The importance of having a quality logo cannot be understated. A logo is the face of a business – it’s the first thing clients see, and we all know we’re a first-impression society. With that in mind, there are a few characteristics that any good logo must have, and these traits are must-knows for designers both new and old. In my opinion, there are three overarching goals that great logos meet: they are flexible, they are memorable, and they are simple. Allow me to elaborate.
Most any business has a variety of materials that their logo will be used on. Some small businesses might just have the ol’ standbys: business cards and websites. Other collateral can range from stationary to car wraps to postcards to billboards. On all these mediums, the logo may be placed on a variety of colors, patterns, or photographs.
Because of the variety of all these materials – in color, shape, size and interaction with the audience – it’s clear that great logos have to be flexible. They need to work in one color. They need to work in black and white. They need to work at 2 inches square and, potentially, 10 feet square. Any logo that isn’t flexible is a logo that can be improved.
Most logos for any famous/large brand – McDonald’s, Apple, NBC, etc – are memorable. They are easy and quick to digest, and easy to describe. Creating a memorable logo is not a simple task, but it’s a goal to be pursued by any and all logo designers. Needlessly complex logos and logos with no connection to the business or target audience are logos that have an uphill climb to memorability – avoid these in your work and you’ll be one step closer to creating memorable logos for your clients.
Perhaps the most effective way to meet the previously mentioned goals of flexibility and memorability is to hit goal #3: simplicity. Again, look at the logos of successful brands like McDonald’s, Apple, or NBC. The logos are straightforward, clean and simple, and thus easy to remember. Needless complexity can hinder audience comprehension and interfere with the memorability of the logo – not something to be proud of.
As well, needless complexity can hinder the flexibility of a logo. A logo with tons of minute details – not unlike a detailed drawing or painting – will simply not work at smaller sizes or when viewed from far away. A logo with too many colors will be a difficult logo to work with down the road when it comes to company print materials. Remember, simplicity allows for memorability and flexibility.
Logo design truly is a craft, and an important piece in the overall scheme of a business. There isn’t a formula for creating a well-designed and effective logo, but following these 3 tips is a great start to creating great logos for your clients.