What are the characteristics of a good logo?

At Blend we know that a great logo looks simple – but the process of creating one can be very difficult. In this blog post we look at the characteristics of a good logo and how it should make people think instantly of your products or services, by being simple, but distinctive. There are many things you should keep in mind in order to create a world-class logo – here we look at some of the most important elements to consider during the design phase.

Appropriateness

There are exceptions to this rule, but making your logo appeal to your target market often requires it to be appropriate for your industry sector. Ideally it should subtly hint at the business you’re in by clever use of color, typography and iconography. The Cadburys logo with its, font, color and use of milk pouring is a great example of appropriateness to their industry. Harley Davidson and Michelin Tyres also follow this path by creating a logo that instantly reflects their business model.

Memorability

People should be able to recognise your logo instantly, even if they’ve only seen it once before. It should be distinctive and not easily confused with other logos, especially those of your competitors. The McDonalds M, for instance, is recognisable anywhere, and although it does not contain any reference to burgers – or food at all – it instantly conjures up thoughts of their brand.

Simplicity

This is difficult to achieve alongside distinctiveness, but good graphic designers are used to these types of challenges. The simpler a logo is, the more recognisable. Think about the Apple logo, or the Facebook F, their logos reduce down in size easily, and can even be used to create a favicon – this is the 16×16 pixel image that appears in the web browser title bar when users visit their site. A complicated logo will not lend itself easily to this type of minimalist use, meaning it will have to be altered, reduced, or left out entirely.

Tone

What type of product or service do you provide? Who are your target audience? These are the most important considerations for the tone of your logo. If your product uses cutting-edge technology, then a logo with a leaf design in a soft green won’t deliver the right message – unless you’re really emphasising your company’s minimal impact on the environment. For children’s products, for example, you should consider something bright, vivid and eye-catching so that it will appeal to children and their parents.

Versatility

It’s also important that your logo is versatile. It should work as well on billboards as it does on letterheads and in video. If you need to consider sub-brands, you will have to think about how you can make those distinct from each other while still retaining the recognisability of the main brand. This is also important if you ever need to redesign your logo at a later date. The Apple logo has been through several iterations over the years, and is versatile enough to be recognisable throughout all of them.

Summary

There are always exceptions to these guidelines – for example, the Google logo features simple lettering and bright colours, which is more often associated with products aimed at children. The aforementioned McDonalds logo does not include any reference to food, but is distinctive enough to clearly indicate the brand as a whole. While it’s possible for brands to do this, breaking these rules should always be approached with caution. At Blend we truly understand these concepts and can work with you to design a logo that is encapsulates the elements we’ve discussed in this article, that suit your unique brand.

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