4 Credibility-Based Logo Design Strategies

A logo is one of the most important aspects of any business, and most designers have spent a fair share of time creating effective logos for clients. In the Logo Design Awards there are no categories, and it doesn’t matter if your logo was created for yourself, for work or just for fun. Show us what you’ve got!


Dr. Bill Haig is a pioneer in applying credibility principles in communication persuasion to logo design persuasion and extensions of credibility into all company branding. In the 1960s, Dr. Bill Haig worked with Saul Bass as his logo planning and account manager, working with all client logo accounts for many years. Dr. Haig benefited from Bass’s teachings, learning about logo design and branding, and went on to develop an approach that he’s coined, “credibility-based logo design.”

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Haig’s course, Breakthrough Logo Design and Branding Success. Register today with code BHAIG to get 20% off tuition.

In this course, Dr. Haig breaks down this concept and teach you how to design logos and brands that sell. He says it’s about credibility, and persuasive communication. In just two weeks, you’ll walk away with a greater understanding of how to plan a logo design project with your client, create effective logo design solutions, and be able to pitch yourself and your ideas.

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4 Credibility-Based Logo Design Strategies

­The following is a brief excerpt from Breakthrough Logo Design and Branding Success with Dr. Bill Haig.

1. Logos must be credibility-based.

Credibility-based logo design is based on the simple principle that when companies or people are credible, they are more persuasive. When a company logo, as the source of the company message, portrays the company as competent, expert or knowledgeable in its field of business, while at the same time portrays the company as trustworthy, it will enable the company’s message to be more persuasive. As a designer your responsibility is on the credible source end of the model: credible source>message>channel> receiver. Someone else like a copywriter creates the message, and a media buyer provides the channel of communication.

2. Logos must symbolize the company business as the first step.

Symbolizing “house” and “painting” for Housen Painting or “window” and “cleaning” for Crystal Clear is relatively easy. Other businesses are more difficult, but with your creative skills you can do it.

Here is a timeless Saul Bass logo for United Way symbolizing “helping hand” and “hope” which is what United Way does in a more difficult expertise symbol.

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3. Logos must be designed to communicate a company’s trustworthy traits.

This gets a bit trickier and really calls on a designer’s knowledge of design as nonverbal communication. You’re using design to communicate desired traits. Trustworthy traits as design elements. All companies have different trustworthy traits. A local bus service might want to communicate “professional” and “friendly.” An antique shop, “We’ve been around a long time.” A website designer “cutting-edge” and “highly creative.” A bank “stable” and “personalized service.”

shutterstock_113829544photo from Shutterstock

4. Colors used in logo design must convey credibility.

Colors must be selected to complement the credibility traits. The reason is that you’re working with credibility-based logo design strategies which include desired traits even in color. In this sense, the color usually emphasizes, or may compliment a trait. Here are some connotations of colors relative to logo communication:

  • Red: Symbolizes love, strength, sex, vibrancy, passion, and energy, vitality, power and excitement.  It is a good accent color.
  • Blue: Symbolizes electronics, cooling, calming, protecting, security, authority, boldness and seriousness.
  • Brown: Symbolizes the earth, nature, home, wood, leather, richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness.
  • Black: Symbolizes authority, power, and boldness, classic and corporate.
  • Gray: Symbolizes authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity. Traditional business or corporate color.
  • White: Symbolizes refined, purity, devotion, contemporary, and sterile (medical field).
  • Yellow: Yellow symbolizes warmth, sunshine, cheer, and happiness.
  • Purple: Symbolizes royalty, high class, luxury, wealth, and sophistication.
  • Green: Symbolizes health, fertility, freedom, freshness, healing, calm, and quiet and tranquility.

Become an expert on credibility-based logo design strategies in Breakthrough Logo Design and Branding Success with Dr. Bill Haig. The course begins Monday, July 7, but students can register until Friday, July 11 at midnight. Register with code BHAIG to get 20% off tuition!

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