It’s almost impossible to communicate to the non-designer how something so visually simple can be so difficult to design. But simple is hard! Especially hard when it’s a tiny mark entrusted with representing the distillation of a brand/business/founders hopes and dreams. However, after 15 years of designing logos, I’ve begun to find some commonalities in successful logos that stand the test of time.
What characteristics does this business embody based on their logo? (eg. friendly, reliable, confident, prestigious, authoritative) What feelings are being emoted through colour, typography, line, shape and composition?
If there is a symbol, what is it communicating to me?
(eg. The nature of the product or service, the business origins, founder, a place or something less literal in the form of a metaphor for values, process etc)
How is this logo different from their competitors? What makes this logo unique to this business – would this be hard to copy? (eg. it only relates to one very specific brand story).
Does this logo work in most practical applications? Is it too wide or too tall? Too complex? Too hard to print in crude formats (eg. screen printing). Can the all the text be read when small? Does it always need to be aligned to the left, right or centre? Can it be placed onto coloured backgrounds when needed? Are their variations of this logo for these purposes.
Possible the hardest thing to achieve since trends harder to see when you’re in them and you don’t want to mistake ‘boring’ with ‘timeless’. Sticking to classic, simple fonts and original, meaningful symbols would be my biggest tip here.
And remember rules are (and sometimes have to be) broken!
In an upcoming post I’ll talk more about visual language and brand identity. Please subscribe to our newsletter for further updates.