In the myriad of marketing terms thrown around on the daily, logo is one that no doubt everyone is aware of. But aside from a nice-looking brand identity, how much do we all really know about what goes into a successful logo design? Well have no fear, today we’re going to break it down into one easy-to-follow formula below.
If a logo is what people remember when they think of your brand, you need it to stand out from your competition. For this to happen, you need to consider the importance of individuality when it comes to creating a logo. Avoid generic templates and invest in an experienced graphic designer that can create a logo to best suit your brand voice.
And aside from considering and differentiating yourself from what is already out there, it’s important to use some imaginative thinking too. As David Airey, a graphic designer and creator of website Logo Design Love says, “The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane. The Apple logo isn’t a computer.” It’s all about creative thinking, over literal.
Know thy brand
To create a logo with some level of substance, which will in turn be memorable – and that’s the goal here, right? – it’s vital to have a good grasp on the brand. Its attributes, its audience, its positioning, its purpose and its point of difference. While design trends will play a part, it’s far more important for the logo to remain authentic to the brand and be built around its DNA.
Think about the meaning behind logos like Wikipedia. It’s an unfinished globe of puzzle pieces featuring glyphs from different writing systems, which harks back to the core of the brand’s ideology.
Just like the philosophy behind the brand, colour also plays an important role and there’s much more to it than just choosing colours you or your boss likes, or that are currently doing the rounds at the latest World Design Summit. The table below gives you a quick overview on the thought-processes, associations and emotional responses behind various colours.
Logoytype vs. symbols
David Airey also says that a logo is made up of two elements; logotype (or wordmark) and a symbol. Some companies, like Ray-Ban, IBM and Coco-Cola, make the decision to stick entirely with logotype where others like McDonald’s, Facebook or Nike are more recognisable via their brand’s symbol.
To determine whether you should use a logotype or symbol depends largely on your business name. If it’s something quite original and unusual you may be able to get away with just a logotype. However, if it’s more common you may need a visual element for differentiation. One of the things to note about brand’s that predominantly use their symbol is that they are generally well established and backed by sizeable advertising budgets.
Simplicity + flexibility
Another component in the art of creating a good logo is getting the balance between simplicity and thought-provoking right. You want your logo to be interesting, but you don’t want someone to have to work too-hard to ‘get it’. A good example of a company that has nailed this is Amazon. The logo uses just the company’s name but refers to its wide inventory via the small arrow underneath pointing from A > Z.
Additionally, in today’s fragmented media world, where logos appear across multiple mediums, devices, apps and avatars, your logo design must be flexible enough to work in different formats, shapes and sizes across all.
The bigger picture
While a logo is important, it is only one component of the marketing mix. A well-designed logo cannot work effectively in isolation and isn’t enough to boost your brand and business on its own. Your logo needs to be part of a bigger brand strategy that comes from your overarching marketing strategy, which is aligned closely to your business goals. It’s all interconnected, like the deep recesses of the internet and your online searches that have you seeing ads for hiking boots on every webpage you visit, even though you only ever looked them up once. But that’s a different story, for a different day…
In the meantime, if you need help with your logo design, brand or marketing strategy, talk to someone who knows. Check out the logos we have designed below or get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org