In our last post, we looked at what a brand is and how it encompasses all visual and experiential aspects of a product, service, or company. One of the most recognizable aspects is the company’s logo. In many ways, a logo is the company’s signature, a unique mark that identifies something as coming from that company or belonging to that particular product line.
The logo gives a visual reference to associate with a product, service, or company. It should reflect their culture and offerings and should appeal to their audience. As customers come to know a company, that symbol takes on additional meaning, just like the signature of a friend or family member brings back memories of that person.
“The word logo is short for logotype—a graphic representation of a brand. So, essentially, a logo is a picture that represents the collection of experiences that forms a perception in the mind of those who encounter an organization.” – Brand Identity Essentials
A logo can convey some information on its own, just like a signature conveys something about that person (gender, age, education, etc.) without knowing anything about that person. But both a logo and a signature take on additional meaning as you become familiar with the person or company behind them.
The purpose of a logo is identification. However, customers don’t see a logo in isolation. It should match up with the packaging, the type of product, the quality of the product, the store where it’s sold, and more. The logo the hook where the company can hang the brand identity. It’s also the hook where customers will hang their experiences and thoughts about that product or company. The logo is just the tip of the iceberg. But it’s important that it matches with all the other information the customer sees.
So, how do you design a good logo? If you do even a quick Google search, you can find dozens of different lists of good logo characteristics. However, if you try to meet every single one of those characteristics, your logo will likely end up being so generic that it is worthless. No one logo can meet all the characteristics in these various lists, but they are good characteristics to keep in mind.
A few characteristics that make a good logo include:
- Easy to recognize
- Timeless (avoids trends)
- Versatile (various applications, complementary colors & formats for different applications)
- Appropriate to your audience.
- Legible (words need to be big enough to read and clean enough to be understood)
- Clever use of color (more on this in a future article)
- Style suits the company (appropriate for the industry and accurately reflects the company culture)