Friday, June 1, 2012

What Makes a Logo Great

Logos. They're the most important part of branding any business, service, or anything at all. Without one, it's nearly impossible for you to be recognized in any way at all except memory of your name. So let's see what it takes to make one that'll really let you succeed.

I'm going to keep it short and simple, so there are a few aspects to good logos that make them stand out as stellar. Here's the list, and we'll analyze each point individually as well.

You can understand them

First off, recognition of a logo is the single most important part of any branding for a company. We look at examples like Nike, Apple, and Coca Cola, and it's hard not to recognize them. The fact of the matter is, they are simply put, easy to pick out by their shape. Now you may say that these are plain, but consider the facts. Look around the internet nowadays and you'll see a plethora of these ridiculously intricate, fancy, "2.0," or just flat out obnoxious logos popping up everywhere. As great as a logo can look, if it's not recognizable at a glance, it serves no purpose. Now, there are two ways to make a logo recognizable.

Companies like Nike and Apple rely on the distinct shape of their logos to make themselves recognizable, and this is great. Mainly due to the fact that companies like Nike and Addidas, (and even Apple) need logos that they can stamp on merchandise without making it obtrusive, while making it recognizable at the same time. Others, such as Microsoft (and myself), use text as their branding. These also have distinct shapes that are immediately recognizable, so it boils down to whatever matches your needs better.


Frankly, if you can't understand what a logo is supposed to represent, it really does you know good. This is perhaps the simplest of the factors that play into a logo's success. Apple has, well, an apple. On a more subtle side, FedEx has an arrow between the E and the x. It's got to make sense. You can't have a logo that has nothing to do with what your business is advertising.


Yes, having a bold logo does matter. As I said earlier, there are quite a lot of new logos coming out that are simply put, disgustingly intricate. First of all, for anything besides the web, intricate logos can't even exist. It's virtually impossible to recognize a logo sign on a storefront or billboard that's got a million different lines swooshing around and in front of text. That's another point. NEVER EVER COVER YOUR NAME OR MAIN LOGO. What it does is make it difficult to read, which is an immediate turn-off for anyone's memory to remember your logo. Besides the aspect of a real store, even on the web, if you have a very, very fancy logo, it's naturally harder to recognize. Countless studies have shown that it's much easier to recognize the shape of simpler objects.

Take for example, two geometric shapes. A circle, and a hexagon. Although both are extremely simple, the circle is most easily recognized because the mind doesn't even have to consider the number of sides. While a hexagon could confuse people between the amount of sides. "Are there six? Seven? Five?"

Colors are another important part, as bold colors attract more attention. Don't use similar colors that are close in logos unless absolutely necessary. The more contrast, the better. Some good ones are Red, Green, or even just Black and White.

For logos, less is more.


I briefly introduced the idea of using logos in storefronts and other places, and this is a relatively simple one. If you can't put your logo on your store or your merchandise physically, it's not going to work, ever. Again and again, less is more. Recognition and usability go hand in hand. The simpler the logo is, the better.

Hopefully you've gotten some useful information from this post, and remember that LESS IS MORE.

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