Creating a logo is the ultimate graphic design challenge. You have to express a company, a culture, a message and a philosophy and get it to look good in a space less than an inch across.
Designing logos is like writing poetry. And just as with poetry writing: a lot of people do it; very few do it well.
Here are a few elements that are important in a logo:
A logo is the first impression people will get of a company and therefore it needs to be distinct. This means it needs to be recognizable at the smallest size and it should work without color. If a logo is no good at a small size in black then no amount of color or effects will make it work. When reviewing logo options, get the graphic designer to send them to you all in black – it will make the decision making process easier.
Of course, we would all like a memorable logo. David Airey says: “if you can’t describe what a logo looks like then how will you be able to remember it?” Just think about the world’s most memorable logos. You could describe them to a 7 year old child in seconds. In fact, a 7 year old child probably already knows them.
Creates the right impression
A logo needs to be relevant to the business in question. The logo creator needs to research the client’s industry before offering options. The logo for a bank would look very different to a logo for a night club.
Most businesses would like to use their logo for decades rather than months. So logo designers should not follow recent trends unless they are particularly briefed to do so. They should try to choose a typeface that is not going to look dated in a years’ time.
What type of logo
There are three types of logos: Iconic/Symbolic, Logotype/Woodmark and Combination Marks.
- Iconic/Symbolic. These are icons and symbols that are used to represent the company over the company’s name. Examples of these are Apple, Nike’s swoosh and Shell.
- Logotype/Woodmark. A logo that incorporates the company name, for example, IBM, Coca-Cola, Sony.
- Combination Marks. A combination of the above two.
It is important to choose the right type of logo for the job. As a general rule, the longer the name of the company, the harder it will be for the designer to create a memorable and distinct logo. One of the remedies for this is to create a symbol to take center stage to minimize the awkwardness of the long company name.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the designer above all needs to create a logo that the client is proud of and loves. Creating a logo for a blog or a new company is like naming someone’s baby. The designer will be quickly forgotten after a less than satisfactory result. But, if the logo is distinct, memorable, relevant, long-lasting and much-loved, the client will be forever indebted.