What makes a great dental practice logo?

What makes a great dental practice logo?

Written By:

Joe Hohman

Owner & COO
July 1, 2022

What makes a great dental practice logo?

It’s time to design a new logo for your dental practice. Maybe you’re a start-up ready to launch, or maybe you’re an existing practice looking to refresh your logo. No matter the reason, creating your logo is an important step. Your logo is essentially the “face” of your business to the community, so it’s important that it stands out and represents your practice well. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about what makes great dental practice logos, well, great…

Story-First

If your practice is a book, your logo is the cover. A logo communicates much more than just the name of your business, it also tells prospective customers who you are. The style and imagery used in the logo can speak volumes about your practice, so you should use this opportunity to communicate both your professionalism and your practice’s “vibe” to new patients. Here are a couple of great examples:

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Simple

If you’ve been around designers long enough, you’ve undoubtedly heard this simple yet powerful phrase: “Less is more.” This rings true in many facets of design, but none more profoundly than in logos. When a logo has too many elements, too much text, or is just plain complicated, it becomes confusing, less memorable, and as a result, less powerful. A classic (albeit extreme) example is a comparison of the original Apple logo to today’s version. 

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The original Apple logo communicated everything, and as a result, it also communicated nothing. As you design your practice’s logo, instead of asking yourself, “What else can I add?” ask yourself, “What can I take away?”

Versatile

Think for a moment about all of the places where your logo will be placed. Your website, business cards, the wall behind your reception desk, social media profiles, the sign out front, your scrubs, etc. In order for your logo to work well in all of these different situations, it needs to be versatile. 

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A versatile logo…

  • Avoids complicated shapes and ultra-thin text – These elements can be difficult (if not impossible) to embroider onto clothing or to cut into a sign. 
  • Works in both horizontal and vertical formats – Some situations may call for a wider logo, while in others a more narrow format might be more suitable. Ask your designer to create both versions of the logo.
  • Uses solid colors – “Shiny” or “three-dimensional” effects can work well online, but they can become very costly to embroider or print, since you may need to pay for each color used in the design. If you choose to create a highly stylized logo for online use, be sure you also have a solid-color version you can use in other applications. (The Mercedes-Benz logo below is a great example.)
  • Is simple and legible – Remember, less is more. People may be looking at your logo from a distance, and if it contains too many words or uses a complicated font, it may be too hard to read.

Original

Your practice is different, so why use the same imagery as every other dental practice? It’s time to let go of dental clichés like extracted teeth, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. (Who decided that an extracted tooth – in most cases, the worst possible treatment outcome – should be the official symbol of dental offices anyway?) We encourage you to go in a different direction by creating something unique and recognizable. Take a cue from some of the most recognizable logos in the world:

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What do all of these have in common? (1) there’s no overtly obvious connection between the logo and the product the company offers and (2) they are simple symbols that can easily be recognized and associated with the brand they represent.

When designing your logo, ask yourself, “Does my logo stand out or blend in?”

Community-Focused

The best logos match the aesthetic of their communities while still standing-out. You want your practice to feel like it’s part of the community, so why not use your logo as an opportunity to give a nod to your hometown. Here are some ideas:

  • Consider using a local landmark or natural feature for inspiration. 
  • If you practice in a small town, it might make sense to avoid an ultra-modern or urban look.
  • In a big city? You might want to steer clear of the “modern farmhouse” vibe.

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Ask yourself, “Will my logo resonate with the community I serve?”

Timeless

An outdated logo can make new patients think that your practice is outdated too. While it’s easy to get swept up in the latest design trends, it’s best to choose a logo for longevity over street cred. More often than not, an über-trendy logo is a recipe for an outdated logo five years from now. Take Doritos for example:

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While no logo will look relevant forever, you can give your logo the best chance of longevity by keeping it simple. Avoid things like new/unusual typefaces, shadows, 3-D effects, and a wide variety of colors. It’s expensive to update your logo, so the less you need to do it, the better. Ask yourself, “Will I still like this logo in 10 years?”

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