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Possibly one of the most important elements of any brand, logos can be incredibly difficult to get right. So what makes a great logo?
There’s no denying that there are a lot of terrible business logos out there; over-complicated, badly drawn or simply stretched out of shape.
And, the really sad thing is, is that bad branding can have a huge negative impact – not only on the look of a business, but on it’s reputation, and general awareness of the brand.
Yes, bad branding is so much more than simply a bad logo. So, in this light. What makes a great logo?
What makes a great logo?
Firstly, it should last your business for decades; instantly recognisable, diverse, and memorable, a logo is so often the very first thing a customer sees of your business, and therefore should act as a stunning visual representation of it. Something no-one can ignore.
So, what makes a great logo?
Above all else, it should be simple.
Anything that uses too many colours or images, typefaces or words will only serve to confuse people; if there’s too much going on, people won’t know where to look or what to focus on! Keep your logo as simple as you possibly can. Whilst simplicity may feel a little flat during the design process, a simple logo will be a gift that keeps on giving for years to come. Look at Apple. Their logo is simply that, an apple with a bite taken out. Couldn’t get much more simple!
They look as good today as they did 50 years ago. The Warner Brothers logo is a perfect example of this, having hardly changed since 1923 (except for a few strange blips in 1967 & 72), and BMW’s iconic logo has only enjoyed the occasional tweak since it was first created in 1917. Essentially, the lesson here is: don’t succumb to current trends – just because flamingos and unicorns are popular now, doesn’t mean they still will be in half a century or even tomorrow.
Closely linked to simplicity, it must be memorable. It can’t look like someone else’s, it mustn’t be over-complicated, and it must stand out. Simple doesn’t mean plain. Don’t be afraid to be unique or do something others aren’t. It needs to capture a attention of passers-by, and be instantly recognised as a visual representation of your business. Example: think 2 golden arches, think Macdonalds.
Realistically, it isn’t just for use on your compliment slips or letterheads.
It should be used on your print advertising, your Social Media channels, your website, your press release, your posters… every piece of outbound material you have.
Therefore, it needs to be dynamic and versatile. It needs to look as good on a green or yellow or electric pink background as it would on white or black (unless your brand guidelines clearly state how and when it should be used – which is another thing to think about!), and it needs to exist in a format that prevents unsightly stretching. The Spotify logo is so versatile, it looks pretty good against all the colours of the rainbow…
It’s really easy for logos to be misunderstood. A visual representation of anything can be easily misinterpreted by the eye, and something that looks great to you as the designer or marketer, may look total bizarre to someone who knows nothing about your business. When designing a logo, or having a logo designed, it’s really important to create something appropriate; not only to ensure your brand pretty perfectly represents your business and what you do, but also to ensure it’s appropriate for your audience. E.g. it wouldn’t make sense to design a black & white logo using a corporate font when designing a logo for a children’s toy shop. Children want colour! Smyths Toys Superstores has a really bright logo! And they only use 2 colours.
In short, creating a great logo is a fine art; it takes skill, consideration, and probably a couple of attempts to get it right. There are far more terrible logos out there then there are great ones but, realistically, investing in logo design and making sure you get it right is a first step towards a successful business – more often than not, your logo is a first thing customers will see when they pick up your flyer, walk into your shop or visit your website. That first impression has to be a good one!
If you’re looking to rebrand or even refresh your existing logo, talk to us today.