If you're asking yourself this, you're in the right place.
Many think a brands logo is their most important asset. And to be completely honest, this isn't true. But that doesn't make a logo unimportant.
Having a strong and effective logo helps companies enjoy many benefits.
The key question is do you know how to spot a great logo from a not so great one?
The first thing we should perhaps confirm is why do you need a logo in the first place?
Well, in simple terms, a logo is a unique visual graphic which helps customers identify a specific company or organisation.
So we can assume that a logos job, or purpose, is to help customers recognise when a product or service is related to a particular business or person.
Imagine going shopping in a supermarket for ice cream and all the packaging was completely white, apart from two simple things.
The only visual elements on the packaging is the logo of the company and some plain (boring) text stating what flavor the ice cream is inside.
How easy would it be to choose an ice cream you'd be confident you like? Pretty confident right?
Okay, so now ask yourself the same question, but imagine all the packaging was just white with the text, but there were no logos showcasing which company made the ice cream.
There's a high likelihood it's going to be a little more difficult to choose.
And here's why...
Logos help us recognise the brands we like, trust and know we can rely on. They make the process of making minor decisions (like choosing ice cream) or even sometimes major decisions (such as choosing a car) far less effortful, as they allow us to use less brainpower to find a solution to our need which can deliver on our expectations.
Now we know what a logos purpose is, we can now begin to understand what a logo should be (and do) to be classed as 'good'.
But what does good mean?
A common misconception is that the brand owner should simply 'like' the logo and roll with it.
Investing every penny of your 'branding budget' into designing a logo is like buying a Ferrari badge and sticking it on a Nissan Micra. Seeing the Ferrari badge may make you feel good, but it's going to be a long slow drive, which is most likely unreliable and harder to steer.
This is how many business owners approach the task of logo design, and to be honest it can be quite dangerous. Mainly because choosing a logo you personally like over one which has been effectively designed with your particular business and objectives in mind would be (for lack of a better word) completely stupid.
Any decision for a business should be based on helping the business achieve its business objectives, not simply massage the owners ego.
Having this mindset will help you get the best results once the logo development process is over.
So there are 3 key things every great logo does.
They aren't complicated. They're simple. But to get them right and in a way which is memroble and eye catching is why so few logos achieve the iconic status every business desires for their brand mark.
But how can someone on a modest budget still create a great logo design which shares the same characteristics as the best logos on the planet?
Well, just make sure your logo does these 3 things:
In a nutshell, your logo needs to be able to work on any colored background. If your logo has too many colors, it is going to be difficult to use in some environments. For example, if the logo has to have red in the design and you want it to be placed on a red background, you're just making your life harder then it needs to be.
You could argue that changing the background is an option. And it is. But why limit yourself? By creating a logo which can work on any background colour or environment, you know that it can be easy to recognise wherever it's used.
Work smart and you won't have to work hard later.
A logos scalability is also very important. Scalability simply means someone should be able to recognise your logo whether it is on the side of a building or if it's printed on the cap of a Coca Cola bottle.
The reason for this again comes down to versatility.
You want your logo to be simple enough to be used anywhere and at anytime. It needs to be scalable to the point where your customer can recognise it no matter how big it is.
So why is this important?
Think about where most people are going to be browsing through your website.
That's right, on their phones...
your logo on your customer's mobile phone, as they browse your website, is going to be around 1cm tall maximum and located in the top left hand corner of their screen.
Logo scalability has became more and more important during the transition from printed to digital communication, as brands realised they had to simplify their logos in order them them to work on the new environments where the customer's attention was very much shifting, such as mobile phones, app icons, website favicon for example.
If your logo isn't scalable and it isn't easy to recognise when someone lands on your website, how do they know they're in the right place?
Now we could start speaking about branding systems, but I'll save that topic for another article so I can go more in depth.
This box is a little tricker to tick off.
Mainly because it means you first have to understand what your brand's core message or focus is.
This can be found by creating a brand strategy and focusing on developing your internal brand messaging.
But once you have your message or focus confirmed, it's a simple case of showcasing this message as simply as possible.
The reason it has to be as simple as possible comes down to being memroble. Basically we don't want to make the customer work harder than they have to. We want to get our message across in the simplest form we can.
Think of legendary logos from the likes of Nike & Amazon.
The Nike logo simply echos the brand's slogan 'Just Do It'. And Amazon's logo suggests their main focus is to make customers happy, which directly relates to their brands vision statement to be the worlds most customer centric company.
If you're successfully doing 1 of the 3 points above, you're doing well.
If you're hitting 2 out of 3, you're doing very well.
If your logo hits all three, you're rest assured your logo is up there with some of the greats.
As I mentioned in the beginning, your logo isn't the be all and end all. It's simply a visual graphic to help customers recognise that it's you. It's basically the 'face' of your company.
If you're still unsure whether your logo is good enough or maybe you're needing to design a logo for your brand, feel free to get in touch with us. We're always happy to give some honest advice and guidance.
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