Once you use it, you have to stick by it for a significant amount of time. The longevity of an identity mark is tricky since you can’t change it every once in a while. You need to be consistent to your market. With that in mind, I give you three (3) basic tips you could use when coming up with a better logo, the same things I keep in mind when designing logos for clients.
MAKE IT SIMPLE
It might be challenging to make something simple and unique at the same time, but it is STILL doable. Be sure to give it the potential to be recognizable even if people only glance by it considering the lack of attention people pay. Simplicity is key to being memorable to your audience. I bet you’ve already noticed the trend of your favorite brands becoming more simple and basic as time goes by? They’re trying to simplify their image more and more that it becomes basic enough to be associated in more instances. Simple enough to be drawn by a child.
It doesn’t mean you can’t create a complicated design, or that a very detailed design won’t ever work. Complex designs can have as much success in terms of recall. A simple approach just helps really well. Notice how logos belonging to Windows, Apple, and Nike, are very simple. Shapes are very basic and easily replicable. It doesn’t mean more complex ones like that of Starbucks’s and Jagermeister’s cannot work.
MAKE IT MEANINGFUL
Sometimes, you need to give your logo and your brand more character. When creating a logo, you have the great opportunity to relay a certain message, or reflect the nature of business. It’s a bonus if you can approach it with the previously stated simplicity in mind. This makes the logo more ‘you’ and adds to the uniqueness of the overall identity. Sometimes, a simple color change can mean a great deal.
It’s a bonus for your audience to finally realize the real meaning behind the imagery, like finding an easter egg. It makes them relate and love the brand a bit more. The same way there’s actually an arrow in FedEx, a peacock in NBC (made possible by adding a single cut on one of the ‘feathers’), and the representation of the Analog and the Digital in Vaio. Or you can make it obvious, the same way the C in Chick-Fil-A is actually a chicken, and how Unilever represented every element in their logo.
MAKE IT TRANSFERABLE
It may be a digital world, but you should check if your logo fairs on other mediums as well. Newspapers and fax (yes people still use them) primarily go for B&W versions, and others can’t handle gradients so a flat color version might be needed. On top of brand colors, there’s also the orientation if your logo is a combination of icon and wordmark: square, vertical, horizontal. And finally, there’s a scalability issue. Be sure your logo can be ‘read’ easily whether it’s on a tarpaulin, on a business card, or on the browser tab as a favicon.
Creating a logo guideline is useful onto what kind of version you should use. This way you have a basis on how to deliver your identity mark in all possible channels as consistently as possible.
Make it simple, meaningful, and transferrable. Remember there is no ‘wrong’ way to approach this. Everybody has his or her own creative process, which results to the output as desired. If you’re involved in the creative, I hope this guideline contributes to your next logo design process. As a client, I hope this helps you decide better on the direction you want your logo to be. Whenever you feel like you’re done, sit on it, and ‘see’ if it still works after a while. Sometimes it helps to take a break, to refresh your vision on the project you’re working too close on.
Still in the market for a new logo design? Drop me an e-mail.