The oil and gas industry is a competitive and ever-changing space where companies are constantly starting and reinventing themselves in order to establish a presence and survive. In this market, companies strive to distinguish themselves with strong, bold brands that are easily recognized. Therefore, when it comes to designing a logo for a company within the industrial, oil, and gas markets, the creative process should be approached with clear intention.
Let’s dive into the process of how to design a logo for companies in the oil and gas industry. There are several phases to logo design, and within each phase, there are questions to consider and details to know. Having this knowledge prior to starting the work is vital to a smooth process that ensures the creation of a logo that establishes the cornerstone of a unique brand identity everyone within the business is proud to stand behind.
The first stage of designing a logo for an oil and gas company is the planning phase. Planning a new logo for the industrial market should be done strategically in order to ensure that it best represents the company and effectively communicates the brand to its intended audience. Oil and gas is a very large, powerful market where a logo needs to set a company apart and get them noticed.
Questions To Consider In the Planning Phase of a Logo Design
What is Important, Unique, or Special to the Client and Their Business?
A brand mark or icon may incorporate, or even dictate, the genesis of where the business came from or represent what product or services the company provides. Consider what elements are unique about the company that may make it stand out.
Does a Brand Assessment Need to Be Completed Prior to Logo Design?
Is the company clear on who they are and what they are out to accomplish? If not, it may be best to step back and conduct a full brand assessment. This process will guide the company in developing its mission, vision, and values, and identify elements that may be incorporated into its logo.
In What Applications Will This Logo Be Used?
Logos for industrial companies, including those in oil and gas, often need to be placed on machinery and in harsh environments. Common placements of logos include signage, tankers, trucks, hard hats and PPE equipment, trade show displays, etc. Knowing how large or small the logo will need to be in various applications can help guide the intricacy of the logo design and the colors that are chosen to accompany it. A designer needs to ask themselves, “How will this logo look on a truck, a piece of equipment, or the side of a tank?” The logo will need to retain its integrity no matter where it’s placed and what elements it will be exposed to.
The logo design phase is where things really get fun! At this point, the strategic work that was done during the planning phase gets translated into visual elements. Within the design phase, there are several steps that a professional designer will take when designing a logo.
Initial Black and White Concepts
Depending on the project scope, designers will prepare 4-8 concepts of the logo and mark for review. These concepts are initially presented in black and white so the client and designer focus on the details, shapes, meanings, fonts, and structure of the design. In this step, a company has the opportunity to envision each of the concepts in the applicable industrial settings identified in the planning phase. It is very common for a company to choose a few favorites out of the concepts to send into the refinement phase for further consideration.
Once the preferred concepts are chosen, the designer goes back to work molding and manipulating the preferred elements of text and graphics into the final logo. For companies in the industrial or oil and gas markets, final logos are typically combinations of a bold brand mark incorporated into the name of the company. This gives the company the option of using the mark independently as an icon.
Formulating the Brand Color Palette
Once the graphical logo has been refined and finalized, the designer will begin formulating the color palette. Colors matter and consistency is key – especially in the industrial, and oil and gas markets. Since the logo is going to be displayed in so many different applications, the colors must be specified so they print cohesively every time. Colors and their formula codes are strategically chosen to meet the company’s needs, express the brand identity, and appear consistently across all mediums.
Once the logo is finalized, it should be delivered to the client with a roll-out plan. There will be a lot of people wanting to handle, manipulate, print, and utilize the new logo within the company – so it’s important that everyone is clear on how to use it.
Details to Consider in the Publishing Phase of a Logo
Have All Necessary File Types Exported and Saved in One Location
As we’ve discussed, a logo in the industrial and oil and gas markets is going to be placed in many different places. A professional graphic designer will take the time to create horizontal, stacked, black and white, Pantone (PMS), full-color CMYK, and RGB versions of a logo based on all the anticipated uses. These file types should all be organized and saved in one central location so they are easily accessible when needed.
Have a Brand Style Guide Designed
A style guide is a vital document that instructs users on how to use a logo, defines colors, fonts, and styles, and organizes them in a single place. The style guide can be provided to anyone who is using the logo to instruct them on brand protocols and ensure consistency. This is especially important in the industrial, gas, and oil markets where it is so easy for brand identities to get skewed and lost by team members not knowing how to use the colors, fonts, or logo properly.
Publish a Press Release When the Logo, Website, and Brand Identity Are Complete
Name recognition is imperative to success in the competitive oil and gas industries. Press releases provide a perfect opportunity for a company to reveal its new (or refreshed) logo design and brand identity. Companies often strategically release their new logos in tandem with a new website, in order to reinforce their brand presence and engage their audience. Press releases offer a way for companies to launch their new brand and establish backlinks to enhance search engine optimization.
A well-designed logo provides a strong foundation for a company’s brand. By taking these steps to plan, design, and publish a new logo, a company in the industrial, oil, and gas will create initial brand awareness and position its brand for success.