When the time comes to commission a new logo for your business, it’s often fraught with problems which arise from the client not quite understanding what their logo is actually supposed to represent. All too often, emphasis is placed on the personal tastes and preferences of the client rather than considering how their prospective customers will interpret the logo.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t get the logo you want; it’s finding a happy balance between your preferences and the ‘Golden Rules’ of logo design which is the tricky part for us designers. With that in mind, this article will hopefully help you achieve that happy balance.
What Makes a Great Logo?
There are hundreds of books extensively covering logo design and branding. However, why spend days reading a book when there are millions of pounds of branding research available everywhere we look? We’ve added a handful of logos you’ve almost certainly seen in the last month.
Virtually all of these logos have been created at huge cost by some of the world’s most prominent branding consultants so it’s safe to say that these guys know what they’re doing when creating an effective logo.
So, it makes sense to learn from the experts and to apply the very same principles adopted in all these logos when creating your own. And those core principles, or ‘Golden Rules’ are are listed below…
Rule One – Keep it Simple
Every one of these logos uses an easy-to-read font (text) with, in some cases, some subtle imagery that complements the text. There are no complex, intricate design elements that might detract from the brand name. Essentially, all of these logos are simply a distinctive font and the brand colours. Nothing more, nothing less.
Rule Two – Promote Your Business Name
The clearest part of your logo should be your business name as essentially, that’s the part you want to promote. This is often an area where business owners go wrong as they try to incorporate ‘clever’ imagery that actually makes the business name more difficult to read. The rule of thumb is: if somebody can’t recognise your business name in the logo within half a second, the design is too fussy.
Rule Three – Colour Counts
Another common theme amongst all of the example logos is the colours used. In every instance, the colours are bold and/or clear. There are no ‘washy’ tones that fail to catch the eye and lack impact. Whilst the actual choice of colours is always going to be subjective, remember that consumers tend to remember colours more than they remember words.
Rule Four – Remember The Medium
It’s quite likely that your logo will appear on a whole host of different media and therefore it will need to be scalable. A logo that might look great on the side of a van could look awful when scaled-down to fit on a business card. Equally, when your logo is used on a website, not every person viewing it will have a top-notch display so an overly intricate design with lots of fine detail could look a mess.
Rule Five – Consider Your Market
A firm of undertakers is patently going to need to show a degree of restraint with their logo whilst an urban clothing brand can be far more edgy. Whatever your product or service, you need to consider the expectations of your target market. Again, this is an area where you need to park your own personal preferences and consider what your prospective customers are going to expect.
Rule Six – Future-Proof
We were recently approached by a start-up company who were looking to market a range of dog treats, and they wanted to incorporate a dog’s paw print into their new logo. By sheer accident, we discovered their long-term plans also included developing a range of treats for cats – a dog’s paw print in the logo would have been completely inappropriate. Don’t make the same mistake – think about how your products or services might change in years to come.
Final Words About Logo Design
Logo design can cost a little, or a lot. The primary difference is often down to the client’s input. Those clients who are happy to trust the experts to create an effective logo are typically those who spend less. Clients who want to see a range of different concepts and then micro-manage every part of the design process are the ones who will often end-up spending a lot more.
What you should consider above everything else is that whatever you spend on your logo design, and no matter how long it takes to create your perfect logo, unfortunately your customers will not appreciate the intricacies of it. To them, it’s just another logo amongst the hundreds of logos they see every single day.
So whilst you obviously want to follow our golden rules, there are more important elements of your marketing that you could (and should) be spending your time and resources on, so don’t let your logo design become an obsession. Whilst it’s undoubtedly important, it won’t be the difference between the success or failure of your business.
If you’d like any more information about logo design, you can visit our branding page.