Logo Design: How to Design a Logo that Works
“The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.” – David Ogilvy on the elements that make up a brand
David Ogilvy, known as the “Father of Advertising,” defines a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes” and while there are many components to creating a brand, a logo is the key in determining your identity. This is because first impressions are everything, which is just as true to brands as it is to meeting people. Your logo is more than just a shape and colors or a picture, it’s what your customers see and feel when they think of you. Here are 6 elements we consider when crafting a strong brand logo.
1. It has a clear objective.
A logo is less about what it means and more about how it feels. That being said, don’t let the message get lost in a complicated design. Keep it simple and leave customers with one aspect to take away to make the objective of your logo very clear. You don’t need complexity to achieve a strong look. Using simplistic elements that are bold and sharp can help reach the same goals.
2. It’s relevant to your industry.
Regardless of how your logo ends up looking, it’s essential to take into account the feelings and vibes of your industry. If you’re a brewery, you probably don’t need a tree in your logo, unless it’s part of your company name. Relevance is also important when it comes to a brand refresh. While updating your logo is important, it should contain elements of your previous brand mark to make sure your customers know it’s you.
3. It stands out in the crowd.
Even within the same industries, every company is unique. This makes it imperative for your brand to reflect that. While your logo should fit in with the times and your industry, it needs to be original. A logo allows your brand to label itself as the one and only of its kind. Don’t let it blend in with the crowd.
4. Make it memorable.
Along with being unique, your logo should be memorable. If you’ve ever played a game where you guess the brand by just the main elements of their logos, chances are that major and timeless brands are easy for you to guess. Making your logo memorable can make it strong enough to be recognized alone but also simple enough to tie back to your entire brand.
5. It needs to be versatile.
While remaining memorable, your logo should hold its form and expression in all applications; big and small, horizontal or vertical, desktop or mobile. No matter where you put your logo, it should have the ability to be expanded upon for custom designs and tied into other graphic elements of the brand.
6. Make it timeless.
Thinking back to your favorite and iconic logos like Nike, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Apple, your logo mark should stand the test of time. These logos prove that simplicity is key and that your logo should be focused on the expression of the brand. Many current logos focus on designs that are trending at the time rather than the brand itself. Timelessness in your brand is what will carry you through long-term success.
Building a brand doesn’t stop at creating your logo. However, taking time to make sure your logo reflects your brand and connects to your audience is invaluable to the branding process. Also, a successful logo makes for awesome branded apparel.
Originally published on 5/07/2018 – updated on 9/10/19