Creating a truly well designed logo is both an art and a science.
It’s an art because it requires creativity and intuition to design a truly unique, beautiful logo. And it’s a science because, while all great logos are different, they all share the following qualities.
“Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful.” – Dieter Rams
A memorable logo is a logo that your customers can look at once and then recall without difficulty later on. The more memorable your logo, the more easily your customers will identify something as yours. And since one of the main purposes of a logo is to create brand recognition, the more memorable your logo is, the better.
You can create a memorable logo by evoking emotion, keeping it simple, and aligning your logo closely with your brand.
A good fit with your brand
The most important thing is to create a logo that fits well with your brand and business. Your logo should communicate your brand values and make your customers feel the way you want them to feel.
Your logo should be created as part of a thoughtful, deliberate branding process. If your logo doesn’t represent your brand, none of the other factors listed below will matter.
Make sure that before designing your logo, you ask the right questions about your brand <link> and create a mood board <link> that reflects how you want your brand to look and feel.
Examples of logos that fit with their brands: The Starbucks siren (it calls you into their stores), and the Mercedes Benz star (it represents dominance over air, land, and sea).
Steve Jobs said, “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
One of the toughest parts of the logo design process is taking all of your complex brand values and stories and distilling them into a simple logo. But when it comes to logos, simplicity is one of the most important qualities to aim for.
A potential customer should be able to look at your logo and immediately recognize it. The simpler your logo, the more memorable it will become because they’ll be able to identify it immediately.
Simple logos are also harder to copy, more versatile because they look good in any size, and they more clearly communicate to your audience.
When it comes to simplifying your logo, take every component into account. Only choose one or two fonts, and make sure they are clear and legible. Use no more than 3 colors in your logo. Finally, if your logo includes a mark or symbol, keep it as sparse and simple as possible. The more details it has, the less powerful it will be.
An original logo looks different than every other logo out there.
To make an original logo, you must go further than using the traditional shapes, pictures, and symbols associated with your niche or product.
For example, an original logo for a coffee shop or product wouldn’t have a coffee cup in it. An original logo for a photographer wouldn’t have a camera in it. Those direct, linear pictures are overused and don’t make for original logos.
There’s a reason your brain automatically gravitates toward traditional and generic ideas — because they’re overused. It’s important to keep brainstorming until you land on something you haven’t seen in hundreds of other logos.
In addition, an original logo doesn’t contain cliches.
Some of the most common logo cliches include:
- Arcs over letters
- Letters in boxes
- Circles surrounding the letters
- Helvetica font
- Swooshes cutting through letters
Try to avoid these cliches if you want your logo to be original. Designing an original logo requires you or your designer to go beyond the obvious, to buck logo cliches and trends, and to come out with something that truly represents you and your brand.
Your logo is distinctive when it stands out from other logos in your niche. It’s important to have a distinctive logo, because a distinctive logo points to a brand that does things differently than their competitors.
In order to design a distinctive logo, it’s helpful to research your competitors’ logos. <link> Find out the common fonts, colors, and symbols being used in your market, and then intentionally avoid them in your logo.
When designing your logo, keep in mind that it will be seen in many different places: On your marketing materials, both printed, and online, and possibly on products or storefronts.
A great logo will be recognizable and look good no matter where it’s placed, from a small business card to a huge billboard.
When designing your logo, consider the different elements and how they work together. Do you plan to use the entire logo every time or is there a part of your logo that can stand on its own?
Also consider your logo’s dimensions. Is it compact enough to be placed on different media, or is it overly long in one direction? Will you have to shrink your logo too much to use it on a business card, thus making it unreadable?
You want your business to be around for a long time, which means your logo should be timeless, as well.
In order to design a timeless logo, stick with classic looking (but not overused) fonts. If everyone seems to be using a certain trendy font, that’s a good reason to stay away from it.
Avoid logo trends as well. You don’t want your logo to be like an outfit you bought that seems great now but will be dated in a year or two.
To sum up:
To create a truly great logo design, make sure your logo is:
- Aligned with your brand
Are you a designer? Did I miss any qualities? I would love to hear what you think makes a well designed logo.