Your logo is one of the most important pieces of your brand. It can bring to mind not only your company name, but also your entire brand personality with just one small picture. Your logo fits where words cannot, so creating one that is recognizable is key for flexible advertising.
To create a logo that is both memorable and impactful, prioritize the following SIX ideas:
1. Simplicity: The simplest logos often permeate the business world in the most powerful and lasting way. Think about the McDonald's golden arches or Nike's signature swoosh. Neither of these logos are particularly elaborate. In fact, they're incredibly simple. Simplicity makes a logo both easy to recall and also scalable. Without complex shadows or gradients, you can make sure your logo will look great no matter where it shows up.
2. Color: It's always best to start working on a logo in black and white, so you can focus on the idea without getting distracted by color. However, you will eventually want to add it some color to enhance your business's message. Huge amounts of research have been done on the psychology of color, in which it has been proven that color has an extremely significant impact on our emotions and feelings.
Believe it or not, different colors have powerful meanings and associations. This can differ depending on the person, but in general, you can count on colors to elicit the following emotion associations:
- Red: energy, excitement, immediacy (e.g. CocaCola)
- Orange: friendliness, confidence, fun (e.g. Nickelodeon)
- Yellow: happiness, optimism, youth (e.g. McDonald's)
- Green: freshness, health, growth (e.g. Whole Foods)
- Blue: trust, dependability, loyalty (e.g. American Express)
- Purple: creativity, luxury, wisdom (e.g. Hallmark)
- Black: authority, power (e.g. Nike)
3. Subtlety: You do not need to hit your customers over the top of the head with your logo's message. Sometimes it's better to be less obvious.
4. Originality: At this point, you might be wondering how you can make your logo stand out if it's both simple and subtle. The answer is by making small, clever tweaks to keep you logo original and tie it into the purpose of your brand. There are many ways you can go about adding small original pieces to make your logo special. FedEx, for example, uses negative space to create a forward pointing arrow between the "e" and the "x" of its simple, typed-out name.
5. Longevity: You want your brand to be around for the next ten, fifty, or even one hundred years, and you want a logo that will last with it. It may be tempting to go along with the latest trends in graphic design, but don't let that temptation pull you away from the end goal: an enduring logo that will represent your brand for years to come.
But just because you want to design a logo that will last with your brand does not mean you can't change it over the years. That's where simplicity comes in. If you create a logo with simplicity in mind from the beginning, you can make small changes over time to keep your logo and brand current with the times.
Consider the Apple logo, which everyone is familiar with. Setting aside the earliest version, the logo of a simple apple has remained solid and recognizable over the years while still adopting small color and style changes.
6. Memorability: In the end, what you want out of a logo is memorability related to your brand. All of the ideas listed above will help your logo become memorable, but sometimes you have to go the extra mile. The average consumer is bombarded by commercial messages every second of every day. If your brand's representation isn't memorable, it's just going to become white noise.
What makes a logo memorable is the experience your brand can consistently deliver. If you develop a good product or service, customers will begin to connect that experience to your logo and, in return, your brand.
Credit: Shane Paul Neil
How we create a logo:
A logo requires a clear idea about the concept and values of your brand, as well as an understanding of the consumer or target market. The logo design process starts with formulating a concept. We will sit with you and decide the look, feel, theme and colors that are the best for your company. We will then create a variety of comp sketches for you to choose from and then we finalize the finished logo design.
Logo creation is much more than creating a pretty picture, it’s about telling your company’s story through artwork in a way which your customers understand.
Client: 20 Seconds To Live
20STL is a web series in which a character will spend their last 20 seconds on earth. This is how we created their logo.
We start every project with an initial consultation. We talked with the 20STL team to find out what they wanted their logo to say about the series. Then we had them send us a series of images that they liked, or fit their aesthetic. The more information we can collect from the client the better because it helps us to better understand the client's sensibility. After the consultation, four quick comps were completed - as seen below.
After these comps were completed we had a second consultation. We discussed what they liked and didn't like, and what colors were important to them. After the discussion they settled on the concept of the first listed logo. They liked the idea of the large 20 in the stopwatch, with the words underneath it. They wanted to make it a little dangerous, we used yellow and black to give the logo the feeling/essence of a hazard sign.
The 20STL team chose the fourth logo. After one final consultation - a few tweaks were made. This is the finished logo. You can watch the logo in action at: http://www.20secondstolive.com
This shows the evolution of a logo for Figure-Ground productions. We spent a long time working hand in hand with the client on this logo. The finished logo, in the bottom right corner, really ended up turning into a piece of art. This logo has a lot of symbolism going on in it, and we are proud of the finished product.