Logos - why are they so crucial to your company’s success? In theory, a logo is just an image to represent your company, an icon to upload to your website and print on your product labels. In reality, however, a logo is so much more than that.
What Does a Good Logo Do?
A logo has several purposes: it creates brand recognition, conveys the company essence, differentiates you from the competition, and can even drive more sales if it becomes an iconic emblem (think Apple, Nike, BMW, etc.).
Many customers may choose to purchase one product over another simply because of brand status, predominantly conveyed by the logo. Think about it - would you spend over $30 on a sweater if it didn’t have the iconic Nike swoosh? Maybe you wouldn’t pay extra for the branding, but most customers will.
Likewise, a memorable logo creates a buzz around your brand. The more people recognize your emblem, the more brand awareness you can spread.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Logo?
A unique logo conveys your brand’s essence and lets people know what you’re about, from the products and services you provide to the “vibe” you want your brand to convey.
Think about it: Disney is associated with childhood nostalgia, Coca-Cola with a timeless tasty beverage, Apple with wealth and tech-savviness, Chanel with elite style, and so on. Each logo gives off a different vibe depending on the icon, color scheme, shape, and - of course - brand association.
In short - a good logo is everything. Keeping that in mind, let’s move on to the topic of what makes a good logo, the five pillars of effective logo design, as well as some extra tips and tricks. Let’s dive in!
What Makes a Good Logo: The 5 Pillars of Effective Logo Design
When it comes to creating a strong logo, the consensus is that it should suit the following criteria:
So, what makes a good logo? A good logo is simple, memorable, timeless, versatile, and relevant. But what do these aspects actually mean in practice? Let’s take a look.
A good logo should be easy to identify and even recreate from memory. It calls for a more simple design.
- Don’t drag too many elements onto the design space, and consider focusing on one key icon (and the accompanying text) to deliver your message.
- Since your focal point is to deliver a specific message or vibe, adding too many icons or making the logo text-heavy will confuse consumers and leave them guessing what your brand is about.
- Instead, opt for a single icon, a specific color palette, and a short piece of text (preferably the brand name).
For example, the Coca-Cola logo is just the company name in a classic, handwritten font, while the Fanta logo includes both an icon and the brand name. It’s up to you to decide which suits your brand best.
If you have already come up with a unique icon, there may be no need to include your brand name. However, if you have any doubts about recognizability, it’s best to include the brand name and icon.
Good logos are memorable after several views. A great logo is memorable after the first couple of times a person lays eyes on it. When designing your logo, combine the concepts of uniqueness and simplicity to create an eye-catching and memorable emblem.
- You can ask your team to help you with this task: show them a few sketches or mock-ups, and ask them which one sticks in their mind the most.
- If you don’t have a team yet, recreate this experiment with friends or family.
- Research popular logos to see what aspects make them memorable: is it the color scheme, icon, font choice, or all three?
Memorable logos create a connection with the customer and produce a more substantial impact than average-looking ones. Since your goal is to generate brand recognition and gain awareness, it is worth spending more time creating a truly memorable piece of work that will stick in people’s memories.
When designing your logo, you can either make it by hand, use a logo maker or hire a designer, so see which option works best for you.
Coca-Cola...it almost seems as though their logo never changes. You’ll be surprised to know that the company’s logo has barely changed since 1885. That is a timeless design.
You want a graphic that withstands the test of time - that’s just part of the memorability aspect. A few tweaks here and there are fine, but you want to create a design that stays in people’s minds and remains mostly unchanged. So how do you achieve timelessness?
The main trick is to eliminate extra details and focus on what really matters. Going back to Coca-Cola - they didn’t include a fancy background or any images floating around next to the text. Intentionally or not, the company created a very simple logo, focusing on the brand name and the iconic font. This is where the simplicity aspect comes into play (you may have noticed that all the pillars are connected).
Likewise, don’t fall into the trend trap. Remember Instagram? Their initial logo followed the skeuomorphism trend (3D design) but underwent a complete redesigning process once this trend was no longer relevant and 2D design became popular.
As mentioned above, you can always tweak your logo, but try to create an image that doesn’t require much change. This means not following the trends but focusing on the qualities of a good logo instead.
Sure, your logo may look perfect on the banner of your website, but what about billboards? Or merchandise? Or stickers? Or *insert another medium*?
Ideally, an effective logo should look good across various mediums, in monochrome, and even reversed. That’s when you know you’ve hit the nail on the head.
For this to work, design your logo in vector format to ensure scalability. That way, you will be able to print or display it pretty much anywhere.
Likewise, take into account the differences between various screens.
- If you are creating your logo on a very high-quality screen, make sure it looks okay on screens with lower resolutions too.
- Also, check how your design looks on mobile and tablet devices.
- Overall, make sure that your logo can be resized, printed, or used across various media and that the general appearance does not drastically change due to these actions.
- Avoid using too many tiny details as they can get lost in the transformation process.
Last but not least, on the list of what makes a good logo, ensure your logo is relevant. What does this mean? In logo language, relevancy means that your emblem reflects the nature of your business and what you offer to customers.
For example, the Toys"R"Us logo incorporates a fun-looking font and color scheme to convey that they produce goods for children. The same goes for Nickelodeon and Disney. Likewise, Harley Davidson has a more rock-and-roll-inspired design to appear to their primary audience, bikers - very different from Victoria’s Secret logo, designed to appeal to young women.
Although anyone can be a fan of a company or product, it’s good to be aware of your target audience before designing your logo.
Take into account the main icon, color scheme, and font, and make sure it appeals to your primary demographic. You can even brainstorm the main associations you want people to have with your brand and go from there.
More Logo Design Tips and Tricks
Now that we’ve got the 5 pillars down to a T, it’s time to explore some more practical tips in designing an effective logo. The 5 Pillars are essential, but they are not the only blueprint when it comes to creating a great design - the aspects below are also important.
- Design a logo that can be recreated by hand. It will help with the memorability aspect since your design will be so ingrained in people’s minds that they will remember your logo off by heart. You can test this out with your team by showing them several designs and seeing which one they recreate best.
- Create a good structure for your logo. It means leaving enough white space around the edges to avoid giving the impression of over-crowdedness, balancing your main elements, and making them look symmetrical and aligned.
- Ensure readability. Ensure that your choice of font and text size is readable to the average person and that your overall logo can be recognized even from a distance. When picking a handwritten font, choose basic over exotic - consumers will thank you.
- Consider your brand’s vibe. How do you want to make people feel? Stylish? Smart? Comforted? Entertained? Safe? Intrigued? Or maybe even more primal feelings such as hunger or thirst? Whatever your vibe is, make sure your logo reflects that.
- Discuss the design with the founder/team. If you have been hired as a designer to create a logo for a new brand, ensure that the founder (and possibly even the team) approve of the design and essence of your logo. Consult your team along the way, and make sure you establish a dialogue.
For a more in-depth look at the logo design process, check out an earlier article we wrote on this topic - 8 design tips on how to create your company logo.
That’s all for today! We hope you found this article useful and wish you the best of luck in creating your logo.
If you feel skeptical about hiring a designer and wish to try your hand at designing a stunning logo for your business, head on over to our free logo maker and create a masterpiece or two. And remember to come back to this article if you feel like you need some guidance during your creative process.