What Makes a Great Logo?

June 23, 2017

A great logo is more than just an image placed on paper (or business cards, your email signature or the web). A great logo is essentially your first call to action. It gives consumers an initial perception of your brand and it’s incredibly important to make sure you make a great first impression.

Your marketing starts with your company’s image, so your logo should be able to give your potential customers an overview of what you have to offer, or at least inspire them to find out more.

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There are several things to consider when it comes to designing a great logo. Too often businesses focus on the wrong aspects and end up making a complicated logo that leaves much to be desired. While there is no one size fits all formula for logo design, there are fundamental aspects that you must pay attention to if you want your brand to be recognised in the right way.

In its most basic form, people should be able to recognise and connect with the brand your logo represents. This is, after all, what leads to them coming back for more creating customer loyalty. If people can recognise your brand from a pool of others, you’re likely to be their first choice. Things like colour, taglines and images are important but be sure to also consider these essential principles before settling on your design:

 1. Simple

A simply designed logo is the easiest way to get people to remember your brand. You only have a few seconds to capitalise on your consumer’s attention, so use this time to make sure they know who you are and what your brand represents. Can people look at your logo and easily describe it? Nike and Adidas do this well and both their logos translate easily to different platforms and in different colours without losing their brand identity.

2. Appropriate

Your logo should be appropriate to your business and its purpose. Elements like your font and colour scheme should ideally match your brand’s personality. For example, a childish font and bright colours might not be appropriate for a funeral service provider, but ideal for a pre-school. It’s also important to remember that a logo doesn’t necessarily need to show what your business offers. In fact, for the top 50 brands in the world, 94% of these logos don’t describe what the company does. There aren’t any bottles in Coca-Cola’s logo and Mercedes Benz does not include car in theirs.

3. Memorable and distinct

Drawing on the first principle of simplicity, your logo should also be memorable and distinct. Don’t get stuck adding too many elements that make it hard for people to remember what you do as a business. Take online streaming service Netflix for example. Their logo is their brand name on a bold red background. Simply designed and memorable without any extra frills. Start off with a purely black and white design to see if the main elements of your logo would still captivate your audience even if your brand’s colours aren’t included.

4. Timeless and versatile

Finally, a great logo is both timeless and versatile. This means it can be used throughout the ages and even in the case of small iterations, you’ll still have all the essential elements that make up your brand’s logo. Additionally, making your logo versatile means it can hold its own regardless of the surface or platform on which it appears. Consider what your logo would look like at its largest and smallest size. Can you still see it if it’s printed on a postage stamp? How does it look on a giant billboard?

If you pay attention to these four principals, you’ll be sure to nail your logo design on the head. Don’t get lost in the deep sea of bad logos but rather set sail with one that places your brand at the front of people’s minds.

For inspiration, you can also check out the great logo designs below and see how these brands have cleverly included hidden messages to make their businesses stand out.