Creating a unique and memorable logo can sometimes feel like a daunting task.
How can you make it stand out, yet still represent your brand as a whole? Use these five qualities of highly effective logos to help you begin:
1. Great logos are simple.
According to our designer Nick Benoit, “A great logo conveys a simple idea you can connect with on a human and emotional level.”
It’s easy to get carried away trying to make your logo include every aspect of your brand in one image. However, when logos are overly complicated, viewers are easily confused by your brand rather than understanding it in one simple look.
In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author and illustrator of The Little Prince:
“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Keeping the logo simple and straightforward not only helps consumers recognize your brand quicker but it also helps your viewers digest your brand’s message completely.
2. Great logos are cohesive.
Not only should logos be simple but they should also be cohesive. This means, if there are multiple elements to your logo, those elements need to work together to explain your brand.
Oftentimes, graphical elements and typeface appear together. However, when they are separate, each piece should be strong enough to stand alone. That way, when they are put together as one, they should work together to make your brand stronger not fight each other for attention.
Think about the Pepsi logo. The abstract, stylized red, white and blue icon matches the modern typeface, but would look incongruous with the more classic script used by Coca Cola.
3. Great logos are adaptable.
Unfortunately, many times when we’re creating logos, we forget how many different places this logo will be placed. From billboards to pens, your logo needs to fit nicely and neatly on both.
This brings us back to the importance of simplicity. If your logo is intricate and overly complicated, fitting it on a small USB flash drive will cause a problem. Always remember to create a logo that can adapt to any place it is put.
4. Great logos are ageless.
At Imagewërks, we provide many of our clients with what we call a “logo refresh.” Their existing logo may look and feel a little outdated and less modern than what it used to look and feel like.
When creating logos, we have to remember to create designs that are timeless not trendy. Although, creating a trendy logo may seem right in the moment, in five years, the logo will no longer be trendy nor will it be relevant.
If your logo is out-of-date or no longer trendy, it has the potential of unconsciously communicating to your audience that your company is not quite capable of accomplishing contemporary requests.
5. Great logos are memorable.
Your logo will be the most widely used aspect of your brand. From notebooks and pens, to TV commercials and company vehicles, your logo will be present.
Because of this, you want people to recognize your logo without needing any other background information. Within seconds of seeing your logo, the rest of your brand (products, messaging, etc.) should already be in the viewer’s thoughts.
Think of some iconic logos. What does an apple have to do with computer technology, for example? Nothing directly, but it’s a subtle reference to the influence of Isaac Newton and Alan Turing on their corporate philosophy. Even without those connotations, the mark is simple, clean, impactful and has been masterfully and indelibly linked to the messaging of Apple’s brand.
Your logo is your brand identifier in its simplest, most visually impactful form. It doesn’t need to literally describe your company or your brand message—or even bear your company name. Yet it must somehow convey the emotion and support the promise of your brand at a glance.
A great logo is just the beginning. Download our Brand Voice Workbook below to discover effective ways to communicate your brand's unique message. It’s FREE!
Editor’s note: this blog post was originally published in September of 2017 and has been updated to include additional information.