In today’s fast-paced digital age, we find ourselves swimming in an ocean of information. Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with advertisements, promotions, and brands vying for our attention. You might even say that attention has become a prized commodity.
With that in mind, an iconic logo is essential to standing out and making an impression. It acts as a sort of “visual ambassador,” connecting consumers to a brand’s identity, values, and ultimately, its products.
But what makes a logo iconic? To find out, it’s important to understand what iconic actually means.
The word iconic is thrown around a lot these days, and it’s evolved beyond past its original dictionary definition: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon.
Iconic has been used to describe everything from movie scenes to celebrities. In this context, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word as widely recognized and well-established, acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence.
When it comes to logos, all three definitions are applicable. Logos must be recognizable and memorable, and most (if not all) are literally icons themselves.
With that out of the way, here are five elements of well-crafted logos, along with examples of the most iconic logos in use today.
An iconic logo is…
There are five elements that make up an effective, iconic logo: memorability, recognizability, simplicity, versatility, and longevity.
Considering how many different brands are out there, it’s essential to create a visual identity that stands out and creates a lasting impression on consumers. The more memorable a logo is, the more likely someone is to gravitate to that brand.
Since memory is a function of the human mind, it’s helpful to incorporate some psychology into a logo’s design. Our brains are naturally drawn to patterns and constantly seeking familiarity. When interacting with a brand, our subconscious mind recognizes visual cues that are consistent, and picks up when something falls outside of the norm.
With that in mind, it’s important to strike a balance between familiar and novel when thinking about a logo’s design. Incorporating familiar elements helps establish a sense of trust and recognition, making it easier for consumers to connect with the brand.
That said, a logo that is too familiar may be easily confused with another brand’s. When designing a logo, thinking outside the box and including unique elements can help capture people’s attention and create a lasting impression. By carefully considering the interplay between familiarity and novelty, a logo can effectively grab attention and leave a memorable mark on consumers.
Imagery: the Starbucks logo
The Starbucks logo is a great example of memorable imagery. In fact, you’re probably already familiar with the image of a crowned woman with long, flowing hair that adorns their stores.