Every company has a logo, though some are more memorable than others. Why is that?
Logos can take many forms and include different elements, such as icons, images, typography, and tagline incorporation. As you know, a logo acts as the face of a brand. It is usually the first thing consumers come in contact with and one of the last images they remember; so making a good first impression is crucial. If executed correctly, a logo can serve as an extremely powerful asset to your brand.
Taking time to define your positioning, target consumer base, and long term goals beforehand will greatly benefit you once you sit down to actually create your logo. With these important details in mind, you will have a much easier time creating a logo that will resonate and connect with your consumers, and that can ultimately grow with your company as you continue to expand, shift and evolve.
When it comes to creating or refreshing a logo, there are a few rules of thumb that can help guide the process. Here are seven things to consider when starting or redesigning your logo:
A good logo should reflect your company culture.
What kind of company are you? Are you a financial company, or a business service provider? Are you in the health field, or in the beauty industry? Your logo needs to be appropriate for your industry in order to make sense to your consumers. For instance, if you are a bank, choosing a more traditional font will work to your benefit, whereas if you are creating a cosmetic brand, you have the ability to be more casual and playful. Logos can conform to the expectation of your client base or disrupt it. Deciding in advance how your company will differentiate itself will help you create a brand that aligns with your mission.
A good logo should be enduring.
Trends come and go, as do color combinations and symbols. Ultimately, you want your logo to be timeless and enduring to foster brand recognition and equity over time – being meaningful to current customers and interesting enough to attract new ones. Redesigning your logo every few years to fit the current look or trend will hurt you in the long run. Test out different fonts and colors to see which combination creates the most powerful impact. Now that is not to say that brands cannot be refreshed as a company grows. In fact, some of my favorite branding case studies demonstrate how brands have altered their look over time to remain relevant. However, if you study the brands carefully, you will see that keen attention to detail and equity was paid in every move they made, large or small.
A good logo should be scalable.
This is a really important factor that is often overlooked. Envision your logo printed on everything from a billboard, business card, website and everything in between. It will be seen in many different sizes, both big and small, so make sure it looks nice when scaled up and down. Legibility is key – if letters appear smashed together, or if your logo looks distorted at a certain size, you should reconsider your design. If no one can see or read your logo, you will not gain the brand recognition you need to succeed.
A good logo should be simple and clean.
This goes along with scalability. In order to keep your logo legible, identifiable, and consistent, utilize a simple and straightforward design. Some of the biggest brands out there follow this model. Consider Apple, Nike, Target, and Pepsi – all major, international brands with clean logo designs.
A good logo should appeal to your target customer and niche.
Not every logo will appeal to every person, or be appropriate for every category. Think about to whom it is you are selling your product. For instance, if you are selling a high end or luxury good item, your logo needs to reflect that through the typography, intricacy of detail, and color combinations. On the other hand, if you are selling a children’s product, your logo should be more friendly, colorful, and playful. Your logo will set the expectation for what type of product you are selling, and will attract the customers you desire.
A good logo will be meaningful.
This is especially important for brands with a social or environmental focus, or mission statement. Your logo design should support your brand’s unique story. You should tie in elements, colors, or imagery that relate and resonate with your brand. Failure to do so will create confusion for your potential customers. A good example of this is the Animal Planet logo, which uses imagery of animals and the environment to support their positioning.
Again, this may seem obvious, but take typography seriously. If your logo is text heavy or incorporates a tagline, you need to spend time looking at various fonts and sizes before making your decision. Be careful when looking at commonly used fonts, as this may come off as generic. Scripts can be beautiful, however, make sure you test your legibility at different sizes. You don’t want to lose the branding once it is scaled down. Typography is also a great way to make your logo more proprietary, and good partners can help you accomplish this. Add something unique and different – ownable – into your logo. People will remember it.
Do you have any other logo design tips? What brand logos stand out or appeal to you? Are there specific companies that you think have done an excellent job redesigning or revamping their logos? Share your thoughts in the comment section!