A guide to logo design: why it’s important and what makes a logo exceptional
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An effective logo is a visual representation of your business. Put simply, as design great Paul Rand has said, “A logo does not sell (directly), it identifies.” Sounds pretty simple, right? Not so much… there are logos and then there are great logos. So what makes a great logo design? We’re glad you asked…
1. Visual appeal
We know, we know, this one sounds like a no-brainer – of course you want a logo that looks appealing. But to truly create a logo that not only looks good and is effective, you have to know and understand your audience and what makes them tick. You’re not selling to everyone, so don’t design for everyone, design for your dream client.
Babees Honey: Positioning themselves as a non-refined sugar alternative for kids, Babees logo perfectly captures their target market – its friendly calligraphic style has a childlike quality while still maintaining a sophisticated look and feel (appealing to the adults buying for their children!).
2. Make it relevant
As well as attracting your target market, your logo must be relevant to your brand. Just because you like bright colours and handwritten fonts, doesn’t mean it is appropriate for your high-end dental practice.
Grace & Blaze: an example of an appropriate logo for an elegant high-end fashion label
Twins Communications: Clever logo for a creative company consisting only of 2 – twin brothers.
3. Simplicity is key
Don’t over-complicate it! An effective logo is clear, recognisable and unique, without being too literal. It is important to mention here, that your logo is not a description of your business and is seldom the entire meaning of your brand, so avoid complex imagery (yes, clip art is a definite NO), which brings us to point 4…
4. Leave a lasting impression
If all development companies used an icon symbolising skyscrapers or apartment buildings, what would set them apart from one another? With that said a logo incorporating an obvious graphic can work quite well – IF – it’s executed in an interesting / clever / abstract way. The logo for Caked Up is an example of a literal logo that works. Why? Through clever use of hand-drawn type, the logo is unique, relevant and practical.
Caked Up: An example of a literal logo that works.
A good logo is unique and memorable. If you can think of a company and almost draw their logo without looking at it first, it has done its job. In a world full of design, you might be asking how this can be achieved? Follow steps 1-3 and your almost there. The more recognisable (achieved through simplicity), appropriate and unique your logo is, the more memorable it will be. We suggest starting a logo in its simplest form – black and white – to ensure the logo is compelling without the distraction of colour.
5. Give thought to practicality
A logo needs to be practical and to achieve this, you have to consider its usage across numerous applications in both digital and print. Ask yourself these questions… does it scale well i.e. could it work on a large billboard, or on a pen? Does it work in reverse colour or in one colour? The more complex your logo, the more difficult it will be to work with (so we repeat, keep it simple!). In some circumstances, your logo may be used by people other than yourself so it needs to be flexible and easy to apply in any situation, by anyone.
Case Mate: A secondary logo design (landscape) is used where space is limited allowing the logo to be applied in any medium.
The above points are considerations as part of our logo design process. It is important to mention, however, that a logo is not the be all and end all to whether your brand is a huge success or an epic fail… your brand is not just your logo. A logo is an important starting point when launching a business, absolutely. But it is also important to think big picture, by creating a consistent and clear brand identity that encompasses fonts, colour, images and communication style. This will result in the trust and loyalty of your customer base and set you up for success and longevity in your industry.
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