6 SIGNS OF A GREAT LOGO
Every company needs a logo, but not all logos are created equal. Throughout our time in marketing and design, we've identified a handful of characteristics that separate the great logos from the mundane.
It is important for logos to be distinct. If we print out all of your competitors' logos on a sheet of paper, yours should stand out (for the right reasons). This practice is a condensed version of what consumers experience every day as they make their way through the world. They are bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing communications, all with their respective logos and associated brands. Inevitably, many of these logos are assigned to the mental recycle bin and forgotten to time.
To achieve the highest potential brand awareness in the shortest amount of time - such as a consumer passing a sign or scrolling past an ad - you must have a logo which does not blend into the background. If a consumer's eye is effectively caught, the more chance there is that they will engage with your message and the more chance there is that you will be the first in line whenever they must recall a brand who offers a solution to their particular problem. Distinctiveness is good.
Not in the sense of whether or not everything is correctly centred or the text is aligned, but whether or not the logo is an accurate reflection of the status of the brand and is aligned with the marketing mix.
Your logo is often the first piece of information a potential consumer will receive from your brand. In this short interaction, your logo must convey impressions to the following questions. Is the product or service high quality? Is it convenient or rather exclusive? Is it going to cost me an arm and a leg? Is it eco-friendly? What does it say about me if I engage with this product or service? That is a lot to convey in one simple design. That's what makes skilled designers and market research so valuable. Two things that we offer by the way.
Not only do you run the risk of not effectively utilising your moments with consumers' short attention spans, but a wrongly positioned logo will also actively damage your business. If you own and operate a manufacturer of cheap convenience goods a logo that implies luxury is likely to scare off potential customers. If you sell luxury goods, a cheap-looking logo won't attract the calibre of customer who can afford your good.
If your logo is ever going to be seen in more than one place, you must ensure that is it transferrable. It is often the case that a logo looks great on the huge backlit MacBook that it was designed. However, the same isn't always true for when it is viewed on an employees uniform from a distance or placed when wrapped around a van or a coffee cup.
It is important to consider every potential use for your logo and if it will effectively perform and convey the same message in every scenario.
Skilled logo designers are trained to create logos that are applicable and effective for every purpose.
Colour plays a large role in both positioning and legibility. Colour affects legibility, particularly at a distance, it is always best to ensure that font is legible by placing light texts on dark backgrounds or vice versa. Colours should be consistent with the rest of the brand's colours and should be chosen with the target market and positioning in mind.
Read more about how colours influence consumers here.
Font again greatly affects both positioning and legibility. Choosing the correct font to represent your brand is incredibly important. The choice between traditional, modern, serif, san-serif, quirky, bold... all greatly affects the perception of your brand. The temptation may be to try something unique for the sake of being distinctive, however, non-traditional fonts often age badly and look dated in a couple of years. The more complex font is likely to be difficult to read at a distance and less transferable. The more artsy brands get with fonts the higher the likeliness of illegibility. However it does not mean these fonts are bad or wrong, it just means there is a time and a place for everything. Whatever you do just don't use comic-sans.
Like most things in life. Logo design is a difficult thing to get right the first time. One way in which companies can ensure a design job is going to see a return on investment is by employing research-based design. The research-based design utilises tools such as competitor and consumer research to ensure there is a solid vision of what will stand out from competitors and effectively appeal to consumers before any design work takes place. Focus groups can be show designs to gauge the potential reaction of stakeholders. Market research can often be time-consuming but will minimise risk in the long-run, especially when introducing a new brand to market.
The 5 attributes all good logos have are;
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here