Logos … we see them every day, from the companies we work for, to the clothes we wear, and even the medicine we take. A logo is a critical component of any Brand, giving a graphical element for customers to recognize, while anchoring the Brand’s visual identity.
In the B2B and B2C space, a logo has the opportunity to be either vibrant and wild, serious and neutral, or anything in-between making for a nearly limitless variety in style and appearance. In the pharmaceutical space on the other hand, logo design needs to be both focused on and aware of the specific circumstances that make the pharma space so unique in the world of branding.
It seems obvious to say a logo needs to be easily identifiable and legible in order to be successful and recognized by consumers. This holds true in the pharmaceutical space, but is taken to an extreme degree and is regulated by the FDA. Pharmaceutical names are often complex, referencing product attributes such as the chemical composition of the compound or the effect it has on the patients … critical information that cannot be sacrificed for the sake of design.
Pharmaceutical logos must be clear and direct in their presentation because of the importance of the name. Things like using a larger font size and a sans serif style can improve readability and reduce the risk of misidentification for the Brand. The color contrast between the copy and the container label background should be chosen to afford adequate legibility as well as avoiding color combinations that do not allow for maximum legibility of text.
The FDA recommends not superimposing copy over images or placing a logo immediately before or after the proprietary name, because the graphic could be mistaken for an additional letter. In addition, there should be no intervening or distracting written, printed, or graphic content between the proprietary name, established name, and product strength. In short, the graphic design should not compete with, interrupt, or distort the Brand name or other text required on the label.
When working to create a new logo for a proprietary name, companies and their agencies should consistently keep in mind a few key factors:
- Logos should be clean and able to be printed clearly in both color and black and white
- Any design elements should not interfere with or impact the name
- Logos and designs of competing brands should be reviewed in order to clearly differentiate new products
- Keeping in mind the target audience, and how their perspective should affect the design
- The design should work to enhance the products ease of use and the overall Brand
While this is certainly only an introductory view into the complexity of pharmaceutical logo design, in the world of branding it is often the most consistent and basic principles that are neglected and cause the most problems for Brand teams. Companies and their agency partners need to make sure that all relevant factors are considered, all design choices are refined to fit the overall Brand strategy, and in the case of pharmaceutical branding, all the regulatory and technical considerations are met.