A good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic, simple in form, and conveys an intended message.
There are five principles that you should follow to ensure that this is so…
An effective logo is (in no particular order):
A simple logo design allows for easy recognition and allows the logo to be versatile & memorable. Good logos feature something unique without being overdrawn.
Following closely behind the principle of simplicity is that of memorability. An effective logo design should be memorable and this is achieved by having a simple, yet, appropriate logo.
An effective logo should be timeless – that is, it will endure the ages. Will the logo still be effective in 10, 20, 50 years?
An effective logo should be able to work across a variety of mediums and applications. The logo should be functional. For this reason, a logo should be designed in vector format, to ensure that it can be scaled to any size. The logo should be able to work both in horizontal and vertical formats.
Ask yourself; is a logo still effective if:
- Printed in one color?
- Printed on something the size of a postage stamp?
- Printed on something as large as a billboard?
- Printed in reverse (ie. light logo on dark background)
One way around creating a versatile logo is to begin designing in black and white only. This allows one to focus on the concept and shape, rather than the subjective nature of color. One must also remember printing costs – the more colors used, the more expensive it will be for the business over the long term.
How you position the logo should be appropriate for its intended purpose. For example, if you are designing a logo for a children’s toys store, it would be appropriate to use a childish font & color scheme. This would not be so appropriate for a law firm.
It is also important to state that a logo doesn’t need to show what a business sells or offers as a service. i.e. Car logos don’t need to show cars, computer logos don’t need to show computers. The Harley Davidson logo isn’t a motorcycle, nor is the Nokia logo a mobile phone. A logo is purely for identification.
For further evidence of this, take the top 50 brands of the world – 94% of the logos do not describe what the company does.