It’s a fundamental question! In an ideal scenario, our first pass at selecting our branding is a one-time opportunity. If we do it well, it will not only stay with us as our business grows, but propel us forwards, into the collective consciousness of our expanding following. So, what makes a good logo, as opposed to a bad one, and where is the creative sweet spot when it comes to a logo that will do its job effectively?
What Does A Logo Represent?
Marketing is all about impressions, and you can think of your company logo as your super-effective advanced squad, hitting the minds of your viewers before their attention is drawn to the substance of your work. A logo needs to be easy to take in, easy to remember and perfectly suited to the tone of your brand. Your logo will use a specific combination of shape, form, image, font and/or colour to create that perfect impression, and if it does its job correctly it will help you to foster trust and authority in the eyes of your target audience!
Simple and Memorable
Achieving the perfect logo means going creative but avoiding excessive complexity. If your logo is too busy it won’t achieve that impactive first impression. In this sense, a unique symbol that can be paired with simple text, or a distinctive font that viewers will associate with your brand will offer much more bang for its buck.
Consider the classic Nike tick. Many don’t realise that this 1971 logo represents the wing of the Greek Goddess of victory, Nike. While stunningly simple, this logo is instantly recognisable, can be scaled to any size or presented in any colour. Its fluid form fits perfectly with the strong, speedy movements of the sports enthusiasts the brand targets. After almost fifty years in circulation, the logo is standing up perfectly to the test of time.
If you choose to use symbolism in your logo, it might be so subtle that viewers wont grasp it without explanation, or it might be something direct, that helps convey what you do, such as a paper-clip form incorporated into the logo of an admin company, or a tree incorporated into the logo of an adventure sports brand. In this way, your logo can help communicate an idea, or can contribute to your brand story, with details that can be further explored.
Appropriate and Versatile
Choosing a logo that is appropriate for your brand means considering the kind of impression you want to make and what will and will not achieve that! For example, a playful children’s font would be fantastic for a toy store, but not so good for an accounting firm. Clean lines or smooth curves work well for a business with a modern approach, while a company crafting products using traditional methods may opt for a historical typeface.
Keep in mind that a good logo is going to be on your journey with you for a long time, so creating a versatile image will stand you in good stead. Your logo needs to tie in perfectly with the rest of your presentation, including your website, your portfolio, your advertising and you may decide to reinvent your presence over time.
You might also find in the future that you wish to expand your business in other directions. For example, your restaurant may launch its own product line via an online shop, and a logo that transfers well between different platforms and aesthetic approaches will allow you to expand that brand without going back to the drawing board.
Playing With Colour and Font
Colours evoke strong associations, including obvious ones such as blue with water and brown with chocolate, and more subtle ones such as pale colours creating a sense of calm and bright colours a sense of boldness or playfulness. A colour can come to represent a brand quite distinctly such as the iconic Facebook blue.
A fun logo example that perfectly demonstrates versatility and memorability while playing with colour can be found with Google. Their brand logo is simply the company name written in a memorable sequence of hues: blue, red, yellow, blue, green, red. This format is so well emblazoned in the minds of internet browsers that they are able to regularly play with their logo using both image and fonts while keeping it recognisable through that distinctive sequence.
Font can also create a powerful impression. The Coca-Cola logo is ultimately defined by their font selection, as, if touring the world, you would notice that the brand name is spelled quite differently in a variety of countries but that striking font is so familiar that it is always immediately obvious that you are looking at their logo.
Considering Your Audience
When choosing a font, don’t forget to consider the potential diversity of your would-be customers. In a world that is becoming more and more global, it is particularly important for young brands to consider if their logo choice should be framed from the perspective of an international audience.
Will your logo need to work for viewers who speak a different language? If the colour association that you wish to use makes sense in your home country, does it also fit with associations in other countries? For example, red often elicits strength and anger in the west, but in the east is more symbolic of spirituality and longevity. Considering the versatility of your logo in terms of your potential growth will certainly set you off on the right foot.
Creativity Is Key, While Following These Simple Rules
Ultimately, your logo can be fantastically creative, so long as you keep these fundamental points in mind. Your logo should:
- be simple to catch the eye
- be appropriate for your offering
- be memorable to stay in people’s minds
- be versatile for brand reinvention
- stand up to the test of time
If you can’t quite hit on the perfect concept for your logo, or need help bringing an idea to life, Teapot Creative are here to help! Our multi-talented and tea-fuelled team of graphic designers will pop on the kettle and get to work, helping you to build a brand identity that captures exactly who you are.