Creating an effective logo is a critical aspect of brand identity and recognition. A well-designed logo can leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons. Whether you are designing a logo for a startup or rebranding a mature business, following best practices can increase your chances of discovering that perfect logo design that stands the test of time. Let's explore 7 best practices when designing a logo.
Contrary to most people’s thoughts, a logo is not a brand. A brand is a sum of many parts added together that invoke a particular feeling and deliver on a promise. A Logo is merely a simplified representation of everything the brand stands for.
Knowing your target audience when designing a logo is one of the most important factors. The logo has to resonate with your target audience and appeal to their preferences, interests, and emotions. Through targeted research you can understand your audience's mindset, lifestyle, and personal preferences to help you create a logo that connects with them on a deeper level and helps build trust.
Think about the Apple logo, it says nothing about computers yet we know what it means. Now think about the Disney logo, it says nothing about princesses, theme parks or movies but we do know what it stands for. One of the main purposes of a logo is to identify ownership, not to explain everything about a company. In fact, in most cases, when a logo attempts to explain what a company does, it becomes over-complicated and hard to distinguish. Aim for simplicity with the logo design and the supporting brand elements will do the rest.
Talking of simplicity, a simple logo is often more memorable than a complex one. Avoid cluttering the logo with unnecessary details or complicated designs. A simple logo is far more versatile when it comes to reproducing it in different sizes and formats, such as printed on a huge billboard, or viewed at an extremely small size on social media. As a bonus, a simple logo feels more timeless and can rise above design trends that come and go.
Colour can be the most memorable part of a logo. When someone is trying to recall a logo they saw earlier in the day, it’s far easier to remember what colour it was over what it said, or how it looked. With your target audience in mind, consider the psychology of colours and how they can evoke emotions and create associations with your brand. In addition, it must be able to work in just one colour (remember the previous point?). If the meaning and recognisability of a logo is lost when it is reproduced in a single colour then it’s no good.
Avoid the first thing that comes to mind. Although it is tempting to use a symbol or a typographic technique that first pops into your head when thinking of, say, a coffee shop, this what everyone else is thinking too and you’ll have to work alot harder to make it feel unique. As covered in point III, a logo doesn’t have to explain what a business does, it just has to identify. A great way to avoid clichés is to have a strong understanding of your target audience, then you can meet their needs instead of the needs of many.
Nobody can tell what the future holds, but a well-designed logo should stand the test of time and remain relevant for years to come if thorough research and design testing has been undertaken. The best chance of designing an evergreen logo comes from avoiding design trends that may quickly become outdated.