The Science of Branding: What Makes a Good Company Logo?
There are 30 million businesses in the United States, and all of them want their company to stand out.
So how do you make yours stand out from the fray?
A good logo is key.
In this article, we'll go over why you need a good logo and how to make one the public will recognize.
In 2018, brand recognition is of utmost importance. And, you guessed it, your logo is a huge part of that.
Read on for a quick logo design 101 crash course. After you read this, you'll be armed with the tools you need to make a perfect logo.
Why is a Good Logo Important?
Think of any brand you know or purchase from. You can likely recall their logo without thinking too hard.
Apple has its iconic bitten apple. Nike has its swoosh. McDonald's has the golden arches.
These designs are simple, yet you know exactly what they represent.
Your logo is everything your brand represents in one small package. Of course, you can't show everything about your company in one small drawing or doodle, but you can do your best to do so.
Your logo is something your customers will associate with your brand for years to come. You need to make it count.
Logo Design 101: The Very Basics
A good logo doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles. It should not only be simple but also memorable. You don't need to create some kind of Van Gogh-esque piece of art for your customers to remember you.
Nowadays, there is also a trend to forego logos in favor of just the brand name in simple type. This is something you can also think about if you're redesigning your logo.
If you think about it, many of the biggest social media websites no longer use their logos as often. Instead, people often simply link to them with the word "Facebook" or "Twitter" in simple prints.
As more companies create logos, you may continue to notice this trend.
However, you can't get away with this if your company name is something generic. If, for example, you create a company called "The Plate," a generic type font won't differentiate it from an actual plate. Instead, you'll need at least a bit of art around it. Or, you'll need to create the logo in a font that is unique to "The Plate."
Coca-Cola and Disney, for example, have created huge brands out of their names in a unique font. Now, many people parody them simply using the font design. The font has become iconic.
You can play around with fonts by using Font Squirrel, or another such similar site.
This is something you can play around with.
But a good logo is, at its core, memorable, simple and straight to the point.
When you're creating a logo, you may be tempted to use your favorite colors. In some instances, this can work, but in others, this falls flat.
The color of the original design is important. Even if you change it around over time, or mold it to fit different websites, this is still an important aspect.
Think about all of the big companies and their colors. While some change with different brandings, Coca-Cola is almost always red. Target's logo is red. Amazon is black with a yellow arrow. Instagram is multi-colored. Twitter and Facebook are both blue.
McDonald's yellow arches are so iconic that people even refer to them as "The Golden Arches."
Your color represents the way in which you interact with your customers. It also represents the layout of your website, and may also represent your products.
Your logo should also look good on a variety of backgrounds. You may put your logo on a piece of black or white paper to advertise, but individuals will place your logo in different places. For instance, if you're a beverage company, your logo will be placed on different menus with all different backgrounds.
If you're a website or e-commerce company, you can expect customers and fans to place your logo on different backgrounds for their websites. It can even be put on t-shirts.
Keep it in tune with the look you're going for, but allow it to be adaptable to different color schemes.
Good Logos Often Have Functional Designs
A good logo's design is often functional. Again, with the McDonald's golden arches, the M represents the M in McDonald's. You can seamlessly pair it with the name of the company.
Amazon also has a functional design that many people are unaware of. Their design is the word Amazon with the yellow arrow underneath. What you might have missed is that the arrow goes from the A to the Z. This arrow indicates that they sell everything from A to Z.
Target's branded target design isn't necessarily functional, but it easily represents the name of the store in an iconic and recognizable way.
Keep It Flexible
Logos often change and morph over the years in very subtle ways. You'll want to keep this in mind when creating your logo. Pick something iconic that you will keep with it no matter how it changes.
For example, Adidas always has their iconic three stripes. This holds out no matter how you change it around. They have updated their logo a few times or adapted it to different designs. In this case, they have always stuck with the three stripes, an iconic representation of their brand.
Where Do I Start?
Now that you've read our Logo Design 101, where do you start? You can use online editors like Canva or PicMonkey to play around with prototypes. These editors can help kickstart your creative process. You may even find the perfect design for you while playing around with them.
Your logo should, at its core, be emblematic of your company and everything it stands for.
For more information on successful branding, visit our blog.