Last updated on March 17th, 2016
Everybody wants a perfectly designed logo. Plucking the best one out of a hundred of choices is easy too. That is, if you’ve got a tasteful or trained eye for logo designs, along with a clear idea of what you want.
If that’s not you, it might be a bit prudent to take a step back and learn a thing or two about logos before you pay for the services of a designer. Yes, you’re not doing the work yourself. But knowing the basics of logo design—what works, what doesn’t—helps hone your eye for design, if not exactly train your eye to tell the difference between a winning logo and an awful one.
When the time comes, you won’t have to lose sleep over whether you’re picking a great logo or not. Guided by the basics, finding a choice that’s right for you and your business will surely go that much easier.
Here now is a list of those qualities. Make sure your logo fulfills all these:
1. It Works Vertically.
Logos should be recognizable, no matter the angle or orientation. Something too fussy or complex that it won’t work in a vertical orientation loses out on the consumer recognition front. That defeats the purpose of having a logo in the first place—which is to have your business instantly and easily recognized by your target audience.
2. It Doesn’t Need A Box.
Boxes are good. Boxes are your friends. But your logo must be able to stand on its own, with or without a box. While a box should add to the overall impact of the design, a missing box shouldn’t diminish the appeal of your logo in any way.
3. It Uses No More Than Two Fonts, Sometimes Less—And Still Works.
Having too many fonts can be a distraction. A consistent look or one that’s echoed in the fonts you use adds to the vibe or personality of the logo. Done right, different fonts can create the perfect logo. Done wrong, it can confuse your target audience, even distract them and worse, ultimately take their mind away from the concept or idea you are trying—unsuccessfully—to sell. That’s a waste of precious airspace right there.
4. It’s Not The Whole Picture.
A logo isn’t a brand. Brands say a story. Brands can stand for something. Brands can say a lot. But logos aren’t built the same way. Logos are hints. Your logo gives your audience a clue about what your business is all about. For instance, a playful, colorful logo already—and automatically—excludes businesses such as banking or finance from the mix.
Your logo is a suggestion, an impression. It’s not the whole picture and it shouldn’t be. Given its size, a logo that succeeds in telling a story is great. But if that’s not possible, a simple one always, always works.
5. It Puts A Face To Your Brand.
Great brands always stand out and awesome logos are vital in making that happen. Logos reflect the vibe, the character, the personality of your brand. So you’ve got to be sure that your logo captures the very essence of your brand—its voice, its guts, its heart.
6. It’s Got A Connection To The Brand—And Not To Anything Else.
Finding a perfectly designed logo also involves making sure the logo is all about your brand—and not about something else. This is where the importance of research comes in. Be aware of what you put out there, of the kind of message you might inadvertently be sending.
Do this by making sure your logo isn’t using elements that can be traced back or, are strongly associated, with anyone famous or any dark event in history. A mistake like that can cost your business years in fallout, not to mention the hit your credibility will inevitably take—no matter the PR spin—and the probable loss of potential clients that it will lead to. All catastrophic enough that you should take serious steps to prevent this from happening, ever.
7. It’s Timeless.
It’s the simple logos that often get away with this. Or, sometimes, it’s a design so unique there can be nothing else like it in the world. It’s style that transcends the edicts, pronouncements and standards of the times. It survives through the years, unchanged in its brilliance or relevance.
8. It’s Not Going To Be A Hit With Everybody.
Timeless or not, your logo isn’t going to make everybody in the room happy. Someone’s bound to be bored or ambivalent or dissatisfied with it. But so long as the core of your target market is satisfied, that’s all right then. If people dislike your logo, whether for an almost offending lack of imagination or sheer unsightliness—it doesn’t matter. If you’re confident that it’s the best and right one for your business and brand, then you’ll be fine.
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