags and products, then it will have even more meaning in context.

Make an Eco-Friendly Logo Design the First Step of Many

Ultimately, the logo only provides a first impression. If you truly want to make your logo synonymous with sustainability and responsibility, you need to become a lifestyle brand. Your logo can be the catalyst for creating a company that is interchangeable with an eco-friendly lifestyle. To become a central brand for environmentally conscious consumers, you will have to be committed to eco-conscious behaviour, imagery and messaging in everything that you do.

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