What Makes a Good Brand Logo
When thinking about something as seemingly simple as a logo, it may be surprising to discover that there is actually a lot to bear in mind. A logo is incredibly important; often the first interaction a company has with a customer, it can say a lot about a brand. At a time where every company must have a website to support their offline operations, the demand for a good logo has never been stronger.
On top of all the above, a good logo can have a lot to do with the way people perceive your company – it can give even a small company a professional feel, leading potential customers to feel that a brand is secure and stable. Equally a poorly designed logo can be damaging to the brand – in today’s visual society if the logo is the first thing someone sees, it could very likely be the reason that they choose to look elsewhere.
For one small icon, there’s a lot that needs to be squeezed into it. Let’s explore some of the considerations that should be taken on board when designing a new logo.
The helpful motto of ‘Keep It Simple, Stupid’ is incredible useful to bear in mind when it comes to logos; a simple design allows the logo to be easy to read and identify, helping make it versatile and memorable.
A great tip for logo design is to first create the image in black and white – making sure that it remains likeable and functional in its simplest form. Here, a decision can be made based on the composition of the design, without being distracted by the subjectivity of colour.
When it does come to colour, use it deliberately and carefully. Colour can be a great way to communicate – invoking emotions and ideas – for example blue can convey air, water and tranquillity. Red, meanwhile, is fiery and fast-moving. Choose colours that align with the values and culture of the organisation to best represent what it offers or stands for.
A logo should be memorable – if people forget it, the same fate is likely to await your brand. It doesn’t need to describe what your business actually does to be memorable; think of some top companies whose logos are instantly recognisable – the McDonald’s golden arches is a prime example, not a hamburger or French fry in sight. Go beyond the obvious literal translation and drill down into the values of the brand.
Make sure it reflects your company, both in style and with the fonts you choose. It’s important to know your audience and ensure your logo suits them. For example; a law firm will want to be taken seriously so would perhaps not want to choose a swirly, cursive font or playful hand-drawn style. A bakery or kids’ clothing shop, on the other hand, may find this ideal.
As a brand, it’s likely that you’ll have thought a lot about who your customers are and your overall mission statement. Use this to create a logo that subliminally portrays your company and its values.
Strong brand recognition means using a logo that stands the test of time; still being effective in 10, 20 or 50 years. This means avoiding faddish fonts or designs – Lobster, say no more!
Think of the iconic Apple logo. Although it has undergone a few small tweaks like removing the colour bars, adding the glass effect and the new liquid mercury version, the basic ‘bitten apple’ shape has been in place since 1977.
An effective logo should be able to work across a range of mediums. A simple logo can also, usually, be more easily translated across into a web button or icon. Make sure that your logo works in small dimensions, it’s no good having a super detailed logo if, when scaled down, it looks like a messy blob.
Think too about colour. Bear in mind that the more colours are included, the more difficult and costly it is to produce. Producing a logo in one colour makes it more easily scalable. It’s also important that the logo should be readable or adaptable for both black and white backgrounds.
Following these rules can help you design a smart and effective logo that’s appropriate and distinctive for your brand, getting you noticed for the right reasons in today’s world of increasingly visual communication.
Bird image by Jason Drakeford