Living in such a visual world, the importance of logo design is a significant aspect to consider when starting or rebranding a business. Ideally, you want a logo to represent the true essence of your brand’s personality and values, acting as a corner stone for your visual marketing and imbedded first impressions from your clientele. Logos allow consumers to uniquely identify a brand, so much so that people are more likely to recognise a logo, before identifying the brand itself.
The importance placed upon logo design, therefore, should be equal to, if not more so than, other elements that go into a business’s make up. But with a variety of designs littering the business world, what exactly are the qualities that define a good logo?
There are three core ingredients to consider in logo design:
- Colour schemes
Where typography can refer to the copy used on the logo, such as the brand name or the tagline, graphics indicate central icons and images, and colour schemes are the chosen colours in the design. While not all logos strictly implement each aspect, these components nonetheless play an important role in a logo’s success. If one is out of alignment with the other, it can change the entire dynamic of the design.
So, with this in mind, what are some key elements that make a good logo?
The Golden Rule in logo design is to establish a sense of balance and harmony. Without balance, your logo can look unstructured and thus reflect poorly on the quality of your brand. You want to make sure that elements within your logo are in proportion with one another. Whether that’s aligning your tagline with the brand name, or adjusting the size of your lettering or icon to suit the constraints of the design.
In saying this, when done correctly, there can a beauty in abstract design and intentional asymmetry. Take the 7-Eleven logo as an example: not only are the capital letters non consistent, but the first ‘E’ is not inline with the edge of the ‘7’. Despite it being ‘symmetrically imperfect’ 7-Eleven has been able to establish a sense of harmony and visual aesthetic, making the logo an incredibly popular symbol for the company, and optically an enjoyable asset for consumers.
It just goes to show that balance is always defined by perfection.
Originality is key. You want your logo to stand out amongst the crowd; especially with such a competitive crowd out there! Think of some of the most successful logo designs in the world; Nike, Apple, Starbucks etc, they have all been successful because there is nothing else like it. There’s no denying that trends in industries are there for a reason, but it’s important to step outside of the norm and investigate something different. Often, originality can be hidden in the true essence of the brand itself, all you have to do is represent its personality and values accurately and creatively.
Logos need to be memorable. Making sure that your logo is eye-catching, unique and easily comprehendible, will only help in making sure that your brand stays in a consumer’s mind. This is where graphics and colours come into play. While words are an incredibly important part of a logo, people are more likely to be drawn to graphics and colours before they read words. Nike’s ‘tick’ symbol is a perfect example of this. When people now think of Nike as a brand, they immediately associate it with the icon, rather than a slogan or tagline. Take time when deliberating what icon to use, as it can have an important impact on how memorable your logo will be.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to logo design. Let your logo breathe. There’s often a misconception that a logo must represent the entire vision of the brand, however, this can often result in the design appearing crowded and overwhelmed. Instead, try focusing on a central aspect of your brand you wish to represent, and adapt your logo accordingly.
This can be greatly seen in a number of successful logos, including Apple and Nike. Through their sleek and powerful icons, the ‘tick’ and ‘apple’, and minimalistic and professional colour schemes, they have been able to allow a sense of memorability, balance and originality.
Simplicity means that your logo will both look cleaner and more visually appealing, while also being easier for your consumers to remember and come back to.
Contrasting your design features is a great way to create a unique and successful logo. Something as simple as playing around with the capitals of your letters, like with 7-Eleven, can give the logo an entirely new dynamic. Similarly, using contrasting colours to highlight your icon or typography can make the logo stand out and add another layer of depth. Just make sure that when experimenting with contrasting colours that the icon itself is always visible.
Successful logos have so many important qualities, but you always have to start somewhere. So, before you make your next logo, sit down and determine whether your logo design has balance, originality, memorability, simplicity and contrast. You may see elements in your logo you had not considered before.