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Health Care Design: Creating the Perfect Medical Logo

Posted on: September 19th, 2016 by Chase Design
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Organizations, no matter their size, with strong public brand recognition, are the ones most likely to find success – especially within the very competitive multi billion-dollar health care industry.

Whether it’s a private clinic, hospital or pharmaceutical company, a professional medical logo design should be utilized as the face of the marketing strategy. In the past decade, the number of companies in the health care and medical field have tripled, making it a fiercely competitive landscape.

So, what makes the “perfect” healthcare design? Imagine going to a hospital and all the signage was overly designed and hard to read. The last thing a patient needs is added stress when trying to find their way to radiology for a test.

When it comes to helping a patient find their way, signage needs to be:

Simple. Engaging. Humanistic.

The benefits of a professional logo design can go a long way in making an impression to clients about your business. However, a number of things need to be in place before launching this medical brand identity. Regardless of your professionalism, a poorly created logo could cause major setbacks in the success of your venture. Additionally, health care design and medical branding have a specific set of requirements that are unique from other industries.

Graphic Design for Medical:

In terms of graphics: icons and symbols paired with text, or “combination marks” are most commonly used in the medical industry. This involves the use of letters, images and pictures. Thus, a clever use of these elements is needed to guarantee a highly effective and captivating logo that lasts.

An icon, be it literal or abstract, has a strong impression in the minds of viewers, drawing them closer psychologically. Although, you should ensure that the graphics have a connection with your business and brand identity. The most widely recognizable symbols in the health care industry is the Cross sign (as seen with the Red Cross) which signifies health or the Serpent and Staff which is a universal icon for medicine. However, designers are expected to think outside the box and businesses are rewarded for brands that uniquely resonate with an audience.

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The Wellness for Life medical logo by Chase Design consists of a human form icon showing full body wellness and happiness combined with a range of soft tonal colors and text that is easily legible and formatted with balance.  You can see that the selection of an original symbol or icon is not so difficult, just make sure they are simple, relatable and speaks to your organizations mission.

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A more abstract, yet equally successful example would be Chase Design’s Pacific Accountable Care logo. The abstract idea of the “A” and “C” of “PACIFIC” forming a stylistic wave is both relevant (Pacific Ocean) and, when coupled with chosen fonts, elegant and most importantly, approachable.

Color Choice For Healthcare Design:

For an industry that promotes healthy living and vitality, primary colors and a range of greens are commonly used by logo designers. Often times these are light in saturation to relay comfort and avoid a feeling of acuteness or harshness.  Other colors can also be used but when choosing color combinations, make sure it’s within the limits of 2–4 colors. The colors should blend freely with each other to maintain the full impact of your message or concept with your audience.

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A perfect example is the Palomar Health logo by Chase Design which embraces a dark teal color for clarity.

Font Types:

This is a major component in creating a business identity in all mediums. Font type expresses the nature of the profession, which is used in the business name and taglines. Simplicity and cleanliness are often core factors in medical logo design. Many successful private practices opt for a simplistic, straightforward and classy font style to set a tone of elegance.

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This is better visualized using the One Moon Doula Service logo by Chase Design as a case study, the fonts being applied show legibility, friendliness, comfort and relaxation to the target audience, which is expecting and newborn mothers in this case.

Don’t Make These 3 Health Care Design Mistakes:

Don’t fall into the trap of lazy, generic, complex or just plain bad logos. Avoid these three common medical logo design missteps at all costs.
Use of Stock Art.
The use of stock art and downloaded content to create a logo is a common crime within designers today. In most cases where stock art is used, the brand identity is hard to distinguish from others, severely limiting the potential reach your brand may have.
With the health care industry having over 125 medical specialties, this should be avoided at all cost for better results. Be original and use others ideas for inspiration, but don’t steal, you’ll only hurt your own brand.

Complexity.
Most logo designers have this urge of wanting to show how creative they are, so sometimes they mess it up with highly complex or overly pronounced graphics that leave a negative impact on the minds of viewers. As stated previously, a medical logo should be simple, engaging and  humanistic in all elements and components due to the serious nature of the field.

Generic Logo Design.
In efforts to avoid complexity in design, generic or common symbols should be avoided also. As a health care logo designer, you’re expected to apply your skills and creativity in all design projects regardless of the brand principles or company size. For instance, the use of medical objects like a stethoscope is very common in the medical field, which would make it difficult for viewers to trust the company’s brand and originality. Likewise the use of a molar in negative space is highly overused in dental design and detracts with brand confusion and misses the opportunity to stand out memorably.

Health Care Design Trends:

Currently, health care organizations and industries make use of their logo to gain maximum exposure and market relevance. Even medical students and professionals apply the organization’s logo on their resumes, publications and projects. Designers are advised to provide two or three versions of the logo to be used for the required context. In some cases, an animated version of the logo is used in the company’s website as a fancy trick to give that “wow effect” on the viewers.  The brand launch should consist of branding guidelines for use in signage, print, digital, letterheads and more. Often times these should include unique dimensions and layouts for each logo application. Most large health care organizations are making these graphical assets available for download through their sites in order to provide access for employees, agents and marketers.

As there are many health care companies and organizations out there trying to stand out, inevitably, there are many designers out there vying for their attention. To increase your expertise in medical logo design, make sure you go through the preceding ideas to ensure proper exposure of your client’s corporate identity.

If you are interested in speaking to a branding agency that has experience helping health care and medical companies create a unique logo that resonates with their audience, please reach out and schedule a medical brand consultation with us.