Friday, June 1, 2012

What Makes a Good Logo?

There are hundreds of articles on this subject but I thought I'd create my own version for readers. I thought I'd start this article for people in search of a new logo. A new logo can be tough to get right, you as the client need to know what you have in mind and what sort of image you want to give to potential customers. You wouldn't walk into hairdressers and say to them "I don't know... make it look good" without even giving some preference to a kind of style you like, short, long, wavy etc... So the same principle applies when you are in need of a logo. This could be something as small as the colour scheme you wish to use to as much as sketching your own idea and giving it to the designer. I've had clients sketch a full page of ideas and pick out three they've wanted me to design along with the colours and I've also had clients who have just said "I want it to be red and blue".

So what does make the perfect logo?

To start with I am going to break it down into 3 factors:




Obviously it can be broken down into more factors but I'll focus on these three main factors.

#1 Simple

I'm going to start with simplicity as it really is the make or break point when choosing a logo. A good logo shouldn't be too busy. Busy logos are those that have more than one "concept" to it, a good designer will focus on a concept that represents your company while keeping things simple. This however does not mean you have to choose a concept that you specialise in, for example a DIY store doesn't need to have a tool in the logo nor does a car store have to have a car in the logo.

The perfect example of this is the "Swoosh", in sportswear brand Nike.

The Nike logo is a very simple yet effective logo. Even without the brand name, the "Swoosh" alone is recognizable and memorable worldwide. It was created by a graphic design student back in 1971 for a new athletic brand now known as Nike.

A good example of this is the Nike logo. The main thing that represents Nike is the Tick design AKA "Swoosh" design. The Swoosh represents the wing in the famous statue of the Greek Goddess of victory although not many people are aware of this. We all recognize the design as a swoosh for speed and as Nike are known worldwide for providing sports shoes it represents the company well. The swoosh is known notoriously worldwide whilst the company continues to strive and get bigger, it's the perfect example of a simple yet very successful logo.

#2 Effective

This one is a given and I won't need to explain it much. A good logo needs to be effective/unique in a sense that, it needs to sink it's teeth into your brain.

Unless you've invented a new spaceship that lands people on the moon for £20 per person then you're going to have competition in whichever business or industry you part-take in. For this reason you will need a logo that is not only simple but also effective and makes people remember it whenever it isn't staring them in the face. I've chosen the LG logo for this example.

I personally love the LG logo, it is a logo that sticks in your head and is memorable wherever you go. It's simple and yet very effective, which is the factors that make a good logo. The designer incorporated the L and the G to into a face which represents the companies name "Life's Good".

Logos aren't just used on web, a logo will be used anywhere to represent the company. There is no point in having a logo that looks amazing on a webpage but when transferred to print is not versatile. There are many factors that come into play when deciding an effective logo, you need to think "Will it look good on print?" then there's "What happens if I want it printed in black and white?" oh and also "Will my logo look good enlarged for a poster?" Make sure you consider all of the possible factors and criteria when choosing a logo for your business.

#3 Appropriate

Last but certainly not least is appropriate. Every logo needs to be appropriate for the type of business it portrays. An accountant isn't going to want a baby incorporated into the logo, like-wise an online baby store isn't going to want a pen or calculator incorporated into their logo. This however is common sense. A good logo will need to have the appropriate font, colours and concept all whilst keeping things simple. The perfect example to give is the Disney logo.

An appropriate logo must suit the business it stands for, Disney achieves this by a milestone. My first opinion of the logo when you look at it is the childishness of it all. The inaccurate lines, the scribbled "dot" and the plain colour. It's perfect for a children's entertainment company. It wouldn't really work to have cooperate colours and a times new roman font now would it? It does however fit in perfectly for children.

Any logo must represent the company in an appropriate way, this is one of the most important factors you need to decide on when choosing a logo for your company.

We have a winner!

I tried to stay away from this but with no doubt the logo that achieves all of these factors is the Apple logo. I know... I know, I tried to keep myself from mentioning it but it is a perfect example of a good logo. It's simple, effective and highly appropriate as the company is called Apple. The apple logo is something that will withstand the test of time and in 50 years still be memorable.

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