medical logos

Medical logos and the pitfalls to avoid

This is not a course for doctors to design their own logo. In this article, we will give you insights and specific recommendations for medical logos to integrate in your conversations with your medical marketing agency.

Medical logos

Medical logos and the pitfalls to avoid

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

October 28, 2022

The bigger picture around your logo

doctor logos

Your logo is one aspect of your brand. It is not a standalone item. Here are just some of the instances where your logo interacts with your audience:

  • Website: It sits at the top of your website, on your home page and on every page
  • Print: Your logo is used on business cards, leaflets, folders, envelopes
  • Signage: Ideally, the same logo appears on your window or door and at the entrance to your practice
  • Social media: It is integrated into your social media headers and posts
  • Video: It is present in any video content that you share online
  • Presentations: You would also use it when you give a presentation

Can you see how ‘doctor logos’ can be underestimated? If poorly executed or planned, your logo can undermine your first impression in many ways.

So let’s look at the bigger picture of your logo and how it is an essential pillar of your entire visual brand positioning.

The technical basics of a logo

logo formats

We often have a recurring conversation with doctors or practice managers who believe they have a logo. In reality, there is quite some confusion about logo formats and what is needed in different situations.

They have something sitting at the top of their website and fail to realise that they only have a low-resolution version of something that was once delivered as a logo. They no longer have the actual logo.

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice
Kris Borgraeve | Founder Digital Practice

"Any medical practice should know exactly how to access the high-resolution, professionally formatted version of their logo in EPS, SVG or Photoshop formats. These formats should allow any designer to reproduce and use the logo at any scale without blur or distortion."

Not having your logo is like losing your keys. You lose an essential business asset and are restricted when you want to update your website, leaflets, signage or social media accounts.

If the format is JPG or PNG and the file is very small, you are looking at a non-professional low-resolution copy of your original logo.

The strategic work behind your logo

logo design for doctors

Logo design for doctors can not be thrown together with other types of logo design. If your designer is doing a coffee shop in the morning, a dog wash van in the afternoon and an orthopaedic surgery practice in the evening, there is a risk of miscommunication.

The strategic work that goes into a logo design for doctors and surgeons has a few components and it is worth checking with your provider if they are aware of these things:

  • Local culture: Every place on the planet has a cultural vibe, a local mix of national and international trends that also affect the way people look at colours, shapes, fonts and creativity. Be aware of the fact that an amazing logo in Spain could be frowned upon in Indonesia and vice versa.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare content is very specific and as people are checking out online content about medical services, their mindset is in a particular space. No need to remind you of the fact that their mindset is in a different place when they are looking at bouncing castle rentals for their toddler’s birthday party.
  • Demographics: The suburb your practice is in, the hospitals you are associated with, the nature of your services and the typical patient avatars you serve will all make up the DNA of your private practice. If the general vibe of your logo is ‘fish-and-chips’ and your patients are expecting ‘caviar’, then you are off, and vice-versa.
  • Uniqueness: It is best not to go to extremes when you try to make your logo into a unique piece of art. What I recommend is finding a way to express or at least validate the unique values of your team, your practice or your services.
  • Simplicity: In general, simplicity in logo design is good and it is often the part that is missed when a logo can not be critiqued because it’s the owners’ idea or a creation submitted by one of their loved ones.

The strategic work behind great medical logos looks at the bigger picture, the character of your practice as a business and all of the above.

With that in mind let’s look at a typical process that applies to medical logos and healthcare brands.

The process to create amazing medical logos

logo creation for doctors

Let’s take a closer look at the process involved in logo creation for doctors, surgeons, group practices or allied health clinics.

This is only one example and by no means a blueprint for medical logo creation, but at least it will allow you to verify if your supplier is used to a professional workflow. On cheap freelance platforms, many people will offer medical logos at $5 and churn out dozens of templated logos a day without any form of process or strategic work.

The name of your practice is always the starting point. Should you name it after your own name if you are a solo specialist? Are you already a group? Do you want to create a brand name that is bigger than your own personal name? Whatever the situation, chances are that you will end up with one or multiple words.
Step one of the strategic work is to see what can be done with your personal name or group name. If it’s too long, work needs to happen to explore options to shorten it.
DrEliCosmetic sounds more palatable than DrElizeraGlockenwald for example.

The icon that may or may not be present in your logo, added to the name of the practice, needs some inspection. Lotus flowers, hearts, and organ shapes are easily chosen but may become too much of a cliche when overused. Ask a second opinion, and look for a subtle hint to a shape without picking the first emoji your text editor generates.

The colour scheme is essential and this is where we want it to match the bigger picture we discussed above. Your colour scheme will be used across your online and offline assets and ideally, your design team comes up with a colour palette. It has main colours, secondary colours, and often lighter variations to cater for backgrounds and contrasting sections.

The tagline can be part of the logo and in this case, the composition skills of your design team will be critical. If we want to add your entire title and a tagline to a lengthy practice name, the logo will feel too busy.

Logo variations must always be considered to stand out against different backgrounds. Typically you would have a reverse logo or a white version that can be used against your main colour, and a logo using your main colour(s) to be used against a white backdrop.

Medical logos are not standalone items. The design should always be seen as part of your brand positioning strategy and be aligned with your brand story. The efforts and strategic thinking process that aims to visualise the uniqueness and personality of your practice so referring GPs and patients get it within seconds.

An example of things gone terribly wrong

medical example logos

Let’s take a look at what is going on here. First of all, kudos for choosing and buying an amazing domain: kneesurgeon.com.au.

Now down to the bad news. If medical logos could talk, this one would be crying and begging to be taken offline!

We could come up with a range of less-than-ideal medical example logos but this little checklist will help you avoid the big pitfalls of medical logo design.

Ask multiple people if it looks professional. Spot the exact wording used in the question. You are not asking if they like it. Check for an honest assessment of the level of professionalism.

Check the overall strategy behind your logo choices and if you don’t have a strategy, pause and do that work first. Then have your logo made.

Kill your darlings is an expression used by professional writers and I believe it goes for logos as well. It means you get rid of things that you first thought were genius, but held against the light, turn out to be not so great at all.

It’s tricky. If you are the surgeon, you are used to directing people and being the person in the room who makes the decisions. If you are the practice manager, you are used to working with someone who is the person in the room who makes the decisions. You get my point.

Let's meet

Let’s talk logos and more

medical brand style guide

If you are somehow insecure about how effective your own medical logo is, let’s talk. If you are in doubt about the importance of a medical brand style guide for your private practice, let’s have a conversation about the bigger picture of your medical marketing strategy. Book a free 1:1 Strategy Session and we will do a 360-degree exploration to see what can be improved and strengthen your digital first impression.

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