Ahh the logo.
It’s crucial. It gives your brand an identity, personality and distinctive mark. It’s the thing you include on every marketing piece produced by your company. It’s your calling card.
But how do you know what’s a ‘good’ logo or how to improve one that you’ve already got?
That’s what we’re here to talk about!
One of the key things to remember your logo is that it will be used everywhere in your business. Letterheads, websites, press ads, TV ads, business cards; the list goes on. For this reason, it is crucial that it is versatile.
Versatility in this sense means that is looks good no matter what medium it’s in. This might seem obvious, but more often than not a logo that looks great in one medium doesn’t always look great in another. For example, a logo that is filled with tons of intricate details might look amazing on a billboard, but very ‘busy’ on a business card.
The ways that you can avoid this from happening is to first see how the logos look in black and white. By removing colour, you reduce the logo down to its bare essentials and see how it works with no extra ‘help’. The next step is to test out its versatility in a variety of different mediums. As a rule of thumb, if it looks good in black and white and in a range of different sizes and environments, it’s probably a good logo.
Design trends come and go constantly. In 2015 the big trend was for logos to have a flat shape with simplistic colours. In the 2000s, logos looked more 3D and had a lot more ‘movement’ going on. There’s nothing wrong with following trends when it comes to your logo. Doing so can make it look fresh and modern. However, the challenge is to ensure that your logo has a ‘timeless quality’ about it.
Now you’re probably wondering what a ‘timeless quality’ means and how to ensure that your logo has it. In reality, it’s about ensuring that the logo is simple. Simple shapes, simple colour schemes and an overall simple design will always be relevant.
For example, the Coca Cola logo has gone through many phases over the years. When the company first started in 1886, the logo looked very relevant for the time and was simple – the company name in a beautiful calligraphy typeface. Over time, the logo changed (but not dramatically). In fact, if you look at the current logo, it looks very similar to the first one!
Why is this the case? Because Coca Cola nailed it back in 1886. They created a logo that was timeless.
This can be one of the hardest things to get right when you’re trying to come up with a logo that ‘works’, for the simple issue of ‘how do you define what works?’
Is it what looks good? What gets people’s attention? What represents your business values? It’s hard to put a single definition on it. Because it really needs to be all of these things to some degree. But here’s the kicker. It needs to be all of these things from the perspective of your target audience, not you.
It is very common for business owners (and designers for that matter) to only see their logo through their own eyes, without considering the audience who will be viewing it. It can be hard not to do this, as you will inevitably have your own preferences and biases when it comes to logo design, but you need to make sure that your target audience comes first.
The way to avoid this from happening is to get a good sense of what your target audience is already responding to in the market. What are the businesses that already have them engaged, and what are their logos like? By no means are we suggesting that you just do a carbon copy of another logo, but get a sense for the kind of iconography, imagery and overall design style.
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