What makes a good logo design?
Your logo is a quintessential part of your brand identity and strategy. It is a visual representation of your brand; embodying its goals and values. It’s how people connect with, and recognize your business’s products and services. It’s hard to believe that something so small and seemingly unassuming can play such an important role when it comes to our business. But, with the marketplace becoming crowded with competitors, it’s more important than ever for businesses to stand out. A good logo can help differentiate your brand. This can be achieved with the right combination of design skills and creative theory. When you think about the logos that are out there now, which ones resonate the most with you? Powerhouses like Nike, Microsoft, McDonalds, and, Apple have had enormous success with their logos. When you see that swoosh, or those golden arches on their own, with no text or visual context around them, there is still that instant recognition and connection with that brand. So, what is the secret to their success? In this post, we will explore some of the golden rules for creating a logo that is both timeless and inspirational; helping establish that instantaneous connection between your brand and the outside word.
Brand Strategy then logo design
It’s important to remember that your logo is just one component of your brand strategy; all be it an important one. If you don’t have a strategy in place before you start designing your logo, you run the risk of getting your message wrong—not to mention missing out on building that connection between your brand and the outside world. When you start to plan your brand strategy, don’t you ask questions like: what are our goals; who is our audience; what message are we trying to convey: what makes us different from our competitors; what values does our brand embody? The same principles apply to your logo design. Remember, you’re not just creating a symbol—you’re creating an extension of your brand; a means of building awareness and recognition.
Keep it Simple
Often times, a logo that is too flashy can lose its meaning and purpose, which is to be an ambassador to your brand. Think about some of the most memorable logos—Mercedes, Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic, are few that pop into my head. They are simple in design, easy to recognize, and still visually appealing. What if someone is driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour? They don’t have a lot of time to ponder your design or make an association. You have a very small window to make a big impression. One trick that designers use to make sure a symbol doesn’t stray from its original purpose, is to create it first in black and white. This way, they are able to keep their focus on the basic design. Besides, a good design idea should work, no matter what color you use. Remember, it’s the idea; the forms; and the shapes, that people will relate to.
Make sure your logo is versatile
Your logo needs to accommodate multiple platforms and mediums. Whether it’s going on a billboard, a coffee mug or a business card, the format needs to be scalable to work with various sizes. Logo usage is important to consider, because, what may look good on the side of a delivery truck, may not render well on a brochure. You’ll also need to pay attention to how your logo may appear online versus offline. If the majority of people are accessing your brand through their tablets, the last thing you want is for your logo to appear grainy or out of focus. Planning your design around these different factors can help you avoid problems down the road.
Stay up to date with your logo
Now, I’m not talking about a complete overhaul here. After all, if your logo has been successful in the past, you don’t want to deviate too much from the design you’ve been using. But, a simple tweak here and there, like a change in type face or color, may be all it takes to keep your logo current, while still preserving its iconic look and meaning. The key is to find the right balance between an old and new look. This shouldn’t be too hard to do if you’re working with the right team of designers and marketers.
Keep it relevant, but not too relevant
When designing a logo, it’s always important to think about your intended audience. A child-like typeface and color scheme might work well for a toy store, but not so much for a law firm. Your logo also has to do a good job at capturing who you are as a business. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, your logo should elicit some type of recognition and association with your brand. This can’t happen if there is no meaning behind it. While your logo doesn’t have to say what you do, it should say who you are and what you represent as a business. And, what do I mean by too relevant? Your logo does not need to be self-explanatory. For example, if your business is a restaurant, you don’t need to show food. You can be subtle and still get your message across. In fact, the more abstract a logo is, the more memorable it will be.
So, what have we learned here? A strong logo is the centerpiece of any branding strategy. It is how potential customers relate to your brand. It should be inspirational, expressive, simple, and professional. Remember, the goal is to create a long-lasting impression so that people will continue to build an association with your brand. It doesn’t need to sell, but it needs to be explicit enough so people will remember you, and relate to your message.