A great logo is more than just a symbol or image. It’s a representation of a brand’s identity and values. A well-designed logo can help a business stand out from its competitors and become instantly recognisable to consumers.
In this journal post, we will explore the most important things that make a great logo, using an example of a great logo and mentioning its creator. We will also conclude with a bullet point checklist that anybody could use to brief a designer to design them the perfect logo for their business.
- Simplicity: The first and perhaps the most crucial element of a great logo is simplicity. The best logos are often the most straightforward, with clear and concise designs that are easily recognizable. A simple logo is more memorable and easier to identify. One example of a great logo that embodies simplicity is the Nike “Swoosh” logo. Created by graphic designer Carolyn Davidson in 1971, the logo features a simple curved line that resembles a checkmark. The Nike logo is now one of the most recognizable logos in the world.
- Relevance: The second important element of a great logo is relevance. A logo must be relevant to the brand and its values. It should convey what the brand stands for, what it does, and what sets it apart from the competition. A great example of a relevant logo is the Starbucks logo. Designed by Terry Heckler in 1971, the logo features a stylized image of a mermaid. The mermaid represents the brand’s history as a coffee roaster located in a seaport city. The green color of the logo is also significant, representing growth, freshness, and prosperity.
- Timelessness: The third essential element of a great logo is timelessness. A logo should be designed to stand the test of time, without looking outdated or irrelevant. A timeless logo can last for decades, even centuries, without needing to be updated or redesigned. One great example of a timeless logo is the Coca-Cola logo. Designed by Pemberton and Frank Mason Robinson in 1887, the logo features the iconic “Coca-Cola” script in flowing letters. The logo has undergone minor tweaks over the years, but the overall design remains largely unchanged.
- Versatility: A great logo should be versatile enough to work in a variety of situations. It should be designed to work well in color or black and white and should be easily readable when reversed. A logo that is versatile will be more effective in different contexts, such as digital media, print media, or signage. One example of a versatile logo is the FedEx logo. Designed by Lindon Leader in 1994, the logo features an arrow hidden within the negative space between the “E” and the “x”. The arrow represents the brand’s focus on speed and precision. The logo works equally well in color or black and white and is easily readable when reversed.
- Scalability: A great logo should also be scalable. It should be designed to be easily reproduced in any size, from small favicons to large billboards, without losing its impact or legibility. A logo that is not scalable can lose its effectiveness in different contexts, such as on a small mobile screen or a large outdoor sign. One example of a scalable logo is the Apple logo. Designed by Rob Janoff in 1977, the logo features a stylized apple with a bite taken out of it. The logo is easily recognizable at any size, from small icons on mobile devices to large billboards.
In addition, if you have a digital product, it may be necessary to have a modular logo. A modular logo is a logo that can be broken down into individual parts or elements that can be used separately in different contexts. For example, the Google logo is a modular logo that consists of four colours and can be broken down into individual letters. This allows the logo to be used in different contexts, such as on different products or services, while still maintaining a consistent brand identity.
Creating a great logo requires careful consideration of many different factors. By focusing on simplicity, relevance, timelessness, versatility, and scalability, businesses can create logos that are memorable, meaningful, and effective. When briefing a designer to create a logo, it’s important to also consider whether a modular logo is necessary for digital products. By following these guidelines, businesses can create logos that will represent their brand effectively for years to come.
In conclusion, the three most important things that make a great logo are simplicity, relevance, and timelessness. By focusing on these elements, businesses can create logos that are memorable, meaningful, and enduring. To ensure a designer creates the perfect logo for your business, use the following bullet point checklist when briefing them:
- Clearly define your brand’s values and unique selling points
- Identify your target audience and what they will respond to
- Consider the context in which your logo will be used, such as print or digital media
- Provide examples of logos you like and dislike, with reasons why
- Discuss any specific design requirements, such as color schemes or typography
- Set a clear deadline and budget for the project.
By following these steps, you can work with a designer to create a great logo that will represent your business for years to come.