A hotel logo is one of the most important elements of its marketing and branding strategy. If executed correctly, it can make all the difference in imprinting a positive image of the place in the minds of consumers.
Logos are often the most difficult part of a branding exercise: they need to grab a viewer, and they should evoke an emotional and positive response. They need to be positive and eye-catching, yet familiar and consistent.
Logos need to express a brand’s values without words, using only color, font, and design. A logo, if done well, will make prospective guests want to check in and stay.
If you want to design a really effective hotel logo, keep in mind these seven tips. They will help you create something that will help your brand really stick in the minds of your intended audiences.
1. Your Hotel Logo Must Be Versatile
Hotels use their logos in innumerable ways. Think about all of the places you see a hotel logo when you check into a room: it’s on the room service menu and the Do Not Disturb sign. It’s on the soap and the towels.
Hotel logos are everywhere:
- They are used in print, online and TV advertising
- They are emblazed upon the employee uniforms and promotional items like hats and umbrellas
- They may be printed on the building’s awnings and facades
- They may show up on sponsorship banners at local events
If you are designing a hotel logo you must make sure the brand is easily replicable on all of these surfaces in all of these sizes. The logo must be versatile enough to look good in reverse, black and white and invisibly.
When designing this logo, be sure to run it through various tests: Does it show up well from both near and far? How does it look on a cell phone screen? Be creative: imprint it on a pat of butter to see how it would look at a hotel guest’s breakfast!
Be creative. Imprint it on a pat of butter to see how it would look at a hotel guest’s breakfast! Your hotel will benefit from a logo which is clear and evocative in a wide range of iterations.
2. Understand Your Hotel’s Brand
Designers like to be ahead of the curve, and it’s great to come up with options that capture the industry’s latest trends. Ombre, letter stacking, and shield shapes are just some of the latest approaches that are hot in the design field right now.
However, the primary objective for a great hotel logo is to illustrate your hotel’s core values. The latest fad in logo design may not encapsulate what is special about this particular hospitality business.
Work with the hotel’s branding specialists to understand the values the place is trying to convey. Is this locale appealing to a young millennial crowd? Then you want to convey that the place is web savvy, convenient and close to local nightlife.
Does the hotel want to let families know that it is safe and fun for visitors with kids? A logo for this kind of hotel would have a very different look and feel.
Perhaps geographic location is the most important element of their brand. The brand for Hotel Osterport is an effective example. Its logo clearly demonstrates its location in Copenhagen with its effective use of the “?”.
3. Keep it Simple
Tastes evolve, and generally, the public’s taste in logos has shown a preference for increased simplicity. Look at the evolution of the logos for Starbucks, Nike, and Apple over the last few years and you can see a trend towards cleaner lines and more simple design.
Social media has affected this affinity as well. As consumers grow accustomed to receiving their information as they quickly scroll down their feeds, simple eye-catching logos are more likely to grab someone’s attention than ones with lots of text or complex imagery.
One common mistake made by companies seeking logos is to choose a design that is too complex. A complicated logo is hard to understand and its message is hard to articulate. It can also increase printing costs and be hard to replicate across different mediums.
A hotel logo requires a simple approach for all of these reasons and more. If the hotel attracts an international clientele, it will need to appeal to audiences from different cultures and who speak different languages.
A simple design removes the possibility that your hotel’s logo may not translate well to people from different countries.
4. Choose Colors Carefully
Design experts advise that three colors are the maximum number which should be used in an effective logo. Use more than that and you will risk overwhelming your customer.
Each color on the spectrum corresponds with a different human emotion, so select a color palette that reflects your hotel’s brand. For example, if you are promoting your hotel as a spa, you may wish to stick with the colors of green and blue, which symbolize health and serenity, respectively.
Your choice of color should consider the type of audience you are appealing to. Black is generally perceived as elegant and prestigious. It is a common favorite in the fashion industry, so if you are hoping to attract members of that industry to stay at your hotel, you might include it as a primary color in your logo.
Orange, on the other hand, is seen as a fun and playful color which appeals to children. If your hotel is meant to attract families with young ones, you may want to include some orange in your hotel logo.
5. Find the Right Font
Some logos forego text entirely, like Twitter. However, your brand must be extremely well established in the eyes of the consumer to go entirely without any explanatory text.
Most hotels incorporate their name in their logo as an indelible part of their brand.
Some hotels may be so well known that one word or even an initial may suffice. Holiday Inn’s dramatic new logo, with the modern single “H” replacing the more old-fashioned script lettering of the full name, is a great example of refreshing a well-known hotel logo while maintaining key elements like color to keep it familiar.
The iconic Manhatten hotel The Plaza sometimes uses a double “P” logo which emphasizes the building’s its classic, patrician roots and its exclusivity: If you have to ask what the “P” stands for, you probably won’t be staying here.
Famous brands usually stick with clean, easy to read fonts for their logos like Arial, Helvetica and Times New Romans. Gothic and other fancy fonts may prove hard to decipher when seen from afar or on the fly.
6. Utilize Research and Focus Groups
If you are designing a hotel logo, you may become so immersed in the process that you can lose some perspective. It’s always important to get outside opinions on an image you may have been working on so closely that you may not see it as others do.
Arrange for focus groups in your target audience to look at your design, and listen to their feedback. Or give them several options and let them tell you which they prefer and why.
They may prefer one color over another. They may not be able to read the type. The logo may evoke pleasant associations of places they liked from their childhood (this would be a great reaction to get!).
On the other hand, they may see things in your logo that you have overlooked. There are many examples of epic corporate fails where companies did not see the negative or salacious associations that their new logo evinced. It’s always better to discover these unintended connotations before the brand launch!
7. Beware of Acronyms
Many of the world’s most famous brands have moved towards logos which abbreviate their names: HuffPo, AmEx. Others are so well known that they can shorten their names even more, by creating an acronym of their names: BMW, CVS.
If you are designing a hotel logo, the hotel in question should have a very well established identity in its marketplace before you consider using a shortened label for it.
While brevity and simplicity are key elements to a successful hotel logo, your audience needs to know what your product is and what its name is. If they cannot glean that from what they see in the logo, then the design is not successful.
You Can Create Your Own Successful Hotel Logo
While all of these design elements may seem like a lot to absorb, you do not necessarily need to be or hire a professional graphic designer to come up with a great logo for your hotel.
It is possible to find excellent tools for creating your own logo online.
If you are a hotel owner or are marketing a hospitality enterprise and trying to stay within a budget, there are ways to achieve a professional result without the high cost. If you follow these basic guidelines, you can create a brand for your hotel which will be attractive to the kinds of guests you hope will stay there.
Check out an online logo maker site to see how you can create a dynamic hotel logo at a budget-friendly price.