Pharmaceutical Logos and Packaging

An effective logo is worth a thousand words. It should tell a story, excite emotion and serve as a factor of differentiation among the visual identities of its competitors. Typically, the process of creating a logo is one of creativity and imagination. However, because of FDA restrictions and regulations in the Pharmaceutical field, this creative process must be met with intensive care and a strong rationale.

Because of the rigidness of guidelines that pharma logos are subject to, client-agency communication is imperative. Defining goals and strategy for the drug’s purpose, target market, and competitive position can truly elevate the process of creation as well as the consumer’s perception. This discussion should entail preferred typography, fonts, and colors as well as the narrative to be told or desired emotions to evoke through the design.

While a strong logo is one that tells a story through imagery and color, in the realm of pharmaceutical packaging and design, the FDA sets boundaries that must be followed to ensure clarity in its use in the professional setting and the safety of consumers or patients:

  • A name or logo must not be misleading or exaggeratory as to imply a cure or treatment that it’s product cannot live up to.
  • If in a product line, the product’s packaging must be easily distinguishable from others within that line, but color should not be the only means of differentiation. Colors tend to have emotions or values connected to their psychological meaning and the use of it as a drug or medical device’s sole distinguishable factor can be ineffective and deceptive. In the eyes of a consumer, color can be used as a short-cut to process information and decode a product’s message. For example, a majority of healthcare brands utilize the color blue because of its connotations to cleanliness, calming and professionalism.
  • Any promotional materials accompanying the product must also include prescribing information (chemical description, side effects, how it interacts with other substances, etc.), under FDA rule.

Logo creation and design can be an exciting step in the branding of a medical device, proprietary drug, or pharmaceutical company. Remember, it is important to always be mindful of the guidelines and regulations of the FDA throughout the creation process. A strong pharmaceutical logo can be crucial to the healthcare industry, helping patients receive specialized care and aiding doctors in the differentiation of various similar products.