What makes a great logo? When most people think about what it takes to brand a business, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. This single piece of your visual identity is your company’s most recognizable and prominent asset. It’s the way that people identify (and hopefully remember) your business; it also helps give meaning to your products and services. In addition, the shape, color, and typography of a logo actually evokes specific emotions in your audience.
It’s also helpful to think about what your logo is not. Your logo is not a complete description of your business, or a narrative of your business’s story. You’ll never have a logo that can explain everything you are — rather, it’s the context around your logo that does the explaining. Logos derive meaning from your company, products/services, customer experience, and more.
When the Deforest Group develops a new or rebranded logo for a client, we focus on first creating a concept that reflects your company brand and messaging. Then, we craft that concept into a creative visual representation of your business. The overarching feelings and emotions projected by your logo evoke an emotional connection with your brand at the subconscious level that builds long-lasting trust and understanding with your audience.
THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF A BUSINESS LOGO
When designing a new logo, the following elements are key:
1. KEEP YOUR LOGO SIMPLE
Ensure people can recognize your logo as soon as they see it, at any distance. Simplicity in design makes certain your logo can be easily recognized from far away, and quickly absorbed by your current or potential customers. Don’t confuse your audience by being too complicated and avoid using colors that clash.
2. LOGO MUST BE SCALABLE
Logos should be easily recognizable whether they are “larger than life” on an interstate billboard, or only ½ inch tall on mobile devices. Your logo will be scaled to various sizes on your website, social media channels, print materials, letterhead and more, so make sure it looks stellar in all sizes. Avoid hard-to-read fonts and fine lines that don’t translate to tiny applications.
3. GREAT LOGOS ARE MEMORABLE
You want your logo to be instantly recognizable. As we mentioned in Element 1, simplicity trumps complicated design tricks. Your logo should capture your target audience’s attention and leave a distinguished, positive impression that’s differentiated from competitors. Incorporate easily recognizable symbols with unique, creative touches that make your logo relatable, while still being undeniably, unforgettably your own.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR LOGO’S VERSATILITY
Your brand mark and typography need to look great regardless of device or size. Reflect on the various orientations (square, circular, rectangular) needed for your website, social media channels and print materials. You’ll want a logo that can translate to any media seamlessly whether the format is vertical or horizontal, printed or digital. Also, consider how your logo will work in greyscale if needed, or on clothing such as shirts or hats. How will it look in reverse coloring (light logo on dark background) or a single color? Will it work on a sign over your building or on a transparent background such as your doors or windows?
5. DESIGN YOUR LOGO TO BE RELEVANT
It’s essential for business logos to be relevant. This means they are appropriate for the company and industry they represent (although they shouldn’t be obvious and cliché). Relevant logos are targeted and purposeful, relatable to your remarkable selling points, as well as supporting your services and values. They are also timeless, and not trendy. Your business logo should “speak” to your audience through appropriate fonts and colors that convey meanings. Is your font playful, or masculine? Are your colors calming, or confident? Are your shapes rugged, or soft?
6. DESIGN A LOGO THAT DIFFERENTIATES YOUR COMPANY
Lastly, your business logo should stand out in the branding landscape. Simple, scalable, and relevant does not have to mean “boring.” Your design should reflect the concepts and values that make your business unique and unparalleled within your industry. Let your logo help set you apart, and not get lost in the maze of competitors.
GREAT LOGOS LAST
A good logo will stand the test of time and give your audience a physical symbol to recognize and feel great about every time they interact with your business. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to explain your business -- instead, it should represent a valuable concept and feeling you’d like to leave with your audience.
By keeping the key elements of good logo design in mind, you’ll invest in a design that gives your audience something they can easily grasp onto and connect with. In fact, your business practices will often support and develop your logo over time and strengthen its impression on your customers. An effective logo that grows with a company’s culture and audience will be truly a powerful and compelling asset for your business brand in the long run.
Ready for a new business logo or a logo redesign? Click here to get in touch with the Deforest Group team!