What makes a great logo

Leah ClarkeContent Marketing

We see them every day: quality logos that become etched in our minds. With the blink of an eye we’ve summed up the company behind the name. And what’s more, we’ve often decided if they are worthy of our custom with barely a conscious thought. And those are just the logos we notice. Hundreds of others pass us by, never garnering our attention but instead falling by the wayside in an increasingly saturated consumer market.

So what is it that makes one logo stand out over another? A simple symbol, font, emblem or name can drive decision making that amounts to millions.  Think of a 10-year-old boy who only sees value in a pair of sneakers if they don the Nike logo. Or the ability of Lego to sell its plastic toys at top dollar. Another example is the prestige associated with Mercedes’ three pointed star. All of these companies provide high quality offerings and their reputations have become intrinsically entwined with their logos. We identify them easily and instantly associate them with quality, prestige and desirability. They inspire us to want.

timeless logo design

The prestige of the Mercedes logo

So when creating a new logo how can we create something with the potential to embody such impact? How can we showcase our offering with a word or image? How can we inspire trust? Admiration? Loyalty? Or even superiority? How can a simple word, symbol or acronym truly do this?

Well of course there must be a genuine article beneath the advertisement – for that is what a logo is – an easily translated advertisement. One that is read and understood in an instant, and yet is meaningless without a great offering to back it up. Your business without a logo might succeed, your logo without a business never will.

Which brings us to why a logo is important. It helps your customers and potential customers identify you and differentiate you from competitors. It reminds people of your offering, it’s essentially a memory trigger. You’re reminding them to make positive associations with your company with a glance at your logo.

Create a logo that has the hallmarks of an iconic brand 

When it comes to logo design less is often more. Remember it’s about sending a message in a millisecond, not creating a magnificent work of art. A great logo is memorable and unique. It conveys a message to people in the simplest form possible. Furthermore, it uses typography, symbolism and graphics to convey meaning and emotion. And it can usually be identifiable irrespective of colour and size, though may speak more to its audience when embodying corporate colours. In totality, the key to creating a successful logo is the combination of a strong concept with even stronger delivery.

The simplicity of a great logo can fool the unknowing eye into thinking it was easy to create. On the contrary designing a great logo can take a lot of trial, error, thought, creativity and ingenuity. Sometimes it will be the combination of many great minds that come up with the winning design, while other times it will be the tireless efforts of one graphic designer working to assimilate the ideas of stakeholders

How to design a SMART logo

Creating a great logo is not about accepting the first idea that come to mind. On the contrary, it’s about generating idea after idea until finally that right idea shows itself. In my experience designing logos, I always know when I’ve hit the right image, it just seems to fit, to belong, to stand out above all others.

But of course this type of magic doesn’t just happen. There are 5 key principles to creating an effective logo, which can be easily remembered using the acronym SMART: Simple, Memorable, Appropriate, Resizable and Timeless. A well conceptualized and executed logo will embody all of these principles. It will speak to its audience about the organisation it represents in a simple yet appropriate way. It will stand the test of times, work well on all visual mediums (for example online, print, merchandise and signage) and or course it will be memorable. For that is its true purpose: to help us remember the positive aspects of a brand.

The Web Composer provides a professional graphic design and marketing service that include logo design. We love working on creative projects like this and treat every logo we design as though it’s our own.

Contact us now to chat about your project or check out our Marketing Services.

About the Author

Leah Clarke

Copywriter / Web Designer / Business Owner / Interior Designer. Writing and designing are passions I've honed over 15 years' of professional experience.

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