Radio Station Logo: 8 Ideas & Tips

Your radio station logo is a powerful tool. It’s your visual identity. When it’s great, —it’s memorable and catchy. It’s an emblem of your station’s content, feel, and quality.

Because I’m a fan of allegories…

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Here is one: A nice logo is like a professionally tailored suit. People in nice suits command respect. They look more trustworthy and of high status.  So I pose the question? How do you want your station to look? Sharp and neat —if so, this blog can help.

Functions of your Radio Station Logo


You may think, —and you’re excused to believe so — that your logo should serve the sole purpose of making you happy.

Or, it’s just an image required when submitting your station to online directories. Sure the logo ain’t important…it might be overrated. 

Logos are useful for a number of reasons: 

1. The logo sends a conscious and unconscious message to your fans. (more on this later)

2. Someone may be scrolling down a list of stations listed under your genre on a radio directory. “Bam!” Your nice logo stops them. That’s one more listener earned thanks to your logo.

3. It’s one of the pillars of your brand. The symbol of an apple that someone took a bite off represents an Apple Inc product. See, a Swoosh on a pair of shoes and you’ll know they are Nikes.

4. Offer a stranger, a sincere smile, and you establish rapport. Similarly, a great logo fosters trust, draws, and creates a bond with the potential listener.

Reasons to get a professional graphic designer to design it


You have some killer creative skills. That’s why you’re on the radio. But are you an expert in logo design?

 I’m asking because logos require time and attention. A lot of thinking outside the box and an intuitive feel for creating effective ones. Not to mention, the best logos are scalable. 

Sure, you’re no expert. You even admit it. But you still hold the view that hiring an expensive logo artist is beyond you.

Okay, could it be that logo designers are quite affordable? I’m talking about less than $20 for professional results. 

Here are other reasons to hire a pro:

  • It’s not good to cut corners. You skip the necessary steps in the logo design. The results might speak for themselves.

  • An astronomical graphic designer makes the whole process seem effortless. You’ll end up learning a lot from them.

  • There is an easier way, using an online logo generator. But what if your competitors used the same service? Then, you wonder why all the logos look similar.

  • A good pro researches the competing radio stations. And creates a better logo for you.

  • While you may take days to design your logo, an efficient pro delivers the results quickly. They have done it many times before. Designing is their bread and butter.

  • Just tell a pro your vision in the grandest terms. And they will manufacture a radio station logo idea in a heartbeat.

What’s a logo?


A logo can consist of a concrete or abstract symbol, shape, text, mascot, etc. Here are the different types of logos:

Logotype

Quite many radio station logos are logotypes. Also called “word mark,” it features a group of words or even one single word or letter. 

For instance, Facebook’s logo. Many stations choose to have their name in a fancy or bold font against a plain or colored background.

National Public Radio logo

Logomark

The logo mark contains a symbol, but no text. The symbol can be abstract or concrete.

What is the difference? The more concrete a symbol is, the easier it is to say what it represents. For instance, looking at this YouTube logo, I can confidently say that it represents a play button.

Combination mark

The combination mark describes a logo with text and symbol. The symbol can be placed above the text, or the words can overlay the symbol, or positioned on the side.

You get very unique results, and it’s easy to trademark your combination symbol. Many radios stations use this kind of logo. It borrows from both worlds.

WLS Chicago, Illinois radio station logo (1954)

Mascot logo

The logo bears the image of a person, animal, object, or cartoon character. Mascots are warm, friendly, and sometimes funny.

KFC’s logo is the best example of a mascot logo that works.

KFC logo.svg
By Source, Fair use, Link

8 Great Tips For Effective Radio Logo Design


Most brands favor logotypes; Disney, Coca Cola, BBC, etc. The major advantage is that the logo markets your brand. Your name is the main feature; it’s the star!

A new listener coming across your logomark can’t tell the owner. Unless your brand is very popular. For instance, Shell can pull it off now because they have been around for the last 110 years.

To make your logomark popular, you’ll need to create awareness, which entails spending cash. Even Shell tried different combination marks.

#1. Your Station Name VS. Symbol


Most brands favor logotypes; Disney, Coca Cola, BBC, etc. The major advantage is that the logo markets your brand. Your name is the main feature; it’s the star!

A new listener coming across your logomark can’t tell the owner. Unless your brand is very popular. For instance, Shell can pull it off now because they have been around for the last 110 years.

To make your logomark popular, you’ll need to create awareness, which entails spending cash. Even Shell tried different combination marks

Logo-shell.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

A combination mark strikes the balance. You create something extra unique, visually attractive, and easily recognizable. Plus you tell a more comprehensive story of your station.

993TheBullsmall

#2. The best icons express the station’s values & attitude


What’s your brand’s story? What are the station’s values and attitude? Start your logo design process by stating the message the logo should convey. For instance, is your station hip, trendy and cool?

Youlogo can also reflect the personality of the station. The station’s main content defines its personality,e.g.,Jazz, Heavy metal, Pop, Blues, RnB, all-news & talk.

For instance, CBS Radio has a logo with an eye on it. I can say that the station is constantly on the look out for newsThey are the eyes and ears of the public.

CBS Radio logo

#3. Simplicity Rocks


No need to paint the Mona Lisa just to have an appealing logo. The best logos of our age are the simple ones. Now I say this because some logos from the 1800s were elaborate.

Here is a tip to simplify the logo design as much as possible. Use one or two: colors, fonts, symbols,and words.Simplicity makes your logo less confusing and more memorable.

The viewer gets the message straightaway. Consider BBC’s logo; 3 letters enclosed in blocks.It’s simple. It works, and you easily remember it.

BBC

#4. The first impression is crucial


Does your logo draw attention to itself? Is the viewer mesmerized at first glance? Stunning or awesome should be the first words the viewer says if asked to describe your logo.

They should vouch for your logo as the best one they have seen in a long time. And if asked why, the reasons should include: 

- It was very unique and different

- It caught my attention

- It was easy to remember

- I liked the colors

- It was creative and expressive

- I can’t put it in words

Wiki byuradio 2014

#5. Colors have deeper meanings


To your conscious self, red is just red, and blue is just blue. Colors convey much more than their face value. For instance, yellow and red are most likely to catch your attention, which explains their popular use on traffic signs.

Orange, yellow, and red, as psychologists have revealed, make your hungry. Similarly, green calms and comforts.The most peaceful place is a park with trees and green grass.

Blue has been dubbed the best color for bedrooms. It also signifies togetherness, and if you stop and notice, both Facebook and Twitter, social media apps, utilize different shades of blue.

Choose your logo colors carefully considering their feel and meaning.And just use two colors at max, other than white.

Virgin radio logo Lebanon

#6. Fonts stand for something


If you opt for a combination or logotype, select your font with extra care. See, fonts like colors stand for different things.

A bold font that’s heavy and dark conveys strength. The Serif typeface that consists of different fonts, e.g., Georgia conveys history, class, elegance, and authority. The New York Times shifted from Times New Romans to Georgia. 

You also need a unique font. That means distancing yourself from popular, free fonts. Instead, check sites like FontShop.com or MyFonts.com.

You can get up to 7 fonts for less than $3. And to reiterate, you only need 2 fonts for a nice, simple logo.

Slam! logo

#7.Ensure your logo is scalable


Radio stations use their logos in various applications. The logo will be on their website, merchandise such as tee shirts and mugs, documents, billboards, posters, etc. It should still look impressive when it’s as tall as a giraffe or as small as the dot at the end of this sentence.

Logo formats fall in two categories; vector logos and raster logos. A raster logo can’t be enlarged/scaled without loss to its quality. It pixelates. Vector logos scale with no loss of quality.

Capital London.png
By Global Radio - http://www.capitalfm.com/london, Public Domain, Link

That’s because a vector logo consists of 2D points. Lines and curves link points to create shapes, polygons, etc. The image can be broken up into geometric shapes.

The logo is created using a mathematical algorithm allowing it to scale infinitely with no loss to the quality.

If your logo is a raster, it’s saved using extensions such as PNG, JPEG, JFIF, etc. If you have a vector graphic file, the file extensions include EPS, CRD, AI, etc.

#8. Should look good without color


Colors are important. But—your logo should carry the day. When designing your radio station logo, come up with a pencil sketch first. If your logo doesn’t look good with black lines and white space, ditch it. 

You add color later.Your logo will not overly depend on colors to distinguish different elements. Later, choose colors at your whim.

You’ll notice that famous companies occasionally change their logo colors. For instance, the Apple Inc logo looks good, regardless if, it’s on a white iPhone, red iPhone, it just looks great.

Have your professional designer send a sketch first. You’ll avoid headaches later.

China Radio International

That’s all you need to know to design a fabulous radio station logo

Soldier on with the single mission of creating an astounding logo for your website.

Make it unique.

Choose the best colors and fonts.

Let it speak of what you represent.

Stay tuned for more blog posts from CloudRadio. If you liked this post, sharing is caring. The share buttons are here, scroll down to bottom, please.

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To hire a freelance logo designer, try Fiverr, DesignHill, Upwork, or google, “Logo design services.”

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Choose between two excellent options!

  • Hugues
  • Updated September 23, 2019
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