Elements of a great logo

What Makes A GREAT Logo?

A logo conveys the essence of a business without using words. It symbolizes the identity of the business and brand.  A logo needs to be simple and memorable and should convey something of the business purpose and values.  It serves as a reminder of what the brand stands for, but does not need to explain what the business actually does.  An ideal logo is one that instantly triggers the thoughts and feelings that the business wants you to associate with their brand. If it can do this then it can be considered an effective logo.

The logo lies at the heart of your public image.

A logo should instantly make people think of what the brand represents.  It is at the core of the brand’s identity and acts a ‘focus point’ for the entire brand.  All other decisions about the look and feel of the brand should emanate from the logo.  It is the foundation for all other branding decisions and will be used in all company stationary and other material such as powerpoint presentations, advertising and promotion.

Simplicity rules, OK!

Simplicity is the key to a good logo. In order to arrive at simplicity, a great deal of thought and reflection on what the business stands for needs to have taken place. Simplicity must be earned, it doesn’t arrive out of nowhere… hence the phrase ‘deceptively simple.’  Without knowing what your brand stands for and the impact you want to make on your customers then a designer will struggle to create something that reflects the brand.  A good designer will ask pertinent questions on the nature of the business and will soon establish how well the business understands itself, and if necessary will help the business to get clearer on its values before proceeding with creating a logo.  The designer will translate these values into design decisions to reflect its essence.  So, a logo is a complex set of ideas, principles and values distilled into a simple visual symbol.

Don’t follow fashion: today’s zeitgeist is tomorrow’s retro.

Design fads come and go and it can be tempting to have something contemporary, but a logo should be timeless, outlasting cycles and phases of design fashion. Many logos have evolved with the times but kept the basic concept. So a logo needs to be adaptable, to be modified as time goes on and the brand values change.

Logos need to be versatile and adaptable to different uses. They need to look right on a small post-it note as well as on a giant poster on a metro station. They need to look good in black and white or colour. A good graphic designer will have a full understanding of a logo’s varied uses and the various formats will need to be incorporated for differing purposes.

Ultimately, the logo should convey a rock-solid professionalism. It must become familiar in the minds of customers in such a way that it becomes embedded in the subconscious mind as representing exactly what the business does and activates the right kind of feelings without the customer being consciously aware that it is working on them.  The logo should reassure, giving confidence that you can rely on the brand to deliver the goods each and every time.