Many small businesses and startups come to us without a logo and just ask us to leave the top left corner of their WordPress website blank which is an asinine approach. Companies spend thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars and years creating and marketing their products and services. However, a purchasing decision is often made based on a customer’s first impression or gut feeling. This memory often comes from your logo. Investing in a professional logo design creates instant impact and sets the look and feel of other marketing initiatives like your website design.
What Makes a Truly Great Logo?
Conveys Intended Message
A powerful logo instantly communicates your message and connects you with your target market. It can emphasize the positive attributes of your company and its offerings. To create an effective logo, your designer needs to thoroughly research and understand your business, history, competition and target market.
Simple & Easily Recognizable
A logo is the face of your company. It can build brand loyalty between your customers and your company and establish your brand identity. Paul Rand, the graphic designer of the IBM and UPS logos, said, “Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” The Nike Swoosh represents motion and speed with two curved lines making it one of the simplest logos while carrying billions in brand messaging. A simple logo looks absolutely effortless but is often backed by months of research and refinements. Be sure to apply the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple, Stupid!).
Looks Great Everywhere
An effective logo works well across all applications and sizes like a tiny website favicon or enormous billboard. If there are a lot of fine details in your logo, it may not hold up when it is reduced to a small size. To ensure versatility, it should be designed in vector format (that means Adobe Illustrator, not Photoshop) and should not contain any clip art or photographs. Even though most clients only need a logo for their website and business cards, it is always best to plan for a wide variety of mediums. You could have a logo that looks fantastic on a product packaging but dull and uninspiring on your website. Review your logo design in black and white first to ensure that it holds up when colors are removed.
Your logo should be unique and make you stand out from your competition. It should be distinctive while still clearly communicating your message. You do not want to be confused with another company and no one likes a copycat. One huge mistake is download stock graphics and using them in your logo because someone else might be using the same image.
A well-designed logo can be easily remembered after a split second glance, inspire trust and cultivate loyalty. This all goes back to simplicity. Brand recognition creates familiarity, which builds credibility and loyalty in a brand. McDonalds and Nike are great examples of memorable logos.
Stands Test of Time
A professional logo will stand the test of time. Longevity is key in effective logo design. Will your logo work in 10, 20 or 50 years from now? Leave the fads to the fashion industry. Now is not the time to be trendy or snazzy.
Relevant to your Target Market
Your logo should be appropriate for your business speak to your target audience. However, this does not mean that your logo needs to be literal meaning that McDonald’s logo does not contain hamburgers, Honda’s logo does not contain cars, nor does Royal Caribbean’s logo contain a cruise ship. What is more crucial is that your logo’s look and feel appeals to your target market.
Different Types of Logos
A wordmark is a typographic treatment of the name of a company like Coca Cola and FedEx.
Use a wordmark if:
- Your products, services or subsidiaries also have logos that you want to pair with your parent identity.
- Your name is unique but not yet a household name.
- Your budget is limited and should be focused on name recognition.
A symbol is a visual icon that communicates your message or mission like Twitter, Apple, Nike and Chevron.
Use a symbol if:
- Your name is mundane, too long, or doesn’t translate well globally.
- You need an icon on the product, as on a car or apparel.
- You need to link subsidiaries to the parent and cannot easily use the name (The Bell symbol served this function for the old AT&T and its operating companies).
- You have ample budget to teach people what your symbol means
This is the most popular type of logo because the symbol evokes recognition, which is strengthened, by being able to read the company name like Amazon, Starbucks and Dominos.
With technology enabling logo to be easily altered, a new type of logo called a logo system has emerged. A logo system is a graphical framework that change with different situations, allowing brands to start a conversation beyond it’s own name, pointing to other ideas and issues that are important to them on any chosen day. The most famous use of a logo system is Google. Each day Google replaces its logo with an illustration highlighting a holiday, historical event or topic to raise awareness. Because all of the Google doodles revolve around a framework, the Google logo remains recognizable.
The following principles should apply to your brand in order for logo systems to be successful:
- You company has different products that require different branding or packaging.
- You are ready for dramatic changes while keeping your values the same.
- You have a substantial marketing budget.
- Your current logo is consistent, trusted and easily recognizable.
- Your logo design can be adapted into different styles with your target market in mind.
- A constantly changing logo is sustainable for your business.
- You use social media to interact with your customers daily.
Anyone on Fiverr, Craigslist or 99Designs with a pirated copy of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop can draw some shapes and pair it with a random font to call it a logo. Here at Kwok Design, we are focused on creating logos that are memorable, distinctive, relevant, versatile and timeless. Contact us today if you need logo design or would like to build your company’s brand.