In order to determine what makes a great logo, we must begin with the question: what is a logo?
Who better to answer this than one of the top designers in the world, Paul Rand. In his 1991 article Logos, Flags, and Escutcheons, Rand writes that “a logo is a flag, a signature, an escutcheon, a street sign. A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies. A logo is rarely a description of a business. A logo derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around. A logo is less important than the product it signifies; what it represents is more important than what it looks like.”
A logo must…
- Be immediately recognizable
- Inspire trust, admiration, & loyalty
- Differ from all other logos in the same market niche
A logo is only one aspect of a company’s brand, but it is the identifying factor for every company. With this, a good logo is simple and practical, yet distinctive and must convey a message. A logo should be able to be printed in any size as well as be effective with or without color.
The 5 Principles of Effective Logo Design are as follows:
- Simple – unique without being overdrawn
- Memorable – easily recognizable
- Timeless – effective many years down the road
- Versatile – works with a variety of media and applications
- Appropriate – appropriate for the intended audience
While designing a logo is it also important to keep in mind the Graphic Design Dos and Don’ts for a logo design!
What if you want to put a border/frame around your logo?
If you choose to put a frame around your logo, be sure to allow there to be some breathing room between the words and the frame. This will ensure that your logo doesn’t look too cramped within its own design.
How do you choose a good font for your logo?
It is also important to choose a font that not only represents the persona of your business but is also legible. If customers can read your business name, they have no way of remembering it!
How do you decide on an icon for your business?
Choosing an icon or object to signify your business can be hard. It is a big decision to make for your company, but it is important to keep in mind that your icon needs to be scalable so that customers can recognize it at any size! It is also important to make your icon just as larger as the wording of your logo. Your icon should be a prominent feature and not an accent for your logo.
Should you look at competitor’s logos when designing your business’s?
Looking at your competition is always a great way to identify what works well in your industry and what does not. Gaining insight of how customers of your direct competition respond to their marketing allows you to make strategic decisions to better market yourself and gain their attention. Looking at other’s logos also helps you make decisions to differentiate yourself from the crowd. If you are a business owner and you see that all of your competitors use blue and grey as their brand, maybe you will choose to go with red and white!