If you see huge golden arches, what brand comes to your mind? It surely reminds most of us (statistically 99% of people on the planet) of McDonalds. What about a blue bird, or a swoosh symbol or even a green circle with a twin-tailed mermaid? Well, I understand the description might not ring a bell immediately, but if you just saw these logos then you would have recognised them as Twitter, Nike and Starbucks.
So what is common in these logos? Essentially there is nothing common but the main thing that bonds these logos is that they are easy to remember and we as the customers can easily recognise them anywhere. For most of us, we can connect our minds to the business in question just by seeing the logo of it and with no need to see the name of the company. Logos are simply the face of the business. This type of instant recognition is very important for every kind of business because it is a vital way to communicate with your audience what your business is about.
Logos influence us very early in life, almost from the age of three. There have been studies where children could recall products and companies by their logos. Logos do help with advertising, but recognition is a key part of the logo and branding that keeps the company at the top of our minds, thus making it very important to have a good quality logo. Now you might understand the reason why all the big companies spend great amounts on creating and re-creating their logos.
Now you might ask, what are the factors that make an effective logo? So, there are five attributes which are essential for making a good quality logo.
Simple & Memorable
You might recollect the KISS principle of design that is Keep It Simple, Stupid. It just means that systems perform best when they have simple designs rather than complex ones, and same applies to logos. A simple logo design is often easy to recognise and is easy to remember that makes them effective in communication with the customers. Unless the customer can associate the products or services the company sells to its logo, it will be a tough time to acquire the business. After all, you want to catch the attention of the viewers while they browse the store, or when they see a signage on the transport truck, or when they view any kind of advertising, marketing or promotion.
Supplementary to simplicity is making sure that your logo is unique. It must stand out and be easily recognisable in the marketplace. No one would want their potential consumers to be confused just because your logo reminds them of another brand. Keep away from overly used graphics like globes or arrows and look into a fresh design. It is not even necessary that the logo needs to say what business the company is into. For example, the logo of BMW is not a car nor is the logo for Apple is a computer or a cell phone. So don’t worry about that, and focus on making the logo unique and memorable.
When you are designing the logo, you must remember that the logo will be put up everywhere, from the billboards to the letter pads and different kinds of merchandise, so the logo should work and have the same impact across all the mediums. To make sure your logo is adaptable, verify whether it evokes the same meaning when it is printed on something the size of postage stamp, something as big as a billboard and also if it were printed in a single colour because it should not create problems for the brand’s clarity and its value. Test your design in black and white to verify the logo retains its quality and impact even in a crude form. Keep the design simple and you can then easily work around with the flexibility in size and colour.
No matter what sort of colours or fonts you like, you must clearly know who your target market is. If your target audience is children then your logo can be colourful and in the comical font, but if it is a lawyer firm or a government organisation then sticking to a single base colour and the standard font does the best job. The logo must appropriately reflect the values and culture of the company, stay true to its spirit. Each colour has its associated meaning in different cultures and so must reflect upon what your colour would convey about your brand value and the products or services that you offer.
The dream of every company is to grow over the years and it undergoes several changes, but that does not mean it must change its logo as well. If you observe some of the big brand logos such as Coca-Cola or Nike, they have never stepped aside from their basic logo. Nike has always had swoosh and Coca-Cola was always represented with red and in the same cursive script and hence they are some of the great examples of timeless logos. A timeless logo will endure throughout the years and still would remain effective. On the other hand, if you check out Pepsi’s logo it has gone through some drastic changes over the years and so someone who perhaps enjoyed the drink in the 1950s might not find any resemblance with it today. The clean fonts, symmetry and neutrality of the design and colours define a timeless logo.
As we know people react faster to images than texts, the power of the logo is in its visual nature and therefore you must definitely spend some time before you come out with the logo for your company. Your company’s logo will be responsible for creating your company’s image and will also help in strengthening consumer loyalty. So whether you do it yourself or if you hire someone to design it, create a great logo that will reap rewards for years to come.
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