What makes a great logo?
This week we tackle an important part of building your brand most people think its just creating a cheap logo hoping it will work later. No that’s not the answer… if you want to build a business that is iconic and has longevity, lets help you do it the correct way.

A great logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form and conveys an intended message.

There are five principles that you should follow to ensure that this is so…

An effective logo is (in no particular order):

  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Timeless
  • Versatile
  • Appropriate

1. Simple

A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn.

2. Memorable

Yes, a logo is an image, but it’s also an introduction to a brand. The logo must reach a specific audience and when designing, you must keep this in mind. Write down what you think about the brand; perhaps even create a mood board with imagery that reminds you of the brand’s ideology.

An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo.

3. Timeless

An effective logo should be timeless – that is, it will endure the ages. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years? Probably the best example of a timeless logo is the Coca-Cola logo…

Coca-Cola since they began have stayed relatively constant with their simple signature logo and brand and because of this they are recognized worldwide.

In contrast Pepsi have constantly re-branded their logo, in a somewhat futile effort as now the new logo has been ridiculed as looking like a fat man’s belly, a rather ironic criticism, as their product has been linked to worldwide obesity, NOT the type of values I was talking about getting across!

4. Versitile

An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. The logo should be functional. For this reason a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. The logo should be able to work both in horizontal and vertical formats.

Ask yourself; is a logo still effective if:

  • Printed in one colour?
  • Printed on the something the size of a postage stamp?
  • Printed on something as large as a billboard?
  • Printed in reverse (ie. light logo on dark background)

5. Appropriate

How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For example, if you are designing a logo for children’s toys store, it would be appropriate to use a childish font & colour scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm.

It is also important to state that that a logo doesn’t need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. ie. Car logos don’t need to show cars, computer logos don’t need to show computers. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, nor is the Nokia logo a mobile phone. A logo is purely for identification.

For further evidence of this, take the top 50 brands of the world – 94% of the logos do not describe what the company does.

Final words to keep in mind when requesting a logo design.“Ultimately, iconic design status can only be achieved if the client fulfills their potential, too.”

Jacob Cass (2009) Whats makes a good logo. http://justcreative.com/
Keane Creative (2010) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Re-branded logos) http://keanecreative.co.uk/
Mashable (2014) 7 Killer Tips for Logo Design http://mashable.com/

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