Your logo is an essential part of your business identity. Properly designed, it provides an instant – and memorable – point of recognition for who you are and what you do.
Having been around the track a few times, we have first-hand experience with both the difficulties and the opportunities inherent in any logo design or redesign project. We’d like to share with you some of what we have learned.
Whether you are developing a new logo from scratch or updating one that has outlived its effectiveness, there are at least six things to bear in mind:
1. Before you consider any logo design, be sure you understand your prospective customer or clients as deeply as you can. An effective logo is more than pretty; \it communicates a message in a way your audience values and appreciates. The more you know about your prospective audience, the more accurately you can recognize which logo communicates with them best.
2. Go for simple. You want a logo that is easily recognized, highly memorable, versatile enough to be used in many places, appropriate and inoffensive. You also want one that isn’t trendy, so it will remain effective for many years, or even decades. The longer it keeps working for you, the better. All these attributes are more easily obtained with a simple design than a complex one.
3.The best ideas usually stand out. There’s sometimes a temptation to accept a decent idea that seems like a good one. But there’s value in keeping standards high. Experience shows that the best logos stand out from the pack. A decent idea may show up very soon, but you should insist that it prove itself in competition with logo ideas that result from completed in-depth research and top-notch creative effort.
4. The typeface is important. Many logos do not involve text (like the Nike “swoosh”). But if yours does, try lots of typefaces to zero in on the best one. Common words can often be made more memorable with impressive typefaces. Unusual wording is usually easier to read and remember in a simpler typeface. Before you sign off on any logo, make sure it is easily and clearly understood, with no unintentional, hidden words or meanings.
5. Don’t limit your thinking to the logo itself, but also to the empty space within the logo and to its surroundings. Consider how your logo will interact with other graphics and text information in various contexts and installations. Look at it against both light and dark backgrounds. At a minimum, make sure the logo controls the space immediately around itself.
See how color and whitespace work together in a timeless logo for Infinity Hair
6. Think hard about color. The same design in different colors may convey entirely different impressions about the underlying brand. It’s always helpful to present a logo in several colors and to ask a wide range of people for their opinions of the resulting images.
7. Once you have decided on your new logo, lock down all of its specifications, including size(s), color(s), positioning, usage with other graphics and text, and lighting (where necessary). (See our own recent experience with this for Lake Region Medical.) If you leave any parameters unspecified, your logo’s effectiveness is left open to be undercut or compromised somewhere, sometime, somehow.
You can learn a great deal from the best logos, including: ABC, Chanel, CNN, Coca-Cola, Disney, Federal Express, IBM, NASA, NBC, Nike, Shell, the Rolling Stones, and Volkswagen. (But don’t copy … just be inspired!)
We’re fascinated by effective logos, and by the process of developing them. If you are gearing up for a logo design or redesign, we’d love to tell you more about how we can help. Please give us a call at 978-401-9270 or contact us today.